jellyfish hours


I reach for my phone and it says 3am. Fuck. These are wretched hours when dangerous thoughts snuggle up to you under the duvet. I try to sleep but after fifteen minutes I give up. I reach for my phone again and read Twitter. Then my iPad and scroll through the reader. I switch on the reading lamp and pick up Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. When I finish, I scroll through the reader again. Sign Avaaz’s latest campaign. And go back to Twitter. And tweet about Britain’s NHS, Eastwood’s new film, American Sniper, which I found deeply lacking in nuance, and retweet something from Guardian’s Owen Jones and a quote from Bukowski.

It’s still only 4am and I’m not expected in the waking world for another two hours. Then I think it’s just two hours why don’t I get up. But I’m tired and sleepy and the rest of the day will be fucked without sleep. So I shut off the lamp and try again. The thoughts crawl back into bed with me, lay on the crook of my shoulder, nudge my chin determined not to be ignored; you know those thoughts, the ones that tell you you’re either running out of time, money or relevance. Bastards. I practice mindful breathing, which usually helps, but the thoughts are heavy as a corpse and refuse to budge.

Finally I get up and scramble a post, which just as I am about to hit Publish I realise is completely incomprehensible. So I do what I always do. I delete. Then I edit, I cut, I delete published posts which no longer make sense. At some point I may very well end up deleting this blog. After all the heavy lifting I start feeling drowsy. It is almost time to get up. I am knackered so I shoot off an email to cancel my 8am appointment. I say I am sick. And I slide back under the covers, my body heavy with regret, but the thoughts have evaporated. They’re usually after a bit of skin– sometimes I picture them as Desire and Despair in Gaiman’s graphic novels– and they’re satisfied now having watched me go through my blog with a scalpel. At least it’s just my words this time. Just my words. And words are cheap.

Jellyfish hours, I call these nocturnal trysts because they sting, not enough to kill you, but enough to hurt, to keep you awake, enough to cause some damage.

About listentothebabe

writing is the teeth that gnaw on my bones.


  1. oh what a comparison! Long back it was writing and running, now its nocturnal thoughts and jellyfish !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Payal

    This is basically why I deleted my blog. Gets me right in the feels.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Why do guys like us know what duvet is?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was wondering about “American Sniper.” Which Bukowski quote?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some reviews say that there clearly is a strong anti-war sentiment (not sure I agree) but I felt that the issue behind the Iraq invasion wasn’t something that could be so easily sidelined, which this film did quite theatrically. It’s very one-sided and right now, do we really need discourse like this?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I kinda know the feeling, but so far I still manage to fight the urge to delete any of the written pieces I’ve ever posted. Incomprehensible or absurd as they maybe, each and everyone of them represent a phase I’ve been through. Each of those phases is a part of what I am.

    And I don’t want to forget what I am, or what I’ve been, even if I don’t really care about what I will be.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: An Ex-Industrial Fisherman Rethinks His Job | listen to the babe

  7. Love this. Found it because I was looking for your jellyfish reference in your blog just posted. Your blog is one of my favourite reads so far in my new blogosphere.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Insomnia until you have to get up… Then it hits you… Love the jelly fish comparison…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sounds all too familiar…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: June 10, 2015 – Monsters | dead cat comes back

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