Tonight, as usual, I'm lying in my bed, exhausted, trying to relax and allow my mind to unwind. I can't sleep. My silly brain is doing its usual trick of zapping around like a bee that's high on E-numbers from drinking too much orange squash and so I'm reading and thinking of things that I will write tomorrow. Instead of working today (on the idea I have been developing for a few weeks) and actually putting some effort into the craft that I want to spend the rest of my life doing, I've been fucking around, surfing the net and looking for 'obscure porn' on youtube. While this might be vaguely interesting or funny, I'm feeling what I often feel on these late nights when I can't sleep, that I've squandered a large portion of my life that I'll never get back.
The rain is hitting against the skylight in my room with such force that it's almost offensive, beating a tattoo as I lie here, cursing myself for wasting my life. Usually, I love the sound of the rain on that window, it's incredibly relaxing and reminds me of when I was younger, but tonight, it seems almost mocking. When I was about seven, I would lie awake listening to the rain and try to see if I could keep my eyes open for longer than the downpour lasted, playing chicken with the night outside. Needless to say I always lost.
Somehow the years fell away quickly, and now this bedroom is only a place I stay when I return home during the holidays. It's no longer 'my room', but rather the 'spare room'. In fact, the only thing that connects this room to my childhood is the view outside. The back gardens and roof-tops of all the houses of the neighbours around me, and the view of the river leading towards the sloping beauty of the city walls and the valley. It's weird, I vaguely miss the place when I'm away from home, and I love to be back, but there's always a huge part of me that wants to keep moving, an inability to rest.
I've noticed as well that when I'm back home I revert to who I was as a child. Most of my friends are the same, something for which I feel blessed, with (thank fuck) a few exceptions, and I feel that I am self-confident enough to relax in almost any social situation. Somehow, however, when I meet some of the people I knew in school, people I've known for years, I clam up. Me, who usually never knows when to stop nattering on, stands on the fringe of the 'chatting outside the pub' group trying to think of something to say, and realising that I've got next to nothing to say. Maybe I've become really boring, or maybe I've just grown apart from some of these people. The reversion is that feeling of being on the fringe of a large group that I've always felt, like being right back in my old school uniform. I know that it's reversion because it's a million times different to how I normally feel when I'm out and it proves to me that I must have changed, that I AM changed, irrevocably. I dunno whether that's for the better or the worst.
Anyway, as I'm writing this, trying to find words to describe what's jolting through my mind, I've suddenly noticed that the rain outside has stopped, and that by being awake, I've won the game I was playing with the night sky all those years ago. I'd give anything to have lost it though, it seems like a pyhrric victory.
I hope it rains again.