There’s a smile splitting my face in two at 7.30 in the morning despite my epic hangover. Let’s analyse why.
- I don’t have to get up for work.
Don’t look for number 2. There is no 2.
I don’t have to get up for work EVER again. Shhhhh don’t interrupt my joy with questions like ‘Forever? Or just for the next year?’ In this world, In this pre-lit dawn, I’m going with forever.
I lie there contemplating this astonishing truth. I was poised for terror, panic, crippling paralysing fear of the kind only the girl with the long hair in Ring can normally inspire in me. It takes me a few seconds to scan my mindspace, like a person who’s just been shot trying to figure out what parts of their body are still functioning. Then it comes to me. That strange, startling, blinding feeling is euphoria. I am, I realise, more intensely happy than I’ve been in ooooh a pretty damn long time. Let’s go with the forever word again. Birth of first child? Wedding day? Errrr. Maybe this happy.
I lie there coccooned in a mountain of giant pillows that Lula has piled over me to keep the monsters at bay pondering this alien feeling. Then I throw off the monster barriers and without really thinking about what I’m doing I walk to my wardrobe and start ripping through it, yanking all the clothes that I class as work clothes from hangers and flinging them onto the bed. I stand and stare at the pile and then stuff the lot into a bag and go back to bed.
My biggest fear was about a loss of identity. But I don’t feel it. The word that pops into my head is unfettered. Someone suggested I could do a Mr. Ben and choose a new identity and job title every day. But I don’t want one. Unless I can be a pirate. Maybe I’m still drunk I realise as I stagger slightly back to bed. I did have a unique blend of spirits last night followed by a bacon double cheeseburger.
Another thing astonishes me. For the last 6 months I’ve been stressed. Imagine my brain as the mosh pit of the Brixton Academy during a White Zombie performance and you’d be about there. But this morning, I wander downstairs. The doors are hanging off their hinges like wobbly teeth, a man is chainsawing away in the garage, two dozen boxes lie scattered like an obstacle course for the Running Man in the living room and there is a list as long as a banker’s bonus of things to do taped to the fridge door but I’m so not stressed. I even smile at the mess left in the kitchen. Even the crap that has lodged in the plug hole of the sink because John refuses to use the strainer doesn’t get a rise out of me.
I am still happy when we leave the house to do some things on the high street.
‘I need coffee,’ I say.
‘Sure you can afford that now?’ John asks.
Ok, so I knew at some point something was going to take the edge off my euphoria.