He occupied a region of consciousness somewhere on the edge of sleep – but not quite. He was still aware. A jumble of disconnected thoughts swirled inside his head. He could make no sense of them and it maddened him.
In the depths of the night he lay in his bed, cognisant of the sounds around him that prevented him from succumbing to sleep. He cursed silently. There was the quiet tick-tock from the alarm clock on his bedside table. The soft, audible breath of his wife sleeping beside him. The sound of his own heart beating. They melded together in the darkness, tormenting him. He could feel his anger rising. The battle to quiet his mind was futile.
With these sounds was another, more pervasive sound – the rhythmic hum that came from a pump in the hall just outside. It delivered oxygen into the adjacent bedroom via a long, thin tube connected to a port on the pump’s surface, along the polished timber floorboards of the hallway and through the doorway of the bedroom where it terminated at the soft plastic prongs of the nasal cannula that sat just under the nostrils of the petite figure who lay in the bed.
It was a young woman. It was his daughter.
I can relate and sympathize totally with this person, in his inability to sleep, despite being bone weary. To lay there for most of the night, listening to the over accentuated sounds, which are almost invisible during daylight hours, becoming more and more angry, hot and bothered and ultimately upset, really doesn’t set me up well for the day ahead – especially when I feel myself finally able to drop off to sleep, just as the alarm goes off and it is time to get up!
I would certainly find it almost impossible to sleep, if you added into the equation the sound of the oxygen pump, keeping my daughter alive! A little like having a new baby, I would always have one ear open for the slightest change to the ‘norm’ and I would probably still need to keep checking that she was breathing and that there was no fault with the life support equipment!
Definitely an emotional opening passage on so many levels, but then I would expect nothing else from author Dean Mayes 🙂
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