I look around the bedroom, towards the wardrobe and I see a dark outline of something long, black and almost human in its shape. It’s absolutely still and I watch and wait for him to make the first move. What will I do? Perhaps I should pretend to be still asleep and then I can watch to see what he does when he thinks he’s not being watched at all. Then the fuzz clears from my head and the spangly bits disappear from the outer edges of my vision and I’m awake enough to remember the suit I left hanging on the outside of the wardrobe last night.
Sometimes, if I’m lying on my left side, there is a tapping on the window and it reminds me that the oak tree is very close and peering in at me in my sleep. Sometimes, I hear owls in the woods at the back of the garden; sometimes they call to each other and sometimes there is one in particular who must be sitting on the largest branch overhanging our garage. His call is comical a deep ‘whoo, whoo’ which sounds more like a man doing a drunken impression of an owl; it is one I have now identified as belonging to a long-eared owl whose habitat is woodland and conifer plantations. I’ve never seen his face but I have reported a sighting to an organisation interested in these things and I’m glad that my insomnia isn’t a completely lost cause for someone.
Sometimes as I get undressed for bed at night, I wonder whether I’m going to be bothered by suits or owls. I should probably worry that our curtains are almost sheer against the lamplight and that I’ve been undressing publicly like this for the last six years without realizing.