When I had eye surgery in mid-December my Doctor told me to avoid vigorous exercise of any kind. Really? I could’ve kissed him. It’s been a wonderful excuse these last few weeks to lay on the old couch in my shorts eating a worrying amount of Oreos. Of course that was purely for medicinal purposes. Didn’t you know? Cookies aid recovery. The Health and Safety Executive should issue an immediate dictat saying there must now be a biscuit included in every first aid kit. You never know when you might need to nibble on one in an emergency. As you can tell I’ve had a lot of thinking time. I’ll probably be writing to the Prime Minister to suggest that supplies of caramel wafers should be handed to out patients every where. I reckon it could save the National Health Service a fortune.
When I’m not working, doing absolutely nothing is my favourite past time. I never tire of staring into space. I think it’s all those years being stuck in traffic jams on London transport. However, something weird started to happen a couple of weeks ago. I got, what some people call, bored. When you know you shouldn’t be doing anything, that’s exactly the time you really want to do something. It’s like scratching that itch. So when I was alone I’d get out the vacuum and run the Hoover over the rug. Spraying the bath with Cif No Rinse cleaner has been an odd but surprising pleasure. One afternoon I even scrubbed the grill pan. I’ve had to keep all of these activities completely under wraps. Guido has been enforcing the “no exercise” rule with vigour. He’s even started making the bed for me – sometimes I am still actually in it.
Last night I lay on the sofa watching him kick boxing and karate chopping thin air. It’s part of his New Year fitness regime. Meanwhile I opened a packet of salted popcorn. I figured any I dropped could possibly be a cathartic cleaning session between the sofa cushions later. Had my life really sunk to that? Apparently, yes.
“I miss the invigorating high of fresh air and a brisk walk whilst simultaneously pushing other Londoners out of my way,” I said. And I really meant it.
“Hmm… Okay,” said Guido, “I’ve had an idea.” He told me to get dressed and meet him at the front door in ten minutes. “But do it slowly. I don’t want you doing anything which constitutes exertion.”
I slipped my duffle coat on over my Justin Bieber pyjamas and found Guido standing outside on the pavement next to his mountain bike. He patted the saddle.
“Get on,” he said.
Before I knew it Guido was pumping the pedals. We shot off down the street. We crossed London Bridge at eye popping speed but I had air in my lungs again. Yippee! I recall passing Mansion House and Charing Cross Station. The London Eye came into blurred view with the familiarity of the South Bank. I could see Guido’s man bun bobbing frantically up and down. It started rain. I didn’t care. It started to hail. I didn’t care. We got soaked. I didn’t care. It felt terrific.
Back at the loft Guido ran a hot soapy bath and we both hopped in it together. Later in bed with the lights out I put my head on his chest and could hear his heart thump slowly. I had one of those dizzy moments we all get from time to time. That one where you feel, happy.
Remember it? The one where you just thank God you feel so alive.