Winter has hit Melbourne and it has hit hard. I find it very difficult to get up in the morning now, partly because I’m up late writing, but mainly because it is so damn freezing upon my first futile attempts at breaking into the waking world. I’m so thankful on these mornings for my little ball of fluff, Sandy, who serves as a living foot warmer by perching upon my feet. I think David Attenborough would call that a symbiotic relationship.
Lumbering, confused and chilly, from the bed to the shower: that is the hard part. No, breaking my inertia and removing the dead weight that is my frame from under the blankets, that is the truly hard part. I sleep naked. I’m not trying to arouse anyone – least of all myself – by stating that fact. I simply mention that because it contributes to how cold I get. I have always slept in either boxers or nothing – anything else feels claustrophobic.
These cold mornings make me think of a past love of mine.
Once upon a distant moon I had an electric blankey. I loved my electric blankey: it kept me warm through cold nights; it was a friend and companion, always reliably waiting for me when I returned to it; cold and looking for a warm embrace. This relationship went on for many a year and proved to be a far more satisfactory one than many of the tragicomic relationships that I have had with flesh and blood members of the human race. The blanket waited for me, warm and without complaint, and I always returned to the blanket. If governmental statute had allowed it I’d have married old Miss Blankey.
Unfortunately, our blissful love was not to last (nothing new!), and a rift would soon darken our night time interludes, a rift that would tear us apart forever. One night I had stumbled home drunk, longing for my beautiful warm blankey. Did I just use the word drunk? Better to use the more apt and detailed sentence: ROARINGLY, DISGUSTINGLY; DROOL ON MYSELF AND HOWL AT THE MOON; PISSED! And, like all disgustingly drunken men, I was looking for my mistress…
To cut a long story, or post if you will, short – in my bleary-eyed state I accidentally switched the blankey to the highest setting: ‘4’. Normally, our lovemaking lasted approximately ½ an hour (average for a man, or so I’ve heard!), after which I would be sufficiently warm to switch my baby off and drift into post-coital (post bed-warmed!) slumber. Anything past an hour and you were pushing the limits of the relationship and running the risk of dehydrating yourself badly.
On this night I fell asleep without turning it off.
As you can imagine, the dawning day did not greet a healthy Don Quixote. Rather, it greeted a skeleton, a wraith, a shriveled thing-that-should-not-be. The combination of alcohol and extreme heat had evaporated most of the life giving liquid from me that a human needs to survive. My brain felt as if it was host to an electrical storm, a storm that saw lightning bolts traversing my neural pathways. My eyeballs felt like they had retracted back into my skull. My beloved blankey had betrayed me (another typical manly assertion, for in reality had I not betrayed the blankey?) and our differences were henceforth irreconcilable.