I'm lying on my stomach in bed, exhausted after a full night's sleep. I can't seem to win. I even went to bed before midnight. I'm sure it's my dreams. Most of them involve knives and necks and giant green snakes. Everyone is trying to kill me.
I lie there for a moment, wrestling with my memory, what was it this time?
I give up eventually, I can't remember a thing. All I know is that I have a beating headache and my throat feels like a field of thistles. I'm sick of being tired. I'm tired of being sick. There should be a word to describe this feeling.
I roll onto my back. I can hear someone rummaging around in the lounge. Probably Sophie collecting last minute bits and pieces before class. I close my eyes and there is the murmur of a river of cars rolling down our street outside. I hear the front door open and close again. It must be getting late. I reach for my phone. It's only 9:14. My class is at 12 but it's in town and the bus takes about 30 minutes if it's on time, which it never is, so I have about – (a struggle with morning arithmetic) – an hour and a half.
I shuffle into the kitchen to the beat of morning traffic and check out my options. A slightly rubbery meat pie left out overnight, a half eaten box of chocolate cookies and a packet of chocolate frogs, mostly intact. I notice the bench is also covered with breadcrumbs, which is annoying because I'm constantly telling everybody to clean up after themselves, and everybody says yes, it's a good idea, but as soon as I leave the room they transform into pigs. Suddenly I'm in one of my dreams again, and my house mates are giant malicious pigs trying to kill me with poison pie, drown me with breadcrumbs, feed me toxic chocolate. No wonder I'm sick.
I pick up the pie and throw it in the bin. I fill my hands with oranges, take a sharp serrated knife and kill them all, slicing through their bellied skin, leaving them severed and halved on the chopping board. Then I squeeze them, squeeze them all, my fingers twisting the fleshy, orange meat. I want every last drop. I throw all the rinds in the bin and drink the liquid slowly, thinking how good it must be for my throat. I put my cup down and say “Freshly squeezed orange juice,” out loud a few times, because it feels good. Today I will get better. I say that out loud too. Then I grab my lunch bag and raid the fridge for healthy food. I find an apple, a pear, some ham and cheese and two whole potatoes, left over from last nights dinner. Then I turn to the cupboard, and discover Sophie's new store of corn crackers, almonds and sunflower seeds. I help myself to these. I butter the corn crackers and layer the ham and cheese between them like sandwich filling. I cover the potatoes in glad wrap and put everything in the lunch bag....