Oct 09

Not Quite Spring, Not Quite Saturday

You thought, somehow, that when you got back to Wellington it would be warm, like spring, or spring-like in nature, and that you would be able to wear some of your adorable new mass-produced American clothes. You have been able to, actually, now that you think about it you’ve been wearing those clothes all week: you’ve been able to wear your new black overcoat, which looks suspiciously similar to your old black overcoat, although you hope this one won’t shed buttons and develop huge holes in the pockets quite so readily as the other did, all winter long. You’ve been able to wear a too-bright pink fake-fur lined hoodie and some new purple sneakers, with thick socks underneath. A new pair of jeans today. You froze all the way home on two buses—you’d been to some friends’ to borrow a top hat; it’s Halloween tomorrow and even though New Zealanders don’t really do Halloween you’ve been invited to a costume party and you need a top hat and a waistcoat and authentic-looking pantaloons. You finished your book, which thank heavens you had, numb-fingered at all those bus stops, alone at the kitchen table over ravioli with olive paste and spinach and now it’s not even midnight, a Friday night in the last months of your first year of your mid-thirties, and you’re tucked up in bed under three blankets with two hot water bottles.

Your week’s been fine. You finished unpacking, you went to work. You answered some emails and went to some meetings. You went out for drinks and out to a movie. You were cold a lot. (You are always cold, a lot). You read a couple of books. You were twice woken at five in the morning, a whole hour before you were due to get up, by the thrashing of tree branches at your bedroom window, by the rain and wind coming off the bay and up the hill right into your dream, where you thought you were drowning and thought you were shipwrecked and thought you were abandoned at sea.

Your blankets are warm now and now it’s past midnight. This year—not your best year, not your most gracious or grateful– is almost over. You’ve got your tickets for Christmas, you’ve made your plans for New Year’s, you’re ready to move on into the next decade. Now the ears of my ears awake, says the little purple-and-red canvas you painted a couple of weeks ago and hung on the wall by your bed, right before you left for Florida. Now the eyes of my eyes are open, it insists, but you’re not sure. What is there to look at, what is there to see? The pictures on the wall, the half-open third dresser drawer, the hills of your knees and thighs nestled up in bed. The ears of your ears don’t hear a thing: only the creaking of the trees outside the window, the shuddering shivering wind.

You’ll turn off the light, in a minute, you’ll fall asleep on your pillows on a not-quite-spring not-quite-Saturday morning. You’ll wake up late, or late-ish, anyway. Whatever there is to be done, you’ll do it: out you’ll go, in you’ll return, forwards and back. The eyes, the ears, awake or open or otherwise, they’ll go with you, attached firmly enough to your head. They don’t have a choice, they have to keep hearing and seeing, whether they want to or not.