I am unable to concentrate on work this past week. I sit and stare at my laptop for hours. Not cooking or cleaning or distracting myself with productive (if personal) endeavours, I sit and I stare, and I stew about it.
I continue to learn German on Duolingo. I haven't missed a day in a over a hundred days. But even this I don't do during work hours. Diese Katze ist mein Chef, nicht mein Haustier.
Something catches my eye at the base of the large houseplant, I've had it for years, like a crocheted cat toy that might've flipped into the pot. Only we don't have such cat toys. It's a mushroom, slender-stemmed, pale yellow. My research yields conflicting information — it's dangerous to the plant and the immediate environment and must be eradicated versus it's a healthy symbiotic relationship that should not be disrupted. Where did the spore come from? Did it pry its way through the window screen? Did it sneak in one morning when I opened the front door to greet the day? It puts me in mind of a passage in Tokarczuk's Primeval, and I wonder if it came purposefully to slow down time for me. Perhaps it imbues my tiny queendom with a magic power I've yet to discover, perhaps it will lull me into a quiet death.
I don't read much. I don't blog. Occasionally in the evenings my eyes wander over the jigsaw puzzle — Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights in 2000 pieces. I look at each piece as it constitutes the whole, and marvel at the weirdness of tangled limbs and futurist architecture. Why would birds care so much about these naive humans to feed them?
On Thursday I went for a Walk
. It was windy. The wind makes me restless, so I walk and walk. When I walk around the lake in the park, the trees bow down to slap me. Early afternoon and the park is reasonably sparse. Some people sleeping on benches. Some people staring into the void.
It's hours before I return home. I give up on work for the day. I sit on the balcony and read Gnomon. The wind roars along the ruelle like a sea monster, I feel like I sit just below the current, barely safe. I want to take off all my clothes and let the wind ravish me, but the wind doesn't even know I'm there.
Across the way, a woman is yelling into a void, what would you do without me, how would you take care of her, you do nothing, you think lawyers' fees are more important than spending time with your daughter, you should be fighting to spend time with her, you come and go at your convenience, what if something happened to me, what would you do. I saw him once on the balcony with the baby. It's heartbreaking, and I cry for her, and for me too, thanking her for saying the things I should've said years ago.
I lean across the table and kiss him lightly upon the brow in benediction, and feel something unknot in me that I hadn't know was tied. Malice, saved up against the day, but never really anything I wanted. I let it go.
Benedicite, Augustine. You silly arse.
It's like releasing a heavy sack. I feel muscles in my chest open and unlatch: freedom. I catch my breath at the feeling.