Becoming a Duvet

Tuesday 23rd December

I have spent the last two days in a duvet. Having the duvet on top of me did not seem to do anything for my hangover, so I unbuttoned the duvet, crawled in and curled up in the foetal position. Laura did not suffer the side effects of the 12 pubs. She may have the mind of an intellectually challenged preteen, but she has the liver of a poet.

She made eggs this morning and left the plate on a corner of my bed. I am not a dramatic person, just a tortured one. But in this instance my stomach told me that I might die from inhaling the odour of fried eggs. There was no time to crawl back out of the duvet. So I rolled off the bed. The resulting body thump and migraine left me curled up on the floor, inside the duvet, in the foetal position for three hours.

Later Laura decided to clean the apartment. I asked her to put a pillow over the head shaped bit of my duvet mound and to leave a pen and paper nearby for when I emerge. I emerged briefly to write about the screaming of my mind. Laura who seemed to have nothing better to do than lurk around my room and observe my hangover, said “Oh good you’re up.” I gave her THE EYES OF DEATH and once again became a mound of duvet.

Wednesday 24th December

Mother rang to request my presence in her home for Christmas dinner. I told her that it would not be necessary, but she kept talking for so long that I eventually gave in.

Apparently Xbox girl, my brother and Granny will be there. Mother’s final promise was that she might borrow the cat back from the neighbours for the day.

Thursday 25th December

I dressed entirely in black. It is important to set the tone for Christmas dinner with your clothing. My grandmother and mother were already sozzled when I arrived. They hadn’t put the turkey on and it was 3pm. They were dancing around the kitchen table singing deck the halls with boughs of holly…. as they passed the cat about, as if he was a small disposable package of meat. I immediately salvaged his dignity by taking him to the corner, where we sat and judged everyone else for an hour or two.

Xbox girl and my brother wore matching jumpers. They weren’t even Christmas jumpers. Which means they go around matching out of season.

We eventually had turkey at 10pm. Everything was soggy. Mother looked at the unfortunate spectacle on all our plates, then grabbed a bottle of wine and poured it over the lot. We had Christmas dinner floating in wine. Granny picked up her plate and gulped down every last drop.

Even though it was midnight by the time the dinner was finished, Mother insisted on playing Pictionary. This would be okay if anyone understood metaphors. But alas their feeble minds always resort to shouting out the most obvious answers. It is impossible to explain to them how a drawing of a cat, is not always a cat, an artistic soul would know that it represented disillusion. Instead the lot of them shouted out every breed of cat they could think of and Granny tried to draw a better cat. I’m pretty sure she missed the point.

Friday 26th December

I locked myself in the downstairs bathroom with a vanilla candle for 3 hours. I needed to get away and unleash my mind on paper. My poetic voice has been stifled by stupid traditions and family obligations.

Mother banged on the door a few times to ask when I was going home. She does not understand that I have no choice in the matter. Oh to have a simple mind that can write at any time in anyplace.

Saturday 27th December

My dreadful cousins from Australia are back for Christmas. They came to visit, give us terrible chocolate and show off their matching tans and six packs. These girls used to look like walking puddings, so they’ve obviously got eating disorders and low self-esteem.

Theresa, the older one, kept telling me I should go too…she has a boyfriend, a gym pass and a half decent job. These are things we never thought she’d achieve, she does not realise that my life is on a different path. It is lit by alcohol and the muse.

That’s another thing, the pair of them gave up drinking and tutted at me for having a mug of whiskey. It’s Christmas. When else do you drink mugs of whiskey?

Mother walked in and told the girls it was just lovely to see the three musketeers back together again. They tried to laugh and made a weird bleating sound instead. I prayed for Christmas to end.

Sunday 28th December

My bother announced that Xbox girl is pregnant. Mother started crying. Xbox girl played with the sleeves of her jumper and I laughed uncontrollably for 30 minutes, when I was asked to leave the room by my brother.

Monday 29th December

Saw Easter Eggs in the shop. What is the point of trying to create true poetry, when all people want is to celebrate chocolate in gaudy wrapping paper. It seems everything special revolves around chocolate wrapped in terrible tinfoil.

Returned to the apartment to find it empty. Laura obviously has a much better family than mine. I couldn’t spend another moment listening to Xbox girl talk about her cravings. She’s not even properly pregnant for that long. She’s just looking for attention.

There was a lone pepper in the fridge. It felt like it was saying everything all at once.