Closed Curtains
Posted by WobblyVern
24th Jul 2014

I'm sitting here with the curtains closed, save for the one that's pulled back just enough to allow a small flow of air into the stifling room. I say sitting, but it's more crumpled on the armchair like a huge freshly discarded sock - damp, vaporous and to be avoided at all costs. It's wall to wall sunshine out there, the sort of day that used to cheer my heart and make me glad to be alive and on this wonderful, beautiful planet. The sort of day where I couldn't wait to get up and outside and make happy memories - chivying those around me, extolling the virtues of fresh air and sunlight on skin. Today, my retinas register the light outside but my soul finds no delight in it. It's as if something has been stripped back, that veil of optimism I came into this world with has been snatched from my eyes and I am left with a stark monochromic view of the world.

How did this happen? I've had the rug pulled from under my feet many a time, but - like almost everyone else I know, got up and dusted myself off. That's just life, right? No sense moping - have to get on and grin.

Except this time, I can't.

Don't get me wrong - I want to get up - with or without the grin, I just can't. I know that its hell for those around me who love me and want me to be the happy, caring, daft man I used to be. I just can't. They avoid me now, it's easier than having to deal with someone who doesn't want to talk anyway.

I forced myself to cut the lawn yesterday. The sun shone that day too and there was a time when I could not have failed to be cheered by the combination of the scent of freshly cut grass and the feel of sun on skin. Now it is another drawn out chore, like a bad dream enacted in slow motion as I try to force my brain into action:

Uncoil the lead.
Plug it in.
Plug it in.
Plug - it - in.

Eventually I remember that the outside socket is right in front of me and I begin to mow - trance-like, robotic.

I stand around for god knows how long, with handfuls of grass - trying to work out where to put them. My eyes go from corner to corner of my tiny garden and an internal dialogue begins:

"What about here?"
This continues over and over - same corner, same question and I become increasingly frustrated. This why I left work. This is why I can't cope with even the thought of returning to work. In time, I throw the clippings under a tree and manage to pack the lawnmower back up. The sun is warming on the back of my neck but I can't wait to get back inside into the gloom again where I can shut my eyes and try and pretend all this is just a bad dream.

I know I'm loved. My wife loves me, my three kids love me - I don't doubt it. It's just easier for them and for me if I spend most of my time alone like this. No conflict, no well meaning gesture misinterpreted.

Another bad day for the diary. There will be better ones - I have to believe that. For now at least, the curtains are staying closed.

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