Thursday, January 8, 2009

Post Christmas

One of those days where I feel as if I haven't achieved enough. Yes, I had a list and it was good that everything got crossed off but the list had such choice items as 'Walk Jordan' and 'put script in'. Nothing very challenging. And I spent almost an hour browsing at Chadstone when I had determined to go only to Medicare to get my refund from the dermatology appointment. But I went to Target and ended up trying on a pair of pants for $18.80 – they were so huge they floated on me, but size 8 would have been perfect – and then I looked aimlessly through the bargain books at Borders.

I'm almost ready to challenge myself again. I've given myself a week off to recover from what was a kind of 'throat cold'. My throat has been hurting for weeks and finally the thing sputtered to life, causing helpless fits of repetitive coughing and a throat that felt like it contained a hard, angry red box whenever I swallowed. The cold's almost run its course but the sore throat gets worse at night, so much so that whenever I lie down the phlegm burns it and I can't sleep.

J has sauntered into my life. One minute I was uncertain, frightened, waiting outside Readings bookstore for this acerbic stranger to appear. We had 'hooked up', for want of a better term, on an 'adult' internet dating site. The next thing he was walking beside me apologising for being late and my first impression was that his chunky, olive face and body were solid, assimilable, and that there was no awkwardness of one person being taller. He is wrong in every way that matters – fashion sense, suburb sense, interest in books – but that makes it, somehow, possible.

And will it be? I have no idea. All I know is that it is the first relationship in living memory where I am using my intuition and not my rational mind. I'm taking it meeting by meeting. After the first time I assumed it would be a one-night stand. I left his place squinting in the hot midday Blackburn sunlight, totally enervated, appalled at his sleep-induced farts and rubbings, relieved to think I'd probably never see him again. 'See you round', he complained after my perfunctory lip smack. I motored away, up and down the Glen Waverley hills and into my blessedly solitary life.

But afterwards I felt as if I had abandoned him to all that was not easily solvable – his unemployment, his regret at moving, his own solitude. I had abandoned him and still my pelvis felt heavy with his body, my organs had plugged into his and still reverberated. I kept on remembering how he had been turned from me in the dim lit morning, the back of his head lodged deep in the pillow, his body doona-covered, his short dark hair all unmoving when he murmured 'I'm awake'. Such consciousness in the stillness, like something light and unknown watching me from an unseen vantage point.

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