Trouble Sleeping

Posted: May 17, 2011 in The World Needs More Canada

I am in Canada, and it’s cold. You’ve probably heard of cold. You may have even had one; but you don’t know. Not until you come to Winnipeg. The borg cube of cold. Its’ stone cold beauty is surreptitious. Masquerading as a malevolent Manitoban N64 game is something so much more! A land flowing with 7-Eleven! The slurpee capital of the world! North America’s very own ancient Rome! Blokes around here are regal! Wearing dresses!

I’m staying with Rick, Melissa and their son Phill. They live right by the Seductive 7, and are ridiculously hospitable; their home flooded with coke cans and Facebook. They’ve put up my entire team and given me a double bed.

On one condition.

That I share it with Sedge. Who is happy to share! For he is a real man. LifeFORCE’s very own Denzel. We were dorm-mates in training and slept feet apart. Now they want to remove our feet.

I look at Sedge; his ebony glow heating the house. He smiles at me.


I bet he sleeps with a gun under his pillow. And a picture of someone’s dead wife! I grimace. If I’m going to do this I’ll need to establish a code of conduct. My very own Mohrgna Carta.

1)      Lie facing away from me at all times.

2)      What happens in Winnipeg stays in Winnipeg.

He signs two copies and it’s official.

Tonight I will sleep with Sedge.


I am eating Melissa’s majestic lamb dinner when Team Leader Sarah grabs me.

“Hey Dan, tomorrow morning I’m driving into Winnipeg to get supplies. I want you to come with me.”

Tomorrow is meant to be our day off. It’s not fine.

“That’s fine. What time?”


I stare at her. And hope that this changes her mind.




Drat! 9am! On our day off! We’re not allowed to sleep in after 10 anyway, so it is only an hour earlier. Bah. I finish dinner and head to bed to sulk. Sedge is there.

“Could you do me a favour, Sedge?”

“Sure Dan, what?”

“Sarah’s asked me to go into Winnipeg with her tomorrow morning.”

“Uh huh.”

“At 9am.”


“Well, as you’ve got the alarm, please could you set it for 9?”

“What? I’m getting up at 10! It’s our day off!

Sedge forgives my peevishness, and compromises.

“Ok. I’ll tell you what Dan. I’ll set it for 9, and when it goes off I’m gonna whack you in the head really hard. Once. If you don’t get up I’m not gonna wake you up. I’ll just go back to sleep.”

“That’s fine.”

It’s not fine.

“Oh, Dan? I’m gonna hit you really hard. Seriously. I’m not joking.”

Bah. I accept the inevitable and fall asleep, ready to be woken up by a heavy thump.


I am snoring. I once woke up in a Menorca hotel to discover that the unceasingly stylish Dave Jones had moved his mattress into the en-suite bathroom to escape my snoring. That was ace.

Sedge has heard my snoring, and is getting P’d off. Half-asleep, he – out of sheer frustration – jabs me to shut me up, and rolls over. It works, and I stop snoring!

Because I’ve been woken up.

By a heavy thump.

I shoot up and at them. It’s dark. And ethereal. A quite disquieting quietness. Still, I must get up! I open the bedroom door, being careful not to wake Denzel. It’s dark, and I walk into something. Something that falls over. That clangs against the floor, Mr-Bean-painting the basement in a bouquet of E-minor off-cuts. Ste is on the sofa, and blurrily wakes to see me playing acoustic guitar pickup.


I apologise, and he goes back to sleep. I step even more quietly. The kitchen’s silent. Deathly. I’ve never heard so much nothing. Maybe I shouldn’t go for a shower. It’d be well noisy! But then I must get up! I find my way to the shower, and shut the door.

Water droplets and clothes hit the floor like bullet shells.

I ignore the shellacking.


A few minutes later I have aborted the aquatic assault. I’ve opened the bathroom door and it is still very still. I look out of the window. The six-feet snowbanks that burn my eyes with white-bright sunlight gently stroke my face with an entrancingly dulled silver perspiring sleeping postmen overtones.


I check the time, finding my Trusty iPod, and pulling it close to my Wurlitzer-ing morning eyes.

Oh no!

Hang on, what?

It can’t be 3:30am! Trusty iPod – or ‘TriPod’ – must be confused by our constant time-(zone)-travelling! I decide to check my mobile. My trusty mobile.

Oh no!

It can’t be 3:30am! I know how to settle this! I’ll check the kitchen clock!

The trusty kitchen clock!

I am now fully awake, and manage to avoid inadvertent atonal ambience acoustic as I walk past my guitar on the way to the kitchen. To the trusty kitchen clock! Rick and Melissa’s very own Mr Reliable! Their very own Adam Millar! I stare at Clock-Millar – or ‘Clillar’ – my mind silent as the stilled scent of solitude surrounds us.

Bah! It may or may not be 3:30am.


It’s not fine.

I go back to bed.

9am arrives, startling Sedge with his mobile alarm’s tri-band sprinkling of tinny tones. He gives me a heavy thump. To no reaction. He persists.

“Dan! Get up! You must get up!”

I slowly accumulate lucidity, and turn to face Sedge with a look and voice of pure vitriol. “Thanks.” I pull on my mid-night clothes and head upstairs.

I knock over the guitar.

Sarah drives me and Rach to the bookshop, and asks if I’m alright. I reply groggily. “I guess I’m just not a morning person.” I find a Bottlerockit CD in the shop. And smile. And put it back.

An hour later we come home to find Melissa preparing a characteristically kingly meal. She turns to me and asks with a voice warmer than Sedge’s face how I slept.

“Well! You’ll never believe this Melissa, but I actually woke up at 3:30am and had a shower!

She smiles.


She has a little chuckle.

“I did know, actually.”



“Yeah. Well, you woke up my husband Rick. He couldn’t get back to sleep and had to go to work this morning.”

I apologise profusely, and sweat a little. Sarah apologises as well. Rach uses my full name. Melissa laughs, and so does Phill, who takes me to get slurpees.

Which is fine.



The Many Faces of Jon Lim


  1. TonyTruax says:

    Canada is cold but now with the rain, it seems its going to keep staying cold into the summer. I use reactive to go to sleep sometimes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s