22 May 2009

Windows of opportunity opening



This morning Bruce took Hartley to work. I’ve known this for a week – ample opportunity to stay up late and worry about how to fit in every last thing I’ve wanted to do alone for the past four months. I woke at 4.30 and never did get back to sleep, which only contributes to the surreal, dreamlike feeling that being alone gives me now that I’m tied to a whole other person 24 hours a day.

After we parted ways at the end of our street - Bruce heading off to East Finchley Station with our small boy strapped to his front - I turned in the direction of our favourite restaurant, which serves up just about anything for the indecisive, and not too badly for what it costs, to have a solitary breakfast of porridge. Once there, I had sufficient time and space to notice that the service was unbearably slow, the porridge oats mixed in with fruit that was obviously cut up with the same knife used to trim garnish for the savory dishes, and that everybody else had one or more children, none of whom held a candle to my beloved, at least in my eyes.

Then it was back home where, in a state of urgency, I made a hot cup of coffee and contemplated also opening a cold (non-alcoholic) bottle of beer before dismissing this as an indulgence even yours truly couldn’t stomach. I ate a chocolate cupcake standing at the kitchen counter. I ate another cupcake, faster.

And here I sit, watching the sands of time luge madly down the gullet of a modestly sized hour glass and wishing I’d just made a plan and stuck to it. I’ve managed to read half a short story and lie supine on the bed for as long as I could stand to relax, and now I feel the need to move again. I was meant to visit the lido, which is finally open for the season, but the weather has taken a turn for the grey and, although warm, does not inspire outdoor swimming.

I would take photos, but my favourite subjects are being fawned over by men and women I don’t know, and anyway, doing so would probably eat up all my time, as it takes me a dog’s age to get the shot I want and then choose just one (sometimes two) from a spate of about thirty. I would write a proper blog post, but feel that I’m disciplined enough with my daily dishwashing and laundry, nappy changes and long walks around Alexandra Palace. I could put on a record and lounge about the place moodily, but cannot decelerate quickly enough to enjoy the experience, and anyway, it’s too messy for moody lounging.

On Monday Bruce and I are going to see Synecdoche, New York (against our better judgment and that of the reviewers) and then have a quick dinner somewhere local, to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. There are so many little windows of childless opportunity opening up, their fisheyes briefly flashing the world of double-handed typing, hot drinks and messy lunches before wincing shut against the glare of present-day responsibility. I won’t stress out too much about wasting time as long as I know they’re still there.

Well, I’d better head out and find something to do with the last bit of free time I have left. I did know I’d probably come running to the internet to mark the occasion, but it’s time to take it offline now.

4 comments:

Mrs Slocombe said...

That was just as good as that first one I ever commented on: if you've got it, you've got it.
You've got it.

Friday said...

Aw shucks. You just might be my biggest fan, Betty. After Bruce of course. :)

thelass said...

I appreciate you using your rare time-alone to carve out this lovely post for all of us. Was Hartley sufficiently doted on at work?

Friday said...

Thanks Lass - I don't know what else I'd do with it though, to be honest. It sounds like Hartley was passed around like a luke-warm potato, so I think the doting went quite well for him! I'm doting on a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the moment but think I'll refrain...