An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Son throws a sicky

Down the road in grimy Tooting Sonia had given up going out altogether. Initially worried she had then become anxious and this had progressed to full blown terror. And all in a matter of days. Aware that she was being watched she had taken to watching for signs of being watched. She saw signs of it all around her: the grubby little man in the market who had wolf-whistled her every day ever since she had moved in became a professional voyeur in her mind. Her overactive mind. Her febrile mind. He was watching her of this she was certain. And the postman who whistled his way up her path every morning - surely he was different of late - more sinister - more threatening. He was because she had made him so. Men, and there were many of them - she was a beautiful girl after all by Tooting standards, by any western standards really - who glanced her way became predatory, scrutinising, beasts stalking her and waiting only for an opportunity to strike. And when it had become impossible to go out without shaking all the way she had finally decided to stay indoors for as long as it took for it all to go away.

She rang in sick that day claiming a bout of endometritis - good enough for a few weeks and embarrassing enough to shut most people up. She mumbled something about St. George's and something else about gynaecologists. Finally there was a mention of towels and that had sealed the subject off for all time - too much information, just as she had calculated. Nobody wanted to talk about womens' troubles - least of all men and she worked mostly with men, big, boastful, men, not real men, estate agents. They might send a card and some flowers but she could safely assume that none of them would bring them round in person. Most of them wouldn't be seen in Tooting - professional suicide. Moreover, the nature of her incapacity would stifle all possible conversation outside of work and work was out because she was not turning in every grinding day.

Two days into her enforced house arrest she had given up getting dressed - she stalked around the house in her dressing gown and nightshirt, checking windows and doors and sneaking looks at the outside world, the scary world, at regular, frighteningly regular intervals. The heating was turned up to 75ยบ - you need heating if you are stuck indoors and not fully dressed - she suddenly felt sorry for pensioners. But, not having to worry about what to wear; not having to do your makeup or even to wash was oddly liberating. She sniffed her armpits - not too bad - maybe she would shower tomorrow - her hair, normally so glossy and full-bodied, was now lank and dull.

Where was Alex? It was a long time since he had checked in. She no longer had any idea what was going on - she took no newspaper and she was loth to use the television, it could be watching her as she watched it, she knew that much about technology. Her horizons extended barely to the edge of the carpets in every room. She convinced herself that he was staying under the radar and thus protecting her. He would be in touch only when she was safe again. At least Alex cared genuinely for her -surely he did? And if he didn't then what then?


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