If we were all judged on our acting skills according to how well we can pretend to be asleep when our parents poke their head in through our bedroom door, then I am pretty sure that would to a large extent, even out the disparity in the social backgrounds of film stars.
We have all done this as kids and perhaps even now as teenagers (or adults!) for I know I still do. As a child, bedtime merely meant the time I had to be in bed by and whilst my siblings had the remarkable ability to drop off at a moment’s notice, I was not blessed with this superpower as my mind would stubbornly refuse to sleep. The solution? Surf the net on a phone or laptop of course.
NO! Thankfully, gadgets and gizmos weren’t so popular 8-10 years ago and so instead of staring bleary eyed at a screen, I would read. Books of all sizes, stories of all types, fascinating tales and exciting words which thrilled and sped through the cogs of my imagination as I was transported away from my ‘asleep in 40 winks’ mattress and into another world. When my mum would peek in to check on us, I would whip the book under the covers and pretend to sleep but as soon as her footsteps had receded, I would continue delighting in fiction until the early hours of the morning. Even when sleep would come knocking on my eyelids, I would force myself to stay awake in order to get to the final page.
Sometimes of course, the acting would not work as a glimpse of the edge of the book would catch her attention. Then there would be two options. Own up and admit to being awake or continue the ploy by pretending to have fallen asleep whilst reading. If the hour was late, this was the far safer option. I began to master the limpness of a sleeping body and the deep breathing of one lost in the dreaming world.
It was from a very young age that my love for reading grew, this blissful world which you feel you must share with others, lest they go on through life without ever having experienced the joy of losing one’s self in a sea of letters and words.
Now though, we are now more likely to pretend to be asleep when we are in fact busy typing away on a smartphone. Or wait, perhaps it is an e-book? That would give me some hope.