who’s counting?

Daryl is singing to me while I write to you. The kids are always joking he’s my next husband but we all know that’s not going to happen. I mean we’d have to meet first, right!?!

How the heck did I get here? In one minute it’s 55 years since I was born. There it goes. The clock ticked! Only a couple of years ago I found out the time of my birth so it was actually really cool to watch it on the screen just now.

The tests were all clear but I guess you knew that would be the outcome. It’s the waiting, the anticipation that’s the worst. Note to self – in future when you ring for an appointment take the first one, don’t give yourself weeks to wimp it up!

I keep dodging bullets! No excuses, the big girl says ‘you’re so much healthier than you think you are’…yeah.

Just one more tune. Wait, Billy Thorpe is third ahead – he can sing to me then I’ll go upstairs. We’ll see what 55 looks like in the morning ;-)

(throw your hands up in the air if you know who daryl; and billy thorpe are. geography will out you methinks)

inner city sunday

There are two families across the road with young children, daughters, of similar ages. The last two weekends have been full of play and laughter, loud happy voices. Sounds that should bring heart gladness and yet, are actually annoying. Perhaps just sound on Sunday morning gets me that way.

So there’s that.

Then there’s the cigarette smoke I go to sleep with. Late, late at night it’s like someone is sitting on the end of my bed smoking one after another. Our houses are all joined, row houses, but still… I can only guess that one of the kids next door is on their balcony, or their roof deck. Is the smell coming down the chimney?

I have times I’m so blissed out none of this worries me. I wouldn’t even notice it. When I’m raw and fragile the laughter pin pricks my skin, the nicotine clogs my airways. What to do about external things that become a part of your story unbidden?

We had lunch at the pub today. Fake lunch – three bites do not a meal make, delicious though they be. Two generations to celebrate the young one’s birthday. And rooms full of about to go to the football-ers. Sweaty, sardine standing room only, lose your voice bar. Staff bringing food slowly, breaking glasses, deer in the headlight eyes… The pub wasn’t coping – it’s seams burst.

And then they went off to see their team win. I watched from the couch.

A good end to a crazy week of work and/or a distracting beginning to the ‘procedure week’ – the looming of it hanging heavier the closer it gets. Countdown to over though!

who you gonna call?

A little day procedure coming up. You can’t leave on your own. Who do you ask to pick you up?

I like to keep these things very private but even so – I’m single, I find myself good enough friend-less, I don’t wish to share this with siblings, and the only offspring that is close geographically, is a) busy and b) I really don’t wish to share this anyway.

So where does that leave me?

I’ll just get a taxi. I guess once it’s said and done the desk staff can’t stop me?!

What about getting there though? I hope I have the strength to get there by taxi…

Have you been in this position?

continuing the conversation

It’s a suburb of the big city but this beachy side has a small town feel. Or there’s magic here…and I do want to stay. I took an extra day this trip which means the morning will be hectic. An early, long drive to the office from here.

The pace here is holiday the look super casual and reminds me of the 70’s, teen years. Thongs (flipflops!) or bare feet, board shorts, bleached unbrushed hair. Everyone just stepped off the sand, their boards leaning nearby. No hurry, no stress.

Yesterday I went to check my car tyres. Been on my mind for some time but just haven’t had the time to hunt down a petrol station with a working air pump. I found one, I committed to using it and of course it was old school. The newest, automatic ones are tricky – this was a daunting dinosaur. In keeping with locals being chatty the guy from the tank in front of me asked ‘do you want to use this? I only have two more tyres to go’…’I’m going to try’ I smiled. ‘I’ll do it for you’.

Say what?

Not I’ll show you, or I’ll do one…he checked the four tyres and brushed off my thanks before smiling and waving on his way. Infinite gratitude, seriously.

Today’s joy was an encounter with a lost dog on my way to a hair cut. A Tibetan monk told me long ago – there’s no such thing as coincidence. Tank man and lost dog? I could have missed either experience by minutes… This old dog was weaving across the narrow road. No ID tag. We walked together til he turned up the third drive, and I watched til he was out of sight.  I couldn’t find anyone to hand him over to but he walked up that steep driveway so slowly, home. Paused a few times and looked deep into my eyes – do I know you? come on, come with me? come and meet the folks? or, thanks for bringing me home.

I’m going home tomorrow too. Until I can make this my home. And when I’m back I’ll keep my eye out for both of them.

man at petrol station – black tank, great blue shoes

surfer man at supermarket

a smile per aisle

late night abortive fish run

lost dog

haircut

prawns

wind, laziness, peace

noble silence

I didn’t speak to anyone today. That wasn’t in my plan. I did go out but I just didn’t engage.

I heard people speak – at the lookout, at the beach.

lookout

I can see people on the neighbours’ balcony – first time since the old man died and his son renovated. And they’re all talking to each other, drinking tea, looking relaxed.

And I have heard so many different birds. Some singing such beautiful songs. Others squawking and screeching – no other way to describe it!  The prettiest little birds, rainbow coloured, have the shrillest voices! Just as suddenly as the symphony began, it ended. Now absolute silence outside. Inside the overhead fans are both spinning. Same make, same model, both on high – yet each with a sound of its own.

This morning’s early drizzle scared off by summer’s last fling. And because of the heat – the town area full of day trippers so, I didn’t hang around. Took some photos and stared out to sea from my spot in a line of local surfers. All gazing and deciding whether to get the board out.

surf?

talking to locals

You might know her? She’s young and gorgeous. Goes to the supermarket in her gym gear. I’d be intimidated, would expect her to be super confident and superior. I didn’t have time though – and isn’t that the wonder of it. A good kick in the judgemental gene.

I was all caught up in my head while I transferred from trolley to belt and hadn’t looked at her, didn’t have time to make that silent call, when she spoke to me.

We bonded over raspberry yoghurt.

It was only a brief chat but I appreciated that more than she probably knows. Including me in her community with grace.  What a lovely young woman – my hope is that, like her goodbye to me, she has a great weekend.

I am having a great weekend thank you. Birdsong from the front of the house, waves from the rear. A large family of Noisy Miners doing what they do best – being noisy!! Ha ha. Their play session turns aggressive. They even swoop the much larger Magpie and I know she has at least one baby to feed so I try to give her some space while she eats… Her baby sings while waiting and what a beautiful voice! And a mass of sailboats glide on by…I guess they’ll be back later.

Did you talk to someone new today?

boarding pass

That boy on the couch emailed one day and then ended up all over the second bedroom for a week. Clothes from doorway to balcony. Shoes where he stepped out of them downstairs. Glasses of water in random locations. Front door left wide open not once but twice. Luck kept us safe.

Yesterday he left. And then today he left. It’s a long story but tonight he’s eating nasi goreng and listening to gamelan. I don’t expect him back but never say never right.

I went from mothering to distress. Too many reminders. Similarities. Are many young men like that? Must be. Too too much worry.

And then, one of the nights, I heard my own son’s voice in the street.

Thought bubbles swirl in my head with no escape. Why is it so, and how do I get us back from here to long ago there. The last few days in particular strange.  The pain so sharp.

So, the second bedroom is empty again. Heart not singing and head fogged. I will wake up in the morning and go to work with a different face on. All energies focused.

I’ve got this.