Dr A, the honourable and wise dentist, says everything’s fine, the pain will settle and go away. He tells me there’s nothing to pay. I question him, tell him he needs to pay his mortgage, feed his family. He says there are things more important than money, waves me out of the building.
In the car, my phone won’t connect to the car radio, so I try to make it. The phone rings. Another dose of parental reality, feeding a need hundreds of miles away through the crackle of modern technology. Start the car. The rain is louder than the radio, and the mid-morning dark is apocalyptic.
The one-hour drive home is flooded with words and music, music and words. Visions swirl across the streets, and I have to drive through them so I don’t get lost in imagination or direction. The traffic at noon is so much worse than the non-existent rush hour traffic of two hours ago. This is counter-intuitive and contradictory. Life explaining itself in riddles.
That was all yesterday.
Today is the day after the day after. My body creaks like an old ship, and I have trouble getting out of bed, in and out of chairs, nearly fall over. Muskelkater, the Germans call it. So many muscle groups not exercised for three quarters of a year. It will pass. It has to. And while I sit there and read the news on my phone to delay the need to get up, the context of the pandemic still being a clear and present danger remembers itself to me. Things are a far way from normal, and yet often we write and act as if they were. It’s a sobering thought that cuts through the elation of muscle aches.
All this is draft. I won’t be editing any of Aggie until 2023 – unless she disappears off somewhere, and editing becomes needless.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 4