i’m not doing a very good job of being here. on the other hand, i’m doing a sterling job of not being here. i mean, i have been here, only i’ve been working. that 300-page textbook job evolved — over more 1-and-2am bedtimes than i care for — into a 384-page textbook job. it’s not over yet, but it is back in the hands of the editorial department, for now.
a couple of weeks ago, i wasn’t actually here at all. i was in melbourne, where the tree outside the cottage industry shop on gertrude street is adorned with a patchwork of lace doilies, and the adjacent sign post wrapped up in a crocheted cozy. all very apt, for the proprietor of cottage industry, one penelope durston, crafts the loveliest arm warmers in a mindboggling range of dusty hues. i must not give in to them, because i already have three pairs of arm warmers, however a couple of years ago i did surrender to a rather fetching shopping bag she’d made out of two vintage tea towels (one was covered in fancy historical teapots and the other presented a nautical scene involving lobsters and lobster pots).
but yes, now i’m back in sydney, with a little breathing room, and where it turns out another pair of arm warmers would not be unwelcome when the temperature dips treacherously at night.
no matter, i turn on my electric blanket before taking the kid into the shower, and then after she’s all clean and shiny, we tuck ourselves into bed and read. we’ve just finished “charlotte’s web”, and towards the end, i started getting that feeling of needing to put the book in the freezer. but we bravely pressed on, into the face of certain death.
afterwards, the kid was subdued, and ventured, “i have a sore throat. you know how sometimes when you’re sad and your throat hurts?” she touched the base of her neck. mmmyes, i was certainly familiar with that feeling.
i could put it down to sleep deprivation. or maybe just the passing of time, or youth, or spiders. maybe the thought of being not here, some day six months from now.