Friday, January 04, 2008

Fuck I love the internet.

I have to exorcise this demon before I sleep.

I have always been a bit of night owl. I was one of those rare children who stayed up, slept through, and greeted the dawn with cries of horror and much hiding of the head under the pillow. This being so, I have never found it easy to get to sleep early. Even as a child I tended to stay awake much later than my elder sister and suffered all manner of anxiety about trying to sleep when I couldn’t. It just isn’t normal for me. It still isn’t but it was more difficult before coffee and learning to live with continual sleep deprivation. (Actually, come to think of it I am a very picky sleeper. Still, back to the story at hand.) Anyway, as I was saying, even when I was quite little I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep at proper child hours. I think my parents were generally understanding (they were never the kind of people who were overly (HA!) disciplinarian, or disciplinarian at all) and they took little things like a night owl daughter quite calmly and rationally. They didn’t, from what I recall, make too much fuss about my un-childlike sleeping habits.

If I couldn’t sleep I must have been in the habit of sneaking out of bed and back to the living room where at least one of my parents was usually to be found. I vaguely recall doing this so I guess it must have happened fairly often. The time period I’m talking of was the early eighties when we lived in a little flat in Sydney’s inner west (yes, home sweet home) and my crazy-arsed shift working daddy was working as a security guard at the Opera House. He certainly wasn’t around this particular night as I snuck out of bed and hid behind the couch to watch whatever my mother was watching on tv. (Oh my mother, she’s always been one for sharing her emotions with whoever’s around. Sweet but sometimes so wildly inappropriate.) It was some show that has only just started and obviously something that she was watching with fascination. She fairly quickly realised I was there and, presumably, figured that I wasn’t about to go to sleep in a hurry, she let me stay with her on the couch. She let me stay with her on the couch and watch a programme about a nuclear holocaust. To this day I remember enough of that show to freak me out at unexpected moments. It seemed very realistic to my quite little self and it left one hell of an impression. Quite a lot of the dreams that I recall are apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic. I am always a survivor – how’s that for ego? And I maintain a certain train-wreck horror/fascination with fiction relating to nuclear war/holocausts/accidents. In short, I don’t wanna but I do. And always, when I do, in the back of my mind are scenes from this programme.

The beauty of the internet is that shortly after thinking about and writing about Z for Zachariah and, naturally, dawdling back to the source of my nuclear holocaust fascination I was able to find, or at least think I’ve found the show in question. Great, I think. It doesn’t really change anything though, does it? Still, yay internet, I’ve wondered about that for years.

P.S. I am such a pussy and so freaked out that I just jumped when a flower dropped on to the tabletop. Who wants to put money on my next post topic?


Maria said...

I've been told broken sleep is terrible for me but it still doesn't stop me from midnight prowling. Nice to know I'm not alone.

TimT said...

Yeah, I think they had a whole tonne of those books out in the 80s, cashing in on cold war paranoia. They made my brother's class study Z for Zacharia, maybe as a way of getting the kids ready for the inevitable nuclear holocaust that was to come. Though they never did show us how to cook radioactive zombie flesh in Home Ec.

I've been watching parts of 'The Omega Man' on YouTube in preparation for 'I Am Legend' coming to Australian cinemas. It's not a nuclear holocuast, but it should have a few zombies in it.

nailpolishblues said...

Tim - Ah, home ec. My teacher had a crush on me and I got straight As for cooking. No zombies though. Those were the days!
I'm still recovering from a Shaun of the Dead nightmare I had when I was ill. Ugh. Fork in eyes. UGH.

Maria - Definitely not alone.

Maria said...

I didn't mind Z for Zachariah. But for Nuclear Holocaust books, I wasn't a big fan of Louise Lawrence's Children of the Dust.

It was split into three parts - called Sarah, Ophelia and Simon. Sarah concentrated on a family surviving in a house after bombs had been dropped and the nuclear fallout getting to them. Ophelia concentrated on life in a nuclear war bunker. Simon concentrated on the aftermath when humans evolved into mutants because of the war, and started the whole world over with a brave new world and learnt from the human mistakes, and humans had almost died out.

I found some reviews on Amazon saying that they found the first two parts too depressing and they wished the book had started at the third part. A nuclear war book which starts with the aftermath of the nuclear war, just because nuclear war and its struggles are depressing? I never thought I'd find some people wanting to read a nuclear war book but complaining that there was a nuclear war in it!