Former London Socialite Managing Life on a Budget and a Prayer

What Day Is It Again?

Yesterday, I believe that was a Friday, was an utterly shambolic day. I woke up thinking it might just be different than every other day lately. To be fair, it was. It was worse! These three calamities of the day are small potatoes compared to the giant elephant in the room, in the air, everywhere, that is COVID. Covid is serious stuff underlying everything, and my calamities are just a bonus to trying to keep myself safe from that. So, before I start, I want to get that business out of the way. Nevermind that I feel like I’m waiting for a knock on the door at any given moment, only to open it to see the grim reaper standing there with a haze of virus around him that encompasses me and kills me instantly.

Calamity number one. My son was meant to sit his examination; he didn’t. He’s been unwell evidently. We can’t see one another with him in one country and me in another during this Covid lockdown. Yeah, we can talk, but he didn’t tell me he was feeling poorly. I’m chalking it up to nerves about the exam. He, most certainly, will disagree with my diagnosis. This typical situation is an ongoing debate between us; I think it will continue until the end of my days. He will resit the exam this Friday, so all is not lost on this one, but with the history between us, it was the first big disappointment of the day that I had.

Calamity number two. I have been trying to register for health services in my current country where I am stuck for G-d only knows how long it will be. It’s already been more than a year and the way things are going, it doesn’t look like I’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

I spent three hours (or more), with the UK Embassy to help me with this problem. I am entitled to have a health centre. I am allowed to be in Phase 1 of the Covid vaccine process – you know because of my little liver transplant and bowel resection issues that make me an ‘extremely critically and vulnerable individual.’ According to all the letters, emails and text messages that I regularly get to remind me of my vulnerable state, I needed to be reminded that I’m like a walking time bomb if those Covid germs touch me.

Of course, Covid scares the daylights out of me (a gross understatement)! I fought damned hard to live when I had my liver failure; I’m not going to lose my life now to this terrible virus that is plaguing the world after all that effort! I wasn’t finished living then; I’m certainly not finished now after I finally got rid of the stalker that made my life a living hell for eight long years. No, I’m not ready. I refuse to give in. However, it is making me mad as a box of frogs.

It does surprise me when I see the rest of the world, no, strike that, mostly America, a little bit of the UK, but mainly America, living like it’s only slightly inconvenient this Covid thing. I don’t know about them in the States, but we literally can’t leave the house. Yes, we can go to the grocery store, the doctor, the pharmacy and even get petrol. But that’s about it. No, that is it. There’s no Starbucks to grab a quick coffee, no pastileria to get a loaf of fresh bread or any other small treat one might desire on any given day. I suppose the fresh bread thing is also a moot point since I bake my own. Seriously, for dramatic effect. Here’s a photo as evidence of the last batch of bagels I just baked, just in case you didn’t believe me.

Freshly baked NYC Style Sourdough Bagels baked by yours truly.

Everything is closed. I am amazed when I see my friends out, holidaying, dining out, shopping, meeting with friends. I’m jealous, but then I see that, as of today, there are roughly 430,000 people dead just in the US alone and think maybe I shouldn’t be so jealous of all this, but I think it emphasises my loneliness.

Maybe I should be grateful that I can’t leave my house, can’t see my horses, can’t go out to dinner, get a coffee, get a haircut, get my nails done (okay, that last one I haven’t done in almost eight years, so this one doesn’t count, and I think I will do my nails myself today as a treat).

I am now moving on to calamity number three of the day. This one was a doozy. I got a phone call from someone in my past life. A person that I really would prefer not to ever hear from again, but he seems to think he has to be in my life in a way that is a forever thing. He isn’t someone that makes me smile whenever I hear from him. You know, it’s not like that best friend you grew up with, and when they call, it feels like time stood still, and you pick up where you left off, and you laugh, giggle and make stupid references to silly things like you’re ten years old again.

No, that’s not this guy. This guy was abusive. And usually, when he calls, it’s because he’s drunk. So, the very best kind of call to get. A drunken, incoherent call from someone you’d instead not think of having a conversation with ever. And, the drunkenness makes it even uglier. 

He called to tell me he had six months to live and wanted to apologise for all the wrong he had done to me all those years ago, 26 years ago, more or less. Then he hung up. I was left looking at the phone, thinking. What the hell was that? But not really surprised by this call. It’s happened before; just not in a very long time.

Of course, then there was the call back; more incoherent jibberish on the other end of the line. I probably not so politely hung up and may have said not to call me again despite hearing that he had six months to live. Because, that, too, I’ve heard before. 

The next call back was less jibberish but now mean; plain mean. This guy tried to tell me that my former husband was way worse than him. That his antics were far more hurtful than anything, he had ever done to me. Then he went on to moan about his life during the lockdown and how it’s driving him crazy.

It was astonishing. His lockdown consisted of going to work every day and grab a coffee at the local coffee shop on the way. On weekends he is doing some extra work on the side to keep busy during the ‘lockdown.’ He goes OUT during the lockdown to stay active during the ‘lockdown.’ What exactly are the rules there for this so-called lockdown? 

Then suddenly, I found myself defending my loathsome ex-husband. It became a war of the least lousy human being, and I supported the runner up to the winner of that particular contest. 

I couldn’t believe my ears. What the hell was coming out of my mouth? I hadn’t defended that cretin in more than a decade and a decade ago was when we were going through our divorce, so I doubt that there was much defending going on then. You get the idea. 

I think Covid, lockdown, fear and anxiety have all got us batshit crazy. But, it did bring up a lot of emotional baggage that I really didn’t need right now, didn’t even realise I still had. It was more than I already had what with our current Covid situation and all.

What have I done in the last 26 years that makes me better than either of those two arseholes? I know I am better than both of them. I have character, morals and all that. But the truth is at the moment; I can’t really think of what makes me better because I have Covid on the brain.

I want, like most everyone else, to know what day it is, to wake up in the morning, have a shower, wear some nice clothes and have a purpose of getting through another day other than what game will I play this morning while I am eating the same breakfast I had yesterday. After the breakfast, which room do I clean again or will the litter I just bought bother the cats because the regular litter they’ve been using for over seven years is suddenly not available anywhere in this country? After that, then what? What do I do? 

And before I know it, the cats are there, bothering me to feed them dinner. How does this happen? What have I done all day for it suddenly to be six o’clock? Feed the cats. I need to cook dinner. I don’t feel like cooking dinner for one again. I’ll have a light bite or leftovers. My fridge is full of leftovers. 

It’s 3 am. I fell asleep in the chair again. This time I wait, try and see if I can sleep for another five minutes. It’s now at 4 am. I get up, take my tablets, get the cats’ treats, and get into bed. But tonight I won’t sleep – or rather this morning I won’t sleep. The whole day has got me way too rattled.

FYI, the guy is not dying. We all have our day, but he has more than six months to live and just wanted to shock me or perhaps it is his idea of a conversation starter.  I have lost more friends and acquaintances in the last year than I have in the previous 20, I don’t use those words lightly, nobody should, especially in these strange times, we’re living in. 

Stay safe, everyone. Thanks for dropping by. It’s nice to be writing again, even if this one was probably my most nonsensical rant yet. I’m back to writing the book, too. It’s ironic that I picked up the book’s writing this week and then that call came. Life. You can’t make it up.

By the way, what day is it again? It’s so difficult to keep track of these pyjama-filled days.

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