Sick Day

I haven’t moved out of the apartment all day.  Though I had a sneezing bout I don’t think I am ill but everything else about the day reminds what a child would do when staying home from school to recuperate from a cold. Why I should recall that metaphor is beyond me!  The last time I might possibly have done that was when I was five years old living in Nova Scotia. It seems extraordinary that my memory should serve me so well though I can clearly recall being with my younger sister in our small upstairs bedroom at the front of the house in our pyjamas learning to knit thick emerald green wool with knitting needles the size of tiny baseball bats.  In the forty years of my professional practice I never once took a sick day and barely missed a morning of employment when I had my first hernia operation.  The open-heart surgery and three-month sabbatical doesn’t count.

Today I languorously ate my breakfast in my bedclothes, drinking coffee, spearing orange wedges and banana slices with a small fork, followed by bran cereal and milk. Later in the morning, after having toiled at my computer to delete year-old redundant emails and folders, and after having answered another unexpected email from a passing acquaintance with the same measured diligence that an ambassador might rebuff an objectionable foreign mission, I prepared a small bowl of granola and Almond Breeze and concluded with spoonfuls of 100% all natural peanut butter straight from the plastic jar.

I awoke no later than 7:10 a.m. this morning so the hours ticked by quite noticeably.  I recall glancing at the clock around 8:00 a.m., then again at 9:30 a.m.  Mid-Morning there were noises in the hallway, drilling and banging, construction work of some kind.  I subsequently discovered when I went for the mail that the workmen had cut a hole into part of the ceiling and wall, presumably in preparation for some electrical installation (perhaps an illuminated EXIT sign).  Suddenly it was noon (which is when I had my second round of cereal).  I read some F. Scott Fitzgerald and fell asleep for a moment in my cushy green leather chair.

Throughout the day I have contemplated taking my automobile for a spin but it required more energy and preparation than I was prepared to commit. Maybe I am sick. Besides the bottoms of my sweat pants are too long and must be rolled up, giving the appearance of complete disregard, not something I’m anxious to retail publicly.  I can’t bring myself to pay a seamstress to tailor the bottoms. I resolved the matter by reasoning that it is good for me to remain inert for a change, to quell my usual instinct to be moving constantly.  I telephoned my mother and subdued the usual commotion of her aging mind. She’s always going on about getting her papers and clothes and things in the garage settled even though we have removed almost all of it already.  At least today she didn’t fret about the fuel tank being empty.

Even though it is singularly cold outside today (another reason to remain indoors) the afternoon sunlight has been pouring into the apartment and elevating the interior heat above the manual thermostat setting.  This little apartment is bathed in light on a sunny day like this!  We get it from the southwestern exposure (along the living room, den and bedroom) and also from the northeastern side of the building (the second bedroom window).  I sat in an armchair and stared at the wall paintings, the crystal decanters of sherry and scotch, admiring the brilliant colours displayed to advantage by the sheered sunlight.

While I am afraid to jinx the process, I also telephoned my jeweller to enquire about the design progress of a new piece I am having made.  He hardly needs any encouragement.  He shared with me when we first met to discuss the project that he is the type who likes to get onto it right away.  I believe him. Within a week I had some compelling CAD mock-ups of the ring, “preliminary renderings for general design and scale only” as he put it.


Having agreed generally upon the look of the piece we then concentrated upon the choice of synthetic stone finally settling upon the latest model which exhibits considerable hardness and impermeability. It makes sense to avoid the need to replace a chipped or discoloured stone. I finally asked him the vulgar details of estimated cost and he said he would email something to me.

Apart from wallowing in the lethargy of the day the mere fact that I can do it astounds me.  Only if I were able to measure the remaining hours of my existence would the torpidity make any difference at all!  Nothing depends upon my activity.  This is an adventure of its own.