At half past two in the morning, on this hill, there is only you and the council gritter lorry moving about. The orange warning light blinks into the living room as the scatter of rock salt seasons the asphalt.
Robert Redford and someone who looked a lot like Nick Nolte – I don’t know for sure, it could have been a barely reanimated corpse – were murdering a film on the tv. Bill Bryson must have been star struck or demented to sign off his book on the bullshit I was watching. ‘A walk in the woods’ (well, the book anyhow) was all about loneliness, getting older, the disintegration of a friendship, nature, and displayed a sense of beauty. It was a journey in many senses. The film adaptation was so bad that it looked like Redford and Nolte never had to move more than ten feet during the whole filming process. They must have had to shoot Redford full of amphetamines just to get him to move his mouth against the frozen strain of all that face-lift scar tissue. Even the rocks looked fake. And the plot strayed so far from the book that I kept expecting Paul Newman to appear, sensing the disaster, before jumping off of a cliff into a foaming river shouting ‘Old actors never die!’ or ‘Thanks for the cheque.’
Three in the morning is the dead land. Completely fucking empty. Just you and your thoughts, and whatever shitty film is on. I thought about taking meds to get some enforced sleep, but the plumber was due at nine and I wanted to approach the situation with a clear head. It’s now eleven am and he hasn’t showed, the lousy bastard. I knew when I rang last week that he wasn’t concentrating during our conversation. When it gets to twelve I’m going to ring him and remind him that wasted time is wasted time, no matter when. He won’t understand, but if you’ve ever stayed up through the night for no good reason, you will.