Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sleep, interrupted

I was taking a siesta this lunchtime. Or a nap. Or a snooze. I was feeling exhausted: I'd been drinking hard last night and the hangover was hitting me hard. I tried to read The Finkler Question to cheer myself up. That was a sign of how bad I must have been: nobody reads Booker prizewinners to lift their spirits.

Earlier this week I read The Teleportation Accident, which was on the Booker longlist this year, and, a bit like Ned Beauman's previous, it was an elaborate, baroque tower of plot that toppled over a few pages from the end. It was also the sort of book that makes you very depressed, in the way it points out the failure of people to live up to their potential, but it does have some nicely horrible ironies (there's a conversation early on between two Germans asking what to do with six million unemployed) and admirable cruelty to all the characters involved.

The Finkler Question is filled with unlikeable people, with bad things happening to them, and that doesn't make it very relaxing. I gave up making myself suffer and took myself to bed. And then the storm started. Rain was blowing in horizontally and thunderclaps began to blast like distant artillery. Instead of a relaxing nap, I had to scurry around the flat, closing the windows against the further ingress of water.

In the afternoon, unable to go back to sleep and not wanting to read more depressing books, I took the train out to Expo, an enormous shed near the airport where there was a cutprice book sale going on. Although Singapore thrives on being well-organised, the book sale was just row on row of books, with no rhyme or reason to their arrangement. Every twenty books or so you'd see the same title, repeating over and over again. As though books were just commodities to pile up, with no difference between titles: just book upon book upon book. A bit like the great vortex of toaster ovens that you find when you're in Mustafa, and lost.

I ended up buying a book with a picture of a chicken on the cover. Some sort of pun about cocks would be in order but it's late in the evening and I haven't had enough sleep.

I've not being getting enough sleep, or enough exercise, so I tried to rectify this by giving the Kinect a go. Twenty minutes of jumping up and down later, I was drenched with sweat and wobbly-legged. I hope that's a good sign, or a good start, or something.


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