Sunday, 14 December 2008

Cabin Fever

Following the operation on my foot I have been completely housebound and not enjoying it at all. It makes me feel about a hundred years old. Recently I got Rosie, my wife, to drive me to the post office to return a contract to my agent. Was that a weird experience! After a week indoors the high street of my little corner of South-East London was hyper-real.

Students and other disaffected young people don’t realise how much money they could save by dispensing with recreational drugs. Just stay at home for a week and then venture forth into big wide world once more. Take it from me: it really hits you in the eye.

London being London, there was absolutely nowhere to park. So Rosie dropped me at the post office and said she would go round the block a few times and pick me up when I was finished. But the queue in the post office was much shorter than I had expected. So I came out very quickly and there was no sign of her. As I stood there with my bandaged foot exposed to the world, I suddenly realised how hopelessly vulnerable I was.

The area where I live can be a pretty unsalubrious place. A man ran amok with a machette in the local supermarket a couple of years ago and was shot dead by police, there’s been a drive-by shooting and an armed siege. Nevertheless, on the whole it’s friendly enough and normally I don’t think twice about walking around. But to a man who cannot move quickly, who could be hospitalised by someone treading on his toe, it suddenly seemed like the jungle. My god! What if my wife didn’t come back at all! How would I get home? These thoughts flashed through my mind in the brief panic-stricken interval before Rosie pulled up beside me and I climbed gratefully back into the car.

Perhaps I’m not quite as well as I thought I was!

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