Written 29 April, 2020
Late yesterday, we took the boat down to Brooklyn, for petrol for the generator, and meds for GG’s sore eye. We told Dy, and did he want us to take his garbage? There’s no garbage collection here, so we burn paper in the pot belly, compost all fruit and veggie scraps except onions and citrus, and hump the rest in big black bags to the boatyard garbage bins. Dy asked if we’d get him beer, mayonnaise, tomato sauce and plus 2 reading glasses. He gave us his credit card to tap, to my quiet joy, for it means we’re friends..
But I’d put off leaving too long, just to write one more paragraph in my rejected novel – I’m quite enjoying making myself seem charming, and I realise the reader was right, my self-hatred was glowering through, (it’s hospital-strength, my self-hatred, as I heard comedian Anne Edmonson say)which is a no-no for a heroine even if she’s me- so it was already 4pm when we left, waving K and Dy goodbye, she upstairs on the deck, and he burning off lantana outside his house. We had to drop lettuce and spinach seedlings for my therapist off at the Bar Point public wharf, and how pleasant it looked there, a community out for an afternoon stroll and greeting each other as if they were in Italy having a passagiata- Italy in the old days, I thought sadly, What good things Italy has taught us about being together.
But my delay meant our return began at 5.45, already dark, with only our weak nav lights and no headlights allowed. The moon sailed along with us lighting our path until we turned into the mouth of our bay, when suddenly all turned black black black.I hung out the prow again like the evil eye on the boats of ancient Greece, and the bare-breasted figurines on on the galleons of the 16th century, except I was rugged up in a hoodie, shining our powerful boat torch on the shore to help GG, but he was groaning quietly with each out-breath. We got to our pontoon and he slid us skilfully against our pontoon, but after that, he went to pieces with exhaustion, grabbing shopping bags when our protocol is to leave them on the boat overnight so the virus dies on them. I told him to just walk up the steps to the upper house and he plodded wearily along the jetty, his back so twisted in pain so that from behind, he was almost a V.
I followed, but he’d already begun unpacking his bag, while gulping a whisky, his adams’ apple distending greedily.
“Washed your hands?”
He’d forgotten. I shouted at him and so did K,- “What did he think was happening in the world?”and he slank into the bathroom, tail between his legs, and while he mumbled Happy Birthday twice, protestingly enough to suddenly amuse us, I poured his whisky into a clean glass, washed the first one, and soaped down the packages. K had foraged and felt she’d achieved a triumph in feeding herself but felt too exhausted to cook for us. I sighed, swallowed my resentment, foraged also at the back of the fridge chicken soup from two days ago, warmed it up with yesterday’s rice, opened a can of coconut milk and plonked half in, grabbed a handful of thyme and chives from pots on the deck, and it seemed like a home-delivered take away from mid-level restaurant,maybe two stars.