Night is when the gristle in my brain comes into its own. Night is the fizzing time. It’s always been like this really. Are you another of those fervid souls whose brains won’t keep office hours? How we suffer. How painfully are we misunderstood.
Night thoughts come much freer and clearer, even madder. It’s as if they are unburdened by the gravity that afflicts us during the day. But if the brain exults in its greater abandon, then the balm of sleep becomes ever more elusive.
It’s like trying to collar a child who’s just learned to fly. I try to calm myself by imagining a wave of sleep looming in the Central Asian steppes and sweeping hour by hour towards Europe and America.
In my turbid state of detachment I see Europe lurching through dreamstate, a lumbering colossus of dreams rising from the death black steppes, curling round the cold old Warsaw Pact streets, through Germany and its smog breathing forests, its forests that have to cough and retch in the morning.
Sleep falling on Belgian biscuit makers and Dutch dykes, on Pernod blasted French Detectives and Austrian nudists with Nazi body dreams. Sleep warping over the dull moody Atlantic and its sleep secrets, sleep preparing to invade America. A wave of blissful, blank unconsciousness passing over the world.
Except that now, of course, the world is never really unconscious anymore. The world is wired up all night from frontal lobe to rectum.
Planet Crank is wide awake: fizzing on its fibre optic madness. Planet Money is clinching dream deals. Planet Money is lying awake, palpitating on the pleasure of the Dow or the Dax. Planet Money is making imaginary bargains with the future.
Why can’t the world sleep anymore? What’s gone wrong with the wiring?