Eerrrrrgghh. I’ve been struck down by the delightful ailment known as ‘strep throat’. So close to the end of winter, I was starting to feel pretty pleased that I hadn’t been sick when almost everyone else I know has been. ‘I’m so tough!’ I thought. ‘It must be the pure lifestyle I lead!’
Struck down. Thank you very much, powers that be. I think I needed that.
I’m not great at being sick. I mean, who is, really, but I get impatient with myself. I can take a day of it, that seems reasonable. A day of Steve bringing me soup, of Neo sitting on me, of reading and sleeping intermittently. But then Day 2 rolls around, and I’m still not better. So I keep reading, I keep napping, but inside I start feeling guilty and lazy and horrible and just plain BAD. ‘I need to get on with things!’ I think. ‘I’ll just design that website. I’ll just buy some groceries. I’ll just start writing the next chapter of my book…’
BA BOW. Not going to happen. Have you tried concentrating on something when someone is beating a tom-tom drum inside your head?
‘I’m sorry’, says my body. ‘You actually just need to suck it up and be sick.’ The tom-tom drummer plays a victorious solo.
So here I am, Day 3, in bed on a Tuesday afternoon, the cat asleep with his head on my wrist, Panadol within arm’s reach, a copy of Ian McEwan’s Saturday waiting to be taken up again, a hot cup of tea on the bedside table. Birds sing in the trees beyond the window, but the world outside looks impossibly bright and difficult to navigate. A misguided trip to the shops earlier today made me realise how important it is to cut yourself off when you’re sick: you don’t need the outside world for a few days, and they can most certainly do without you.
That’s me. And that’s the view from bed.