Day 47

5.03: Having picked up Jack Kerouac for mistaking Trollope’s day job on Monday, and Helen Dunmore for her faulty reading of Larkin yesterday, I’ve have decided this morning that today, I will try not to be pedantic or pernickety about any of my elders or betters.

That was an effort. Not so much because I’m wrangling with some sort of pedant’s schizophrenia with Jiminy Cricket whispering, “shut your mouth,” in one ear, and Wile E Coyote murmuring, “set them straight,” in the other. I’m not. It’s just hard to think of anything much when you’re so limb-gripingly cold.

Since coming back, I’ve been in denial about it still being cold. I’ve been refusing to wear a heavy coat and marching about stretching in an idle lissome way, as though summer was sizzling the care of the world from my shoulders. But not anymore.

When the alarm sang into life this morning, I felt older than Yoda. My spine was contorted with what Milton called “joint-racking rheums,” and I seemed to be incapable of doing anything but vibrate madly like an arthritic clockwork dog.

I feel like I’ve got Ice Pops crawling in my veins instead of blood. If it goes on I’m going to have to employ a manservant to chisel me out of bed each morning and de-ice my joints with a spray can and socket-set.

Apparently some of the drugs I take make me liable to feel the cold more acutely, so I feel a bit defeated by what I’ve just written. Like I’ve given in to the chemical thrall of pharmaceuticals more usually manufactured and peddled at the elderly. And given that I have the chemical make-up of Methuselah jammed into the body of a 30-year-old, you can take it from me: cold hurts. It hurts like hell.

Also, that probably means I’ve got licence to be pedantic and pernickety again, to go on pointing out everyone’s little failings, to become foul mouthed and unpredictable, and to bang on my window and shake a stick at raucous children in the street. Hooray.

And shut up.

5.34: “Temperatures well above freezing” says the weather man. “Much milder across England and Wales.” Tell that to my withered crumbling bones.

6.22: Ha! “Police in the southern city of Novorossiisk have arrested a man accused of hacking into a video billboard in Moscow last month and showing a pornographic movie that spawned a traffic jam as curious drivers slowed to watch the film.”

6.46: Well that went quite well; the cold and cramps must be a motivating force. Chapter 18 took me the best part of a month to stagger through; Chapter 19 whistled from my typing fingers in just three days. Let’s hope it’s not rubbish. I should get that tattooed across my chest.

~ by David Thorley on February 24, 2010.

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