I’m driving home through the city at night. One of my dearest friends is riding in the car beside me, and we’re basking in the afterglow of an evening of revellery: good food, even better wine, a classical music concert with a brilliant soloist. Crossing over Circular Quay, we get the giggles, cracking each other up with increasingly ridiculous remarks about the man we’ve just seen perform.
He’s a violin virtuoso, he sings like an veritable angel, he has such shiny hair he should be in a L’Oreal commercial…no doubt he is the world’s greatest lover, too…
We make the long loop up onto the Harbour Bridge, our laughter sprialling skywards through the arching steel and up into the night.
There’s a dance off happening in the kitchen.
In this house we celebrate good news by busting out moves, and today we’ve had plenty. Ugg-booted and stocking-footed we rollick around the room, each of us attempting to outdo the others with displays of increasingly questionable choreography, while outside in the gathering darkness the real stars appear.
Tonight I’m dealing with Arsenic hour — the fraught and fractious time of day when you’re wondering whether you might poison your kids or yourself — when mid-meltdown from Miss Malaprop I get a text from The Bloke asking whether he can catch up with the Other Blokes for a beer or three. I flick back a quick, “If you want”, resisting the urge to scream obscentities or engage in a vicious game of compare and contrast.
There is no point in declaring marital war over the differences between our Tuesday evenings.
The Bloke and I are at the top of a ruined high rise, and he is about to be hauled through a dilapidated door behind him to face a firing squad. I can hear bullets spraying, drilling into the the other side of the wall, and he’s pleading with me to leave, telling me everything will be OK (which it clearly won’t be) as I get progressively more agitated and distraught.
In desperation I wake up, wrenching myself from the drama of the dream into the quiet of the night, and draw enormous comfort from the sound of the The Bloke’s breathing, deep and even, beside me in the dark.
The flying foxes are at it again.
Those manic marsupials were squawking and carrying on as I drifted off to sleep, and now their raucous predawn party in the top of the tree next door has me wide awake.
I get up and stalk down the long hallway of my house, surefooted and keeneyed as a cat. They say the darkest part of night is just before the dawn, but this is my territory and I have no need for light in the place I call home.
A large part of me is nocturnal, too.