I don’t know why I stopped writing in the first place…
And that ladies and gentlemen is what you call a lie. I do know why I stopped writing but with all things regrettable, lies come to our aid on horses that can gallop faster than those carrying the truth.
So the truth? Well I don’t want to say. Thats why I didn’t.
I don’t even want to now but lets just get it over with and i’ll tell you what happened.
And I didn’t know what else to say after it happened. And so the saying stopped.
For nearly 3 years I had written openly and honestly about things that wore me out to write about and built me up to write about.
I felt like a nudist.
I felt like people must feel when they get their kit off and run out ahead of a group of clothed people into the wild waves at the beach. I felt exposed and it felt like freedom.
…And then dad died.
I didn’t feel like a wild spirited nudist anymore. I felt naked and all of a sudden I didn’t want people to look at me. The death of dad was too private and mid sprint down the beach I suddenly wanted to cover those private parts. I wanted to hide.
So that’s what I did. I covered myself.
Please don’t talk to me about it. Please don’t ask me about it….Please don’t make me say.
I still wrote, I just didn’t show anyone. People would ask and I would lie: I would say I had been too busy (I hadn’t) I said I had taken a short break (I intended to never publish again)
The thing was, how could I write about my life without writing about his death? I couldn’t. It had changed my life and I didn’t want to tell you how so I just set aside the laptop, with its white, blank face sitting there blinking at me with an unmoving cursor and I walked away.
Im about to write about it now and though it will be very brief I want you to know that the whole handful of sentences that will come after could easily be substituted with one word: Shit.
The last day I saw him was the first time I had seen him in years and I knew it was the last time I would ever see him.
I just knew it. I just knew it. I just knew it. I just knew it. I just knew it. I just knew it.
My favourite place in the world is called Whale Bay. It can be found about 4 radio songs past his house. Where he lives…Where he lived.
I would drive past his letter box most days and look straight ahead and definitely not check if he had envelopes sticking out of it and definitely not wonder if he was wondering about me and definitely not hope he was.
Another lie. See? Those lies ride their horses hard and fast.
Then one day I pulled into his driveway. Why that day? Why of all days did I stop that day?
I sat there staring up at the mossy driveway. I had a pretty dress hanging in the back of the car and I took the raggedy shorts and singlet that i’d been wearing over my bikini off and put it on. I loosened my hair and plaited it down and to one side. I pinched my cheeks to put some colour back in my face.
Thats a beauty trick I read about in a book when I was little.
I was trying to look pretty so he would think I was pretty. Why did I stop on that day? Why that day? Why did I stop and why did I want him to think I looked pretty?
I put the car into first gear and drove forward a bit. I turned the radio up while I drove the rest of the way and then parked right in front of his front door. I wondered if when he saw me he would think I was brave.
He said he had just been wondering about me. He said I looked very pretty. He said he wasn’t going to die. He said he was sorry. He said I made him proud. He said I was very brave. He said he had just been wandering about me.
I told him I would come back one day soon. I told him a lie. I knew I would never see him again. I knew it. I just knew it.
Then he died. Then at the funeral a man we had never met walked up from the back of the church and told us some story about how God was a woman, then my sisters and I made cosmopolitan cocktails and drank one for us and one for our homie and then I forgot how to put an S in front of an A and a D and write how I felt about it. Who was that friend of yours that told us God is a woman at your funeral Dad? I mean, who the hell was that guy?
All I want to say is that when Dad died it made me really pissed off and really sad.
I hope that no one ever asks me about how I feel about it.
Since then I have seen the Rolling Stones live in concert. Since then I have gotten another tattoo. I have ridden topless on a horse on a West coast New Zealand beach with my two best friends, I have turned 30, I have turned 31, I have sat on a beach in Spain and talked shit with my sister. Since then I have graduated from University like I told him I would and landed the job of my dreams like I told him I hoped I would. Since then I have kissed boys, I have dived into the deep, perfectly clear waters of a Greek sea, I have been to visit the Queen and I have raised my glass where it has been kissed by the bottles and glasses of close friends where we have ‘cheers-ed’ to friendship and summer and the past and the future…
February 16th, 2016 – Present day.
Tonight is my 1351h single day. I am in the Gold Coast where I live with my two boys: Asa (11) and Jordan (nearly 9). I am drinking white wine and watching my fingertips dance over the keyboard while I write this has distracted me to the fact that I need to paint my fingernails again.
I have had the day off from a job that fulfils and challenges me in a way I could have only hoped when I was still hoping as that single-mother student back when these posts first started being published and I have been single for a long time. Years actually.
But what of it? What of this whole damned single project? What have I learned that warrants me taking all these alone days to learn?
The many hours both alone and in deep and beautiful conversation with friends, family and strangers has taught me that whether we take 1000 days off to try and nut it out, or we simply steal moments from the week where we are just going about daily, regular life we are all aiming to hit the same bullseye, trying to answer the same question: Who am I? Why did I let that person say that to me? What do I stand for and why didn’t I stand for it back when I had the chance? Am I likeable? Am I good? Is the past in the past? Or does it still gnaw at my achilles tendon? Am I an asshole? Was my dad an asshole? Do I really know my mother, am I learning whatever lesson I was supposed to be learning this whole time?……
In other words: What the hell man?
And what the hell do I know for sure?
I know that I am absolutely happy, kind of confused, a little bit wary, definitely alone and hoping that in concluding that 1000 single day project you dont even come to me for advice… because im still working it out, but I hope that maybe we can get together sometime over the same terrible wine I am drinking right now and figure it out together……