(Music: Sleep Walk – Santo & Johnny)
(Music fades slowly after 20 seconds, at same time lights fade up.)
Front centre a double bed, covered in a white duvet. A white phone is on the bed on top of the pillows.
Sitting at the foot of the bed, facing front, a young woman, Geraldine. She is wearing a white towelling robe & brushing her hair.
A moment’s silence, then she addresses the audience.
I haven’t slept in four nights now, but it’s not insomnia I’m suffering from. I have slept. Every day I sleep, from sunrise to sunset. I just can’t sleep at night. I try, though. God knows I do.
After a long day’s sleep I get up, have breakfast, watch TV, then – around midnight – go back to bed. I try breathing exercises, ones that I read in a book one time that are supposed to help when you can’t sleep.
What I do is, I draw a breath slowly in, hold it in my lungs for a few seconds, then breath out slowly through my nose until all the air is gone, all the while concentrating my thoughts on the space between the tip of my nose and the top of my lip. It doesn’t work. Not for me, anyway.
Last night I tried getting drunk. I worked my way through two bottles of red wine. One’s usually enough to have my head spinning and my eyes closing, but this time there was no effect: none whatsoever. I lay in bed, eyes wide open in the dark, and listened to the alarm clock tick away the seconds until dawn. As the walls of the room began to pale, I felt myself finally drifting off into sleep. I woke up again this evening, as soon as the sun set…
Running time: @ 25 minutes.
(c) James Meredith 2013.
Shadow & Light was first performed as part of Lunchbox Theatre at the Black Box, Belfast, on 28th June 2013. Geraldine was played by Mary Lindsay. It was written & directed by James Meredith.