Sleepless In Leith

Sleepless In Leith
Image: PlaidCreature

Spare a thought this morning for my good friend Devon Ellington. One of her beloved cats, Elsa, has been sickly of late and last night she found out the reason why: the onset of cancer.

Devon’s cats have become as well-loved members of the online writing community as much as Devon has. We’ve read about their exploits and shenanigans, their highs and lows, and we’ve seen pictures of them at Christmas and Thanksgiving. And even though I’m on the other side of the Atlantic I am among a large group who are saddened to hear of little Elsa’s plight. My love and thoughts are already on the eastern edge of the States.

Where before I was edging ever so closely to the end of Microsoftland, tip-toeing meagrely towards the point where returning would no longer be an option and a decision would have to be made, this morning I find myself planted firmly in no-man’s land.

Behind me I see a sparse desert devoid of life. A mishmash of broken hardware, abandoned PCs, busted hard drives and RAM cards that never quite met their full potential, lie sprawled on the rocky, sand blasted ground. The blue-grey horizon is broken by the far-off jutting of the Freedom mountains, where my journey began some 20-odd years ago, and plumes of smoke meander upwards from imploded Microsoft software patches burning on the ground and fill my nostrils with the stench of dying coders.

Ahead of me I see a wide expanse of green meadows, dotted with spritely deer and hopping bunnies, and a large oasis surrounded by plush vegetation and apple trees, within which lies a lake of deep, clear-blue water, rich in a variety of colourful fish. The sky over there is a mixture of wispy white clouds floating on a bed of light blue and pink, and birds of all sizes dip and soar in the clear, pollutant-free atmosphere. Beyond the water, on a distant rise among this fabulous view, is a marble plinth. Something glints from the top and I screw my eyes—it’s a Apple Mac Mini and it’s whirring away perfectly, a man smiling as he sits at the monitor next to it while running a variety of intensive applications with ease and perfect results. He looks happy and stress-free. Everything on the other side works in perfect unison and harmony, and I want to be there. I want to know what it feels like to be over there.

Between where I stand and this nirvana of technological promise lies a narrow but dark ravine. It cuts through the earth and rock with vertical precision yet its narrowness tempts me to jump forward in carefree abandon. Yet I know that one small error of judgement and I’ll be plummeting into the darkness and the oblivion that lies beneath. Behind me, the horror and darkness of my days living in Microsoftland; ahead of me, the warm and pleasant Land of Apple—all I need to do is jump. One small jump…

I finished reading The Fall by Albert Camus. It’s a fascinating and thought provoking book, which is vividly written on many layers, too many, I think, for the likes of me to absorb in just a single reading. When I finished it I sat and thought about it for a while; the moments of clarity among the web of lies, the mirrors of truth and falsity that exist in all the different levels and parameters of life. I may have to return to it once it’s settled.

One thing for sure is that each time I read a Camus book it has a heavy impact on me and seems to do on as many levels as his writing! I still think about The Outsider quite often and find myself opening it at the first page for that immortal line: Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.

Something else that’s impacted me over the past few weeks has been the separation of two friends of mine. It’s very odd; because of all the friends Gail and I have who have got married WE are the only ones that are still going strong. Everyone else has now either divorced or split, kids or not. The latest in this line of disaster have parted due to what I understand to have been acts of infidelity on her side. What’s worse is I know the third party, I work with them both, and he is repeating himself – more broken families.

Having seen almost all my other pals split in some form or another, this one seems to have affected me somewhat more than the rest and I don’t know why. Since I found out I’ve been having recurring nightmares that Gail is going to leave me, which has manifested itself in regular bouts of insomnia. I keep waking up heavy with grief after dreaming of Gail doing the same to me. It won’t stop, I can’t sleep properly and it’s doing my fucking head in.

Silly Poems for Wee People Vol.2 by Colin Galbraith – Click here to order

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About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Books, Editorial Comment, Family, Fiction, I.T., Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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