Sunday, 29 May 2011

six years

We drove for an hour and a half to get there, taking red country roads rarely travelled because I no longer trusted my knowledge of the country; I’ve been away for six years. I said that you don’t get red roads anymore but how would I know. The weather was changeable and by the time we came off the motorway fairly sunny, though windy. I felt safer driving his car off the motorway and decided this was due to the six years not having changed me. I told him about when I went up to move Mary-anne’s things a week past when the wind was so strong that the car chased the shadows of clouds which made moving panels on the road surface. The same thing happened to us moments later, first on the hills, then on the road and we marvelled. We played the game we play with a joint playlist, counting the score of how many of each persons songs had been played. We always forget to keep count and then work it out thinking backwards in the trip. 6-6. We arrived after an hour and a half tight from the journey and ready. I had made a lot out of it, I thought this would solve problems, I thought it would heal us. I took Kendal mint cake. The yellow sign declared gardens closed due to high winds. I can’t describe the feeling but I suppose it is somewhat akin to being petulant and let down and disappointed and it manifests itself in your stomach. We would take a walk down a nearby road instead. Private road. Two slaps too many. I am overdramatic, I love to decide to give up. It wasn’t that the gardens were closed or that the road was private, it was that I couldn’t deal with the stress and the trauma of the night before and this was to be the thing that saved me from it all, the thing to make him himself again. People think that I am strong but it scares me so much that I don’t have the strength to look after anyone but myself. I told him the night before, I wish it was just me, because when you have anyone else in your life that you care about you just have to worry so often. You and the cats and the fish. It’s okay with the pets, if the cats aren’t well you take them to the vet and you know one day they will die and it will be awful and it will hurt but you will be there for them and there is only so much you can do and it’ll be done, but with you… The truth is I have no idea how to help another person. He said we shouldn’t let it be a wasted trip, we should have fun. We headed to Peebles. I was resentful because now I was the one needing help, and it should have been me helping him. The roads were familiar and it still felt okay driving his car. Yet I felt this drag the further away we got from Glasgow, the west, from home. We got to Peebles and I drove towards the high street and I went for the car park but missed the junction and I couldn’t tell him because I hadn’t spoken for so long that it felt like my voice wasn’t even there anymore. I drove up another street remembering the driving test and stopped to parallel park because I wanted not to be driving anymore. I messed up the first attempt and lost my temper internally. I can’t park your car and I pushed it in first and took it back around. As we waited at the junction that was never clear I just stared up the road. As we drove back around the high street he said you’re not having any fun are you? but it didn’t sound accusing. I shook my head and drove to the roundabout. I needed to stop driving so I took it left across the bridge and saw a big car park and I whirled it in and stopped and just sat. He tried to convince me it wasn’t a wasted journey but I was too stubborn to even reply. I didn’t want to speak; I knew my voice would break me up. He asked if I wanted to eat and I said I wasn’t hungry but he could eat. He said we should go for a walk and get out of the car and I got out. We walked along the river and I stared at the water and the blown bits of tree. I couldn’t help feeling so desperate. It felt as though the day, that bleakness and simultaneous roughness in the weather, was made for us then. The wind gusted so hard and I imagined it blowing me into the water and wanted it to. I asked myself would I be thinking this way if I had fallen in the river, would I still be thinking these thoughts. He remarked on a large branch that had been stripped from a tree by the wind and I barely responded. If there were tears it didn’t matter because it was the atmosphere. We rounded the path and I slowed knowing the alternate direction took us directly back to the car. He turned to me and looked and I just slid to his chest and we stood together and I knew that all the upset and the pain would be gone soon, as though we had reached the summit finally. We walked back to the car and it rained. He put up his hood but I let it rain on my head and my hair get wet. When we drove home I had a fever of my own creation and we blew cool air to my forehead. We were going to make marshmallows, was I still okay for doing that? He remembered and I told him it didn’t matter it was only an idea but this time he really did want to. We compliment each other by taking turns at being hopeless. The motorway was backing up at Parkhead and we drove home through Dennistoun and the red sandstone blocks of tenements made me feel safe. Six years is a long time and old problems still remain. The problems of four years ago made me wish for where I used to be so deeply that it made me ache and this city seemed too hostile. Now it is the motorway lanes and the streetlights that soothe me and I don’t know if I should ever go back. Things will be okay as they always are and I don’t think you should read too much into this. Such is the way of the mind that it races with awfulness while it can hold onto it, but just as quickly ease and comfort return and you look back on your actions in such states regretfully. I told him I will be strong for him and I will be; it’s only fair and I vowed it, I would be ashamed of myself for less.

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