Diesel fumes and jasmine

I couldn’t sleep last night. I get insomniac once every 2 or 3 months, but last night it was much worse. I went to bed at 1. Having read 10-15 pages of Manhattan Transfer, I lay in the dark, eyes wide open, seething with rage, my brain firing away in a brutal and beastly way, nothing like the elaborate gossamer what we call ‘the mind’ knits. Initially I did not even pretend I would go to sleep by trying turning to the side and closing my eyes. I once more raged against, well, you know what, my faithful readers. I suddenly got tired of being the strong one, the stable one, the indomitable one, the reliable one. I had the abrupt and piercing realisation that, no matter how ready I am to give my best to helping here and making a difference, as I would do and have done everywhere, I no longer care about their ‘Problem’ or their problems here. I felt in a very clear but indescribably bitter way that I will continue doing my best — but without caring about Outpost ‘problems’. Outpost has no problems, Outpost has certainties to die for and idiotic sensitivities. Now, Iraq has problems, Palestine has problems, (South) Africa has problems, poor forgotten Western Balkans has problems, Chechnya even more so. The US poor have problems: not these whining, narrow-minded, chauvinistic Outposters and the mess they have made of their country. I will serve you, mesdames et messieurs, I will give you my work and my life (until I am out of here) — but expect me to sympathise with you no more.

I eventually got up and tried the soporific powers of late-night web surfing. To no avail. I went back to bed and decided, for the first time after all those years, to follow Jod’s advice to wake her up should I ever have trouble going to sleep. She was indescribably correct in calming me down and partially quenching the angry flames of insomnia in her sweet and understated way. She went back to sleep waking up every five minutes to check up on me. In the meantime, I started another book and read half of it. At around 4 am, I turned off the lights and tried to lull myself to sleep, trying to replicate this falling sensation one sometimes experiences before falling asleep. The last time I looked at my watch’s crooked phosphorescent smile it was 4:20 am.

I got up late for work (but remained nonchalant) and I shaved. It was overcast (or maybe just hovering Sahara dust), which immediately lifted my spirits: clouds or dust, it nevertheless meant no sun. I had an extremely productive day, after weeks of metaphorically trudging slowly over wet sand. I had a dismal lunch with my hint-dropping colleagues at the cafeteria but six hours later I have no symptoms of salmonella. I did more work. I got in touch with KaaJ the Lucky again after months. I thought of Hyperborean Hunter, who I heard from after more than a year a couple of days ago (he has abandoned Greenland for good). I had a good day.

After work I walked to the insurance company agent’s, he’s got an ancient office and a pair of gilded-rimmed glasses with broken arms that somehow manage to stay put on his nose. I walked back, having this sense of unreal true insomniacs get in much larger doses than I did. The town smelled of diesel fumes and jasmine.


6 thoughts on “Diesel fumes and jasmine

  1. “Outpost has no problems”

    “and the mess they have made of their country.”

    Couldn’t help noticing the idiotically contradictory statements there.

    “”whining, narrow-minded, chauvinistic Outposters”

    Or the antihellenism.

    Why, you wouldn’t happen to be a barbarian by any chance?

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