Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Unsuccessfully seeking hermitdom
The two things I like best about la rentrée do not reflect well on me, I fear.
The first is alone time. I physically, mentally, emotionally require a great deal of it to function. It does not, it transpires, actually make much difference that my children, when you aren't asking them to do anything like dress or pick up their socks, or attempting to restrict their screen time, are undemanding and congenial company. Their mere presence is enough, like it alters the molecular what-the-fuck of the house or something and my foul, evil brain can't process it. This also happens when my spouse decides to work at home as he did yesterday: by 4pm I am losing my shit and muttering under my breath. How did I manage in an office? That must be different somehow, or I have just gone a bit wrong in the head since I stopped having a proper job. Anyway. I am a loathsome human being part 1.
I am a loathsome human being Part 2: la rentrée gives me the opportunity to Do Things Right, ie. acquire everything I am supposed to acquire, label colour code and align it neatly. Fill in forms in quintuplicate in neat black biro. Top up the canteen cards with ample monies. Renew the travel cards. Then I get to feel like I have achieved something and am also on some level a proper grown up. I don't know what it is: I mean, yes, I am a craven approval seeker in all aspects of my life, but I am not normally (ever) hung up on tidiness or order, quite the opposite indeed. Yet for a few weeks in September, I want everything to be perfect and I will do anything in my power to make it so. UNFORTUNATELY within minutes of me achieving this state of grace, entropy does its thing and my children do their thing and it all gets fucked up. Yesterday we already reached peak 'everything is broken', with many things lost, not working, forgotten, destroyed, instructions disregarded, appointments missed. I found this so upsetting I had a little strop and had to do three loads of washing and be allowed to watch University Challenge to calm down. My father was not a question this week, which he was last week to great familial excitement.
Soon, my desire for perfection will fade/be crushed and I will be reconciled to everything being a bit broken and late and shit again and I will stop being an absolutely unbearable person again, hopefully. Until then, I will be locked and bolted in here ALONE, lining up my felt tip pens and muttering.
F's current Chinese book comes with a poem a chapter. I have studied them with interest.
1. Good title
2. This seems to be a Chinese version of "think of the starving children in Africa"
3. OH GOD THE BEANS
4. I am maybe over-interpreting this one. Maybe the smoke is just from chimneys?
Or maybe not.
5. I like the Ode to the Goose
He had to read a Chinese book over the holidays called "Two Children Seeking The Joy Bridge" which sounds like a euphemism for something I don't even understand. The process of deciphering it was long and painful and I was involved more than I would ideally have wanted to be. The story featured a talking cow that said things like "Soon I will die and you can use my skin to make shoes," which was bracing.
Tuesday in the park with Oscar
A woman turns her baby in buggy round to get a good look at Oscar who is sniffing around in the grass, baby points in delight. Oscar turns his back on mother and child, squats and shits at hideous, unseemly length about 20cm from them.
A man is eating his breakfast in the sunshine on a bench out of a tupperware box. Oscar frolics up, rests his head on this total stranger's knee and whimpers repeatedly until dragged away.
A woman tries to stroke Oscar. Oscar feints to escape her, then pees on a tree stump just by the woman's feet, splashing her in ouipette urine.
Ouipette, bringer of joy.
50% This kind of nonsense
30% Imminent heat fear. It's THIRTY ONE OF YOUR EARTH DEGREES here today, which is hotter than it got all summer. We are all going to perish and then it's parents evening. Make it stop.
20% Sangliers on the beach