Tim Dowling: it’s 5.12am and I can hear an intruder with a chainsaw

1 week ago

Can I summon the determination to investigate?

I am woken by a mosquito lazily hovering about my ear, the bedroom bathed in a pewter half-light. I brush the side of my head and the noise stops, but I can feel the spot on my neck where I have already been bitten.

I recall that my phone alarm is set for 6.45. Even before I remember why, I am negotiating with myself: if the time is 6.35 or later, I will get up; if it’s not yet 6.30, I will reset the alarm for 7am to give myself enough time to fall back asleep. Or maybe 7.10 makes more sense, depending on why I set the alarm in the first place. I hear the unsteady whine of the mosquito tracing a scribbled path back to my ear.

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