Thought I'd slunk off?
No, I moved house but the internet didn't. The move went well- dad and my uncle (brother-in-law not my father's brother) moved all my things (heavy things) up the flight of stairs. Packing had actually been quite nice; an inventory of my life.
The first night we ate sausage and mash off plates on our laps, Mal's chap and her sister were over. But we only had two sets of cutlery. Since the others were guests Mal and I ate ours with kitchen knives and measuring spoons.
The next night some friends came over (Cram and KD) and we had roast chicken and icecream with brandy soaked berries and chocolate sauce. Cram brought us some cava (left over from Christmas) and we listened to music, talked.
I thought, in the kitchen (a nice kitchen), as I cooked the dinner and all that, that I am inescapably an adult now. A young adult. But not a teenager, definately not a child.
And I didn't mind, but it's strange. I'll be 21 in a week (less, you now). I thought certainly I'd be further along than this, but further to where I'm less sure.
That was the start of the month, we've been here a few weeks now.
I love my little flat (it's not that small). It has big windows and we keep it tidy. In the living room- as well as the obvious big armchair and ugly sofa (covered in a blue velvet throw) is my piano, a bookcase full of books, my record player, my typewriter, Mal's computer (which doubles as the telly) and her speakers. On the wall are pictures (we haven't finished putting up the pictures yet- so far it's just some nuns (some playing football, one on a lawnmower, others on tricyles) and a martyrdom of St Sebastian I made. On the desk is a vase of pink tulips.
Because the piano had to go in the living room, I took the smaller bedroom. It's as neat and chaste as a nun's cell.
Rosebuds on the curtains, blue flowers on a white duvet. White desk, white dressing table. White wedding, never the bride. Always the virgin, always the sacrifice.
I am lonely enough that it's eating me up. Quelle difference. If I think about it accidentally- which I do, inevitably- it makes me sure I'm going to cry. But I don't.
I'm trying to lose weight. I don't eat meat during the week. I don't eat between meals. I am eating the right ammount of fruit and veg.
I go swimming as much as I can. I hope to see a difference by April and to have lost enough weight- there is an 'enough'- by July. I'm not fat, I just want to pair down the excess and to be stronger.
In March I want to start boxing classes, but I want to get into better shape first.
[While I swim, I count the lengths. 1-50. Not more because I don't want to be tired when I go the next day.
And I think:
There was a woman who was a seal. Not a comical seal with a ball on its nose or a seal in zoo, just a seal like a black shadow in the water, inscrutable as an oil slick. And she had a love whose legs moved in the water like seaweed- that was her love. An old fisherman caught her by the skin. Skin wet and mysterious as a rock pool, she had laid it by the sea shore at low tide. He kept it in a cupboard and tried to ignore her sad seal eyes. But it couldn't last.]
I am taking my degree seriously now. I'm reading and reading and bursting with ideas and optimism. If I can sustain this for the next year and a half I'll be fine.
Also, I'll admit to a secret: I'm writing poetry again. Not with much hope, of ever being good at it. But better than I was when I stopped- more or less- when I was 16.
And I've been thinking about the effect of depression- if you want to call it that- on my life over the last three years. I've ended up molded out of shape by depression, recognisable but wrong; like a record that's warped. Which is less a black dog, than the black puppy snuffling in my lap and ocassionally the blackbird pecking out my eyes.
The focus on my body and on working hard at my degree is in part to close the door on my mind, where depression (the black fog outside the windows) can get in so easily it seems.
I think I do want to call it depression. The conman- that imposter- who convices me everytime that I'm a stranger. Depression is identity theft. Well enough. It's time to grow up.