16 December 2015

Giving up on 2015

After the party last night, I walked home from the city centre, stopping at Morrison's to buy cigarillos. I didn't have my pipe, but I wanted to smoke, the way you do when you've drunk three-quarters of bottle of wine. I bought Hamlets, five for five pounds almost exactly and stood outside in the mist and lit one, a kind of time machine back to the night I came back from Malaysia and smoked at the service area on the M1. That was the end of 2013, of course, right at the end, I remember thinking that from that point on, things would be okay, that I had a hold on things.

The girls have been inundated with parties and events — Mei excitedly told me about her performance of the nativity and how there had been a donkey, a real donkey, at the school. We watched a video together and she assured me that the donkey was just out of the frame and she scolded Yoko for missing the most important bit of the video, the donkey, not her dressed as an angel. Mei and Naomi came too as I watched the video on the camera and they crowded around chattering and full of stories, until I shut it off: it's time to eat, you need to eat before swimming.

The year has been a non-stop series of things for the girls to go to, one after another, another party, another swimming lesson, an art lesson. Yoko has been subsumed by it in a way that I haven't, and I'm somewhere on the periphery, watching, but not present in the way they are. I'm working five jobs now, that I can count. I'm writing a book. I'm sleeping on the sofa.

I woke up again on the sofa at 2:30. I had gotten up at 10:30 and 12:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I made coffee and cooked two eggs which I ate with chopsticks. I made coffee and turned on the computer to send e-mails: please don't check the timestamp, I wasn't working that early I swear. I should work on the book a bit. I have a couple of things I wanted to get down. A thought as I was smoking the night before, as I was walking back to the house. The light upstairs was on when I got back, but I didn't go up. I answered e-mails and when it was time to brush my teeth, I noticed the light was off.

So it goes. 2016 will be another year on the periphery. At some point you get legitimacy, you get welcomed back in. Not now though. Not this year or next. Sometime in the future.