I wake in the night, needing a drink of water and a pee. Liquid in, liquid out.
Slide from my bed - comfy, warm, partially filled by my favourite person in the world. Our room is large, pretty empty for two people who've cohabited as long as we have. It's cool too, I'm already looking forward to coming back.
Down the passage, two soundly sleeping cats on the back of the couch, smooth wooden floorboards under my feet.
In the light from the patio the tree-tops whipping around, but all is very still inside.
Our dog in her basket snores in perfect unison with the whrrrr of the fridge. She doesn't even seem to know I'm here.
The tap turns, water fills my glass. Relief floods my throat.
I stand for just a minute, staring out the window. Keeping myself dozy, there's still a lot of night left.
Back down the passage, a quick check on the girls. Their door creaks and I pause to listen to the sounds of their breathing. Blindfolded I could tell who is who, I probably shall 'til the end of time.
They sleep with the sprawled limbs of supreme security and peace, their brows uncreased, fingers relaxed.
Their butterfly mobile dancing in the draft is the most active thing in this house.
And it is while standing there in the dark, in my house of comfort and love, that the crushing weight of my privilege suddenly bears down on me.
My heart seems to buckle - guilt, entitlement, horror, rage, indignation, justification - the emotions which one must continually counter-balance when living a good life in a world where so many don't. The knowledge of one's innate privilege is always there, it must be always there, but like a cancer or a conscience one can't live in its light all the time. One must suspend this reality and just ... live.
I force myself back to bed, to sleep. I leave these thoughts buried in the dark of the night. Where they remain, for remain they must.
Sadness, unease, discomfort, guilt - we need these things to throw the goodness in our lives into relief, to be grateful. But we can't, I can't, live with them every day.
I bury them in the dark - keep the knowledge of them active, confront them when I must - but try not to let them leak out into the light.
Reality suspended like a trip-wire in my house, waiting for me to get up in the night.