Jonah attended a birthday party a couple of nights ago. There is a Brazilian family who have a daughter in Jonah’s class and she invited the whole jolly lot to attend. They met at a place called Funville which is housed in a, admittedly, stunning mall just fifteen minutes screech from my lounge. Why it’s called Funville escapes me as it is neither a village nor a place where I would ever consider having fun. There are games and rides and a moderately pleasant soft play area. It costs a hell of a lot of money and the noise and light stimulation (pollution) is more than this grumpy bugger ever volunteers to receive outside of a rock concert. Therefore, the children had a wonderful evening eating chocolate, burgers and swiping their cash cards through the readers perched on the side of each and every claw grabber and whizzy wheel. I need to leave this paragraph as I feel nauseous.
Depositing my youngest there gave me two and a half hours with my eldest and fluffiest son. He wryly smiled when I suggested we went on a date. We went to our favourite curry house, ordered heaps of delicious dishes with butter naan to boot. I frequently say shit things and am well aware that I am weird on a date. Ben, however, is and will be awesome. Good manners, eye contact, hand holding, thoughtful questions, truly funny jokes (he avoids smut and sarcasm) and good ideas. On his request we headed down to the promenade to Throw rocks in the water. We couldn’t have pre-ordered weather at a more blissful temperature and as the sun went down we discussed the origins of the universe alongside the likelihood that we’ll live on the moon or Mars one day. I told him from the off I have no Idea of the origins of the universe or whether we’ll ever build condominiums on that satellite. He is also very comfortable with the idea this was all created by a super being although how it might of actually happened alludes him (as it does all of us really).
For a few years I went to church. I was what some call a born again Christian and churches can accommodate people in such a state. As much as my life needed rebooting, and I am grateful for the people I met and still love from those days, I was exposed to a plethora of poppycock which I have managed to trade for truth over the past decade. Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I learnt in that place not to give a toss what people thought of me. I learnt to stop competing with others. There is enormous sadness that comes from comparing ourselves with those around us. It’s restricting. I remember deliberately buying unfashionable jeans and ugly shirts simply to free my mind of the need to look swanky as I patrolled my borough. To this day I still don’t know how to dress myself and I take a little pride in that.
Contentment is as rare as great generals but it brings a freedom, a relief and a happiness which will remain buried until we can look nude in a mirror and smile kindly at the dazzling creature peeping back.