I woke up this morning with what felt like a hangover. Too much UV for James? No burns, just fatigue and a stonking headache.
I lolled around in bed for a while but I saw no improvement. Watching Big Bang Theory on my laptop didn’t help. I crawled into the kitchen on my belly like a caterpillar (?) and lolled around there. Cocoshells proved to be no cure either. I focused all my efforts on hydration. Water, “milk” and gloopy orange juice nectar saw no relief.
After a while, I summoned the strength to drag my pockmarked, scabby feet out of the door and onto my bicycle. I cycled for 30 seconds to get to Power Plus. I ordered black tea, water and nuts. I had a read of Midnight’s Children, but that made it worse too. The nuts arrived and I contemplated that maybe the carcinogenic, psychoactive properties of the contents of the obligatory Paan tray might alleviate the pain through some more furious mastication. Had I contracted withdrawal symptoms? Am I hooked on betel nuts and tobacco leaves. No. The pain did not disappear.
Then, from the paracetamol-drowned depths of my throbbing brow, there emerged an overwhelming impulsion. Nuts were spat out, tea was gulped down as I tried to satisfy this urge. I had an unquenchable desire to play Fifa with a man called Aagib. Thankfully I know a man called Aagib who has bandied Fifa in my direction before, only for me to decline. I frantically texted him: “Hey man! Can I come over and play Fifa some time?” I feel I played it cool, considering the circumstances.
I waited. I waited some more. Not even a delivery report. Why has this man switched his phone off? Is he so enthralled in a Fifa marathon that he has shut himself off from the outside world? Now that the urge stood little chance of being fulfilled in the immediate future I began to feel sad, and a whole host of questions rushed over me.
Is this my weird way of expressing homesickness? A way of venting frustration with my own company and ways of keeping myself entertained? Am I just craving football? Does air conditioning give you headaches? Why doesn’t Salman Rushdie use punctuation all the time? Why won’t Aagib reply? When will it stop raining?
It was clearly the sun speaking.