Naughty Letters to Ms. Mac

Countless noble souls (and many fluffy kittens) sacrificed their lives during the making of this blog. We think you will agree they were worth it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Breakdown

She has felt it coming on over several days, she is seriously afraid that she’s losing it and that she won’t bounce back as usual because her body aches all over and the uncontrollable tears appear at the most inconvenient moments: upon walking to work; wrapping parcels for Christmas; she barely gets through a day of emotional overload: her friend losing a longed-for baby; hearing unexpected praise and encouragement from her son’s teachers; encountering her seriously ill neighbour in the street – he’s groaning and bent double with pain – she's panicking and not knowing what to do; she is kneecapped, gutted by grief and homesickness; deeply resenting the cold European winter; dreaming of - craving - a summer at home where the sun is surely glinting off the harbour right now; reading newspapers from home and listening to the CDs she bought from her favourite music shop on Lambton Quay; feeling her son’s paternal rejection more acutely than ever before; but she gets up every day and carries on, brave face, busy work schedule, hysterical laughter and emails with her best buddies, online flirting boosts her morale; she still feels sexy despite her lined face and dry skin shrivelling in the harsh north winds and the overheated buildings.

Her daughter wants cheese fondue for dinner, so they all three get busy in the kitchen, the grumpy one has gone out, so they laugh and play loud music; she shows her daughter how to cube the cheese, stir the sauce, her son makes a wonderful green salad and sets the table, they light many candles, they are laughing and eating and it tastes so good and looks so pretty, but it is spoiled by the early return of the unwanted presence bearing gifts for the girl and not for the boy; she wonders again how could she have got it so wrong? how could she – so capable and clever – how could she have chosen so badly and fucked things up? how could she be so lonely when she has so many friends? She wants to call Ms. Mac, but she will only sob incoherently on the phone and besides, Ms. Mac is entertaining dinner guests tonight. She hides her tears from the children, she cowers in the bathroom. She is tired of putting on the brave face; her talents are wasted on him; she is Doing Time, feeling trapped and desperate that things will not change soon enough even though she has great, grandiose plans for her future when the children are grown; she will be free to change careers and living arrangements – a vast palette of vibrant choices hovers tantalisingly on the horizon.

And she sits and writes some of it down, and she sobs as she types, but the children don’t see, they are entranced by Mr Bean on the telly (thank you Mr Bean), and she immediately feels calmer, reminding herself that things are always so much harder in the bitter winter, but in two months time the spring will return and bring brighter thoughts; that her vanity is foolish and self-indulgent; that cold water on the brave face performs miracles and soothes the red eyes; that she just has to grit her teeth and get on with it for now; she is grateful for all the good things, she truly is, and everything looks better in the morning and things will actually be even better in just a few short years. Oh, she has such plans! The plans are such a comfort. She has four years and five months to serve.

3 Comments:

  • At Sun Dec 16, 12:21:00 pm, Blogger Lesley said…

    Chin up, girl.
    Just when you think you can't take any more, things often get better. It's a law of the universe.

     
  • At Sun Dec 16, 10:15:00 pm, Blogger Michelle said…

    Sweetheart, sending care and love from the damp mugginess of your original homeland. I'd send you purriness from Zeb, only he is in a cattery (being spoilt rotten) in Welly while I'm sweating away in Tauranga. Many xxx and oooo

     
  • At Fri Dec 21, 07:09:00 pm, Blogger lettuce said…

    xxx

     

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