If my 18-year-old self heard my current self’s internal monologue, he’d probably begin lobotimising in earnest.
I’m cocooned within a mosquito net, having read another chapter of my book and am ready to sleep. That in itself is not the problem. Books have always been and will always be cool.
The problem is it is 8.47pm.
‘Surely’, my teenage self would scream, ‘not a single person in the history of cool has ever even so much as considered heading to bed at this ungodly hour’. The author of the book, Russell Brand (who’s writing is, perhaps surprisingly, rather brilliant) has just gone to bed, very late in the evening, with Kate Moss. Surely I should be doing things like that, my past self would have demanded.
The juxtaposition between my past self and my present is made rather more stark by the thumping trance music being generously provided by the gap year kids next door. Oh, the gap year. So called because it’s what occurs in your schedule and responsibility just when adolescence has ensured there is an equally vacant space between the ears.
(A quick aside for those who’ve been following the blog closely – I’m staying in a friend’s house for the night on the beachfront here in Watamu to catch up on some of the things that electricity enjoys, such as this post. But new house living is still blissful.)
And yet it feels luxurious being here, in bed, at this time. I want to commend the young souls next door on their love of life whilst I, middle-aged man personified, enjoy the gentle caresses of an early evening’s sleep. Perhaps I will dream of those trance-filled nights of my past. Perhaps of even earlier nights in my future.
This early bedding has become a worrying trend, if only for its frequency and enjoyment. It is especially necessary without electricity. I’m sure I promised myself that I’d never stoop so low as to start enjoying early nights this much. Before long, it seems, I’ll be positively bristling with excitement as the first drop of camomile tea hits my laughing gear and waving goodbye to the night for some beauty sleep before it’s even begun.
It would be a shame to relinquish late nights completely. Some of the very best things ever happen at night.
But today, I am happy. Here, in bed, so bloody early.
I’m happy without feeling that iridescent pull which sat with me for so long in London, cajoling me out into the night even when I was exhausted, fearful that I might miss some unrepeatable fun.
I’m contented. That’s what simplicity is about – refusing to presume that you should be somewhere else and accepting your internal compass. Doing what you can with what you have and enjoying the ebbs and flows of circumstance and situation.
There will be late nights in the future. Oh boy, will there be late nights. For now, I’m enjoying this peace and tranquillity.
Take that adolescent Simpletom, Pete Dogherty and Brandon Block, right in the janglers.
Lala Salama (The wonderful Swahili saying that means sleep well).