38 hours, and counting. A tiring morning, going Christmas shopping. Wearing the wrong clothes again, my knickers are falling down inside my jeans, I have to periodically back into a corner in the shop, on the street and push my hand past my belt, past the swell of buttocks which you would think are large enough to hold anything up, push my hand down and hoick the offending knickers back up. I think about going into the department store toilets, wondering if it is worth taking them off and going commando? Inside the store, without all the striding around, they seem to be holding. I clutch various things to me, they don't seem to go much for shopping baskets in this store, but I make sure they are bought and bagged before I brave the escalator descent.
38 hours, and 2 hours into the shopping, my feet are aching. Wearing the wrong shoes, or well, maybe the wrong socks. They ruck up under the balls of my feet and my weight falls onto the creases, rubbing, pressurizing the soles. It hurts and I need to sit down. I haven't finished the shopping, I know I have missed a couple of people so far, and I know I need to go to the other department store in town. I decide to treat myself again (yes, the books seem to be all for me, and those other things that seem to have got mixed up with the gifts too) and have lunch out.
38 and a quarter hours and I sit at the table. Dry mouth, tired. A glass of wine would be good, and I could have a couple really as they will have worn off by the time I have done the next round of shopping, by the time I would get back into the car. But I am good, I hear my voice tell the waitress "Cola Lite, bitte" and then when the food comes, I pick it up out of the bowl, and my hand shakes. It is very noticeable when you are eating noodles with chopsticks, they quiver, the sauce spatters off them sporadically. I bend my head closer to the bowl, try to eat them faster, so I can get home as soon as possible. The coke is good though, thirst lulling. The chef makes origami swans out of patterned paper, whether he knowingly does it to impress the waitress the result is the same. They catch me looking at them and think I want to rush off, and come over with the bill. I smile, I would have liked to stay watching them a little longer, get my notebook out and write about his surprisingly thick fingers and the tiny paper folds.
By the time I leave the restaurant it is 39 hours, but today the wine is already chilling in the fridge and I know I won't even try to resist its call this evening. I have earned it, I have completed some normal tasks, interacted with the normal world. I did not have any yesterday. I have earned it.