11 August 2006

girls n dad


Necropsia. What my Greek dictionary gives for Post-mortem.

Rather appropriate sounding, except it it feels more like ante -mortem - pre-death of the lonesome living yardworking kind.

4am, 9/11: Speaking of yardwork, apart from that - and driving around for shopping and chores - there isn't much else to do or think on except "the emotion recollected in tranquility". Extreme tranquility, such as a month and five days after everyone has gone. This is the edited version so far, and no doubt it'll be fiddled with further from time to time by way of comfort.

  • My girls gone; my swash-buccaneering engineering gardening cooking flamboyant brother gone
  • All the tables back in place
  • The stacks of cutlery and crockery back in place. At six to table, we were washing up after every meal. Now it's just mater and me, it'll be like every fourth meal that the washer needs running.
  • The exotic drinks back in the larder.
  • The cool music into plastic bags and into storage.
  • The partying is over.

    I had thought to leave it a while, the emotion recollected in tranquillity and all that, but I return to it yet again: the emotion-recollected-in-tranquility recollected in tranquility, so to speak.

    What I physically feared did happen: my girls came and went and shone a blinding light on my brain-dead existence.

    The French have it right - elles me manquent  - not I miss them but they  are a chunk missing out of *me*.

    The house echoes with happy ghosts. Every flip of a flop has me looking round; the tang of sunoil makes me instantly nostalgic; I reach for an album Pete and I enjoyed and reject it as too loud or too weird.

    Yardless in Gaza: what a glorious gardening-free time it was. I ended up driving the girls the short distance to the cottage at the end of each day, thus saving me ever actually walking the garden paths. Respite!

    Speaking of The Cottage, I haven't thought of it one way or another, save as a rather cool hermit's pad at the bottom of the property. But having seen the girls' mess all asprawl, I wish I'd taken a snap of it while they were here.

    I went down to clear up after they'd gone and of course it was full of them: everything neatly folded and swept and put away.

    Sigh - despite having dropped leaden hints to conceal all "evidence", there were still two cig butts by the sink - the Marlboro and a kindly aunt's wafer-thin Stuyvesant - and the two empty packs of Greece-purchased Marlboros for which I have no idea where the Spitfire got the cash.

    Ash on the divan; tell-tale butts behind the Cottage. Naughty me - I'd have joined her for a puff and a slug of whatever she fancied.

    I now realise that everything I've been doing since arriving in Corfu has been in preparation for their arrival.

    All my railings against abominable yardwork have been but a mocking challenge:

  • Death, where is thy strim?
  • Jardinerie, what ho your evil instruments of toil?

    Mastered by all I survey: Now I gaze out over the Ionian landscape and see nothing but horticultural captors with their terrible treadmill of verdancy.

    Greek lessons? Fallen by the wayside. I just can't seem to make the changes from the lickspittle total loser mindset so vital to knuckling down to even a half hour's loam-licked drudgery, and the appearance and self-esteem required to pose as an adult linguist capable of conversation and acquiring one or two new words per week in the language of the country.

    To mount the treadmill of futility that is yardwork is to take on the role of beaten cur, there to be whipped on a daily basis and on the same routine.

    Things undone: there were activities I promised myself I'd do with les filles but which seemed to fall by the wayside.

  • Sit on the Heart-to-Heart bench last thing at night and conspire against the rest of the world.
  • Go into town and cover all the little museums and exhibitions within a radius of Rocco Square, then go off and have ginormous ice creams or milk shakes in a sidestreet cafe and read the junkie US and Brit papers and marvel at what another galaxy it was all happening in.
  • Swing the girls in the dangling bamboo seat that I cleaned specially and brought up from the basement for their stay.
  • Visit beaches and lunch on picnic hampers, then snooze, then play silly games with the lilos and squirt guns.
  • Walk down Gouvia during the witching hour and look into each club to see the patrons whirling and bopping.
  • Go through the photo albums and marvel at their parents (and grandparents) looking so young, gay and effortlessly confident in the future.
  • I'm sure there were more ....
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