I know that me wife responds well to tea in the morning. We have become like clockwork twins, our mechanisations are truly in sync. So, I climb the stairs to the bedroom and see her recumbent form stretching out across both sides of the bed, as if attempting to hand on to her ground. It is an act of defiance – I defy thee morning! But morning has arrived and so have I with the elixir of morning life.
There are times not to talk. These are those moments when silence most certainly is the best option. I sensed the mood she would be in so I said nada, zip, zero; beyond, “Morning.” A similar reply crept from under the duvet.
“How long can I go on with not sleeping?”
It was a question not meant to be answered, but I answered it anyway.
“How long can anybody go without sleeping before they crack up?”
“I don’t really know. How long did I manage?”
There was a film made that used to be a staple for Christmas Day. It was one of those special treats from the BBC or ITV to their viewers. Such films included: Lawrence of Arabia, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Italian Job. The film I am thinking of is A Bridge Too Far.
For any one not in the know, A Bridge Too Far is about the Allied Forces attempts to stop the retreating Germans from blowing up important bridges as they fled back to their Motherland. The destruction of the bridges would cause the Allies to stop their rapid advance.
And as the advance was halted, the Germans ould take time to set up little ambushes, using machine-gun, mortar, and sniper-fire. This is what I was worried about when my responses appeared to start building bridges. In this conversation, I was both fleeing the Wermacht and simultaneously avoiding the restoration of bridges which could leave me seriously exposed and over-extended.
My wife is sometimes a sniper. machine-guns and mortars are not her thing. She sets traps, uses bait, and then waits.
What unholy thing was being born here?
“Giles Brandreth, what?”
“I read an article by him in The Eye, yesterday. You had already gone to bed.”
That was the first of her shots that flew past my ear.
“He must have suffered from depression at one point because he was writing about it.”
She then summarised the article written by this upper-middle-class fuckwit.
His subject was that people had to stop thinking about themselves so much if they wanted to live long and happy lives.
He used the Queen and Prince Philip (our hard-pressed Royalty) to illustrate his argument. Prince Philip had a really bad life when he was young, but now he is in his nineties because he only thought about others; not himself.