“You see going to bed at 10.10pm,” he counts up the hours on his fingers, sucking in air, “3.15. 5 hours.” More sucking of air. “That’s a bit short, even for me.” I only really need 6 hours.
It takes some time for the coffee machine to whir into life. I find my phone, pick the light app to turn on the lounge room lamps, plug in my laptop, take a shit, make coffee, clean the kitchen, roll the joint, transport the coffee and the joint outside, transport my laptop outside – never transport a laptop and a cup of coffee in the same trip, it is a golden rule, it can only end in tears. I find some shoes to keep my feet warm, smoke the joint, transport the empty coffee cup and the laptop inside, hook up the power, sit down. It is nearly 4am.
Milo appears. He clearly wants food put in his bowl.
4.20am. Gets up. Fills the cat bowl. Makes coffee. Actually, washes the dishes he only rearranged earlier. Clean the Kitchen until it is clean. Put milk in the coffee. Roll a joint. Transport the coffee and the joint outside. Transport my laptop outside, second. Hurry, the door is open.
It suddenly gets very cold at 4.30am. I am driven back inside to the lounge room, the grey blanket and Milo.
Transport laptop inside, go and get the empty coffee cup, bring it inside. Plug the laptop in. Wrap myself in the grey blanket. Milo sits on a corner of the blanket and cleans himself.
I want to listen to the last tracks of Aerosmith.
Is it bad that all I do is think about having the next joint?
I make Milo a nest of his own on one of the couches.
4.45am. Another joint. No coffee this time, so it can all go outside in one armful. It is cold and it is like I am smoking the never ending joint. The cold is driving me back inside.
I try to light the joint again, but when my hands are shaking too much from the cold, to actually light it, I give in, admit defeat and scurry back inside.
Milo has found the nest.
My nose is runny, snuffly, I need to blow it. I have to let some of my insulation go to reach over the coffee table to get a tissue. I wonder if it is worth it. I sniff. I sniff again. The music has stopped in my ears, it is quiet and cold. I wish I had a fire. I contemplate lighting it. I wonder if there is any kindling just outside the back door?
5am. I can fix the music. I change my headphones for earbuds, headphones make my head too hot.
I chose Adele. Home Town Glory.
I message David, he’s going through a depressive stage.
5.30am. I am dancing on the back veranda to Rolling in the Deep. It is freezing.
Dancing is all I can do to warm up. I have to go back inside.
5.45am. Wrapped in a woollen blanket, I chose the Rolling Stones ballads. It is a playlist I have, just vocal tracks. “Well, I followed her to the station…”
I regret giving Milo the other blanket.
"I'm a fool, baby, ah, yah, yah..."