A look back at the year

December 26, 2007 at 12:13 pm (1)

The first six months:

Meet Bunny for a coffee. I’ve known Bunny for years, he is a doctor. Both of us face a stretch of unemployment. He’s looking at being struck off after turning up to work dressed as a rabbit and me, well, as usual I have failed to plan and none of my contacts are using freelancers. These are dark days, I tell Bunny as I spoon a mouthful of tiramisu. He is optimistic though. I spoke to my boss, he says, and they think I can be an entertainer in a children’s ward but not a radiologist. The woman who is serving us is French, I can tell from her fingernails (they are shaped like the Eiffel Tower) and, of course, her nose.

After such an eventful January I start this month with hope: things cannot get more hopeless. The sky is grey and forms a lining under my skin. I bring a carpet into my apartment, a giant roll bought at a discount. Then the guy around to fix my broadband tells me he can fit carpet too. A week later I come home to find my laptop has been carpeted.

The sense that my months happen in an afternoon seems to accelerate my sense of a trot towards death. Twelve such afternoons to a year, multiplied by 30, or to be generous 31, and I’ll be dead in a month. I decide to forget about the carpet and do some of the things I’d like to do before I die. I go to the British Museum and book a day-return to Ipswich.

Autumn has arrived. My hair graying, the carpet in my living room is a monument to mishap. I turn it into an altar and I pray that this month, unlike last month, will not wither away. Josephine calls. She’s getting married. Oh, Josephine! Wait! My carpet will be fitted, my laptop rid of its fleece and I can take your hand. But women don’t wait — there are guys out there with no carpet on their laptops. With Josephine – who I had promised to return to once I got my house in order – married, I decide to cover my fridge and TV set with carpet, and then my bathroom mirror.

I am alone in my bedroom which I do not intend to leave until July. I will catch up with my reading and self-flagellation
.The bedroom will be the limit of my world. Some nights I am cold and hug my blanket to keep it warm. When it gets really chilly, I allow my blanket to cover me. I have a few books on the go but I do not want them to end without one of my teeth falling out.

Bunny calls. Lunch? he says. I haven’t eaten for weeks: a few dry cornflakes here and there but mostly water and vitamin tablets. You must be hungry, he says. Yes, but unable to ingest. He drives around to pluck me out of my supposedly divine degeneration. There is meaning to this life, his smile says. Always scrubbed up
, he’s a pleasure to be around. His teeth are intact and he has no discernible desire to rot. We have a coffee. The French waitress’s English has improved. Bunny’s still in his job, he tells me. He agreed to only wearing fancy dress on Thursdays when he is in the research lab.


1 Comment

  1. Miz BoheMia said,

    I am impressed at your memory… ask me what I did yesterday and I’ll be damned if I remember!

    As for your writing and your blog, I am intrigued indeed…

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