Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here be dragons

They ask me sometimes what PMS is like, those people who don't have it. I never quite know how to describe it, though I can tell stories of skidding across a kitchen floor on the half a kilo of dried penne I had just thrown on it, of sobbing on a swing surrounded by a shredded loaf of bread, of spending an hour crouched on the floor cleaning the gunk out of the bit of the dishwasher you only see when the door is open, of learning the hard way never, ever to make major life decisions when the moon is swelling.

Basically, it's a random mixture of big horror and fixation with tiny details. You don't look forward to it, but hey, it's not boring. Yesterday I was down at the allotment by myself. There are a million things that need doing at the moment... digging, watering, hoeing, hacking at nettles, more digging... but the only thing I wanted to do was squat by the rocket patch and thin out the seedlings.

I'd left this a tiny bit late and it was a delicate job, stroking the leaves apart and feeling down underneath the little clumps to tease a stem away and pull it out without disturbing any of the others. It was hot and the soil was almost steamy (I worked out it was easier to pull out damp seedlings than dry ones) and it was kind of mesmerising. I was fascinated by my own fingertips and the things they can feel. It was restful to be focusing on a little patch of earth and not having to think about the rest of the big scary world.

And then I had a flash of a TV programme about hand transplants that I saw many years ago. It was disturbing, these men with someone else's hand sewn on the end of their arm, learning how to pick up coffee cups. One of them went all purple and had to be taken off again. Big, clumpy dead men's hands.

And then I couldn't thin the rocket anymore. An hour or so later, there was the little dark stab of pain that let me know it was ok to put my pyjamas on and curl up in a ball. No more dead men's hands for another month, hooray!




Blogger tomato said...

I meant to tell you that I love this post, and in relating it to a friend in Dragonland, it managed to make her laugh just as much as she'd just been roaring a moment before. True.

11:08 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

Thank you tomato! One of the useful side effects of That Time Of Month is that you really do learn that sanity is a continuum.

12:20 pm  
Blogger tomato said...

Yes! Like an MC Escher image. Ants and stairs and warped reflections...

7:29 pm  

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