Looking at myself

” I really don’t care what celebrities do,” he said, while I watched him dip some orange and mayonnaise covered prawns into soy sauce. 

Cue yet another silence…

It was early December but really it felt like November. The month where everything slows down and tiredness sets in, after another long year. So many faces, flatmates and employers. So many needles ( vaccines ). Months that sprint by and then moon-walk to the end- 2021.

New jobs, assignments submitted. Deadlines, birthdays, periods that dot calendars. Birthdays, birthday messages, presents, payslips. 

Too many carbs causing floatation through the day. Too much alcohol, leading to a rough week ahead.

Too much exercise- get sick and have to lose the progress. 

Excitement over dates; tall drinks, short drinks, bath-tub shaped drinks… to a gin and tonic, and finally a mineral water with lemon.

“No- more, more lemon. Thanks.”

Rent, rent. rent. Clean the house, over and over again. Avoid cleaning the toilet, again, again and again. 

I always feel a little nostalgic this month. Even some melancholy, about the year that was. December is the time that people start buying Christmas presents and shed their yearly budget. It’s the common break-up time as it makes the most sense with single NYE and Christmas almost here. And its also the time I usually dye my hair pink. 

My escapism no longer taking the form of expensive overseas trips but rather a my-little-pony fantasy, to welcome some optimism for a new year to liven up an old me.

————-

I was struck by this wild thought today, walking back from voting… ( it’s mandatory in Sydney). 

My thought was maybe we don’t grow older we just get more tired.

Because when you think about it- men choose younger women because they want to feel young, (or so my dad says.)

So maybe our lust for life and possibilities is the thing that ages, and not really us. 

Maybe, age is just a number that society has assigned, for organisation and to shame us. I mean, if gender is a construct, why not age?

And to add to this perhaps completely stupid/enlightening argument, people die all the time at different ages due to natural happenings. So really, is age a warning for death, or a reminder to do everything you want to do before you hit the magic three digits?

—-

“Aren’t you exhausted of always trying to teach people how to behave, according to what you think?” I felt the ugly words shooting out of my mouth; kind of surprised.

“What.. No?” Of course he wasn’t tired of himself. Rather, I was tired. 

l was starting to think December was turned me into a bear. 

A bear that needed 15-hours of sleep a day.

A bear with a room that needed a depression clean, but whenever I tried to, I just went for a depression nap instead.

A bear that perhaps had iron-deficiency, definitely a broken finger and an employer who needed to be reported to fair-trading Australia for not paying her staff, while opening a second restaurant. 

But morso, I was a bear that didn’t know exactly why she felt this low. 

Perhaps it was that I was tired of trying to make C and I work and this month I had finally given up. 

It had been two months and already I felt like we had the side pieces of the jigsaw, with all the main parts missing. I hated how his mouth was full of critiques and his defence was it was just how he was raised.

Be better,” he would tell me.

“Fuck off,” I would reply, both of us not laughing.

It seemed like the only place we spoke the same language was the bedroom. And yes, sharing someone’s body was great, but sharing someone’s mind and thoughts was far more interesting to me.

So I ended it, nicely over text and then as requested, again over call. This time, with an edge in my voice as he rinsed all the goodness out of my words so they said exactly what he wanted to hear. 

Later that week, after some drinks out, I ended up jumping off the bus halfway home.

It wasn’t planned and my phone died ages ago but another 10 minutes passed and I found myself in the massage parlour, undressing for a Thai man. 

My lower-back had been sore for days, but the whole time I was really thinking about how C use to massage me.

How it was intimacy between us and not the least bit sexual, but soft. How he wasn’t kind with his words but rather with his physicality. And how this was the place I would miss him most.

And so in some ways, the massage did feel like the equivalent of sex with a stranger. And it must have looked it, as I walked home with my body lubed up in massage oil and my hair stuck to my face.

But I felt this overwhelming need to remove the memory of C off my skin; the weight of an ex-lover from my body.

When I arrived home, all the lights were off.

And I felt strangely so relieved. I thought it was possibly the closest feeling I’ve come to being an introvert. 

The darkness, the quiet- so peaceful.

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