When I stop and listen, I hear the birds. They are singing sprightly and with driven purpose. They shout in jubilation at the unexpected blue skies. I catch my reflection in the grey bathroom tiles and listen to the rhythm of the drip drip hot tap. I'm spent. Saddened by the bickering and attitude of nonchalance at my instruction, the boys and I did not exist as one this morning. This leaves a small cut in my heart. It stings like those incidental papercuts that take forever to go away. I'm spent. My body is telling me so as it does every three years or so. My latest spend has meant a week-end of antibiotics and a wall being hit, hard. Still, I keep on, because that's what you do. I hate having to do the school run with a fever and the drip, drip of my nose, the ache in my lower back that comes from trying all night long to find a comfortable position. The blinding pain in my sinuses, that right side of my face, that flash like lightning, that's gone in a flash. The one that makes me question if indeed it happened, until the next flash of course. I try and distract myself with a list of chores, I muddle through the fog in my brain and recite things like, put a load of washing on, fold dry clothes on radiators, marinade the chicken, check e-mails for job application pack. Through the fog I hear whispers of a few of my favourite things, watching films, eating ice cream with real coffee poured on top, cutting my toe nails after waiting far too long, writing ideas on scraps of paper about art and writing and people I've watched. I think of the days when a day off sick meant tall glasses of Lilt, and a blanket on the settee with the remote controls to the TV and video tucked under my thigh for easy access, and crisps, always crisps, my lover and friend and forever foe. I think of how this sick day could mean I finally put together all of those random notes from my phone titled 'blog post'. Like this one from last friday:
Watching Breathless. Drinking proper coffee. And trying to stop my brain from enjoying the memory of the first drag of a Marlboro. Talking with my husband about how we can't ever let our youngest watch this film. The clothes. The sassiness. The cigarettes. The girls. He would love it all. Thinking about that dill vinaigrette that I haven't got around to making that will be the perfect accompaniment to the puy lentil, roasted beetroot and goats cheese salad. Wearing slippers in bed. Fantasising about walking the streets of Paris carrying pretty patisserie boxes by the string. Short walks in the rain, with wet faces that shine. Melting dark chocolate in a large ceramic bowl over a saucepan with simmering water and topping ice cream with the warm velvet that hardens like ice atop mountains. Remembering the weight of their heads on my chest before they were even double digits in months, how I watched them rise and fall with each of my breaths.
And back down, I fall from the fluffy clouds of lingering. Waiting, for something to happen, to feel better, to have energy, to be cleansed, healed, rejuvenated. Not quite it would seem. And so for now, here are some words that have spilled, they may seep and I may mop them with the cheap white serviette I have ready to hand. It greedily drinks up and spoils and all that's left is a pool of emotion tainted with the dirt of lifes grimy spills. There are spills and it would seem that they are far apart and then suddenly so frequent. Why so? I ask. Who knows. But such is the sequence, such is the pattern. And it smarts and stings, just like those papercuts, the ones that itch and burn and remind you that they are here to stay. The ones that take forever to go away.