A peek inside my head at 3:30 am.

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A peek inside my head at 3:30 am.

I’ve got 18% battery life and it’s 3:30am, let’s see if I can bang something out.

My three year old lies snoring next to me, she’s been restless tonight, I’m not sure how long I’ve slept, this week feels like one, very long day. My head has been full of turgid thoughts, clogging clarity, a slight anxious beaver runs through the periphery of my consciousness (in Afrikaans we’d say ‘bewer’- tremor- but I like the image of an anxious beaver).
I’m thirsty for an adventure that would slow the undercurrent of midlife ennui. I turned 44 on Monday, it’s an interesting age, I met a mate for a pint in the pub and realized that I don’t necessarily want to be sitting around necking beers in a rainy, traffic clogged city, chatting about how much our home loans are costing us in (dis) interest.

I watch once vital men writhe on my couch as they wrestle to rediscover the fire in their bellies and yet here I am, struggling with the same foe. I’ve heard weary, grey men, beaten senseless by the mediocrity they find themselves mired in, describe the taste of a cold, metallic gun barrel resting against their teeth as they try to find the ‘courage’ to tear themselves out of their numb lives. I’ve watched dull eyes flicker briefly with fiery life force as they describe past passions with a lovers remembrance. I spend a moment with them there, waiting to see if a gentle touch of the past can rekindle something resembling hope.

Sometimes, it feels as if many of us have lost our way, crucified by expectations and comparisons, we become disconnected from our essential essence , no longer stretching beyond our confining comforts, we become small and shrunken, nursing ourselves on series and pornography, wishing that we were something more, but not taking enough time to figure out what that could possibly look like, what it would feel like to have life rush through our veins again.

Come, dream with me a moment, close your eyes and remember the happiest moment of your life so far…were you on your own?
with a partner? were you witnessing the birth of your child?
Now…fast forward to your funeral, who will be there, who won’t? What squabbles will you drag to your grave? What measure of ‘success’ will you have wanted to achieve by the time your bones return to the earth? A bigger house? A fancy car? A better job? More money?
Or will it be the experiences and relationships you have engaged in and nurtured during this time that will have mattered?

And slowly, as I write these words, I begin to realize that the adventures I seek can also be found in the small hours of morning, with my daughter’s little body tucked into my side, watching her eyes flicker beneath closed lids as she dreams…her eyelashes are so long!

About the author

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Jamie Elkon http://shrinkrap.co.za/

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.