Sometimes fatigue has the power to disarm me afresh – I stand back and gasp at the intensity of its singleminded purposefulness, its aim being to disable me and lay me flat. When it strikes it does so swiftly and decisively, no amount of pleading and negotiating on my part will shift its resolve. I can muffle it with pills and an overdose of caffeine but it will be whispering in my ear that it is only a matter of hours and minutes and I will be the more completely floored for having thought to go against its dictates. I have described M.E. as a stalker, but sometimes he (it is still masculine, and given the nature of my primal relationships I don’t know why) takes on a kind of god-like aspect. He is a jealous god, who will admit no others and wants to have me, by hook or by crook, for his very own and sometimes, even now, it throws me.
I have spent three days trying to get shoes. In Clarks shoe shop I sat down and wept – well at any rate, I sat down. The bored assistant with pencil skirt and polished bouffant hair tried not to look at me as I brought back the shoes I had bought only yesterday. I didn’t talk about orthostatic intolerance and how any kind of shoes seem to hurt me these days even though my shoe size is a respectable size 6 standard fit, how I have been looking everywhere for those rubber Crocs that look and feel like beach shoes and are apparently out of this world comfortable (I know about how you can get everything online these days but I need to try things on) and how I would wear anything at all, even those PVC pump things in New Look, or their expensive Italian leather equivalent in Russell and Bromley as long as they put a sole between me and the ground beneath my feet and didn’t hurt. I didn’t say any of that. I said I’d like a refund and she wondered how long till going home time. Sign here, she said, and have you got your Visa. I put the wrong pin number into the machine. We stared at each other across a great divide.
I am going to Norfolk with three writing buddies. I am taking spiral notebooks, a laptop, a new book about fiction-writing suggested by a friend, my down-at-heel Birkenstocks, black suede shoes I got in the men’s section at Pricerite for about a fiver seven years ago, Percol Americano coffee, two packets of Betty Crocker brownie mix and some fruit cake. The aim is to unblank the page and have a Good Time. As long as the former happens (and it will, we are wordsmiths innit), the rest will follow.
See you at the end of the month.