Last night, on the train home, the guy sat in the seat behind touched my head and, when I turned round, said "So how's it been going?".
I'm not brilliant when it comes to remembering faces. And flitting about London on Londonisty business as I do, I tend to meet a number of people quite fleetingly and although I can recall their names and stuff about them, I wouldn't know them if they fell headfirst over my shoes. Or touched me on the head and asked me how I'd been doing.
I looked at him, briefly screwed up my face in concentration and decided that, actually, no, I'd never met this dude. And I said as much. "Sorry," I said, "I don't think we know each other," and returned to Echofon.
But it wasn't until I'd gone back to my iPhone that my slowly-whirring brain realised he hadn't made a genuine mistake but had been trying to hit on me. (Don't feel bad for him. He found another girl to hit on at Lewisham.
And from the sound of their conversation I did the right thing.) Yeah, I know I'm pretty bad at recognising when I'm being hit on** but my dimness is compounded at the moment by the fact that I'm not sleeping.
And this is where we come back to cat death*. I have not properly slept in two and a half weeks. Initially I was kept awake by Elgar puking in the run-up to his thyroid op; now there's a part of my brain constantly on alert, listening for any strange noises. (This is also partly because he will start puking again, and partly just because I don't know what else he's going to start doing as he declines.) I'm waking up several times in the night because of an odd grunt or sneeze (he's started sneezing, this is not a good sign), or just because he's doing his nightly rounds and the pad-click-pad of paw and claw on wood is being picked up by my newly-hypersensitive ears.
I'm exhausted. How do new parents cope? Presumably this is the same response you get when you have a new baby – constantly listening out for any sound that might indicate they're about to expire.
I had a job interview yesterday afternoon. I marshalled all my wits for an hour to be professional and knowledgeable and approachable (I hope) but hadn't realised quite the effort that had cost me until I got to the Book Swap at the London Review Bookshop and discovered I could barely form sentences. (People who were there may decide "barely form" is being generous.) And I look awful. This isn't helped by the fact I managed to gouge a scratch in my forehead on Wednesday, I'm assuming with a fingernail. Idiot.
This is what you need to expect, people. I am falling-over with tired and accidentally ripping lumps out of myself. And if you attempt to strike up a rapport with me at random, I am likely – as I get tireder and grumpier – to respond with "I'm not sleeping and my cat is dying. Do you really want to have this conversation?". You have been warned.
* Basically, most posts for the near future will be grim and depressing stuff about cat death. If you're of a delicate frame of mind, or just don't give a shit about cats, I suggest you avoid these parts for a while. Sadly (from my point of view), it'll be over soon.
** This is the understatement of the fucking decade; I have been single for, like, ever.