Monday, October 20, 2008

At 2am last night I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. I'd managed to put down the book I was reading about 20 minutes previously, having grown too distracted by my own thoughts to for it to hold my attention. After a few minutes spent watching a confused moth (the only kind, as far as I can tell) I found myself, once again, considering the worth of my weekend's activities on the basis of how much laundry I'd managed to get done. At this point it became apparent that something had gone badly wrong. I don't want to be misunderstood here, I'm not saying that I was once some great centre-of-attention party animal -- a quick look through the archives of this blog would quickly rubbish that thought -- but you know, I used to have a slightly more interesting life than I do now. I sat around thinking on this subject, and many others, for a few hours before I finally conked out at about half past four in the morning.

The result of this night's intense self-evaluation wasn't any sense of purpose, mental clarity, or some hardened resolve. No. Instead the result was me waking up late, having to run for a late train, and spending the day in a state somewhere south of sensible. I managed to get a reasonable amount of work done -- with the help of rancid-goat's-arse instant coffee -- but towards the end of the day my head was getting a little swimmy.

In the afternoon I was reading through a book on Ancient Mesopotamia, noting down material that could be reused and checking maps and suchlike. At about five in the afternoon the caffeine, sleeplessness and boredom all conspired to turn me into a uncontrollably giggling wreck. I was staring at a map of the Kingdom of Hammurabi which had the ancient cities marked on it, and which ritual and cultural landmarks they contained. The names and labels were starting to drift in and out of focus as I tried to keep my eyes open, and I found myself reading them out loud (very quietly) to myself. After a few minutes the following sequence of words came out of my mouth:


I said it again, with a funny sort of metric rhythm to it. It made me smile. I liked the way it sounded. I ended up sitting at my desk sort of reciting 'Akshak...Ziggurat...Babylon...Kish' every few minutes and giggling to myself like a man possessed. Even now it makes me smile.

I think I've either come across an extremely pleasing set of words, or I'm starting to go completely bonkers.