I am so out of practice with the writing thing that I thought I would try and write every day for the next month. A plan that failed spectacularly when I realised that it was already past the first of the month and that I had not written a word. I wanted to write about not me, and not my work, but because I find myself both tired and lazy, it's hard to think of much else.
I leave soon. Within a week this little 5 roomed apartment will have another tennant who may or may not care about arranging the furniture in ways that are designed to be appealing when you walk in the door. They may not bring flowers in every week or go to Bunnings and buy big leafy green plants to purify the air and soften the walls. Who won't leave out their overripe fruit for the wallabies. Who won't wash on Sundays and mop the floors on Wednesday nights. And curl up on the couch with the contrasting cushions and the soft fuzzy blanket on the nights when it's hard to be alone.
In spite of myself I have loved it here. Being alone for the first time in my life has been something that I think I needed without even knowing it. It will be hard to go home to a house of continual noise and competing needs. Here the only needs have been mine. I have been allowed to be completely selfish and it has been nice, though I'm glad as well that it's over.
I went out last night with a friend. A friendship that forged on quickly the way they used to when I was a child and I would be only in one place so briefly that it was a necessity. It has been fun. I've forgotten what it was like to just make friends without having to fit it in between everything else. And I've had opportunity for more but have held back a little. Knowing I'm leaving and not wanting to leave too much behind.
We went out to a pub dressed the way I would have dressed if I was a 30 year old woman who had nothing but a little apartment to go home to that was always cleaned on Sundays, even if it was 2 in the morning. Who spent her time doing yoga when she hadn't gone to bed too late reading terrible literature and ate asparagus dipped in fried egg on the couch when she came home from on call shifts. A sequinned dress that dipped a little over the cleavage and far too high on the thigh, pulled together with a classic black blazer so that it was just that little less obvious.
I kicked off the sparkly platforms, rejecting them for their very sparkles, put on the simple pumps instead and headed out to a venue that hadn't yet kicked off, driving myself so that I couldn't drink while my carefully curled hair went limp in the humidity. We played pool and drank iced water while the crowds ebbed and flowed. Losing the game by sinking the white on a foul shot with a rueful grin.
We found a livelier bar later and while she danced I perched up on a stool and people watched to my heart's content. Not needing to make conversation and enjoying myself quietly. Apparently an open invitation, that clearly I was in need of company that was offered often, sometimes politely sometimes not. Rejection that was taken and sometimes not. Grateful for the bouncer that moved along one man who seemed unable to understand my reticence.
It was worse at another club, where I was physically pulled onto the dance floor and another where I danced to try and make myself less conspicuous (my dancing is terrible at the best of times) and was immediately approached. Touched. Something I've never been fond of and we finally went somewhere where the crowd were less forward. It surprised me because as a tiny 18 year old I was always hyperaware, hoping for attention and it was a rarity.
But for that, I enjoyed myself. It was a punctuation mark about this whole interlude. A break from reality underscored by a strange night that smelled of acetaldehyde and cigarettes, bad fake tan and worse fake hair. It reminded me of the artificiality of this whole experience. Of how even though the nights I've been able to spend looking after only myself eating what I wanted, when I wanted, falling asleep on my preferred side of the bed instead of the one I've been designated and tangled in sheets that don't overheat and smell like clean laundry. Of the few days off spent doing whatever I wanted to do. For all that I still want, more than anything else, to go home.
I want the girls. I want to see their homework and do their hair for ballet. I want to read their funny stories and hear about what they did at school today. I want to wake up with the Possum standing by my side of the bed in the moonlight, waiting for me to lift the covers so he can curl up into me and steal half my pillow. I want my house with my porch and the smell of hot nights in my hammock. I want my new antique cedar dressing table with the mirror that's flaking on the sides in that perfect way that old mirrors have.
But most of all I want Bingley.