I Ha’ Been Away
It’s been quite a while since I’ve done any proper writing. I stopped because I was overwhelmed by other things such as work, stuff and other stuff. It’s not a good thing to stop doing though, especially if, like me, you happen to have a memory like a broken colander and your writing is the only way to keep track of anything. It’s also my main outlet for mind screaming, uninterrupted babble and the road to organising my ideas into stories and partly coherent thought cubes. I’ve been Legoing and things in the meantime, but that doesn’t fulfil the same internal purposes of key-twatting.
So my stories lie tailless and lost, my thought threads are unwoven, my emotions become opaque and unknowable. I was about to begin writing again, at least a weekly update (my diary) or some Lego pictures, but then our baby, Merly-Boo was killed by a dog not ten feet from our back door. I have no real way to convey the loss of a cat or any pet who is so loved. I know that not everyone gets it – some people just don’t understand how you could feel more for the loss of a pet than another human being -stranger, friend or relative. So the first thing I wrote in months was a eulogy to our Picklemoose. Four weeks on now I don’t feel as if I am any more ready to embark on life. Every return home and doorway we pass through is an opportunity to forget what has happened and be bereaved anew. The constant heartbreak is awful. My Dad has thoughtfully brought us some children’s books about understanding and accepting grief for our small fuzzy friends. I can hardly bear to look at them, but I think they will help.
I’m Not Back Yet
At times I feel like a balloon that has lost its skin. It is hard to focus, to create, to live. It is necessary though. I know that there will come a time when I think of Merly, or see my other half think of Merly and I won’t want to stab myself in the heart to let out the pain. That’s almost worse though, to know that grief, the remembering of love can end. Does that mean the love ends? I know it doesn’t, but right now it feels like moving on requires some kind of forgetting and I think I equate forgetting with not caring (because how can I care about something if I don’t remember). I suppose that’s a stage in grieving too.
I miss all of the beloved creatures who have left life behind. I remember the cats: beautiful crazy Smokey, who was killed by another cat when I was maybe only five or six, Bonny who moved to Staffordshire with us and was black and soft and lovely. Little devilish Jeri, a pint-sized cat with half a tail who I used to carry around in my dressing gown pocket – fierce, who loved to bite and claw at a sock dragged half off your foot, and the first cat I’d known from kittenhood. Lovely honey-coloured tabby Holly who lived in my bedroom and visited the world through a catflap we cut into the glass window; the first cat I’d had sleep with me every night. The first cat Marilyn and I had together: Spats, a feisty independent black and white cat with the smartest white tie and spats you ever did see. She preceded our Merly-Boo.
And there are all the other cats we’ve met. Befriended through patience, squeaking and purring and crouching behind cars in the rain. We name them all, and think of them. There are too many to list, but for now I’ll happily recall Mini-Spats, a tiny tiny clone of our darling who used to make me late for work by being adorable and affectionate. Twinkle, a massive white cat with black ears and tail who Spats absolutely loathed despite his overtures of friendship. Powder, who as a kitten climbed up my bicycle and onto my head. Oscar the flat faced ginger cat who headbutted at the gate in his urgency to be stroked and to nuzzle at knuckles. So many friends. All now moved away or otherwise gone with no explanation. I miss them all and think fondly of them.
No longer expecting to see someone is not the same as forgetting them, but I think it’s necessary to keep on going.
Lighter Bits of Brain Not Worklings
Being a bit fucked in the brain does however offer some entertainments. Three of my mind-spazzes that amused me today:
1) Gazing uncomprehendingly at the grill tray because it had the liner but no grill bit. It just looked wrong but I couldn’t figure out what was missing. It took me several goes to correctly layer tray, then liner, then grill, then foil and finally gammon.
2) Losing the word ‘beat-boxing’ when trying to talk about Reggie Watts turning up in Pitch Perfect 2 (not a bad sequel, but is far too long with too many new characters, none of whom were better than the funniest characters in the first one. I really enjoyed the mashup songs though). The only version I could produce was ‘mouth beating’. It really doesn’t sound as good. “Reggie Watts is an excellent mouth beater isn’t he?”
3) I no longer understand clocks. In trying to figure out what time an item on eBay was ending, I added four hours to seven PM and got one AM. I appparently think there are now twenty hours in a day. That does explain quite a lot.
(for fuck’s sake)