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Archive for May, 2009

Lisa is laughing at me.

She thinks it’s a sad indictment of suburban banality that of all

things I could become addicted to, I chose tea.

She’s right. In my

kitchen she makes a pot just for herself.

I tell her that although it gets easier, I still crave the

taste. That I can’t drink even one, or I’m lost. I start to tell

her about going clean, but she isn’t listening. Her pot

is ready and she pours.

I watch the brown liquid and its steam and try to feel nothing.

People can become addicted to anything.

Lisa says she is addicted to chipped finger nail polish.

She watches the polish corrupt as the days pass between

perfunctory polishings. Comforting she says, purity is fragile.

I think it’s not the same as tea. She could walk away easily. I don’t say this.

She holds out her fingernails and I inspect, with my hands in my lap.

I don’t tell her that I am drifting and a new friend

would bring me a quiet delight. Like a flock of birds to watch when

you’re walking.

My husband says I am entering a new phase in my life. So far an empty

phase – but lovely. After the

chaotic days of pre school children, and assorted,

failed career attempts, life is newly

quiet. My husband has emerged through this chaos as a

sought after professional, removing any dire need

for me to WORK. I always leave

jobs any way.

Lisa works. Somewhere doing something.

I wish I didn’t want to know. I don’t ask.

May be she works in health, a part time GP.

I make a cup of hot water, lemon juice and honey and we talk with our

cups held in both our hands, elbows on the table.

Lisa lets me know she is on to her

second marriage.

She has told this story before I think. There was another

woman. pause. But the woman was hers, not her first

husband’s.

Cool, partially, and awkward.

Lesbianism isn’t always easy for two women to discuss

without some challenge to the easy pleasantness

of a simple friendly cuppa.

Suddenly there are OPTIONS, however remote

and unlikely and

subtle subterranean negotiations are needed to restore order.

I put the kettle on.

There is

tea and there is everything else. So I don’t care what I’m drinking.

But I don’t know how to converse without something hot in a cup in my hand.

Lisa watches me at the stove, next to the kettle is a coffee pot.

She asks if I am addicted to coffee.

I only have one coffee a day. My husband wakes me with

morning coffee.

Herbal blend for me, and the good

stuff for Lisa. I remember biscuits.

Lisa returns to her first marriage.

It started at Uni. They graduated and panicked and married.

There is plenty of space in my kitchen.

Lisa is tall and looks crammed in.

Lisa and her husband got stuck in student life.

They argued abut everything, and did little.

They stayed in a rented student hovel.

When the electricity bill wasn’t paid and

eventually the electricity stopped they fought about

ownership of power (forgive the pun) Neo Marxism,

pre post-modernist gender politics and the like.

In the dark.

The electricity stayed off, while the debate raged

over whether it’s definitively possible for the mass media to redefine sex as power.

In winter they got cold.

He was her “first”.

They crawled out of their marriage in a verbose and complicated way.

They remained house mates, and occasional bed mates

with rationalization and negotiation.

Lisa stops talking. She is looking for words to explain this.

She eats a biscuit. No plate. Crumbs that she shepherds into a pile.

In spring some drain was blocked somewhere, and the landlord sent a plumber.

A rolly smoking, boot gently kicking on tree while chatting lesbian plumber.

Smiling while talking and looking up at Lisa sideways plumber.

Shrugs off feminist theory, justs wants to be left alone to get on with her life plumber.

And an alto belly laugh that stayed in Lisa’s ears.

And when this plumber hinted at a cuppa,

Lisa had to explain there was no electricity to boil the kettle.

On principle.

I laugh. Lisa laughs. I’m drinking chamomile. She’s drinking Lady Grey.

The plumber drove her to the electricity company

and

stood in the queue with her and laughed with her and the customer service person.

And after this transaction there was no discussion

about

whether the customer service person was a pawn

in post industrial Weberian bureaucracy.

There was just the joyful and awkward conversation of

two lusting people inconveniently sober.

I must stop. I need a break from this, with my new friend.

When conversations get – well – earthy, I think of coffee.

The routine of cleaning, assembling,

packing and heating the pot brings me a moment to diffuse.

Lisa and I don’t know each other’s surnames, our husbands haven’t met,

or our children,

we haven’t had inane conversations about

rain, headlice, car purchases, vegetarianism, children tying shoelaces,

all that stuff.

But now we are talking about her lesbian relationship.

I’m not such an old prune that I don’t enjoy the topic.

I’m just surprised by the timing.

The coffee splutters. I get the cups. What can we talk about after this?

Does Lisa have a capacity for a dramatic life. Or was this her high point?

Are we going to talk about her plumber for all our cuppas?

Armed with coffee, Lisa cuts her story short. (OK – tea for the plumber story.)

She suddenly says everybody is avoiding something.

She points at me. What I am avoiding?

The words are inside my head.

That what I want now is a friend.

Someone to laugh with over afternoon tea.

I avoid telling her.

Yet.

We drink in silence. I don’t know if it’s comfortable.

Lisa laughs. Looking at me.

She is smiling.

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Thank You

I have one friend who goes back decades.  Hmmm. We met at school, in 1982 or 1983.

For some wonderful mysterious reason, we’ve kept in touch. Intermittently at times, but now thanks to the toobs, we can keep up to date with happenings. like dusting, in my case.

OMG – HER happenings involve swanning around Great Britain with a dashing young man, visiting achingly beautiful ruins of ancient exciting things, picnicking at them with ham sandwiches and flasks of tea and blogging about this with photos.  The achingly beautiful ancient ruins and general GREENNESS of places where it still rains aside, what comes through in these photos is how much this woman and her dashing young man are delighting in their adventures, each other and well life.

This is good. To see someone you quietly think of as damn marvelous having such fun. She used to work as a stage manager and she was type cast for that. A mix of practical and concrete, creative and flairy and just good at stuff, funny and supportive. The kind of friend you’d be incredibly grateful to know if you arrived in a big city, broken hearted and empty pocketed.

And you know who you are old buddy. I haven’t forgotten how when I was down and out you were there for me. I still haven’t worked out how to say thank you.

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damnit.

I want so much more from my mailbox than an envelope from FOXTEL addressed to the resident. And Gmail. 2238 unread emails. All day that number has sat there unchanging.

Where is everybody and why aren’t they talking to me?

The main problem really is waiting waiting waiting to find out if I can study here. Aaauuggghh

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sick

normal winter snuffles. (assuming it’s not swine virus – according to the news there are cases now in my state. Ooh. That gives me about a 2 in a million chance. Probably less taking into account that I haven’t had any dealings with the tiny number of folks who have it.)

Anywho, I digress. Today I did my bookkeeping. It has become my tradition to do my annual bookkeeping on a day of sickness. Last year it was gastro, and I thought ‘well I’ve got the shits anyway…’

So, givin it’s tax time in a few weeks, and the other option for today was lolling miserably on the couch with day time TV, I just did it. I’m done. Someone needs to be praised for the following pain minimisers:

  • open office calculate (like excel but free)
  • the smallness of my bookkeeping – it only takes one day to the whole year’s
  • taxation acountants

How do people do this for a job?

I must confess I lolled on the couch too. Thanks to last year’s gastro inspired spreadsheet, today only took a few hours of filling in gaps. And watched Dr Phil and Oprah. Was just reading that Oprah is a definitive healthy narcissist. She uses her narcissism powers for good. hilarious.

Dr Phil was banging on about the first four minutes of daily reunion in a marriage, after outing and abouting at work etc. Apparently these are pivotal four minutes that determine the rest of the evening. And when you think about it what is a marriage but a succession of evenings? Decided to take this into consideration with Husband and children.

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Haiku Friday

the hills forever:

my family’s ancient crest

is that why they call?

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I do forget from time to time that Husband is such a dish. You know, wives out there how the big picture can be temporarily obfuscated by a multitude of extra and intra marital daily pesky annoyances. But the big picture is Husband is a dish.

Take for example this morning. I have to be at work at the Unseemly hour of 8.30. Instead of setting my alarm clock, as many would do, I just let Husband know. And he wakes me with my morning coffee (stovetop with heated milk of course) earlier than on every other day of the week.

So, being a dish instead of saying “your blogging is boring and careful” or even “you suck at blogging” he says with his dishy smile “you haven’t yet found the stride you had with your last blog.”

Last blog I was a student and had all the freedom of nothing to lose. I bitched and moaned to my heart’s content. I was cutting and witty. Oh yeah.

Now I’m feeling conscious of how everything we post is public. I’m also conscious of how stupid I am to worry about that because I have an ‘exclusive’ readership. And also how stupid I am to worry because privacy is so 20thcentury and if we all go around self-censoring then blogs will be boring, and really does it matter if we say BUM, or ‘ my boss is a shithead’ very much? I mean everyone’s thinking it. Surely. And also – nothing I say is going to have the least impact on the world and I should just get over it jeeze.  And also I feel acutely aware that this post like everything else I have written is just self indulgent drivel.

All this worry and counter worry has given me verbal constipation!

Still what is a blog if it’s not self indulgent drivel?

Fuck it – I’ll try to be a bit more forthcoming. And swear when it seems timely. And if I had a boss, I’m sure they would be a shithead, and I’d be proud to regale you with updates of their idiocy.

Problem is – life is in a waiting patttern at the mo.  I’m scared to make any sudden movements. I’m applying for a music course here. Because I was doing a music course somewhere else. Which started to implode in a brittle, crumbly way, shortly after I fell head over heels in love with it. Fuck it. (timely surely?)

Any way thing is the uni course somewhere else was a post grad course. I don’t have a music degree.

So the course HERE is also a post grad course. And I have to demonstrate that I have the equivalent of a music degree. That I am good enough to start here.

Well shit that’s scary. I’ve got to submit a recording and other things – a ‘wow look aren’t I amazing’ kind of pack.

You’d think that would be OK. After all, I convinced the course somewhere else of this.

But I’ve been in this city for nearly a decade, and have found the music scene impenetrable. After some years, I stopped trying here, because I felt embarrassed. (Only so many concerts you want to put on where there are more people in the show than in the audience.) It’s become how I think about the landscape. It’s a habit – wallowing in self pity. Well perhaps I’ve stopped wallowing and have largely got on with life. Mostly. hmmm.

Anyway it’s time to stop any and all of that. Right now. I very well might be successful here. Or atleast have a chance to try.

That’s weird. Exciting. But weird.

And I need to sell myself very quickly. There isn’t time to worry about any of this. I’ve got to put an ad together about myself.  Back to PR modality. (Justifiable cause for further obsenity. )

Ugh.

Ugh.

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the title says it all. Except perhaps that toothpaste doesn’t act alone. Some agent (perhaps you) needs to apply and scrub. Just like with the pearly whites.

Maybe you already knew this clever trick? I just found out today.

Woot.

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