How to be British · Insomnia · Language


Monday, July 10, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.



A tank top; an undershirt without sleeves. 

"You awaken suddenly, dazed and confused, pushing aside the final dregs of the night-terror by anchoring: heart galloping firmly within the chest cavity, focus, one-two-three, until the rhythm holds and you move on to the feeling of warm, clingy sheets underneath the duvet–but that sets off a minor arrhythmia to untangle, get free, off off off OFF!

You shimmy out with no grace and and it's a miracle you don't face-plant on the hardwood floors below. In your confusion, it takes you until the episode fully subsides before you realise you haven't awoken your bed companion in the process. Now that is unusual. 

So you turn to investigate only to discover the left side empty and cold. 


Legs shaky as if you ran across town and back, but stable enough for you to get up; you ease out of bed and head immediately out the room. No point attempting to fall back to sleep. Abort, abort, abort.

The flat is pitch black and silent, but you're not deterred. The lives of insomniacs are pitiful, but you and your missing bed companion are nothing if not courteous. You edge down the stairs, avoiding creaks as you go in a ritualistic dance nights of similar lack-of-sleeping-disposition has perfected and strain your hearing for hushed signs of living below. 

Perhaps he fell asleep? 

Of course, that is no such luck, but wouldn't have been unusual. And luckily for you, he's not because this night-terror has left you craving intimacy and you spot him immediately upon entering the great room, even with the lights off. 

He's reclined vertically on the sofa, pyjama-clad legs stretched out and broad chest displayed by the light grey vest he's wearing. Next, you spot his cello cradled between those outstretched legs but bow lies forgotten in the corner of the room still inside its case. 

Neither of you speak, but his opened right arm is the balm your quivering form needs and you settle between his side. Without you having to ask, his fingering the strings turns to careful plucking. The calmness washes over you in an experience similar to the one time you visited Bath and its particular soothing airs; magnificent and lulling. Once the shaking subsides and your brain's functioning again (not on flight or fight), you recognise the floating melody of Bach slipping into Vivaldi."


Hi! As we get closer to the 100th Brit Wit, I am curious if there is any interest for a longer and combined story that includes all Daily Brit Wits? It will be longer than any of the mini stories already posted. Please let me know if there's any intrigue. Thanks! 😁


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