Well let's cut the bollocks. My Christmas build up was nothing like that this year. Last Friday we took our daughter for her final school day of the year, where she was looking forward to boogying on down, eating nibbles and saying adios to her buddies. An hour or so into her school day though, we got a phone call saying she didn't feel well and wanted to come home. We picked her up, realised she looked off colour, and speedily gave her a COVID test... which instantly turned heavily positive. She started to panic, naturally. To make her feel better I took one too, just to calm her down a bit. But I was shocked to see my test come out boldly positive too. That wiped the condescending tosserish grin from my face!
We were officially in the COVID Club now. We laughed and high fived each other, two full fledged members of the corona gang. My laughter however, was quickly cut short when I speedily spiraled into a fluey hell, a tornado of dizzy spells, haunted sleeps, sweaty panics, headache tablets and Lucozade. From that day onwards I began to feel more and more like a sack of excrement. Boiled excrement. The following few days are now a blur to me...
My daughter was ill for a day or so and then started to come round. I on the other hand, lay on the sofa in my designated diseased corner like smeared road kill, rotting more and more as the days went on, my eyes getting pissier, my face more and more of a distant smudge, my nose bright red and bell end like. I slept, ate Jakeman's throat sweets, slept more, had Lemsips, watched a few minutes of films in between my haunted slumbers, read some of Paul Auster's In the Country of Last Things, which made me feel more delirious, and spoke to my partner and daughter now and then in a muffled, faded parody of a voice. I was, in a word, fucked.
Eventually a week had passed. I started to feel better. Having COVID in the Christmas build up was odd, given that I got to enjoy nothing of the festive season whatsoever, as I found myself moving - but really not moving at all - towards the big day. On Christmas Eve we went out for a drive to look at the Christmas lights. It was like an out of body experience after a week on the sofa, but it got me in the mood for a lovely Christmas Day to follow. I drank too much whiskey, played with toys, had fun with my daughter, ate a feast lovingly made by my partner Linzi, and generally farted around, being enchanted by Dudley Moore as an elf, by Mel Smith voicing a grumpy Santa, and then Rik and Ade having a crappy crimbo in Bottom. It was a splendid day with my family, as the haunting, feverish spectre of COVID, like one of Scrooge's pale faced ghosts, faded into the background. That corner of the sofa will forever be the COVID corner, the place where, during that weird festive period, I sweated, farted, sneezed and coughed my way towards Christmas Day. Let's hope I dodge coronavirus next year, eh?