I try to remember why. Ah yes Dicky - way too much wine, cider and pizza earlier in the evening.
A little time passes as I contemplate the cool glass of water that sits within arms reach on the bedside table; always a good remedy for that horrible taste you get after drinking alcohol. As much as it feels lovely, safe and warm under the quilt, the need for fluid forces me to make a move for the glass and I roll my knees over towards the cold edge of the bed as I have done a thousand times before in my life.
The intensity of the pain in my lower back surprises me so much that I actually shout out loud, waking Lou B. I apologise to her for the noise, and she asks me if it’s my back again. I lay for a while in my warm cocoon until the pain subsides a little, and then I try again to get off my back and to the edge of the bed. The sharpness returns like a serrated knife plunging into my spinal column tearing muscle and bone, causing me to swear once again and lay still. My eyes are now open, and I stare at the ceiling trying to gauge what time it is. It’s difficult where we live because of the neon street lamp just outside, that casts a near constant glow in our bedroom. It looks near dawn; in which case, if I can actually get myself from bed, I’ll go downstairs for a cup of tea. Reaching up with my arms to grab the top of the chunky wooden headboard, I try to pull myself up into a sitting position, but once again the pain is too much.
“This is fucking ridiculous” I mutter to myself as I lay stuck on my back like a flipped over tortoise. “Let me help. I’ll roll you onto your side,” says the voice of Lou B, unseen to my left side. She pushes and rolls me over, and I feel my left leg leave the warm sanctuary of bed behind, for the cool autumn night. The pain is still there, but it’s bearable as I push myself back to my feet. I shiver as I stoop to pick up my dressing gown and can feel the goose bumps on my body. Shuffling round to the end of the bed I stop when the pain comes screaming back. I clutch the wooden footer as my legs start to give way, and for a few moments I can feel tears welling up in my eyes.
Is this what it’s like to get older I wonder to myself. Is this what I have to look forward to; an ever failing body, that can no longer do the simplest of tasks.
“Where are you going” the voice from the bed asks, and I reply that I’m heading downstairs for a cup of tea. “Did you know it’s only 2am” she says surprising me. That means we’ve only been in bed for a couple of hours, and that I will have to get back in it. “I suppose a shag’s out of the question then - you know - if you have got a bad back” I smile to myself at her joke, which is what she intended, but at the same time; despite the shear fucking agony that I’m in, wonder, if I could maybe manage to finally find a use for a reverse cowboy, if I laid very, very still.
It’s amazing don’t you think, that even when in excruciating pain, a man will consider sex as an option?