Alex had felt it building for the past couple of days, on Tuesday he had a temperature and his throat felt like sandpaper. As the day progressed it got worse, the rawness hurt when he spoke and when he coughed his chest hurt.
He was never ill, so he ignored it as usual, normally this seemed to work and things took care of himself, but not this time. Sometimes its just your turn.
Wednesday morning and he felt like shit. so shit that he called Monica and told her that he wouldn’t be available for a day or so. He was hoping for the best but fearing the worst.
She confirmed his thought “You do sound awful, probably best to take some Paracetemol and drink plenty to keep your temperature down”.
He hung up the phone and thought I don’t take drugs, I’ll just let it run its course.
A couple of days wouldn’t really have any impact on their plans, Monica was still familiarising herself with the business and getting to know Charles so a couple of days of the clock wouldn’t really matter.
But he felt like shit and it wasn’t leaving, not one to to feel sorry for himself he made himself a nest on the sofa, turned the tv on, brought a few bottles of water from the fridge, a basin, tissues and thought he’d ride it out.
Alex always believed that your body was a great machine and that you should listen to it. That generally if it needs something it would tell you.
I mean, look at all those pregnant woman who like eating coal, whats that about?
Its actually called Pica, the craving of substances which have no nutritional value and includes things like dirt, clay or even cigarette ash. Apparently down to some iron deficiency, clever stuff your bod even if you don’t understand it.
But then Alex wondered if thats the case, why do people crave things that are actually toxic to them? Cigarettes, alcohol or drugs?
Okay, he thought, I know its something to do with stimulating the pleasure centres in the brain .. but I’m lying on the sofa talking to myself now and obviously getting a bit feverish, trippy and losing the plot, but I’m still not taking any medicines.
Just as well, because that particular cupboard was bare!
Luckily for him he had found the best cure for insomnia known to man.
If that doesn’t put you to sleep then nothing will, they should have dedicated channels of this stuff on late night tv so that insomniacs could get to sleep watching their banal gibbering about the latest Z-list celebrity or some trailer trash with bad teeth arguing about who had fucked who’s sister and if the baby was theirs.
What an arrogant pretentious little fuck. On one hand he pretends to offer sympathy so that the desperately-seeking-attention low-life can get their 15 minutes of fame, giving out their most intimate personal details, then he plays one against the other resulting in a screaming match and then one party or the other storms off or is lectured on how to get their life sorted out.
What by Jeremy Kyle? How bad do you have to be?
Alex had watched some earlier today, flipping channels looking for something half decent to watch and came across his show, 2 fat sisters, dark greasy shoulder length hair, its hard to say which one is the eldest.
They are 15 foot from each other, Kari on the left and Danni on the right, both pregnant to the same guy, their screaming at each other contesting who had “their man” first and who had cheated on who?
Err .. doesn’t take much to work that one out girls.
But there a lot of historic resentment going on in that family and Alex can see why they’ve been placed so far apart as they are constantly on their feet making moves to fight with each other until the security staff intervene.
Let them get on with it thinks Alex, that might actually make this interesting.
Then Jeremy asks the audience if they’d like to meet Simon, the crowd go mad and the camera pans around the audience. The studio is full of people and not you’re usual pensioners who sit in the audience of Countdown, this crowd seem to be as low as the “guests”.
At this point, Alex would have to confess to have a certain morbid fascination with the show, don’t these people have jobs to go to?
He wonders if this is his deliberately intended audience?
Is it tv by scum for scum?
Well thats democracy for you .. Everybody gets to have their say whether you like it or don’t.
Yeah? Well fuck right off!
Out comes Simon a skinny guy about 20, wearing a Man United football top and jeans hanging down his arse in some pretend gangster style as if real gangsters look like that.
Real gangsters make far too much money to be dressed like some prison yard hang-out.
Simon’s hands are in the air, he’s double punching the space above his head, victoriously, as if he’s won something, this is his moment of fame, his Wembley moment with all attention focussed on him.
The camera cuts to the crowd, jeering and booing, some of them are on their feet giving Simon some predictable hand gestures .. he responds by giving them the finger .. well actually both middle fingers, his tattooed knuckles pouting upwards.
Alex wonders, do people still have those old-school self-inflicted tattoos?
Most of the male audience are on their feet now, maybe they are Chelsea fans or just hate United? 🙂
The director swaps camera every few seconds , Simon,Kari, Danni, crowd, Jeremy waiting for a reaction.
Jeremy is smiling, this is what he does and he’s good at it. A snivelling kiss ass arrogant little fuck of a man but he’s professional and he’s good at it.
The sisters are on their feet, both of them are waiting to see which one he goes to.
Simon stands facing the crowd giving as good as he’;s getting, relishing his moment until Jeremy approaches and shakes his hand telling him that its good to meet him.
Alex looks at him, scrawny, aggressive, abusive. No human graces.
If you were my son he thought .. I’d kick your arse.
The text woke him just after 1pm, it was on his personal mobile and although he didn’t know who it was from, it was personal so not someone that important.
He caught himself thinking that and wondered what has happened to me?
Someone in my personal life isn’t that important? What kind of fucked up life have I lived when I put work in front of relationships?
I’ve been in this game far too long, what have I got? A failed marriage a son out there somewhere, drinking buddy friends, not really a lot to show for over nearly 50 years is it?
For a moment, he almost felt sorry for himself, then told himself to get grip and that it was just the fever working on him.
He picked up the mobile, the text was from Fiona asking how he was and if he wanted to come over later as her kids were at his dads and she’d make dinner.
Normally that would be a very attractive offer, but he felt like shit and he didn’t want anyones sympathy, he stared at the text struggling with his reply, part of him wanting to tell the truth and part of him searching for an excuse that he was away on business but not feeling comfortable lying to her.
He went with the business idea “Hi Fiona, thanks for the offer but I’m sorry I can’t make it as ..”
At that point the phone rang, it was Fiona, he swithered about answering for a moment then pressed the answer button.
“Hi it’s me, you didn’t reply to my text and I was wondering what you’d like for dinner”
“I’m sorry Fiona, butI’ve got other plans and I can’t make it, I’m going to …”
But she saw right through him.
“You sound dreadful, do you have a flu or something?”
There was nothing else for it ” Yeah, I’m feeling pretty bad, not had anything like this for a long long time”
“You’ve never been ill in all the time I’ve known you, would you like me to come over after work?”
“Alex thought about it for a moment “No Fiona, you’re okay, I”ll get through this myself and I’ll be fine in a day or two”
He could hear the tone of her voice change “You just don’t know how to ask or accept anyones help do you? You sound dreadful and you still won’t let me in”
He thought about it for a moment “I know, I’m sorry, I’m just now feeling myself right now, but I’ll be okay, I’ll call you later, promise”
“Okay, well drink plenty of fluids, take some paracetemol and try and get some rest”
“Will do, speak later” and he cancelled the call.
But it lingered with him, was he that afraid of commitment that he had this lovely woman chasing after him, making every effort to please him and still he rejected her?
Why was he like that? He had always found strength in his ability to be independent, to stand on his own two feet, he always believed that when the going got tough the tough got going, he lived by it and considered it as a measurement of his strength of character.
But now lying here on the sofa feeling like shit and watching daytime tv he wondered if he was wrong? That there was a different type of strength in being able to ask for help?
He thought about it for an hour, dozing off, shivering and burning up then forgot all about it.
The intercom woke him up at 6, he flipped channels to the camera at the front door.
It was Fiona, two bags of shopping in her hands, he pressed the buzzer and let her in.
Hello dear reader,
What a shitty week this has been, feeling totally fucked, gelt it coming on monday, worse on tuesday as mentioned in my last post and absolutely dreadful since then, only starting to get back on my feet now.
Like Alex, I’m never ill, being self employed it takes a lot for me to miss work, never mind 3 days without being on the clock .. not good!! 🙂
But being on your own when you’re ill kind of focuses you on what you miss about being in a relationship, someone to care about you, look after you when you are ill to have fun with when you are not.
Actually when you think about, anyone can do the fun stuff, thats the easy part, its the other stuff that takes more effort when there is no visible reward.
Anyways I’m gibbering now and going all Jeremy Kyle so I will shut up!! 🙂
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading my story. This is more back-fill on Alex realising that he doesn’t want to be alone in the world.
Life imitating Art or vice -versa? 🙂
Have a great weekend!!