I’ve been struggling to write lately. So much so that I have been staring at that sentence for twenty minutes and still have no idea what I’m going to say next, that’s what you don’t know as a reader, how long a piece that takes you two minutes to read actually takes to write! I’ll show you.
I almost feel as though I have too much to say right now and pulling focus on it all is hard. (Goes to make coffee, decides food is needed so puts bacon on too, knows will forget and burn bacon, despite rereading this sentence about bacon forty times.) I’m stuck between a rock and a soft place at the moment. (Debates for five FULL minutes whether to mess with a well-known analogy or whether readers will just get it.) The rock being the house I am selling, my home for the last seven years, and the soft place being the house I am living in, my partner’s house, soft because it has him in and therefore feels comfortable and lovely whilst also feeling like I can’t land there because it’s not my space. (Knows that doesn’t even make sense to self, let alone anybody else.)
This weekend I have come back to the house I am selling and camped out in it whilst visiting friends and waiting to pick the kids up from their Dad. (Pauses, how much detail does a reader want about camping out in a fully packed house? Do they need to know that I watched a film in the bath just because the house is so quiet? Or that my neighbour burst through the front door yesterday because she thought I was a burglar?) I won’t lie, it’s been weird. This is the house I brought my son home to from the hospital, this is the house where my daughter learned to ride a bike and play the piano. (Ah, reminisces far too much to share.) (Also, smells bacon cooking, yum, so hungry.) This is also the house where my marriage collapsed, in nebulous proportions, the house where I lost joy and any sense of being ‘in this together’ with another human, the house where I learned how lonely a relationship can be. (Reads that as self-pitying, maudlin drivel, but it is how it feels so, cringing, leaves it in.)
The ghosts of this house are made all the louder by the fact that it is all packed up and ready to go, it feels so different physically, it echoes in more than one way. (Bacon update; it will probably break a tooth but I like it crispy, it’s cooling down before I make a roll.) With no children here, or dog, to fill the gaps it seems lonelier than ever before. Empty cupboards, empty fridge, even the loo roll holders are empty, it’s not particularly pleasant. (Need the loo now that I’ve thought about it, will make roll after so this is a good ten-minute break.) (It turned into twenty minutes, had another coffee and a cigarette and wondered if revealing that I’m writing this in my underwear is too much and if I should share what film it was I watched in the bath.) (Rereads whole thing again because it’s been so long.) It’s not particularly pleasant but it is necessary and probably doing me some good on some level.
I am in limbo at the moment and limbo is hard to accept, you have to find ways to anchor yourself to something, self-care should be ramped up but all the things I do for self-care are hard to do in someone else’s house and even harder to do in this strange house, this remnant from a past I will carry with me forever. (Another five minutes thinking about self-care and how ridiculous it is that I’m not doing it, a minute of shame, must carry on.) The silver lining of this limbo is waking up to my partner, listening to his soft snore at night, knowing he will come home from work to me, knowing that this is only temporary. (Picks phone up and texts partner to say he is missed, finds text from partner saying the same.) (Realises it has taken an hour and fifteen minutes to write this far, contemplates deleting everything, all 711 words.) (Taps the theme from Dogtanian on the keyboard whilst waiting for inspiration to strike. Wonders if readers are in their underwear.)
Today my children will arrive, hopefully early enough that we can catch the train to Great Yarmouth to go to the caravan that my partner is holidaying in. I will be thrust back into my current life and this strange interlude will be over. I will have achieved nothing but surviving this weekend and I’m actually pretty proud of that, I feel like Ray Mears must feel after a trip to the jungle. (Debates if I should reveal how long it took me to open the Fray Bentos pie I had for tea last night, Ray would have done it much faster. Also, still debating if the title of the film should be revealed, I would want to know.) (Checks Twitter because phone has been buzzing so much, apparently people like my micro-fiction, toys with only ever writing micro-fiction from now on.) I have survived a spider in the bath, beige food for two days, the volume of silence, the echoes and ghosts and emptiness, I would have got a badge if I was a Scout. (Feels like this needs one more paragraph but is wholly distracted by bacon stuck in tooth, finds a shiny piece of paper to gently slide between teeth to retrieve bacon. Relief.)
I’ve been struggling to write lately, there’s so much going on and it all feels huge so it is lovely to have shared just how tricky it can be to write. I know a lot of it is plain old procrastination but that is a writer’s biggest demon, I have managed to write a blog using it for once instead of allowing it to use me. Winning. (Sits back feeling smug, just for a second, then good old doubt comes screaming in on it’s motorbike shouting “this sucks”!)
(It was Kingsman – The Golden Circle, a film I would heartily recommend purely on the strength of Elton John’s cameo, joyful, it’s given me a whole new respect for the man who I thought died in the great celebrity cull of 2016.)