It’s 5am. The sun isn’t up yet, but I’m curled up with a hot mug of bitter chocolate cradled between my fingers inhaling the steam. My hair is mussed and I’m tangled in the blanket, eyes bleary from having just woken, skin still sleep soft. I have creases on my face and my voice sounds groggy. Next to me is someone I have never met before tonight, and yet he has seen me sleep, watched me wake, in the bizarre intimacy that is a night of being on call.
Because it is an extended long weekend, it has been a quiet night. No elective admissions, no elective surgeries, and for once no major emergencies over night. A few call outs, mostly for minor things, but in the main, curled up on a couch, by a dark window, waiting for the sun to rise. At 4am, gambling against a slew of calls, I found the blanket and stretched out on a bench. Shivering slightly and wishing I had a pillow.
Of course, this meant that the second that I drifted into uneasy dreams I was woken by the vibration of my pager, clenched in my hand, fumbling for the button to stop it screaming in the quiet. Unsettled this evening, too much time for thoughts in my head, and yet appreciating the time for them. Allowing the kinks to be straightened.
The birds are waking now, in the thin light that is beginning to daub the horizon. My teeth feel furry and my voice is soft and sleepy as I answer a call for a fluid order. Trying to enunciate clearly and sound less like I’ve just been pulled from slumber. I feel heady and suggestible. Lithe and pliable. Warm taffy, stretched and re-stretched. My whole body seeks sleep, wanting a warm nest to curl up in, have my hair stroked until I fall into blissful oblivion.
Instead I research drug doses. Sip my hot chocolate. Read about day trips from Paris. Wonder how my babies are doing, and if my Possum slept through the night at Nana’s house, and if he is waking now with the birds. Wishing I could curl up with him, his head on my breast, his sweaty, musty smell under my cheek, chubby knees in my belly. Watch his hand curl and uncurl in sleep. Refresh facebook. Read through my bloglist. Field a call for pain relief. Drink the dregs. And wait for the sun to appear in the distance.