Right now, at the very moment of typing this, I hate my family.
With a seething white-hot passion that stems entirely from jealousy and loneliness.
Because they're all sleeping peacefully - and have been for hours now - and I'm out here in the study wide awake, feeling the bags under my eyes gather and multiply like rings inside a coffee cup and wondering just why there aren't any notable scientific studies done on how pillows can become so hot and itchy no matter how often you flip them or how come Kylie Minogue's excremental song, 'Hand on Your Heart' is on repeat-play in my brain or where the hell it came from in the first place (the song, not my brain. Although, that's something else to ponder as I lay in the dark, trying not to laugh as I hear Love Chunk's fast-asleep farts in a noisy-so-safe little staccato rhythm - Parp Parp Parp!).
Yeah yeah, I've tried the 'wind down slowly' at least an hour before you go to bed routine. I never drink caffeine after lunch; don't do any vigorous workouts in the evenings and when it's time to pull back the quilt cover and flop into bed, I honestly feel physically and mentally drained. Love Chunks kisses me and says "Good ni----" and he's already in dreamland and forgotten to give me the map to follow him there.
It's not as though I woke up at midday, lay around in a hammock and toddled off to bed when Sapphire did, nooooo sirree. I leapt out of bed at 6:30am, tapped away at the computer for an hour before waking up Sapph, got her breakfast made, lunch packed, Milly and Skipper fed, bin emptied, dishwasher stacked and put a load of washing on.
After walking Sapphire to school, Milly and I came home and I did an eight kilometre run before cooling down and cuddling the rabbit, eating a decent breakfast, having a shower, hanging out the washing and going for a walk down the street to the Post Office, green grocer and bank. Then I worked for several more hours at my desk completing a chocolate review (and photography session), a book review (harder than it sounds), some background info-gathering for three articles on-the-go for the 'My Career' section and rustling up a hopefully utterly educational yet entertaining and compellingly unforgettable powerpoint presentation and notes for a session I'm doing on work/life balance next week. I idly note that my ACDC-loving neighbour has finally learned - in four months - how to change his CD player, because Green Day is being played at number eleven instead.
Being easily immersed, my watch beeps at 3:15 to remind me to stop what I'm doing and go and collect Sapphire from school. At this insistent 'Peep-peep, Peep-peep, Peep-peep' sound, Milly bounces out of her (usually) red-but-now-orange-due-to-her-shedding beanbag, races into the laundry and stares intently at the cupboard, tail wagging. This is the Magic Cupboard. The Keeper of the Lead; that magnificent device that, when fastened onto her collar; means a WALK.
Half an hour later we're back home with a now-limping dog, a hungry child, her guitar, a schoolbag weighng possibly more than the dog (13kg at last count) a handful of newsletters of varying vintages and another handful of rubbish that I've picked up from our street thanks to the high school kids who use our street as their thoroughfare and disposal site.
My hands get cleaned, the wheelie bins put out, the mail collected and read, Sapphire provided with a snack and Skipper the rabbit gets released from his hutch and put in his portable 'playpen' on the lawn. I leave Sapphire out with bunny boy and go back into the study to chat with Bernadette Young on ABC Radio Perth. Off air, I point out to her producer the irony of moving further east only to be discovered by the west.
Afterwards, I successfully manage to convince Sapphire that practicising her viola might be a better use of her time than holding a SingStar ABBA duet with me. She looks surprised at my decision until I explain that there are ten shirts, five pairs of jeans, one poncy and easily-wrinkled designer t-shirt and some posh linen napkins from the dinner party the other night that need to be ironed; preferably in front of a taped episode of 'Master Chef' rather than trying to put a decent crease in Love Chunks' work trousers whilst also holding a microphone singing along to 'I Have A Dream.'
When this is done, I do the weekly Poo Pick-up Performance that is essential when living on a sliver of real estate that is less than one-third the size of our previous one. Milly has a preference for scattering her nuggets at precisely the most public and commonly-traversed places - right by the front gate, Skipper's hutch entrance, the shed door mat, directly under the clothesline and by seven days we're all find ourselves performing a perverse doggy-dung dodging dance that isn't much fun when it gets dark now by 5:30pm.
I'm still ironing when Love Chunks gets home on his bike. He prepares dinner as I take in the washing, put the clean stuff away, give Skipper some cucumber chunks and Milly some god-knows-what meat-and-jelly-from-a-can-chunks and again read through my seminar notes for the twentieth time. We three eat our spaghetti and salad companionably together before LC leaves for his piano lesson and Sapph and I watch 'Thank God You're Here'. Milly is stretched out in front of the sub-bass speaker, snoring. For a creature with hearing that is twenty times greater than ours, I still marvel at her ability to zonk out in front of a booming surround sound system that is only 30cm away from her head.
Sapphire goes to bed at 8:30pm, LC and I go to bed at 11pm. My day wasn't too slack, was it?
Sitting here now at 2:49am there's nothing on my conscience that's weighing me down. Oh alright, except for the fact that I ate two bars of chocolate as part of my review today (it's work you know) and tonight when LC bought out a block of Lindt Swiss Classic and said, "Fancy a bit of chocolate," I nodded eagerly as though it was the best and most unique suggestion ever made because I hadn't eaten any of the magnificent brown stuff for so long and truly deserved some.
What am I, made of stone? I didn't lie to him exactly; I just omitted to explain that I'd already enjoyed some chocolate earlier today. That's not a crime!
No, but neither is insomnia, bugger it.