Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rearrange me till I'm sane

I've been back from the Hot Place for a week now. It feels like a lot longer, even though the calendar and the laundry basket both tell me otherwise.

Monday: went into work for a bit. Talked to a lot of people. Hugged some of them. Cried a bit. Came home. Dreamt about deleting things.

Tuesday: stayed at home. Thought I would go to the allotment. I got there eventually but I just sat on a plastic chair, staring at wet clay and hugging my knees. Have you got some time off? said J, from the plot over the way. I've been away, I said. I've just got back. Where have you been? he said. The Hot Place, I said. I work for NGO X. I don't really know what to do with myself. Just potter around for a while, he said, you'll feel better. And I did, for a bit.

Wednesday: went into work but in a drifty sort of way. Rearranged a few meetings, not wanting to be rude, and went to a few others. There is no money for anything at all this year, but we can't do free things because they are not in line with our expensive strategy. I'd taken a break from trying to square this circle, but it is not making any more sense than it did last month. Started to bleed, a week late. A little pressure valve in my head let off some steam. It condensed into tears during the lying down part at the end of yoga. Broke into emergency Temazepam stash.

Thursday: woke up into a softer world, then stayed in bed all day, alternately reading Ruth Rendell, tending to Sultana in Pet Society, surfing Hot Place blogs, and writing my 'learning points'. There are a lot of them. It was a good thing to do. There is a lot of blood as well. I tried to listen to my body, like they say you should. It seemed to be saying 'please drink red wine'. So I did.

Friday: Went into work, and got angry about something that on Wednesday had been down the end of a long tunnel. It's my job to get angry about these things, in a way -- and certainly if I don't, nobody else will, so it felt like a little trip back into the world I am actually supposed to be living in, rather than the one I stepped into briefly, where it is volatile and remote and normal rules do not apply. Here, there might be a point getting angry. But later, I had my first ever argument with housemate P, who is scathing about many things that I believe in, and believes in many things about which I am scathing. M intervened before it got too heated, which was sensible. We shook hands and left it for another day.

Saturday: Friendly allotment working party: lots of digging and we got the early potatoes in. Later, crumpets and a nap. Later still, pasta and vino at Fratelli's, where the lovely Ms Y reinvested the voucher she won in the animal sanctuary raffle. I can't remember what we talked about, which is exactly how I wanted it.

Today: I don't know. I'm still not feeling quite right, but I can see that at some point soon I will be. We've sorted out the shed, which is part of the official welcoming of spring chez joella, and M is cooking the pancakes that I missed out on the week before last. I don't want to *not* think about the Hot Place but I have to separate it out. It's not my story. It fits *into* my story somewhere, my story wanders around water, and women, and the indicators of civilisation, and a lack of faith in a benign universe, but the Hot Place belongs to other people.

This mild, damp, temperate place is my place, and while it can be hard to get your clothes dry, even harder to pay your gas bill and I'm SO BORED of parsnips, I'm mighty glad that my mix and match forbears set me down here.

joella

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