Awake before mid-day but afraid to move a muscle in case it set off symptom alert. It made me think of a story I was once told by someone whose mother decided to gate her for an extended period: after school she was confined to her bedroom and the rest of the house was wired to set off an alarm if she so much as put a foot anywhere downstairs. So she learned how to slide down banisters, climb on the furniture and sneak out of windows without being detected. The eye of the ever watchful M.E. guard goes deeper than that and won’t be so easily outwitted.
I crept around a bit, squeezed some juice from an orange and half a lemon, drank it, lit a candle for Son of Signs who had exams today, had two puffs of a hand-rolled cig before putting it out and then had a bath.
It’s ok, I said to M.E. guard, I’m not going anywhere.
Too right you’re not, he leered.
I pootled around the place (Signs Cottage is not big and the stairs are steep so pootling is best confined to one room, usually kitchen) and heated up a bit of veggie couscous. Look, healthy. See? Lit up another cig and put it out; pretended I was going back to bed; checked emails and blogstuff; planned to go for a walk just as darling daughter rang en route to a teaching assignment so talked to her instead, and just as well because it began to drizzle in a most grey and depressing fashion and talking to daughter was better for the spirits; casually picked up my A4 notebook and pootled back down to the kitchen where I covered one page, then another, then another.
I’m watching you, said the guard.
Don’t worry, I said, I’m just scribbling.
Covered another page.
Went for a Chinese in the village with Mr. Signs. We had: sweet and sour pork, Cantonese duck, prawns with ginger and spring onion, vegetable curry and some Chinese beers. Neighbour over the road invited us over for a Burns celebration next weekend – poetry, songs and haggis.
I say this in a whisper: I am planning to go to the Smoke on Sunday to see daughter playing the piano and singing on a barge somewhere on the Thames.
And I am planning to cover more paper with words.
And my name is Sister Nicotine of the Two Fingers. Two Fingers for short (thank you, Cusp).
And here’s tae us, sweet sister North.