A week or so ago Michael loaded some games onto his iphone. This is the best one. Last weekend I got seriously addicted. The little people come in and order their chocolate, and you have to run around making square or round or triangle boxes, wrapping them in blue or red or green as appropriate. They say things: ‘I’m late for my wedding!’; ‘I want some chocolate!’ And, the policeman: ‘These are better than donuts!’ There are chocolate shapes – about eight different sorts – which you can ice in a variety of colours. You have to stop the thieves from stealing your money. And answer the phone. And you have to serve the customers before they get angry and leave. You can placate them with candy.
When I play, my whole body tenses up. Attempts to distract me (which are many, as M finds it hilarious) are met with less than wholesome language. Last time I played was Sunday night. Just a couple of games before bed… beep beepitty beep went the music. The machines pumped out the chocolate into little boxes. I almost finished the thing… and then I got my come-upance. I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes there were orders for chocolate. Square, triangle, rabbit, fish, red – no – green. Hurry. Run. Quick, press that button. It was torture. beep beepitty beep. Calm down Mel, I told myself, by the time the morning comes they’ll all have gone away and you’ll be sleeping soundly. Green triangle, red circle, run… And then the alarm went off. I’d been frantically making chocolate all night. I haven’t touched it since (the game, that is, not chocolate).
In other news, to offset my necessary chocolate intake, I’ve joined the gym. It’s quite a nice gym, really, and about a thirty second walk from our house. I like exercise. As a teenager I hated it. But I like the feeling of being out of your head and into your body, away from thoughts that circle and twitter, and into your breath, your muscles, the warmth and rhythm of it.
On Thursday I went to a pilates class. Last time I did pilates, years and years ago before I moved to England, it involved lying on the floor and sticking your legs and arms into the air at varying angles. And push-ups. This was a bit different – a blend of yoga and pilates and tai chi. Mostly tai chi. I couldn’t understand a word the instructor was saying, so I tried to watch closely. This was complicated by the fact that I wasn’t wearing my glasses (I tend to leave them off for exercise). I was surrounded by a foreign language and blurry bodies swaying and flicking and bending at frightening speeds.
Despite this, I think I did quite well (drawing on moves I learnt in yoga and bollywood dancing last year), and I left smiling. Now I am in so much pain I can hardly move.