It’s a full 24 hours since I last crashed. No, not my car, not my computer but myself. Crashing, hitting the wall, wiping yourself out; they are all ways to describe the all encompassing body-whacking, eye-shutting power of fatigue. You’re ok, you’re fine, you might be sleepy or feeling weak but you’re ok aren’t you? Zzzzzzz.
And what caused me to crash? Did I go running? Did I stay up all night? Drink or do drugs? Write an essay? Succumb to gastroenteritis? No, none of these possibly legitimate reasons were why I wanted to curl up in a ball, refuse food and chop off my own head. No no, this wild child went out for lunch and then tried on some clothes.
The scene of my crash was the changing room of a clothes store. But before I get ahead of myself here’s the backstory. I had been out for lunch in Geelong with my good friend Milly. She’d suggested we meet at a new place called Waterfront Kitchen. I googled the place, wondering where we were lunching and found that it was part of Deakin University and from their strange website it seemed to be a student-union-type eating place… What the? I’ve been to uni Milly, I’ve actually been to two different ones, I don’t want to eat at a student food hall… Oh me of little faith, I should have known Mill was on to something good. It is part of the uni, and there are bain-maries reheating food on the upper level but the part closest to the fancy view of the waterfront is really very cool. Milly has known me since I was 13, so she’d anticipated my nose being turned up and laughed when I explained my suspicions. It is such a cool place that I think I’ll take this laptop I’m writing on with me next time and sit and type with a coffee.
Because I was meeting Mill, who always dresses well for work, I was dressed properly too – great excitement. No longer was I clothed in tracky pants and ugg boots but I’d accessed that rarely used side of my wardrobe that houses my good clothes from my previous work life in publishing. I wore a pretty jumper, skirt, tights, boots with heels and actually did my hair instead of hiding it under a beanie – all good things. I felt like a girl again, not a teenage boy as my normal sartorial selections might indicate.
After lunch I wandered down to the water where I sat for my self-prescribed pre-driving rest. I found a seat near a group of Geelong’s famous bollards and enjoyed the sunshine, congratulating myself on getting through lunch without being tired, and patting myself on the back for sitting down on that bench. Good girl, you’ll be fine. Take that fatigue, I’ve got your measure now. I was in a great mood and as I drove down the trendy Pakington Street (Pako in Geelong vernacular) I saw a favourite shop and decided to whip in there. I almost kept going, no Suze you’ve done enough, said the sensible side of me, but then there just happened to be a park outside the store…
As stated above I spend most of my time in tracky pants and have been on the lookout for a pair of comfy patterned pants that have nothing to do with an elastic waist or baggy bottom. They say dress the way you want to feel so I’d thought it might be nice to update my lounging around wardrobe. In the store I found a pair of blue and white polka dot pants that were perfect, so on they went, which might have been ok, but I then tried on half the store to find a top to go with them. It seems that they’ve changed their sizing chart (or my vacillating appetite has made me lose weight again) as I was between sizes in all the tops. I gave up and started to get dressed again. I was feeling a little shaky and hot but I was ok.
I pulled on my tights and had just put on my boots when it hit me. I slumped to the ground. I didn’t faint, I was totally conscious of my descending form, but I literally could not stand up a minute longer. Leaning against the change room wall and sitting on the stone floor I hugged my knees to my chest and thanked the store for having curtains that went all the way to the ground. I’m sure the very helpful sales assistant would have been perfectly nice and caring if she’d found me but whenever I do this I just want to be alone. She called out to ask if I needed any more sizes and I assured her I was just doing some thinking. It took about ten minutes and it passed, I stood up again, found my ever-present bottle of vile red bull in my handbag, took a swig, got dressed, bought my polka dot pants and left the store – the sales assistant none the wiser that I’d napped on her floor.
While it’s certainly dispiriting that this keeps happening I am noticing one important trend; recovery time is getting shorter! While yesterday afternoon and evening I didn’t want to eat or move, unless it was to get painkillers, today I am feeling good. My brain is working – hence the ability to write – and since my appetite is back my Dad and I are going out for dinner tonight, and he will be driving home.