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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Local Author Matt Jacobson reflects on a sleepless night

“Low-lights and long nights I try hard to not remember.”

02.29 am, 03.30 am, 03.41am and soon I realised time had passed and it was now ‘oh for fucks sake a.m’. The clock had spent the last few minutes with a windmill of stunning strikes to trash the tick tock with a medley of halting hammer swipes. It succeeded by blocking its movement, blocking its way then driving time to a dead-end route to leave me speechless and, for once, with nothing to say.

I stared at the clock, it stared straight back with a snarl and using a funfair hall of mirrors to imitate me with glee and a spree of theatrical laughter. I swapped sides and tried to hide but the clock switched fairground rides. It spent its last tokens with arms raised, celebrating as the “one clock and one winner”. It shouted loud and there was no point arguing; I had tried to sleep but as my eyes shut, the mind had slowly opened.

Minutes went by and that was it, I was trapped. 03.57am came to play, followed by 03.58 am, then 3.59 am came by and I was now lost property – I was no longer mine. 04.15 am, 04.16 am came and went with no dissent, because this was it – I was locked in with eyelids locked open.

The night’s sleep had dipped in and dipped out. In many ways this hapless night was expected but it certainly wasn’t welcomed in any way shape or form. I tried to twist and turn; tried to move the pillows to a more comfortable position – none of these sketchy tactics worked. So, the bedside lamp went on and off. The lamp went on again and a book was read, but lack of sleep, frustration and deprivation grew, and I knew the book had to be placed down again. I tried music and music I loved – it worked, and it settled my soul, but I also knew that I should try to rest. Time was ticking, time was against me now…

I tried to sleep again but as soon as I lay down, my reflective mind was unkind. I don’t do spare time well, I don’t do anything well to be honest, but at times like this, the mind skips to a moment in time when a question or thought bullies me into my bedroom corner for a moonlight fight. These thoughts had a scattergun approach, tapping my head, constantly. As the various subject matters battered my brain, I knew that I wasn’t going to sleep again that night.

People and places came first into my mind, and I asked myself, why didn’t I say something, why did they say that, why did I go – when I should have said no? Why did that car journey take so long, why did we argue over a song? The differences between promises in people and their delivery is nothing new, but within this world there’s always the beautiful few.

Then came the things I adore – the arts, animals, buildings and much more. Walking the parks with a smile in snappy November; just beautiful moments I treasure and remember. Up next, the music I love and my love for Morrissey, which is clear for all to see. He’s everything to millions and especially to me.

TV, technology and my lack of interest in both, but a love for everything, especially Brookside Close. Then came family, friends, cousins, neighbours, pets and holidays in so many faraway lands, but the most special was on the beach at five years old with my Mum holding my hand.

At that point I jolted up and ran to put the lamp on again. I stood up and walked to the bedroom window, I opened the blinds. I was taken aback by the sight of stars amongst the grey to black sky. They glistened and somehow listened to me. I lay back down and just stared at the stars. I asked them to take me, or just help and love me. They sprinkled sparkling droplets of light to remind me they’re preserving the souls of those who have gone, including my beloved Mum. Me, her son – oh how I have lost, and the stars have won.

Margaret Jacobson & Matthew Jacobson – 1980

Her life is now death and my life is now her death. Her smile, her soul, made the world feel like it was my own. But love creates a spirit and love creates a bond that will remain until we meet again, no matter how long. When the earth is crushing, crumpled, creased and so severe the stars seem to come so much closer and feel so near.

Friends and foes that have passed and gone came next, those I have loved and put me to the test. Next up, the city, pubs, traffic and the vans, the Mersey, the Cathedrals, the Docks and never-ending development plans.

Thankfully, I was interrupted from the mind games as a nearby house alarm went off; then a siren zoomed past the building, then another. And to top it off, a car alarm with flashing lights turned the windows into Ibiza – although, I’ve never been to Ibiza, so I will say the flashing lights turned them into a club I went to in Coventry, or was it Hull? Either way, the club was too bright, and I’d left before 5.22 am.

The time had now become ‘oh b*stard o’clock’. I sighed. I was due to get up in 23 minutes for work, so I turned the alarm clock off, there was no point in it completing its job, I was awake. However, just before it should have gone off and seven minutes before I was due to get up, ironically……I then fell asleep and was late for work.

Typical me..

With Love and Peace



Matthew Jacobson

READ MORE: Local Author Matt Jacobson reflects on a recent trip back to his family home

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