My whole life is an NDA at the moment! The last week has been particularly weird as I’ve had three simultaneous NDA projects running alongside one another. It has been a crazy and fascinating week. I’ve done so much. And out of caution I’ve confined myself to just saying how tired I am or talking about random encounters. I think if I were to break all three NDA’s I’d be liable to the tune of about 26 million dollars. It’s all on the dotted line.
I was waiting for my last pick up of the job this evening when I got a call from Tom, who is staying on my sofa tonight. “Your flatmate says she has corona virus,” he says. “She’s in her bedroom. I don’t know what to do.”
I am forced to go into a painstaking dissection of this whole thing. She doesn’t have Corona virus. She has a sniffle, perhaps. She has massive constant anxiety, for sure. She also has the delusion that she is significant coupled to the conviction that there are only about 10,000 people in the whole world, thus statistically speaking, ALL THE THINGS are likely to happen to her or someone she knows. You know the type. You might be the type. Small world syndrome.
Won’t swim in the sea because sharks. Taxi door to door in *insert notionally dangerous city / suburb of London* so not shot / stabbed. The hitchhiker is definitely a murderer. All of this, rooted in a bad assessment of odds, until life if stifled into tiny tiny safe safe patterns.
“She was sick – she puked,” says Tom. That’s not a symptom of Corona virus. A hangover, maybe. Anxiety, yes, at this level – and she’s an anxiety ninja. Anxiety yaks are a clear possibility here. But it’s not speaking to me of anything other than that she assumes she’s got the thing because the thing is in all the papers. A&E must be FLOODED with hypochondriacs.
Ok, if she’s been kissing some guy who has since been diagnosed and he’s sent her an anxious message, fine. If she sat next to a guy with “I went to Wuhan and all I got was this stupid T-Shirt”, and he wet sneezed in her face then fine. But in those instances she could legitimately have gone to hospital and said “I should get tested,” and unless she’s mental she would have. Rather than the action she chose: swanning into the living room, announcing it like Blanche dubois would to a somewhat nervous young fellow, yawping sumptuously into the porcelain prayer pot, and retiring to the bedroom therein to languish incommunicado with the blinds down. Light the blue touchpaper…
I’ll have a word with her tomorrow. Through the door. You never know. I’ll ask her why she thinks it’s Corona. If I get “Well there was this guy called Barney and now he’s in quarantine,” then I’m calling the guys in the hazmat suits myself. But if, as I suspect, I get a list of loosely connected symptoms, maybe an “I just know,” and inevitably a whole lot of disconnected noise then I’m going to go about my business as normal and take it with a heavy pinch of salt. Until I get home to a corpse and then die horribly just before all my friends do the same with my name the last thing on their foam speckled lips. “Fkucklinghg Ahhhlll Bhlarclhhlayychchkkkkt t nnnn ….”
Tom was worried sick. His worry was not contagious thankfully. He takes people at their word. I’ve had to go into great detail about the nature of anxiety and self importance in order to step him down from his original suggestion that we both just get a hotel room. It’s neurotic imaginings, or I’m Tom Selleck.
She had cancer just a month or so ago. That turned out to be a false alarm after all the private doctors checked it out.
It’s my bedtime. I’m tired. I just sneezed.
It’s smallpox, guys. I’ll try to keep writing as long as I’m able.
Unconnected photo. Yeah. That’s how I roll.