I’ve just been to drop Steve off at work. Very few cars on the road, for some reason. Then I went to the vet. I sailed past it and then turned left into Stewart Street and left again into the vet, pointing the car the wrong way. Could have been a problem, if a car had come in the IN. But I got away with this manoeuvre. I was picking up tablets for the stiff and arthritic Taro the white Labrador. She is woofing outside. I need to get up and let her in. She will not always be with us. It’s just gone 9am, so that means there’s a new Word of the Day.
I let Taro in. I checked email. I looked up the WOTD.
The word of the day is Assonance. My tweet:
“Assonance can go the f*k to sleep. I’m more in tune with dissonance.”
When I saw today’s word I said “fuck off” to myself. I’m really, really dirty on the world today. Last night, as I tried to go to sleep, I went on a violent mental rampage. I’ve never done quite this thing before. I was willfully imagining stabbing at various human bodies – they were men, big ones, like footballers – with knives, hurling rocks at them, pushing them off cliffs. I was chanting “fuck off, fuck off, fuck off”. I am violently opposed to not getting a publishing contract (the disgusting email came yesterday).
I woke at 3am with the grief.
After the vet, I went to get my coffee from Country Fruit. I was thinking about breakfast. There’s not much viable food in the house. I thought of buying nuts, an apple, plain yoghurt – things to make muesli with. It all felt too hard. It felt too hard to buy things other than coffee. So I went in and got the coffee. I stood there amongst all the bounty that is Country Fruit. The seafood behind the glass, including whiting. We used to catch whiting, in Carnarvon. When my sister Deb and I are waiting for something, we say we’re Whiting. There was a pile of dead whiting, silver skin, translucent flesh. And large, orange prawns. Two TV screens were going, one further back in the shop, one just above the counter where the woman was operating the coffee machine. There was a boy with long, styled hair (still trying to get used to young probably heterosexual men with styled hair) saying we should ban the burqua. He said if he couldn’t go to a servo with his face covered, why should anyone else? He is using Facebook to organise a demonstration. The ticker text across the bottom of the screen was saying – hopefully perhaps – that there could be a riot like the one at Cronulla. Lisa Wilkinson and Ita Buttrose were sitting there, poised to comment. Lisa Wilkinson started speaking. She was saying she grew up with a community of nuns at the end of the road so she was used to women in religious clothing.
Distracted by the screen, I barely registered the woman who took my money and gave the coffee.
Outside, there were ducks. There were a couple of ducks on George Street, small, vulnerable. One on the median strip, one on the footpath looking awfully like it wanted to cross. On the grass in Machattie Park, a whole flock of ducks. It was as though they were assembled for an event, a demonstration that might start a bit later.
Assonance is the word of the day; dissonance is more like it. I feel quite expletive about my rage. Quite willing to be loud and fast and furious and devil-may-care and the words I want to say over and over again are Fuck off or Go the fuck to sleep. As in, Go the fuck to sleep for ever.
I’m tired of everything being about death, illness, decline, loss, missing organs, the shutting down of possibility.
I’m tired of the endless self help CRAP – including from a friend who dropped in just now – about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off.
Grief doesn’t need a word – NOT A WORD – about how it will be all right in the end. It might or might not be all right in the end. Tragedy is always a distinct possibility. You can be the ant on the footpath, crushed under a careless shoe.* You can be swept away in a tsunami but not before you’re smashed horribly against a car and then a wall, dying in moments of sheer terror and horror. So fuck off with the perky stuff.