No. The house has never looked like this before. No-one to blame but myself. Wandering around dizzy and in denial. It’s pleasant this taking a chance on life. There are no tomorrows: just the here and now. But I am eating bread again in this here and now. No thoughts for the swell of my stomach later. That can’t be good. A person needs to project herself into the future if only to predict and come to terms with possible pain. Tummy ache. Heart ache. I’m not scared.
I’m not scared. Only of mice. Once upon a time a mouse nearly drove me to drink. But now all the nooks and crannies of my heart and home are stuffed with paper and bound with tape. A makeshift life is this one. Perfectly acceptable as long as the paper is sprinkled with roses, ha! I’m not scared. Perhaps I’m dead? One of those living dead ladies you see wandering around supermarkets. Tears pooling in their mouths, spilling out in miserable growls. No. I’m not dead. Not like the woman who told me off last night for shoving my trolley into her hand-basket only queue. She was definitely dead. Only the living dead are ever quite so bitter. I’m too old to be told off, lady! There are wrinkles on my head to prove it.
I keep talking about botox. Of having my lips pumped into a permanent pout. But I won’t. Mostly because I would get addicted. Start living on baked beans so I could afford fillers in the lines etching themselves into craters either side of my chin. I would turn into one of those batty cat ladies. The corners of their eyes pointing to heaven and their mouths stretched into a pillowy smile. I am intensely vain. Addictions to everything from pretty words to wine o’clock and handsome serial killers. Until I expire and move on. But I never do move on. I am intensely loyal to houses and relationships and businesses. Scared of dropping the ball and having to pick up the pieces.
The coffee table is covered in junk. Piles of books. Jambusters: a History of the Woman’s Institute. A bowl of fruit. Dust. Never was there a house as dusty as this one. Two cups with the remnants of morning hot chocolate. A scrapbook full of lies. I cannot put my phone down long enough to tidy up. Put it down. Put it down. Put the damn thing down.
But my phone has got my life in it. People that matter. My business. Ah, if only I was a natural businesswoman. If only I didn’t fret and worry myself into an almost permanent stare of catatonia. There is still cake left. Cake and a cup of tea. Finn needs new socks. We leave them everywhere and I don’t care enough to chase them. Terrible thing this state of don’t care. I haven’t taken my tablets again. Is it any wonder I cannot pull my ring off my finger? Catatonia: repeptitive or purposeless activity. Negativity. Powerlessness.
And still I cannot stop smiling. I laugh a lot. I laugh loud and hear myself and feel embarrased. That women laughing? Probably me. I keep filling other peoples gaps. Perhaps they like them. I can only do silent gaps with those who lean their head against mine and whisper shhhhhh… People who remind me that silence is ok. That other people may or may not be dying inside our silent gap but that I have no obligation to fill it. Oh but how I want to fill it. And poke them and say what is inside your head? What the hell are you thinking? My intense need to know makes enemies of those who will not allow themselves to spill their heads, even when they are drowning in unacknowledged depression. Hell I wish I could shut up. Stop thinking. Oh lordy. I am one of those woman who think too much.
They are a rotten lot aren’t they? Those women who think too much. Them and me.