The sound of warmth

I didn’t walk this morning, the first time in many weeks where the thought of getting out of bed was too much for my head to handle. I scrolled through the overnight news on Twitter and the world felt dark. Bleak. There was so much sadness and tragedy unfolding around the globe and here at home, where we had it so good, an incompetent government has failed us. We are locked down, many remain unvaccinated and people are dying.

I knew getting out and walking would make me feel better, just as it has for the past five weeks. Every day I have crawled from my bed at what used to be an ungodly hour to me and set a cracking pace that my heavily pregnant sister struggles to keep up with. But today … today, I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay under the covers all day, my dog snuggled into my side, the sound of her snores drowning out the morning birds in the tree outside my bedroom.

I had things to do, work things, for both my full-time and freelance gigs but even this knowledge wasn’t enough to muster me to action. I slunk lazily from my bed, my singlet top askew, one boob hanging out. I casually kick the dog’s bed back into the corner of my room, just as I did yesterday and the day before that. How it manages to creep so far across my floor each night I don’t know. The house is cold despite the sound of warmth from outside. Isn’t it funny that we can hear if the day is warm or cool? It must be the buzz of insects, the rustle of the trees, the corrugated tin coming to life under the morning sun. It is a pre-emptive symphony that spring is almost here.

I stand in the shower for far longer than local water regulators encourage, drowning in the hot water that dries out my skin and hair. It is warm like my bed, and I don’t want to get out. I wash my hair and then do it again. The temporary pink dye I put through my blonde ends more than a week ago is still showing. It has lasted more than eight washes. At least it distracts from the grey regrowth that is beginning to define my part. I had meant to book to get my hair done weeks ago and then, lockdown. There is more grey than there was before, more than the last lockdown anyway. I avoid looking in the mirror now.

I dress for the day I wish I was having rather than the one that will be. Today I may be lucky to get a package delivered; it is the start of a three-day delivery window. I’ll be home tomorrow too, and the next day but I will wear mascara because it makes my eyes look nice. My lash serum is really making a difference. I discovered it during lockdown last year. It’s nice to feel pretty sometimes.

I miss touch and people and being held like I matter. My head in someone’s lap and them tucking my hair behind my ear as they stroke my back. Sex would obviously be great but more than anything, I crave companionship. The blowflies that were buzzing around me last week seem to have found sweeter places to dwell. I don’t miss them, but I do miss the company, albeit virtual.

I think of all the men who have passed through my life, and it surprises me how many I have forgotten. I try and recall the last time I thought about the ones that mattered, the ones that hurt the most to lose and I am pleased it has been a while. Days if not weeks. It does me no good to think of them but it’s hard not to wonder sometimes. As tempting as it has been to message some of them, I don’t because … well, they’ve never messaged me. What has become clear to me during this lockdown, like many people would be realising, is that you come to understand who really cares about you, who thinks about you and reaches out. You know who you are, and I am grateful.

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