You may be worrying about me being all alone during lockdown. Fearing that I may go slightly mad, climb the walls, start talking to myself. But I wanted to assure you that I’m really very well, and actually, not on my own at all.
Just the other day I noticed my radiator, as if seeing it for the first time and thought ‘gosh, what a handsome radiator you are’. I asked him if he had a name – for surely radiators are male – and he said “Why yes, it’s Stanley of course!”
We had a lovely chat about the other things in the room we both hadn’t noticed before. The bit of wall I never look at because it’s behind me, the slightly wonky nature of the lampshade, the bit of carpet that never quite gets hoovered. Stanley it turns out, is fast friends with the radio who apparently has strong views that I should be listening to Radio 4 at my age. I’ll chat to the radio later but need to think about the case for my defence first.
I wondered, had Stanley ever wanted to explore the rest of the house, the street, even the country. He said that no, he was happy here, keeping me warm. I took a lot of comfort from that and wanted to make him comfortable in return. I asked if he’d like me to get him a nice throw – nothing fancy – something neutral. He said he’d think about it, but I think I went too far too soon. We weren’t ready for talk of soft furnishings, or any other gifts.
Stanley and I are still friends, but there’s a tension there that can’t be undone. I think in retrospect, my offer was insulting because his job is to keep me warm and by wanting to give him something back, I took away from his purpose. I’ll give him a little space and resist messing with the temperature valve, even though it’s getting warmer each day.
In the meantime, I’m going to talk to some of the other objects in the house I’ve neglected to get to know. I’ll start with the spare iron that I keep in case the other one breaks, even though I’ve never had a broken iron. I feel bad for the spare iron because it’ll never get used, and the main iron because I don’t have faith in it. I’ll speak to them both though it will be tough.
I also need to apologise to my Sunday knickers. When I first brought them, I was so pleased. They are really big – a ‘full brief’ – something I’ve never purchased before, but their coverage is what made them so cosy and Sunday appropriate. Having always been a multi-pack purchaser, I was very excited by the fact they came on their own little hanger. They didn’t disappoint. I could sink right down into them and relax in a way that my other knickers just didn’t allow. But recently I’ve let their special ‘Sunday’ status slip and I’ve worn them on other days. I’ve felt bad for a while so it’s the right time to make good.
On the subject of the bathroom bin, I’ve long refused to acknowledge it, and this is a matter that’s between us. I’m not sure I’m ready to build bridges there just yet.
But it’s not all bad. There are clothes I’ve brought from charity shops that have stories to tell of their previous lives, so I’m looking forward to hearing those. The mirror – Dave – has also given me a hint that he holds all the secrets to life, if only I’d ask. How about that!
So, dear Lucy, don’t you worry about me, I’m just fine.