by Pseud O'Nym
Yesterday wasn’t a great day for me and not just because it was the first day Joe was back at work and that I had rashly offered to help Marge out with LMS’s home schooling. Despite me having seen LMS in action, swerving like a slalom skier out of anything she doesn’t want to do, despite me having witnessed at first hand how easily distracted she can be and how resistant to attempts to bring her back to what she was doing she can be, despite her knowing all of this, she was convinced that my knowing all this wouldn’t require her to modify her behaviour in any way whatsoever. Which, in a weird way, I quite admire. It shows a self-confidence, a ‘I don’t care what you think, I’m going to do it my way regardless’ that I had as a child – and indeed have now.
As any reader of this blog will know, I think LMS is a bit more than alright and I like to flatter myself that this is reciprocated, but yesterday made me realise that being ‘Mr. Fun’ – the adult who because their not her parent means I don’t have to undertake the boringly necessary tasks that a parent has to, but can be a man-child – makes the sudden switch to being ’Mr. Notsofun’ somewhat difficult for her to process.
At least that’s how my adult mind rationalised it. Marge was very sweet about my efforts though, saying ‘Don’t feel you have to do this every day’, which of course I interpreted as ‘I know you meant well, but no.’ She assures me that this wasn’t the case but yesterday was a day when my mind was a bit off-kilter.
And it wasn’t that my partner finally got her waders on and made it across London to see me. Joe said to me later that it must’ve been quite emotional for me, seeing her after so long apart, to which I replied ‘Don’t go overboard’ Anyone who knows me knows that I have a profound dislike of what I call ‘Hallmark Emotions’; emotions that could’ve come from a greetings card, or else be found in a romcom starring Matthew McGonauhey. It’s only been six weeks and we talk every day on the ‘phone. It hasn’t been six months of no contact whatsoever. She knew what yesterday was, and wanted to see me
Because yesterday was May 4th and might well be for some sad sacks ‘Star Wars’ day but for me it is the anniversary of my accident, when I went from being someone with a a future, into someone with a past. At least that’s the story I tell myself. The sudden reversal of fortune happened some years ago now but when it was more recent my partner and I would escape to the coast somewhere, so I could just sit and watch the sea, the sunrises and the sunsets, but with the passage of time this has seemed less important thing to do. But this year, falling slap bang in the middle of this lockdown as it does, I miss being by the sea, specifically just gazing a the horizon for hours, lost in one’ s thoughts. Reflecting on the boundless possibility the horizon suggests to me, and equally that I squandered that potential. These are not, surprisingly, unhappy thoughts.
Looking at the horizon helps me realise that just as a sudden burst of sun on the waves transforms them from dull grey to glittering silver and back again in a second, so to my own problems are only problems to me. Helps me put them into a proper perspective, a reassuringly comforting one, that in the scheme of things, they matter not a jot.
The flowers will not bloom because I’m feeling depressed. The waves won’t stop crashing on the beach in show of solidarity for me, neither will the sun go on strike, refuse to rise or set, until I feel better. The changing of the seasons won’t be affected any, the birds will still chirp away, bee’s will – hopefully – still pollinate and make honey and wasps will still do whatever the fuck it is that they do.
And that’s just as it should be. We are all going to die at some point and whether its coronavirus, a drunk driver, or being harpooned by a spear of frozen urine jettisoned from a jumbo jet, no matter how tragic or comical our death is, things will continue. That’s what I think of when I look at the horizon. Well that and how glad I am that I’m in the warm looking out at it, than on the sea, being buffeted by blustery winds, freezing my fucking tits off.