It’s a Friday night and a spring bank holiday. By all rights I should currently be in a crowded bar somewhere in Camden after a day catching the sun with friends and beer and then some lunch and maybe taking a chilly leap into the pond on Hampstead Heath. Sun and fun until the dark and then under cover of darkness off to town to do bad things.
By now we’d be venturing on the drunken trail of one of the many birthday parties. “How do you know so and so?” “We did a thing together years ago!” “Drink?”
As it is we all stayed at home. One guy in my block started playing the bagpipes in the morning. One of my neighbors played “We’ll meet again” at top volume three times back to back on the stereo, no doubt standing to attention and weeping over a glass of brandy.
I could frame things in terms of war and victory today. I had a hell of a night last night. Haven’t ever had one like it. Won the night but it was nasty.
Heart burn and acid reflux the like of which I’ve never experienced, coming on just as I was turning in. I made the decision to keep myself awake and upright until it abated which meant I was sitting cross legged on my bed reading until around 5.30am with a bucket next to the bed in case I suddenly jolted up a mouth full of fire. Belching like a child with wind for hours, band of fire around my chest, neck full of bubbling acid.
I felt that if I let myself sleep I was rolling the dice about whether I’d wake up in time to deal with a mouth full of alienblood. Rather no sleep than the long one, I rationalised. The brain gets busier at night in the dark. Mine is busy enough already so it really wouldn’t shut up about possibilities.
I finally drifted into something like sleep in the wee hours, still waking regularly, skipping over any true rest as I forced myself upright to sip water and belch at regular intervals. By the time proper morning came and Brian showed up outside on his trusty steed with a goodwill package of old school computer games I might never have time to play I was thrilled to thrust myself into waking life again, put clothes on, and leave that night behind me.
I can still feel the residue of it in my chest. There’s probably anxiety wrapped up in there too. I had a good run of work before all of this, but I’m going to have to start being really really careful now with money, as we all will if this madness is likely to keep us locked in for a few more months, or when the doors open I won’t be able to afford that sunny day with friends on Hampstead Heath, that filthy night in Camden or wherever with a bunch of actors and crazies.
I don’t even know who most of these people are. Bring it.
We’ve all become mildly agoraphobic.