Monday, October 20, 2003
L'Homme Aux Camélias
Luckily I rarely fall ill, which is probably just as well, as I'm lousy at it. Some of my friends have got the thing down to a fine art, shamelessly pulling a sickie after they've overindulged at the weekend, or whenever there's a major day-time sporting event on the telly. Conscientious Stranger that I am, my sickies are (nearly) always genuine, and two hours of Phillip and Fern are guaranteed to make me get on back to the office faster than you can say "pick up thy bed and walk".
I'm off sick today. After a hot and wakeful night, spent unfortunately not in the company of [insert name of current sex god or goddess of choice] but one of those twenty-four-hour fever thingies, I got up to stagger to the loo, and passed out in the hallway.
It was a marvellous swoon, my dears! I really wish someone could have been there to see and capture it on film. I felt it coming, and managed to grab one of my coats hanging in the hall, so I could slip, elegantly and sylph-like, to the floor, like some screen queen upon hearing that Armand her lover has just shacked up with the stable lad. Unfortunately it didn't quite work like that. Which means I now have one ripped French Connection coat, a bugger of a bruise on my left knee, and a bent and warped shoe-rack, where I crashed, not quite as gracefully as planned, to the ground.
So now I am supine on the sofa, swathed in white taffeta and tulle (well, my blue Calvin Klein dressing gown), rose petals strewn around my pillow, sipping herbal tea from the finest china, and wasting away actually rather magnificently, even if I do say so myself. My face, its skin translucent and porcelain-white, is naturally in soft-focus monochrome, and in the background you can just hear the muted strings of an orchestra.
I fear I may not be long for this world, my precious ones, but I shall be brave, yes, I shall ignore the pain and I shall try to be brave. For all of you…
OK. Fade-out. Exit. Cut!