I read, much of the night, and go south in winter.

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

There have been, eh, delays? Roadblocks? Oafs? in the house-hunting plans. My mother, who is being excellent about the whole thing, is going to share the mortgage with me, but to do so she needs to sort out her financials, which she can’t do because a Third Party is being a dithering twatweasel. We email each other links to listings of possible flats, and she complains about the lack of second bedroom and I complain about the state of the bathroom and that’s about the extent of it.

So H and I are still sharing a flat.

This flat has been my home for 10 years now. Why, yes, Gentle Reader, I feel conflicted. I feel conflicted as hell. Run! Stay! Run! Home! Stay! Run! Run! Run!

I bitterly resent having to leave, having to live on my own, having to do all this by myself without my favourite human at my side. I bitterly resent it. The only thing worse than leaving H and being alone is staying with him, frankly.

That’s not to say H is being appalling. He continues being considerate and polite and relatively easy to share a space with. He always was a good room-mate, mind. He’s just being bloody there, and, of course, because I am nothing if not totally irrational, when he goes away I feel unpleasantly lonely.

(He’s away right now, spending the Easter week with his family. Whereas I am spending Passover eating bitterness, salt tears, and chocolate. My People are Giving Me A Look.)

I went to a large family wedding recently, and spent not nearly as long as I feared but rather more than I wished fending off relations who wanted to know where H was and why H wasn’t… But they weren’t as bad as the Pregnant Cousins Regiment and their cooing and twittering parents. Oy vey, the cooing and twittering, and didn’t I want to hear all about [cousin]’s every twinge, burp and sickie? About as much as I want to repeatedly slam my favourite hand in a waffle-iron, thank you, and please excuse me, I have a lavatory door to stare at until I’m sure everyone is talking to someone else.

(Bloody stupid conversation with one relation who was all ‘oh, when were you in hospital? Oh, in the summer? Oh, yes, I did know that! Your mother said… um. You were really ill, weren’t you? And you lost the baby. Oh. Um. Oh. Yes, I did know that. Um.’

Well fucking quite).

And the wedding vows – oh, Gentle Readers, I made wedding vows. H made wedding vows. People are so bravely foolish, so foolishly brave, to stand up in front of everyone they know and say ‘you. You forever. You and only you, above all things and people’. What if only one of them means it? What if neither of them mean it? What if they actually mean ‘you can’t hold me to this if it stops being fun or easy’?

So I cried. I wonder how many people crying at weddings are doing so because their broken heart is aching under the strain.

I am suffering from absolute burn-out. Dear internets, it’s not you, it’s me, but if you and your loved ones are all alive and not in hospital and no one’s spouse is running away with all their money and a random guitarist with hepatitis, I have nothing comforting or kind to say. Not because you don’t deserve every comfort and kindness, you really do. You really do. I’m just utterly out of both and running on petrol fumes of decent behaviour and I will only let you down if you ask me for them. So let’s not put us in that position, eh? And one day I’ll actually have had a week where someone actually puts me and my needs first for longer than it takes a kettle to boil and I’ll’ve basically refuelled. And then I will sympathise with your colicky baby issues. Poor you. Poor baby.

12 responses to “I read, much of the night, and go south in winter.

  • a

    I’ll join you in the line waiting for someone to put me and my needs first. Sigh. Fortunately, I’m not AS depleted as you, and will share my bit of remaining sympathy with you. Because change is hard, and remaining unjaded and not bitter is extremely hard, and you deserve plenty of having your needs com first.

  • Moira

    What a shit fest Hun. I’m so achingly sorry 😦

    You are immensely amazing for just going to the wedding.

    Sending hugs, chocolate, tea, gin and kittens xxxx

  • Valery Valentina

    Missed you here!

    So um, the relation did not go on to put foot in mouth over H and no baby ? Did everyone tell you how brave and strong you were to go to a wedding all alone?

    Virtually making you tea, sorting through the easter eggs and selecting your favorite ones for you. Tucking you in and rubbing your back for a while. So sorry your favourite human being leaving you. Again and again.

    Hope Good Counsellor will keep holding your hand for a while.

    (thank goodness I had my guitarist tested on hepatitis.)

  • Mina

    Dear sweetheart May,
    You need time to grieve. Don’t expect to be “over it” just because others do, they know nothing. And I know it sounds patronising and self-helpful-ing, but YOU be the first someone to put YOU and YOUR needs first for once, and indeed, for a bit longer than it takes a kettle to boil. You have to learn to live your life with its H-hole right in the middle of it. But you can ignore all that for a bit, pretend it’s the elephantosaurus in the room, and go about your business of taking care of yourself and showing yourself a bit of love. Once you’ve done that long enough for it to become a habit, and a self-protecting tool, you can turn your attention to and face the rest of the crap that insists to be part of your life.
    Don’t mind poor us and our poor colicky babies, frankly we have tunnel vision and do not need someone with problems such as yours to give us perspective and make us swallow back our stupid words. We want to woe-is-me-ing our way out of the baby fog, and have our cake and eat it. So please, do ignore us and our good problems. I assure we will survive, and be here for you, and have some other fresh good problems when you come back from the Jurrasic. Really.
    Much love and please, do take care of yourself.

  • korechronicles

    The lawn
    Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return
    Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,
    The sad intangible who grieve and yearn….

    It’s trite I know, but this too will pass. In the meantime, you must endure. And mourn. And treat yourself with gentleness and strength. xx

  • wombattwo

    Oh my lovely,
    You know, I had a dream about you last night, so I’m glad there was a post here this morning. It was a strange dream (I do have weird dreams, Freud would wet himself with excitement at the prospect of being able to interpret them) where you and I were doing a photoshoot, as models. I had to dye my hair, and it turned out blue and red and yellow and green. I spent the rest of the dream looking for brown hair dye while telling you it was a good thing you didn’t fancy me (?!) As it was a “good sign for the future”. Then we went on a cruise, which was full of people we knew and couldn’t find our cabin.


    I am always astounded by the lack of tact and common sense some mothers have. By the lack of realization that yes, there are worse things than colicky babies, and no, not everyone wants to hear every little detail. I am so sorry, lovely May. I would like to wrap you up in cotton wool and provide a warm sunny spot, surrounded by blossom and butterflies and cats where you would be looked after, for as long as it takes for you to feel a little stronger. Where all you have to do is breathe, and read, and have tea brought to you, and food, and just be.

    My hand is here, as is my shoulder.

    Of course you miss H. Not irrational in the slightest. The person who was your favorite human isn’t there any more, and that’s a huge and awful thing.

    Much love, May, you know where I am x

  • wombattwo


  • Betty M

    Oh May. I’m so sorry you are still having to share the flat with h and survive ordeals like weddings with idiot relatives. Why isn’t h moving himself out – being a polite roommate is all well and good but still. Thinking of you.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, please do put yourself first, dear May, as we would all like to do. Having spent many years in California, I’m all about the self-care bandwagon, as long as one watches out for those on the more extreme self-sufficient spectrum, as in, “I-am-a-breathatarian-I-don’t-even-need-food-or-water types. Please ask for help when you need it! I am still puzzled about why the velociraptor-keeper also gets to keep the flat? Is it because it is too expensive for you to afford on your own? Are you contemplating spousal support at the legal dissolution of the marriage, maybe, to ease such burdens? Sorry for the prodding questions — they are posed in the spirit of problem-solving support. Hugs…

  • Emily Erin

    Ah, sweet May, I agree with others that you should hold yourself first, even if that feels completely inadequate and not the way you want it to. I am so sorry that everything seems to be moving at a glacial pace and that you’re still being required to attend family functions and pretend that everything isn’t topsy turvey and awful in your world just now. I send hugs, biscuits and many adorable kittens.

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