Bath People; COVID DAY 157…

Today I woke up.

I only had 6 and a bit hours of sleep, so no sleep-hangover felt somewhat like a miracle.

 I then watched as my hands navigated clusters of lumpy clothes scattered all over the floor, sifting for my running stuff. 

I think the morning productivity has become almost automatic since I started listening to inspiring speeches on Youtube, the minute my eyes open and the blinds draw. 

***Cue new-found morning energy which was has been absent for the past 22 years, that is before this week…. ***

 

By the time this thought crossed my mind, I’m already up and out the door, leaving 25 minutes for a run before my phone blinks 9am.

I had a pretty nice night last night, to what was a bit of a rollercoaster day. It wasn’t too busy but it felt like it emotionally. 

 

It started out so well;

I went to a great gym class, tried my new earphones out, and then called dad. 

Dad, whom the night before told me he had another explosive fight with his wife and that the police were called.  His marriage was always pretty turbulent but last night he sounded different. 

He sounded alone in his sadness like he didn’t want my shoulder to lean on or some fluff to help him forget. I thought not being able to understand my dad was a con but I later realised it did offer the silver lining of being somewhat of a novelty to his day. Like a court judge to a celebrity magazine.

After a few more futile attempts, he made an excuse of having lots of work to do and I pretended to believe him.

I wondered if his shift in tone meant that for the first time in years he was unable to pretend his marriage was anything but what it was. And how this most recent fight meant he didn’t have a chance of taking off his rose-colored lenses because she literally and figuratively broke them, using a mattress… 

Together they made love look like this thing that needed surgical removal with kid-gloves. I hate how love does that to people. 

What was once so beautiful and soft, has this duality of sitting and rotting inside of people. Like love isn’t sustainable in anyone.

 

Over a late breakfast of oats and strawberries, it came to me that love is kind of like my bowl. Some bowls just aren’t built for the microwave, no matter how much you like them. And sometimes you just have to make that choice: uncooked food or a different bowl. One that was made for high temperatures and doesn’t shatter under pressure.

I think if I’ve learned anything from my parents it’s that permanency and humanity should never be in the same room let alone try and sleep in the same bed. Change is really what life is all about and making the most of the time you have. Not compromising and doing half of what you want to do and then feeling annoyed at the other half that isn’t you.

No wonder people prefer alternative partnerships where freedom is allowed. Maybe… we just enjoy shaming each other and that’s the problem?

If you’re single, you’re told you need someone and if you’re in a relationship the shame can be seen from inside the partnership or from other couples.

I inhaled another cup of coffee, so the caffeine could glue my two halves together as a reminder that I’m whole all by my mother fuckingself. MMMmmmmmmmMMMMMmmm.
 

I then tried meditation but it seemed like I was too restless for it to work, so I called my mum as a means of distraction. 

Her voice made me feel relaxed and at ease, that was until she started talking about her toxic relationship being lovely and enjoyable and I just had to hang up the fucking phone.

“WHAT THE FUCK!” I screamed to absolutely no one. The dog didn’t flinch. 

Annoyed, my mind clicked over to my own romantic entanglements. It’s become somewhat of a COVID co-curricular in our flat-house to Hinge-binge or online-date. Some needed variation to the day that’s become a stress-release to sprinkle attention over different tabs and different names throughout the day. 

Dating in the initial stages makes ambiguity of those we chat with appear light. Even sexy. We don’t mind that they don’t tell us everything about them. We aren’t suspicious but rather intrigued. 

I also like how you can try different sides of yourself depending on the person you’re chatting to. E.g. If they know you like Dolphins and they like then too, in a few days of texting you have basically trained and won every Dolphin Trivia Night in any state or territory ( if it wasn’t for COVID…). 

 

T___ is one tab that is dry over text but checks in a lot. He is also fun in bed with insightful books scattered around his room. However, none of those ideas or words seem to come out his mouth so I figure they may as well be for decoration.

He often chokes on his masculinity and gets easily annoyed when I pull him up on it. But he can apologise and is soft when no one is looking. In the early hours of the morning, he thinks deeply about his parents, his shallow friendships, and what he does when he’s sad, all while stroking the inside of my palm. 

In saying that, the dance must end soon as I know the novelty of the language-barrier will lose its luster. And I want to be with someone who when I came home from a long day, there will be a shared understanding. Not a whole google-translate skit where one of us has to retire to the balcony in order to breathe less-exhausting air. It can look simple or thoughtful; like a question or some fish served up on a plate.

But I don’t think this is that, so I just have to accept we swim in different ponds and wish him well. 

M___ on the other hand is the opposite. We haven’t met, on account of him needing to move back home during COVID. He’s complex yet crumbly, like a melting moment. He’s also masculine in that it’s not an obstacle but rather a fact. His voice carries a confidence that comes from his mind working in tandem with his mouth. Somewhat of an anomaly for a guy in his early 20’s. 

Oddly enough, I knew this about him before we really began speaking because I googled his work out of curiosity and found his documentary instead. 

It shows he moves, how he talks to people. His voice narrates for 20-minutes straight, on the ins-and-outs of music production, which comes out rather nasally at first, but gradually becomes more smooth as time goes on. Like Peanut-butter resting on hot brown toast. 

The more we talk the more I realise how everything about him comes across purposeful and aligned. Very ambitious but also honest. 

He makes me nervous when I text him like I’m peeling and painting new parts of myself at the same time.  However, the more familiar we become the more I worry that in person there won’t be that zing… but I guess it’s better to try than not.

L___  speaks like an artist-stoner but dresses like a trendy London banker without meaning to. His tab is yellow to match his yellow puffer jacket which he wears over the top of suits. He likes weed and dances the night away with the majority of his friends around trendy areas of Western Sydney. We have an ice-cream date on Wednesday. 

Then there is A__ whom I met last Friday and I ended up liking his car more than him.

Colm is an Irish guy whom I discuss breakfast with as he tries to figure out a witty way of getting me to eat said foods off his body.I lightly entertain the idea for a spark of entertainment to which with no skin-to-skin contact, the interest will soon fade.

 

Towards the end of the day, I sat in the park and watched as the light vanished from the sky and the temperature went with it.  

A white dog started to nudge my arm and I realised he wasn’t mine before his owner scooped him up like fresh ice-cream from the shop. 

“Sorry, Henry forgot his manners,” the owner said.

I smiled in response. 

Shortly after I began feeling the cold, so I began pondered whether or not to head back, when the same voice asked,

 “Are you here for puppy play-school?” 

She sits down next to me.

“Oh no, I’m just enjoying the weather,” I reply.

She chuckled, “… well, you should stay! We meet every Monday, at 5pm. Tonnes of dogs!” 

By the time we finished talking, I knew she sourced most of her furniture from the back-alleys around the area and she was a single female with a passion for sewing. 

“Well it was lovely meeting you, I best go grab a coffee before I head home,” I tell her. 

“See you next week!”

I gave Henry a goodbye pat and then realised just how cold it was. 

 

 

On the walk home I checked my phone to find 3 new messages. 

All from my best-friend who texted me to say he couldn’t come to my birthday next week. 

I inhaled my disappointment and forgot to exhale.

Suddenly my head felt as heavy as earlier in the day and by the time I reached home, I had nowhere to hide. 

So I decided I needed a bath and grabbed as many candles as possible. 

The warm water wobbled and curls around my knees. I felt like human soup; full of noodle-limbs and floating mushroomy-bits. 

I turned out the main light and closed my eyes, ready to enter a new world free of people. 

The candles painted the walls in dim yellows and liquid golds and I pretended to be in a Swedish bathhouse somewhere that even I didn’t know who I was. 

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