Often, when I wake for no reason and can't sleep, like this morning, I think about my dad.
In the smooth quiet dark dark of the 3 AMs, 4 AMs, 5 AMs, there's no distraction, save the tinging of the clock - on the hour and half hour. Ting ting ting. It's three. Half an hour passes. Ting. Fuck - 3:30. Ting ting ting ting. And four.
And so on.
One ting for every hour. One each half hour.
We now keep the clock in a room far from us, where the tings are barely audible. You catch them between breaths. Mainly because when it was right outside the room I threatened to take it outside and beat it with a hammer if Nick wouldn't make it shut the fuck up.
But it's British! An antique! From his grandfather! He was affronted.
But also realistic. He moved the clock.
So the deceptively sweet still of the wee hours of the morning. With the faint ting ting ting and the familiar breathing of your husband. And the impossible whirr of your mind, your suddenly awakey wakey mind.
You know, about a week before my dad tried to take his life last April, we went over to my parents for dinner. I knew he was struggling - it was all over his face. But I thought it was about his heart problems.
Although in a way, I suppose it was.
When Nick and I left I said, "Hang in there."
And he said something like, "That's an odd thing to say to someone like me."
I took it as a sign. A positive one.
Like, look how he's able to make light. You wouldn't have such a sense of humor if you were in such a bad place.