So I am on to myself.
Fortnightly, I have 5 days in a row to myself and while this must sound like a miracle to anyone stuck in a bubble with small children, I assure you it is a mixed blessing. First few days are rad. My friend Iain calls this phoenix time- the space you have to yourself post-divorce to figure out who really are. Which bits can you salvage from 'before' and which bits are dead weight, eventually becoming the flotsam and jetsam of your life’s journey.
Largely, listening to 90s playlists, going for long walks, binging neon and drinking copious amounts of hot drinks is something I enjoy. I zoom everyone I can manage. I vacuum like it's a Saturday Morning dorm inspection at Brentwood College School. I eat bread and cheese. I don't cook.
The tone changes for me sometime between 2pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. I suddenly realise I am alone in a bubble. I am immigrant who gave up my parents, my brother, 5 cool cousins, a dozen lifelong friends, 22 years of history and roots to settle down and have a family too close to Antarctica. And where is that family now?
I mean Monday night they'll be simultaneously not eating dinner I made and complaining of being hungry until I want to scream but on Sundays that feels pretty far away, Sundays there's not much to do except open a bottle of wine.
I'll skip the rock bottom part of the story. Ultimately, I’ve decided it’s not worth being hung over if I can’t go get a cheeseburger from Maccas drivethru.
Alternatively, for 2 weeks from now I could:
1. Ball in the shower. Good old fashioned ugly cry in hot water.
2. Commit to a movie and actually watch it all the way through and not even text during it. Good old fashioned escapism.
3. Binge sugar which, while also a drug which my father calls “the white death”, is less likely to inspire spewing self-loathing.
4. Sit with the yucky feelings.
Luckily, I don’t have to choose one of these for another 13 days. If we are still in lockdown then, it will be day 26. speculative maths is not my favourite subject.
Today is Monday. We begin again.
Begin better is my goal.
Who knows how it’ll end this time?
Brain: Pssst. Wake up. WAKE UP...I think someone is trying to poison us!!!
Me: Yeah. It was us, idiot.
I am accidently hung over, New Zealand.
And I think you might be. too. If you're anything like me, that one too many glasses of wine (and switch to a G&T mid session) resulted in a very poor night's sleep. And a stupidly full blue bin for bottle recycling.
In my defense some of these bottles are from the houswarming I did in the week leading up to this Lockdown.
In my not defence (offense? Prosecution?), I am drinking a lot in lockdown.
Alcohol is not my friend.
I take that back. Not true. What is true? Alcohol is like the only friend you have during that shifting social landscape phase in high school when your group of friends ousts you from the inner circle with no warming and you need someone to hang with so you take what you can get.
Warning- this moody, insecure new placeholder friend is quite hard to hang out with. An adolescent me didn't understand why but, of course, 40 year old education-expert Adrienne can clearly see that alcohol is the kind of mate you can't really rely on because people can only like you as much as they like themseves. And alcohol is an arragant, self-loathing bitch. Toxic friendshp.
Ok- maybe I'm being a bit hard. We have fun, right? We laugh and dance and divulge a few too many secrets. The recipe for a good time. When push comes to show though, this wee moody Spirit doesn't really want what's best for me and she'd kneecap me before letting me for for a 6am run. She's done it before.
Alcohol is as ubiquitous in kiwi hoseholds as Edmund's cookbooks and more so than wooden buzzy bees on pull-strings. The ultimate legal painkiller.
According to Action Point NZ:
"From the domestic figures released by Statistics New Zealand, in the year 2020:
That's a lot of drink. I could go into it- the research, the reasons, the important conversations around this but I'm feeling a little seedy, so I'm rolling over and going back to sleep.
Peace out, peace in, homies. Meet you for a video drink later?
Welcome to my bubble, people. Haere mai.
Today’s Stats: Coffees, 0; Cups of tea, 1; Hours of sleep, 7.5; Matching pyjamas (with the 10YO), 5; Children in the house, 0. Video calls? Oh, about a billion.
Here we are again. Lockdown 2021. Huge upgrades for me on last year’s pandemic shitshow. I have my own house. Each of the girls have their own room. I actually have a tv (though it’s not hooked up and working yet...details).
Luckily and gratefully, I am walkable to the beach again but a different beach from last year. My internet works consistently, and I am in mobile phone range. Slightly less isolated in my bubble that our first rodeo. Less writing for me this year but probably because I actually have to work for a living this time around. (Nice to get paid and to have a reason to shower and get dressed).
Life is pretty good. I can’t complain.
Actually, I can and I will.
I mean I shouldn’t complain because I’ve got it pretty good but I can complain and I will because we are not doing each other any favours by pretending this lockdown/work/childrearing intersection is all zen and picking wildflowers. In our case, it is zen and picking up interesting rocks, but it is also snapping at the kids, a kitchen full of dirty dishes and a pile of clean laundry on the living room floor flowing and multiplying like self-replicating DNA. (As is the dirty pile in the corridor). So there’s that.
Tybalt died at the end of last year. It is what it is. I don’t have cat. I am alone in bubble. I am grieving my former life. So there's that, too.
Holy Fork-I am in love.
I am text-alert drooling, wearing my fancy lace bras, treat myself to a glass of bubbles in my secondhand, hospice shop crystal flutes in love with my life, myself, and my house atm*.
Being in love is great. That being said, the announcement of another week of Level 4 legal lockdown across Aotearoa did not sound too great to me yesterday after the 3pm briefing.
To be honest, I was pissed.
I have a job I’d like to go to, Jacinda. Students who I’d like to see and help get UE. I have a Bollywood dance class at Rasa on Thursdays and basket-ball team of magic primary school girls I want to coach even though they never listen as I yell, “Hands up for the rebound” from the side-line.
I’m missing poetry night at The Dog with Two Tails with my librarian friends. Coffee doesn’t taste as good when professionals aren’t steaming my milk for me. I have a standing walk date with one of my best mates every Saturday morning at 8am. We were supposed to meet at the shark bell today.
I had plans, Jacinda.
I have places I’d like to go…like Makikihi or Kurow. I want to spread my legs like MP Chris Hipkins told me to. And where the fuck was Ashley Bloomfield the other day?
Jacinda, I still don’t have any stools, chairs or a rubbish bin in my new house. I don't own cinnamon. I want to go shopping like any ordinary kiwi in their right mind with a credit card.
*Listens to “Barbara Gibson’s 4 minute ‘Right now, it’s like this meditation’ on Insight Timer.
Jacinda, I’m sorry for what I said when I was angry. Also, I was hungry. So, I apologise for my hangry outburst. I still want to be on team (of the 5 million). Tell Dr Ash I appreciate his efforts and tell the new civil servant doctor that I respect her and have sympathy for her as Bloomfield’s understudy. He’s a tough act to follow.
Jacinda, I know it’s not your fault. The way I think my kids know it’s not really mine when Netflix isn’t working. Narcissist jokes aside, I know I don’t actually govern reality and neither do you. We just ride the wave of this weird unfolding in this life and try to avoid hitting any rocks.
Better to lose my cool at you than at the front-line workers at my local Four Square, right? You can take it and then go home to your stud of fiancé and sleep it off for 4 hours before you get up to save the world again.
Hang in there, Champ. We are trying to.
Peace out, homies. Peace in.
(*At the moment, not the seedier less hygienic interpretation of that acronym which I only know because of my work as an educator).
I'm just being a dick. No regerts.
You, too, can enquire about this Tyler Sheilds photograph and be offered it for a mere $17,500 USD.
The model is some rockstar's daughter and apparently a few diamonds were swallowed during the photoshoot. This photo is the definition of luxury, indulgence and I am as equally drawn to it as I am disgusted by the whole weird human existence that is big enough to hold both this and children who get sent to school with no packed lunch.
What is this world?
August 24th, 2021
Lockdown 2, Day 7- Haiku Challenge
For my Period 1, Year 11 Class
Two coffees needed
for online lockdown learning.
I've only had one.
Teacher only zoom
Where is my motherflipping class!
Is it not Wednesday?
Peace in, homies.
p.s. It's still Tuesday