What Lil innocently mentioned on the phone last night was that she'd recently been to a boozy party (disguised as an industry do) and was taken aback by the number of people who'd asked her whether I'd be going out, too. 'They're on another planet,' she said. 'I wanted to say "don't you get it?" but I didn't bother – I mean, where do you start?' She's right, of course. Where do you start? Because, despite my willingness to write chapter and verse of my cancer story on here, I actually don't talk about the details with very many people outside of this blog. It's a combination of not wanting them to always equate me with cancer, and wondering whether they really want to hear about it in the first place. It's that age-old thing of folk never really being interested in the answer to innocent, throw-away questions like 'are you all right?' or 'how was your weekend?'.
P has precisely the same issues with the people around him. He told me yesterday that he's sick of getting into work on a Monday morning and having to lie about what kind of weekend he's had. He always answers 'great, thanks' when, in fact, P's weekends (and weekdays, for that matter) have been every bit as shit as mine have since The Bullshit chose to trespass on our lovely lives. (With the notable exception of J's wedding, of course. That was worth a hundred weekends.) P's not being mean by lying; quite the opposite. He, like me, knows better than to tell people the real truth about how our weekend was. Nobody wants that kind of answer.
While I'm talking about this very matter-of-factly, it's actually bloody depressing having had so little fun for so damn long. I got quite tearful about it (and a few other things) last night. It's the lack-of-mental-energy factor again. After getting some more rubbish news this week (the kind that finally puts my life into the so-tragic-it's-laughable-and-probably-fit-for-a-film-plot category) I've been doing my best to hold it together, despite there being a part of me that's desperate to freak out. Keeping it together is tiring, and being tired makes me tearful. That and Coronation Street. It's a mad-as-a-cut-snake plot line, but I've found myself empathising with Rosie Webster. (God help me.) The thing is, I kind of know how she feels, being locked away against her will with nothing but pasta salads for comfort. So after watching that, after talking to Lil, and after replying 'April, probably' to an email that asked when I'd next be out on the town, it was kind of inevitable that I'd end up sobbing about the distant memory of my normal life, and not being able to remember what it's like to feel well and healthy. (I'm not exaggerating; I can't.)
So, after breaking down on P, he came up with a plan. (I'm not always breaking down on him, you know, much as it might sometimes read that way. As it goes, we're mostly giggling our way through The Bullshit where we can, and even our bleakest times together are somehow rose-tinted.) When he goes back to work next week, P's determined that he's not going to lie about what kind of weekend he's had. Instead, we're going to do our darndest to live as normal a couple of days as my health will allow. This morning we had breakfast in bed, then spent a valuable few hours cuddling and reading the papers. As I type, P's outside sweeping up leaves (and chasing squirrels, by the sound of it). When he's done, we're going to the shop to buy a baking tin so I can bake us a cake before curling up in front of the telly with a curry. Tomorrow we're going to Tills and Si's for lunch, then going home to drink tea and scout out hotels in Barbados. It's hardly karaoke and cocktails and dancing til dawn, I know. But, to me and P, getting back to this kind of normality is going to make for a pretty perfect weekend. So feel free to ask us about it on Monday morning, eh?