I had to come home from work early yesterday, ill. This is a very rare occurrence for me and has only happened once before in the five years I've had this particular job. The last time was when I allowed a student to make me a cup of tea and I'm almost sure he poisoned me. Really, I mean that.
I was fine, he made the tea, I drank it, I was very ill. Later I was fine again. He isn't an ordinary student but we won't go into that here. Anyway, I knew I was dodgy when I woke up yesterday; woke up twenty minutes late as the alarm hadn't gone off. Well, it had, but my phone was on the kitchen table and as I don't often sleep in the kitchen I'd missed it. I woke up and swung my legs out of bed, as I sat up and moved my head my brain seemed to follow after a delay. I was lightheaded and felt very odd, almost like after a night on the pop. I decided to man up and go in.
After staggering around the classroom for a bit, with kids asking me why I was a funny colour, I felt iller (?) and weirder and decided I needed to lie down. Students feeling like this are usually directed to the chill out room adjacent to the classroom, where we have beanbags and what have you but it wouldn't look good for staff to be recumbent on a beanbag in teaching time. Or possibly ever.
So I came home and hit the couch with a book. Whilst supine I felt almost fine, except for the burning rash that had appeared on my arms and the constant need to wee (too much info?). All was, therefore, relatively well until the window cleaner drew up in his van.
He is a lovely man, Polish and smiley and neat and polite and... I hate being in when he calls. I am like this about anyone who comes to the house, from meter readers to builders, I'd just rather not be around when they are. So I sat on the stairs, which are in the middle of the house and thus hidden. I could have just gone upstairs as he cleans the top windows with a brush affair on a pole that spews out water, but I wasn't fully compos. When he'd finished he knocked at the door for his recompense and I had to overcome another mountain: bringing up an issue while disguising it as a jolly comment. To whit: he hadn't done the tops of the front room sashes.
Yes I have he said, no you haven't I said. He went to inspect. To be fair to him at this juncture I have to confess that I have a window cleaner precisely because I have a particular aversion to cleaning them myself, which manifests itself on the inside as much as the outside. So I could almost understand why he might have thought he'd done the top ones, however he has a trained eye and the nuances of filth should really be apparent to him if he's to be a success in his chosen profession. He went back for his ladder and ran the cloth over them with a cheery smile, no doubt all the while visualising me with pins in my eyes. I went back to the couch to wallow in self pity. I stayed up 'til 2am when I suddenly felt well enough to go to bed.
Today's picture isn't actually mine, I got it off the net. However when I stayed in New York some years ago with my sister, one of her neighbours cleaned her windows just like that, on the 20somethingth floor, with the cat sitting next to her on the sill. Respect.