Having endured the often diaphanous though always limiting consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the past 1½ years I am not disposed to describe the sufferance as anything approaching either ideal or perfect. Indeed the travesty came upon us mid-March, 2020 rather precipitously. We were as a result unprepared for what followed. It has proven to be a steady though almost imperceptible declension, one which for me at least has succeeded to erode my erstwhile hospitable view of the future; that is, until now. Though I am reluctant to proclaim complete removal from the gnawing inhospitable circumstances, I have seemingly graduated to a more comfortable stance. For one thing – and perhaps the most critical – my overall health has improved. This dramatic anomaly is as much a peculiarity to me as it may be to anyone else.
I am not of course able or especially anxious to explain this unexpected recovery from my previous complaints. I prefer to accept the possibility that things are simply on the mend, that my broken ribs are healing, that the neuropathy in my limbs is subsiding, that my inguinal hernia and crumbling spine are improving. All these states are welcomed. They do not however capture that pervading desirable tone in my head. Frankly I was beginning to think I had fallen victim to the psychiatric worries touted regularly in the media – that little thing called depression or whatever popular expression of anxiety now applies. That affliction too has miraculously vanished overnight. Now to be clear, I haven’t done anything deliberately or even unintentionally as far as I am aware that instigated this ostensive alteration. There has been no modification of my diet or exercise. My routine has been the same. The only thing which may invade the mystery is my withdrawal from caffeine. Coffee is often described a drug of sorts. In the strength I normally consumed it (namely, three Nespresso shots per cup; and usually three cups per diem) that may qualify as addictive.
It is by the way – in the event that any doubt exists – quite impossible to feign this spectacle. Pain is a vulgar resident which madly dislikes interception. The sudden evaporation of all those usual “aches and pains” is a complete anodyne to any pre-existing distemper and disorder. I won’t pretend to have regained my youth. I am content to accept a predictable degree of decomposition at my age. Indeed there is a certain authenticity required of the privilege to carry a gentleman’s stick; a mild limp at the least, perhaps a tiny tilt. I say this because over the years I have curiously amassed a collection of sticks. I have six in total, each with its own peculiar fabrication, history and account of acquisition. I shall spare my reader the endurance of those tales. What matters is that I am feeling up to scratch!