Chris is quite fond of this James Thurber quote although he generally conveys the sentiment by muttering underneath his breath or glaring at me when I answer statements and seemingly rhetorical questions that just beg for a reply, like “I can’t find my keys” or “Why do you always put things behind other stuff?” and my favourite “Where did you hide my other sock?”, when I haven’t done the laundry in years.
I usually reply in one of two ways; if I know where said object is, I say so and if I don’t, I offer suggestions “Have you looked … ?” Not that this helps in any way. It’s one of the more frustrating things of being stuck in bed. I can’t walk over, pick it up and hand it to him. I have to find the right words, like “Go to the kitchen. Open the fridge. Look on the left of the top shelf and you’ll see the butter. Behind the butter you will find the eggs.” He invariably comes back with “‘we don’t have any eggs”. I take a deep breath and with the best of intentions to remain calm start the diatribe that eventually will lead to him discovering the eggs with an “‘oh, on the back of the shelf”‘ or “why didn’t you say it was on the top shelf”. I’m not the only exasperating person in this house. The questions have decreased in frequency over the years as my kitchen grew into our kitchen and is now his kitchen. I mostly only set foot in the kitchen to press the ‘on’ button on the coffee machine, yet remarkably, I still know which cupboards contain what.
I hate being sick. Sick means you’re miserable and stuck in bed with a fever and a box of tissues. Chris turns the house upside down looking for things. Like another tissue box and socks and that brace we bought last year but I didn’t like and now require. It’s not a grave departure from the norm, but the few steps down are hard felt by both of us. More so as it’s a quiet reminder that better this time is going to be a longer than usual road. It sometimes takes a while for me to catch on that somewhere, somehow, ‘worse’ happened. I don’t like worse when it takes my computer away. It takes an awful lot for that to happen, but it’s happening now. I feel lost without it and time stands still. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is a serenity in being consciously aware of everything that happens around me that I can’t find anywhere else. I stop being picky and instead value the things that I have, aware that after ‘no/very little computer’ comes an old training curve that will be hugely frustrating, laborious and painfully slow.
It reminds me of being in hospital as a child. I never really minded, in fact, I quite liked hospitals. It was a reprieve from trying so hard to keep up. It’s a bubble outside of the real world. Everything was put on hold. I am there again, in a bubble where it doesn’t matter that I’m not doing anything other than listening to the Chris sounds rising up from the kitchen, whilst stroking the cat with my cast as I watch the sunset outside with a cool breeze blowing in through an open window. I’m just thankful that I can have enough light in the room to be able to tell that the sun is setting and for a little while during small chunks of the day, I have my computer back. I can’t do much with it as of yet, but that’s a step up. Better can only be one step at a time and for today, goal achieved.