Am I the only one who didn’t long for the end of isolation? I actually yearn for those blissful days when one was allowed in to my bedroom. Nobody but me myself and I, talking to the wall. No one answering back, no one asking what’s for dinner? what’s for lunch? where’s my new Penney’s pyjamas? where’s the milk, where’s my socks? where’s ma? They all knew where I was and they couldn’t come near me, except to drop off my meals and return for the dirty dishes. It was Heaven.
I had no control over anything that went on in any part of the house except my bedroom and bathroom and it was fucking brilliant. “Do what yiz like”, was my daily mantra, when questions were shouted at me from outside my closed door. They did try texting and Facetiming me, but I turned off my phone. ” I can’t find my charger, my battery is dead” I told them. There was nothing they could do about it. For once I didn’t complain about them having more up to date phones than me. No one had a charger to fit mine. They weren’t to know that my phone was actually fully charged and used only when they were out of earshot watching Netflix, to talk to my mates.
One of the best parts was that no one else could use my bathroom. My soaps, my expensive shampoos and conditioners, remained untouched by everyone but me. Apart from the coughing, the vomiting and the fever, I was actually enjoying myself; Shirley Valentine for a fortnight.
But, that all ended when the fourteen day isolation period passed. Then it was a free for all. The gates of Heaven were pushed open as Jimmy returned from the spare room, to reclaim his usual three quarters of the bed, bringing with him, his farts and snores.”I can’t wait to get back into me own bed, Bernie” says he as he dropped his pile of clothes and shoes on the floor. (could he not just have left them in the spare room until I’d got used to him being back?) “Me back is in bits from that other bed, it’s been like sleeping on bricks”. “Yeah, it’s great to have you back, Jimmy” I smiled. My wall looked back at me accusingly.
Kylie barged in and upended my bathroom, taking my Jo Malone shower gel. “I’m sick of using Lidls best, ma” says she. Koko in hot pursuit, grabs my Botanical honey and sulphate free shampoo and conditioner that Julie had bought me for Christmas. The one she buys for me every Christmas. Usually it’s gone by the end of February but, this year it was still three quarters full and it was the end of March. “Da’s been buying that own brand shite, Ma. It has me hair in rag order, when are you going shopping?” She waltzed out, not even waiting for a reply.
At least I knew my wall wasn’t going to answer me. We had no expectations of each other. I talked, she listened ( yes my wall is a she, a grown up she, like me. You know men and offspring don’t listen.
“Are you not getting out of the bed?” says Jimmy “I thought you’d be rearing to go today”.
“Ma, there’s no milk” Kylie shouts up the stairs.
” What are you making for dinner today, now that you’re back in the saddle again?” Jimmy is back in the room again. ” Bernie, are you even listening to me?”
“Ma, granny is on the phone for you” Koko walks in, waving the house phone at me.
“MA, I SAID GRANNY IS ON THE PHONE”
“You may as well talk to the wall as talk to your ma today, Koko” says Jimmy. “I don’t know what the bloody hell is wrong with her”
I pull the duvet over my head.
The wall remains silent.