Not Sleeping?

The normal noises are missing. It’s too quiet. I lie awake waiting for some of the sounds of normality. My favourite music to help me sleep is Rumble (Link Wray). It doesn’t work now.

There used to be a fox coming to the front window, sniffing around and rattling the blinds. Of course, I planted dogs-bane along that side. It stopped the cats, the local dogs, maybe some of the feral rabbits, but not the foxes.

They don’t come now. Why?

Is it because they feel the change too? The too-quiet nights where it feels as if there’s a predator waiting in the dark. Everyone knows it’s there. They can’t see it, can’t smell it, but the silence tells all.

The silence is the indicator.

I lie awake and listen. The house creaks occasionally, but softer, like an old person putting a foot down gently. The trees move in the breezes – when we get them. The tiny drop of water from the sky (what is that stuff, anyway?) pitters like a mouse darting for safety, then fades to nothing.

Not even the sound of the traffic breathing, the ebb and flow of acceleration and braking, the cut and thrust of lane-changes and corner-taking.

The pub is silent.

The houses in the street are silent.

And with the sense of danger and fear comes the sense of uselessness. I mean, what can I do? What do I do?

I can’t do the volunteer stuff anymore – not that I wouldn’t, but I’m not allowed to go there!

And the MIL doesn’t see the need to stay locked inside like naughty children. She wants to go out to eat, to celebrate birthdays, to go to her favourite cafe. And if you want to experience COFS (crank old fart syndrome) just try telling an oldie (93) they can’t have what they always have, what they want and need to get through the week. Eating out is critical.

How to tell her that if either one of us gets caught by this thing, the carers and support people and shoppers and gardeners and all those people she takes for granted — they won’t be coming. If one of us gets sick, we’re both out of the frame.

No computer or smart phone for the MIL (won’t use them), so no online shopping, no access to eCommunity. What then?

And that’s enough of that sort of talking and thinking.

I want to sleep, to rest my head on a pillow and close my eyes and think that tomorrow will be one step closer to …

Photo by Snapwire on

The writing is an on-again, off-again tirade. The current WIP has changed shape four or five times. I’m looking for hope.

Have you seen hope? Tell me how she is, where she’s going; ask her to sing for all of us.


Yes, this was an excerpt from the journal thingy. It doesn’t include the fear that we’re going to run out of water — our dam capacity is close to 25%, and if people keep flushing and washing their hands with the taps running …

Sorry, I’ll go now, take a walk around the house: writers room to kitchen, through to living area, around the chairs, pat the dog, down the hallway to the library room, back along the hall to the front door, open, look out at the silent and empty world, close the door, walk through the lounge room, wipe dust from the window ledge and big chair, return to the writers desk.

And write. Right. Write.

To write, I might need to stop thinking, stop checking on the state of affairs in the world, stop fearing and worrying and wondering if the cupboards have what we need.

34 thoughts on “Not Sleeping?

    • Yes, but the work to rebuild the towns and homes is stalled, as are all the small businesses, the farming/industries, and no tourism to help pay for it all.
      It feels like one anchor became two, became three …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, we do, though. We’re only a small country and that thing is passing through a lot of contact points right now. It’s why we’re in lock-down. At least we have wide-open spaces, lots of distance between cities and towns. Hasn’t helped. Two infected people visit one town = 17 confirmed cases left behind.
        Now: Borders closed, everything non-essential closed, people confined to home so they can’t pass it along, people ignoring it because ‘it can’t happen to them’.
        We have the devastation of the bushfires, and tourists came over to help rebuild the communities, but now everyone is locked in, forced isolation to stop this thing spreading more rapidly than our health system can cope with (wouldn’t take much, it’s been chopped and sliced until it’s a skeleton system). We haven’t seen the start of the worst of it yet, but it’s coming and nothing will stop it. We have to emerge sooner or later, and if there’s no vaccination/treatment, it starts all over again with the now-uninfected becoming infected. It will come in waves, surges of infections and deaths.
        Our first case was Jan 24, in US was Jan 20. Now the world is in lockdown, and we’re waiting for the monster to attack from behind.
        If it goes unchecked, 1918 Spanish ‘flu will be a blip.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Just found out we have friends/family confirmed: one cop, two nurses, one doc, one baggage handler, one cleaner.
        It’s always close to home, sooner or later – isn’t that the six degrees of separation? The percentages are low at the moment, but that is likely to change rapidly.


  1. The other day, I heard some kids that live behind my house playing and laughing. I looked out the window and saw that they were jumping on a trampoline in their backyard. They looked unaffected by this whole thing and I smiled because that was a much appreciated sound. That innocent laughter echoing through the air seemed to break through the eerie silence on my street. I understand what you feel when you talk about it being too quiet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m listening. I went out to check the mailbox today (mail is now coming on average of every 3 days but no official announcement has been made by the post office) and on the way back in saw a semi-frozen stiff earthworm on the driveway. I tried to revive it in water but it was too late. Then I looked around and saw several others on the driveway in the same state. This is a tragedy for the worms but a lifesaver for the robins that got here a couple of weeks ago. It’s quiet here too. The spring peepers last week on a halfway decent day revived me.

    Hoping your MIL calms down. Hoping your water supply continues.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re all in time out. At the moment, the only thing that distracts me is Corel Draw. Sitting, staring at the screen, making minute, pixel-by-pixel alterations to a graphic… this works, for a while. And so does chatting online. I wish your MIL could access the freedom of the internet. As for us, this is a harsh reminder of why /we/ must keep up with technology. Stay well and stay online.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Can you tell the MIL point blank how things are, no sugar-coating it anymore?
    No-one knows what things will look on the other side of this. We can’t, there are too many variables and it has us humans surrounded. It’s time for us to retreat, call it a strategic withdrawal if you need to, but if we have reasonably done all we physically can to keep ourselves safe, then it is time for us to stop. Stop trying, stop reaching for what we cannot change. To breathe the silence in, slowly and deeply. To find that which eases our hearts … perchance to write? πŸ™‚
    If we do not die, there will be life on the other side for us to rejoice in, to plan in, to stretch and see the world again. The time to do all those things isn’t now though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Re: MIL – I’ve never sugar-coated to her. She has this thing she says when she hears stuff she doesn’t want to hear: ‘Isn’t it time you left now?’
      They’ve seen worse, apparently, and it’s true in a sense, but that isn’t now. She’ll do it her way until there’s no one to look after her and then she’ll say, ‘why didn’t anyone tell me?’
      C’est la vie.
      I hope, I continue to hope, and I’ll work towards there being a tomorrow where the silence isn’t a fearful thing.
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Trying to persuade the older family members to take measures more seriously has been a challenge. They tick off what they have lived through, but there’s been nothing quite like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It always sound sappy, but we are all in this together…Hope is what’s left when we realize everything is out of our hands…. in-between there are prayers. Wishing you health, hope, and safety…for all of Australia!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. An echo of what it is like here.. Minus the MIl replaced by the grandkiddies laughing in the pool not quite understanding the seriousness of it all and our fear should this invader strike here… Stay safe and well 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      • One can never tell but hopefully, they will remember the times cooking and game playing and my promise to join them in the water for Songkram(which) is cancelled so we are having our own one in the safety of our home just the 5 of us and the dog..Should be fun water balloons, obeez(coloured balls which swell in water which I have for the pool on the day and the sprinkler going like the clappers…Staying dry methinks will not be an option …That they will remember….haha…Stay safe and well πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.