What I would like to do, right now, is walk down to the river. I'd like to throw stones into the water as far and as hard as I can, and think of each one as an irritation sinking into the darkness and out of my life. Just shuck them off, one by one, and be rid of them, for tonight at least, and then, once I was calm again, I'd like to stand there, breathing deeply and drinking in the silence.

I find water at night-time has a tranquilising influence on me; I always have -- rivers, lakes, and especially the sea.

Maybe it's the paradoxical nature of it -- the way it is simultaneously constant and changeable. When you look at it, you will never see the same thing twice, and it alters even as you watch, but its essence is unvarying.

Maybe it is its power to remain aloof. Nothing I can do to it affects it for more than a moment. A rock hurled will make a splash, a few ripples, but the disturbance doesn't last. I find that oddly reassuring, as if it is reminding me that there are some things even I can't mess up.

Maybe it's the way it is welcoming, without being pushy. If I choose I can walk out into it, become part of it, and it won't ever push me away. It'll yield to me and make a place for me, but it's undemanding, and doesn't urge me to it. It's simply there, waiting, if I want it.

Any of these reasons or all, it never fails. Dark water is my valium