The shadows hang heavy on the ceiling, obscuring the surface. Outside the world is in darkness, silhouetted trees casting their forms across the curtains.
I lie with my back on the bed, staring straight up into the void and watching the shapes fracture and lose cohesion. My world feels darker than any of the shapes and just as empty.
The events of the past few days still wrap their hands around my brain and squeeze, making me feel slightly sick, making my head pulse till I know that I will have to take some pills when I get up - and yet still they refuse to leave me alone.
Entropy increases. It's a phrase I heard somewhere, one that seems more apt now than ever - the more you stare into the void the more you become the void. Today, at this precice moment, I feel like the last vestige of hope I had took the last fast car out of town and eloped with my dreams.
I think back to Tuesday evening as I sat in the classroom after work, listening to the teacher for my latest part-time adventure telling me of all the additional costs that come with learning cookery. She is nice, but tends to ramble on and we spend an hour passing spices around from person to person whilst she explains about the texture and the smell. I hold each to my nose in their little plastic petrie dish and inhale the aroma, hoping that each will revive me, longing for just one more cup of coffee. For a change I am not the only man in the group.
As I lie awake and stare at the ceiling I pause to smile through my moment of darkness that we will not be allowed to cook using oil due to Health & Safety issues, and that chopping knives will have to be signed in and out - wondering how the world came to this. I'm surprised we're even allowed to do any cooking at all. So it is that, with about half an hour to go, we gather and stand in awe as she demonstrates the magical ability to dry cook some seeds and grind them, silently making our lists of what we have to bring next week so that we can do the same without severing an artery.
My brain continues to buzz, so I sit up and reach for a glass of water from the window sill, only to find none there. I leave it for a while and turn over, hoping that sleep will find me in the darkness of the pillow. When it doesn't I push myself out of bed and walk through to the bathroom.
The frosted windows are closed, leaving me no view of the outside world and only adding to the moment of isolation. I take a sip of water from the tap and swirl it around my mouth, allowing the taste of the fluoride to coat my tonsils.
The house is cold, the sign of the fast encroaching winter - another reminder that everything feels like it is coming to an end. For a moment I am tempted to go downstairs and turn the newly-serviced boiler on, allowing the heat to circulate, but the journey seems unimportant at the moment, so instead I turn off the light and head back to bed.
I climb under the covers, laying my head on the pillow and prepare to be sleepless again, when a small bell sounds in the corridor and two pairs of tiny white feet jump onto the bed and walk across me. Tiny pokes her face into mine and I reach out and stroke her fur, calming her and giving her the attention she wants.
Purring with the noise of a gieger counter she pushes her small nose under the covers and into the bed, settling her small body in the space between my side and my arm, content just to be there in the darkness.
I put my free arm out to my partner. She is sound asleep and I can only hope that she will understand the gesture as a display of my love for her, of my appreciation of her support, and in the darkness of the bed a small cat settles down besides me and offers her own brand of support.
I am eternally grateful.