You’ve got a new limp
It just developed one day. Nothing dramatic happened, you didn’t step off the pavement awkwardly or enjoy hip dislocatingly focussed sex. But you suddenly noticed that you are compensating for something; slightly shuffling. You miss a train because you have no acceleration.
You don’t know if you’ve got a summer cold…
… hayfever, a micro-virus, cancer, an oncoming panic attack or an impending nervous breakdown. You slightly hope it’s a nervous breakdown because then you’ll be committed and it will be quiet and when you admit this to a friend, they reply, “Save me a space.”
You’ve read the same page of your book 25 times
You cannot get any further. You are like a stuck literary groundhog page. It could be because what is actually stuck in your brain is the song of the summer: Meduza’s Piece of Your Heart, which basically goes: “Uh, da, da, da, uh, uh. Da, da, da, uh, uh. Da, da, da, uh, uh. Da, da, da. Uh, da, da, da, uh, uh. Da, da, da, uh, uh. Da, da, da, uh, uh.” This is beginning to hamper your ability to think/live. You are worried that someone might ask you a question in the inexplicably high-powered meetings that are clogging up your diary even though it’s nearly August and we are all dead and that da da da uh uh, da, da, da, uh, uh…
You are hungry all the time
You leave the house at 7:30am and you are hungry at 7:31am. You have a second breakfast in the office only to be ravenous and ravening by 11:01am. Lunch doesn’t even touch the sides. By 3pm you are weepingly hungry. At 6pm you have supper number one. At 9pm you hit supper number two. On repeat. You are like the very hungry caterpillar but in no way are you going to be emerging from this period like a beautiful butterfly.
You don’t recognise your hair
Or seem to have any control over it. Whose hair is it anyway? It’s the wrong colour, texture, length, shape, it smells weird.
You are taking the news incredibly personally
Also the weather – you feel like you are in a Hardy novel where the climate reflects the inner life of the heroine: stormy, overheating, spitting, burning. Conversely you are dead inside to the state of your bank account. You no longer care. It has hurt you enough.
If anyone proposes any calendar changes between now and September…
You feel like killing them. You like the idea of bending like the bamboo but instead your diary tower is like the precarious final stages of a Jenga game; one false move and the whole thing is going to come crashing down.
You have a tiny bit of eczema
An aggravated coin-sized piece has taken residence on your skin. In the neck crease, behind the knee, one elbow, foot, lower back. It just whispers ‘itch me, itch me’ all day. You wonder how long you are going to be able to cope. Not long.