house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Forty Four Days, 1

1st of March and you're off to the UK, with Cheeta. My heart, my right arm, gone. Bereft and I don't even know it because of all the stress. My thumbs are chewed to the bone, which is utterly useless and pathetic – but, as you know, a vital ingredient of my angst. Like punishing the beating heart for going out of control. Pain like icing sugar snowing over this city, flake by bleeding flake. Awake at 5am, I call you, to make sure you catch that plane. Then coffee, then another call. No, casual reader of this diary, these are not hysterical calls. They sound quite sweet, a drowsy exchange of irrelevant and comforting information ('we've had showers', 'we're checking in', 'see you later'). I follow your journey then, throughout the day.

There's no one on the building site today, the place is peaceful, imperfect and full of sunshine. I am the sole day labourer today, ready to do some serious grouting in the living room. Trouble is, after mixing the grout until my arm feels about to drop, what I have is an ugly, lumpy mix that can't possibly fit between any tiles. I need MACHINES and – miracle! - find that industrial mixer thing in the tool shed. Even bigger miracle, I plug it in and IT WORKS! It almost takes me for a spin around the front yard when I first turn it on, but I find an anchoring position (semi-squat leaning against the wall) and mix the grout in short bursts and jerks. Passable, but makes an almighty mess when applied. Soon the floor resembles a greasy chess-board and I have to do these Swan-Lake tiptoe steps and hops to get anywhere. I also discover – just before the grout is dry – that I need to scoop a lot of it out from between the tiles with an old T-shirt (your orange one, Cheeta, you said it was too small, right?) This makes for another pleasant 3 hours.

… during which you've arrived at the Castle and Cheeta is left there to dance with the Minotaur. 24 hours and the hope of a good, breath-taking dance, his one chance.... and I can't do anything to help him (unless you think this endless underbreath prayer is 'help').

Saffie stays with me all day. Every time I sit down she's there and lays her head on my knee. Does she know?


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