Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The coat of dreams - week 2

Let me introduce my new coat of dreams. Or maybe I should call it my memory coat. We met on Friday in John Lewis and it was love at first sight. The deal was sealed thanks to a dreamy sale price. You see, I've been half hoping to stumble across a furry bundle for the last couple of weeks. And I blame it entirely on my somewhat battle-weary memory.

You know when you're minding your own business and suddenly, ping, a memory starts to play so vividly of a moment in time that you're immediately transported back. There are the normal triggers - a smell, a tune, a taste, a picture, a bird call. But just recently I've had a few pop up for no obvious reason.

I think it's probably because my poor, addled brain has finally stopped rocking in the corner after almost a decade of non-stop madness - house renovations, big job, big stress, no babies, concussion, baby 1, baby 2... A decade of sleep deprivation and teeth grinding, aided by ample lakes of damn good French, Italian and Spanish vino.

But, oh, the joy that Oscar has finally started to sleep through. It's been a whole 6 weeks and I can almost feel my brain recalibrating, rebooting. If the last 13 months have taught me anything, it's that I am no good on broken sleep - words fail me, sentences give up the ghost and coherent thought melts away. My sense of humour and delivery of acerbic wit fell by the wayside. My ability to construct sensitive conversation on the hoof resulted in streams of offensive prose, holes dug deeper as I tried inarticulately to explain myself further. My dreams disappeared. My short term memory was, is, like a sieve. I hope never to experience that form of torture ever again.

And so - early nights are on the agenda. As are wine free days. And it's helping. Slowly. And the memories are popping up hither and thither, without a care in the world - an old friend, a final dinner, a lost book, a trip, a conversation, an exhibition. And, a couple of weeks ago, from out of nowhere my memory served up a coat. My beloved fake fur charity shop coat that I adored age 18. I arrived at University with it, and I loved it dearly. It kept me warm at an age when dresses were small and strappy heels were a thing despite sub-zero weather. My introverted self could, in my head, look alluringly cool, whilst in reality I was just hiding in a sodding big coat that, pre-cigarette ban, absorbed the smells of our nights out like a giant sponge. It was loved, forgotten, and found. It went on 'holiday' without me at the end of term once when I accidentally left it on the back of my bedroom door - me frantically calling the only two people who had mobiles in my block from my Dad's mobile as he drove me home with a car bursting at the seams - from that time when we remembered phone numbers - a thing that ended with teens of the 90s I suspect...

I can't remember what happened to that coat - but I do remember it seemed to go with everything. And it felt like a glorious hug each time I slipped it on. And that perhaps my wardrobe could do with one again. And that when I tried this new coat on I felt like a million dollars. And a little bit edgy.

I suspect this may just be the start of me having a little identity wobble before I hit a certain big birthday this year...

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