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Sleep Deprivation


This prompt is a little cruel.


When I read the prompt on its own, the first thing that came to mind was the time that I pulled an all-nighter to finish my Master's thesis on the same night that they were counting the Brexit vote. I thought it would be fun to draw amusing parallels between my early optimism that I would finish the essay before the night was done with the optimism that the Remain vote would win the election and the daunting realisation at about 4am that I got myself in over my head with the nation's daunting realisation that it was in over its head. That would have been a perfectly acceptable short creative response, entirely in keeping within the spirit of this project.


But then the book had to pair this prompt with an image of sleep deprived American soldiers in the pacific theatre of the Second World War which makes my story feel pretty inconsequential. Yes, thank you book, I am aware I have not undergone anything nearly as harrowing as being a soldier on the front line of the most destructive war of the twentieth century. What I did do is throw a tantrum in my room at about 7 in the morning when the final results were in before remembering that I had an essay to hand in.


I suppose most people's suffering can be made to look pretty slight when compared to people who undergo horrors like war, famine, disease and human rights violations. And what doesn't help is you don't often see those people moaning about any of it. They speak out, they protest, they fight for their rights, they struggle for change. But they never just moan. Just complain out loud to anyone in particular with no expectation of anything to change. I guess it's pretty hard to moan when your reasons to be upset are justified a hundred times over but just for once, I'd like to see someone talk about the personal toll a nation-wide food shortage is taking on them in the same tone we use when we complain about how our laptop isn't turning on as quickly as it did a year ago. Just one tweet saying something like “Ugh, genocide again today, this week is the WORST #WednesdayHumpDay.”


Actually, reading that back now, still seems like a pretty justified tweet. The tone is a bit flippant maybe but, hey, I'm not living through a genocide so who am I to criticise the way he chooses to express himself?


So moaning is a privilege then, isn't it? If you reached the stage in your life where you're moaning about anything, then you probably don't have much to moan about in the first place.


What a roundabout way to realise, yet again, the privileged life I lead.


“God, why can't I complain about anything without feeling GUILTY about it?! #Privilege

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