Yesterday was my first day off work in 2 weeks- since I got back from holidays. Technically last Sunday I didn’t work either, but I did get up with the early birds (and the early worms that got eaten) and spent the day pretending to be a woman of enterprise at the big wholesale fair.
So it was my first lie-in in two weeks.
I had rosy expectations.
I knew I wouldn’t get much done- the point was not to be productive but to languish, become bored, enjoy the boredom, pad on bare feet with a bare rest of my body into the bare kitchen and eke out some bean-heavy salads… drink lots of coffee, maybe cycle around the block and collapse back into sanctuary… watch fifty bazillion films and the new Doctor Who. Maybe take a crack at the I, Claudius series my folks have been pushing on me for the past year.
Instead… the day barely registered.
Saturday the heatwave broke, the blue sky shattered and a summer’s worth of rain power-showered down on the city. Italians, ever the cool cats in leggings and boots when it’s 35 degrees C outside, or in winter with snow in the hoods of their ugly puffa jackets, are distinctly feline when it comes to rain. How do you know it’s raining? Because all around you there will be Italians huddled under arches and balconies. Put your hand out, can’t even feel a drop… oh, yeah, there goes one. Damn, it IS raining. I don’t know how they do it- within five minutes of the first bead of moisture landing plop on the road outside, every single Italian has an umbrella. Do they bring umbrellas with them in case it rains? Do they religiously check the weather reports? Do they just have an instinct?
Anyway. I’ll let them away with this one, because it was pissing down. It was a fucking monsoon. The street outside my shop had shallow but noticable waves rippling down it within a few hours. Italians clung to the sides of the covered shopping street like Noah’s extended family, crowding out all the doors, leaving no room for anyone to move until the worst was over. I smirked at the customers rushing to buy coats and boots, already whining about the temperature when it only dropped 10 degrees from WAY TOO FUCKING HOT.
Autumn is here, and I for one am fucking chuffed. Season of mists and covering mosquito bites and sloppy hair removal with tights, glorious tights. Looking good pale and unshiny- this is my season. This is the season I can compete with the tanned people. I have short skirts and now I can wear them again, with the ass-shielding properties of tights and leggings. And I have nice legs when they’re not all covered in red welts. This is my moment. Huzzah!
The rain didn’t really ease up. My dad insisted on being contrary and having a barbeque so I was obliged to make it to his house and then walk home later. I didn’t relish this idea but if I didn’t see my family on Saturday I would want to see them Sunday, and Sunday I wished to leave completely free from obligations so I could sit around in the buff and get just entertained enough to enjoy myself, but not too much so that the time would pass quickly.
Ahhh the possibilities of a whole day free just for me, stretching out before me like a holiday, a piece of time that I couldn’t imagine ever ending. A whole freaking day. Cigarettes would be smoked. Bikes would be cycled. Romantic comedies would be watched. Beans would be eaten. And yoghurt- lovely lemon zesty yoghurts I got for my special little treat. This diet is going so well, apart from the couple of pizzas.
Arrived at my dad’s house bedraggled, like a mean stepmother in a family movie after getting her comeuppance and being pushed into a pool. The barbeque was of course not going ahead as plants on the balcony jiggled in their pots and branches whipped around the place. It was fucking bracing out there.
We had a nice meal anyway and I sort of hinted unsuccessfully and a little too subtly for a lift to my dad’s wife, who’s not a bitch or anything, she just had the flu and only got out of bed to have dinner with us so I didn’t like to push… My dad doesn’t drive so I mooned at the window as long as I could and then gave up. I had enough for a taxi but my dad insists it’s only “3 blocks” to my house. It’s NOT 3 blocks. If you walk it, it’s fucking 15 blocks. If you get the bus, which only takes you some of the way, it’s 2 blocks TO the bus, then 4 very long blocks from the bus to my house. They are long blocks because that side of the neighbourhood is like big warehouses and shit and places that cut glass or make concrete or something.
So they are actually really long blocks. My dad just has a way of manipulating numbers and things to serve his purpose. We kind of both do that but I’m not doing it now- like, I told you it’s 4 blocks but to him I said 6, and we are both aware of this feature of our conversation so we kind of haggle.
“It’s only 2 blocks!” he says.
“What? It’s 6!” I rebuttal.
“At the most… it’s 3. No more than 3.”
“Come on, maybe 4.”
“No. It’s three.”
So he wins, but those blocks still feel real to me.
I was so hungry by the time the meat was done cooking in the oven- it’s NOT a bbq substitute by the way- that I scarfed down more food than I’ve had all week, in record time, and had about a jar of olives before the food was ready because damn I was starving. I was a little resentful at being dragged out for oven-cooked food with a Shackleton-ian expedition ahead of me, after 10 spiteful hours on my feet and then having to wait another hour to eat…. But tomorrow- tomorrow I would carpe the diem and throttle it, in a sitting position mostly. My sisters were sweet, the youngest did a little improvised rap which was pretty damn funny. Then we watched some comedy sketches on youtube about this guy who pretends to be a nazi popstar. My sisters like him the best, although I worry sometimes about how much the little one understands and what eventually gets repeated back to her teachers. They probably think we are a family of nazis.
Anyway I waited and waited and no sign of it letting up, so finally I bit the bullet and went out wrapped ungratefully in a horribly ugly rain poncho type thing that did nothing for my colouring. The hood was too small for my head so it kept falling back and was basically useless. My lovely leather shoes filled with water while wading through 20cm floods every time I crossed a road. The water squelched horribly against my toes and I could feel the leather swelling until my shoes were too big for my feet and it got hard to walk. I know they’ll shrink back to normal when they dry- but will they retain their shape? Hmm.
I passed hateful Italians in heavy duty rain gear AND boots AND umbrellas, and I hated them passionately while trying to look even more dejected so they would feel bad and impressed with how badass I was for braving the colder elements like this. From the moment I had noticed my reflection in the plastic poncho, I gave up on trying to look nice and became fiercly miserable-looking. Always manipulating how people see me, I can’t even let up in the middle of a fucking storm. Oh yeah there was thunder and lightning. It was hardcore.
Anyway I got home and out of my wet clothes and put on a pair of shorts and a t shirt and opened another little treat I picked up for myself: little juice boxes… except instead of juice, it’s wine. Hell yeah! So this way I can have a glass but not drink a whole bottle! Woo woo!
So I opened that, lit a cigarette and sat back to watch some funny shit on my computer. SWEET.
And then a rumble of nausea.
I set down my treats on the table and sauntered into the bathroom. Hmm. Don’t feel so good. Sat down, tried to read a little. Felt incredibly, incredibly weak. And nauseous. Realised I probably overdid it with the meat…. I never even eat meat any more, I mean I love meat but I never buy it because hello? Expensive. Run my mind over all the individual pieces of meat I practically inhaled. Ugh. Feel very bad. Laid my face on the sink from my sitting position. The cool porcelain doesn’t do anything to relive my pain. Ohhhhhh I feel so bad. I feel so bad. Make it stop.
Still not quite at the point where I will accept vomiting as the only way to feel better. Still convinced can avoid puking up my meat. Toy with the idea… no! Will not puke. Ugh no.
Try my pointless home remedies for nausea- these are swilling some mouth wash around my mouth to make the taste of food go away- And for some mysterious reason, running cold water over my wrists. I think I added that to the repertoire when I was in my clubbing phase and used to have freak outs on bad pills- running your hands under cold water DOES help with that, I insist. But not with nausea. Maybe it did once, and I’ve kept it like homeopathic medicine in the cupboard, hey I don’t know if it does work, but it feels like it might, and hey it doesn’t do any harm…
It’s ok though because water doesn’t cost money. Or does it? I don’t even read the bills any more, I don’t know maybe I do pay for water.
I sit there with my stomach churning for ages. I start imagining the bin in the bathroom smells disgusting, but I know it just has empty toilet rolls in it so it can’t smell bad. I’m psyching myself out trying to imagine a smell that will make me feel worse. Can’t reach the window to open it and get rid of the phantom bad smell that is just in my head. URGH so weak.
Finally feel it coming, the almighty vomm that is gonna make everything feel alright again… and I’m so fucking weak I can’t even get up off the toilet, I know I can’t… I don’t bother trying anyway. Puke pathetically in the sink.
OH that is gross. I’m not going to describe it to you any more than say, I need to chew my food. That was super disgusting. Ugh.. The sight of it sends me into spasms. I haven’t got any in my hair but I can feel chunks in the back of my nose. that’s going to linger. That’s the worst. You can shower and shower and still for the next day or two I will be randomly smelling puke in my hair or my hands and it’s because it’s in my nose and ugh I’ll have to snort salt water or something to get rid of it, which I really don’t enjoy.
The other unpleasantness that my suddenly ok-again self has to deal with is the puke half filling the sink. I’ve added water to… I don’t know, dilute it? The sink is blocked. I no longer am nauseous so I observe the situation coolly. I don’t know when it became a thing where it’s ok for me to puke in the sink but in the past few years it seems like it’s just what I do. And then the sink gets clogged and you don’t want to know how gross it is trying to get that shit cleared. Anyway I sort that out, throw some bleach down the drain for good measure, wash my hands and arms with as much soap as is left in my house, moisturise, wash my teeth, swill some mouthwash… Sniff and sniff and it seems ok. I’m too weak to shower, I’d probably fall in the crappy half bath.
Feebly make my way into bed feeling very weak but not sick any more.
See the wine and cigarette by the bed- REALLY want them.
Decide, fuck it, I already puked, I’m fine. Have a yoghurt to line the stomach, then hit the wine. Oh wow that didn’t go down well. I mean why would it? Decide to cut my losses and try to sleep as it’s pretty fucking late now.
Sleep and wake up on my special ME day, and do all sorts of non-demanding enjoyable things. HOORAY!
Woke up to my stupid work alarm going beep beep beep argh try to sleep through it stubbornly but I have to set 8 alarms every morning because when I’m half asleep I turn off the snooze and don’t get up. Except today I’m waking up no problem. Bastard universe.
Find phone, turn off all 8 alarms. Hate self furiously.
Go to sleep. Wake up at 12 midday. A little upset that I slept so much… get up have coffee etc.
Ooh, Oblivion downloaded! Wonder if it’s any good?
4pm: Damn think REALLY need to pee.
4.30pm: Ok must pee now. PAUSE GAME.
Enter kitchen- weird kind of light. Feels late. Oh, haven’t eaten today. Turn on oven to 200 degrees. Return to play Oblivion.
5.30pm: Shit, oven? Smell of something in kitchen. Stick a frozen pizza in. Add a ball of mozzarella because that shit is depressing as it is, a few flecks of cheese on a suggestion of red sauce… cheap Lidl bastards.
6.00pm: CRAP: Pizza is a bit burnt. Well… mozzarella ball has flooded pizza in cheese-water. Edges burnt, middle all soggy. Drain water off pizza. Eat pizza. Not very enjoyable. Feel like vomiting for a minute. Open another yoghurt- discover that of the four I bought, 2 have mouldy yoghurt on the side because the foil lid was broken. EWWW have to throw out two delicious youghurts. Wonder whether I ate a dodgy one last night? Oh no I had already puked when I had the yoghurt. Just need to chew my meat and never get that hungry again where you just lose control of your mind. Back to Oblivion.
1.00 am: WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Where is my day? What is going on? It’s like a casino in here. I should never have closed the shutters. It’s 1am? Why? How? I didn’t even… what the fuck? I can’t believe this.
I can’t even tell if I had a good time, if the game was fun… I got too entertained. I was only supposed to be moderately entertained so I could feel the day all around me like a languorous thing, syrupy and slow.
DAMN THIS SHIT.
I’m angry with myself.
I’m very angry.
My hands are shaking. My face feels weird. My teeth are kind of jarring in my jaws. I don’t feel normal. I close my eyes and it feels fucked up, like I’m on mushrooms or something. I start facebook messaging people really weird things.
I try to write a blog post but the letters are warping at my face. I don’t feel good. Realise with a panic that Japanese teenagers DIE from playing computer games without taking a break.
I mean I haven’t been playing that long…. but yeah, I have. And no break since my pizza, and I ate that while playing anyway. Oh shit did I turn the oven off? I did, yeah. My hands are twitching. My left hand, my good hand, is all clenched up. My legs are kind of static-y. What if I get deep vein thrombosis? I spend some time freaking out then reassure self. Can’t sleep though, my mind keeps running through things I was doing in the game like they are memories or things I need to do. I go back to Oblivion sheepishly to just do one thing that was bothering me, and then it’s
3.30 am and I just want to weep.
I wake up looking like a heroin addict and all I wanna do is play some more.
On the bus to work I remember my dream from the night before- it comes back to me in little pieces and when I mould them together I realise it wasn’t a dream, it was the game.
Damn you game for doing this to me.
Next two weeks will be like time stolen from out of my monotonous life, but time stolen nonetheless.
I have done this to myself, again… It’s the looting, I tell ya… I can’t resist computer game looting.