I was off for a fortnight.
For the first week I slept for most of the day, lulled by the diminishing effects of the morphine.
I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, Neil Young’s On the Beach and Tonight’s the Night.
I was alive but not alive.
As the morphine wore off, the pain kicked in, followed by a succession of painkillers, followed by a dull itching ache.
In time I recovered, the back healed, the hole disappeared and I was back in the so-called real world.
The mask of illness had been removed and it was time for the mask of good health – so called, to take its place and make me acceptable once more to my fellow man.
The world had continued without me as it would without anyone who had stopped living for a fortnight.