Day and Night, Darkness and Light

In a large bedroom with blue walls barely seen for the mismatch of belongings, she lies alone and awake each night. The insomniac whose bed becomes a spider's web, entangling her limbs leaving her to stare into darkness with only contemplative thoughts for company. With a resigned sigh, she rolls over and attempts to clear her mind for sleep.

Across the road, if one were to stand close to the double storey house, a woman's whimpering can be heard. A boy cradles his baby sister while up the stairs his mother cries and the bed creaks. As he sings a lullaby the world is forgotten and the small room seems to lose the little people it holds. But Thomas is painfully aware that he is there. He thinks of the nice, friendly girl who lives across the street.

In the next suburb a teacher has finished writing her report detailing the abuse of one of her students. She takes her empty teacup to the sink where the single plate and single set of cutlery from dinner sit and returns to her room. She slips into the double bed where alone, her figure barely tents the sheets.

Down the hallway of a large suburban house on the outskirts of Sydney, a two people are in bed each facing away from the other. The gap between them is an irreparable abyss. Both lay thinking of their daughter, grown and living her own life as a teacher. It is she who is ever the glue to this marriage.

A young drug addict is crouched in dirty room, momentarily off his high he prepares another injection; he hasn't seen his parents for years. They were too busy, up in their posh Sydney home. His maze of veins stand to attention along his arms as the friendly needle punctures his skin. His euphoria is shortly lived as his jaws clench, his muscles spasm and finally he is on the floor, his mouth lolling repulsively open. In the dank environment called home, he dies alone.

Hundreds of kilometres away, a father listens to the babbling voice coming out of the truck radio. Tonight the road is long but driving the trucks at night pays enough to one day send his daughter away to a university, away from their area, renowned for its rough population and high drug usage. On into dawn the road stretches.

As the light trickles through and under the curtain, the insomniac rises with bags under her eyes and dresses for school. Everywhere, people rise to forget the night and greet the day. Lost once more is the isolation of night and the interactivity of the day is unstoppable.

The woman has wiped away last night's pain; at least it appears that way to her little boy who she found asleep at the bottom of the stairs this morning. She prepares her son for school and her baby girl for day-care and they rush out the door forgetting, surely, something. By 10am the teacher is in the principal's office awaiting his consultation on her report on Thomas, the home abuse victim. Elsewhere, the couple wake, and go about their days alone, with as little care for one another as each of the days prior. The mother finds that a friend's son would seem to be a great match for their lonely daughter. The father wonders what his lost son is doing.

Over a weak, long-distance phone connection, the truck driver's wife tells him that the police are stringing up crime scene tape around the house next door. Apparently, another drug taker has overdosed and died. His closest family is a sister who teaches at the local school.

By the afternoon insomniac is walking home from school with a tired but content mind. She barely notes the blue and white tape around the neighbour's house before the boy from across the road, Thomas, bombards her with a landscape painting of a house half in sunlight and half in moonlight. He created it just for her in art class that day; he tells her with a shy smile.

That night, the insomniac thinks about the painting. The world is separated by darkness but yet the experience of this darkness is shared by all. It is through that darkness that it can truly be seen how much in light, we all belong. And sleep? It always comes eventually.