Day 70

Written 28 May, 2020.




Our last day, unbearably beautiful.  I ring back my friend S in New York, because she rang me accidentally at 5.30 am. I can’t do the maths.  tell her about the scam and she urges me to ring VISA. There’s lots of good stories, they’ve been generous in this pandemic. I agree to, as soon as it’s light. When I ask her if she’s keeping safe, she says they’ve had a chance to leave New York, for her sister has a spare house out in the country, but the sister’s husband refuses to give up their spare house. They might need it if one of them gets the virus. Yet she says she loves me, says S sadly.

Over breakfast- we’ve taken to having breakfast family meetings because there’s so much to be done here, though K complains bitterly because she wants to flip between Radio National and Triple J – I tell GG about ringing VISA. He doesn’t want to- it’ll be useless– but i’ve told that S I will, so I insist.

And S is right. The man on customer service is wonderful. While GG goes away to check on a detail about Solar Shop Online, I tell him about Google Earth and how I talked to the neighbouring companies.

I’ll do my best to get the funds back, he says.

My chapter comes back, reprimanded- it’s not academicy enough, it’s written like a story- where was my head? I try not to cry. I’ll leave it a few days and my mind will fix it up, I tell myself and believe. I decide to do one last video about the mind and creativity, but the tide’s not low enough until late in the afternoon.

I’ve only got one take in me, he says. He voice comes in sighs and groans. No, he’s not mad, just exhausted.

I can’t wait to leave, he says for the tenth time today.

We use Dy’s beach, his boat behind me, the neighbours walking by and going out on their jetty to the canoe,  Dy dropping something in his house and an avalanche of timber falls, the birds picking a quarrel with each other. I’m doing  a “how to” talk, which I find dull, but a friend has messaged me saying that it’s all very well to say we must return to thinking like a five year old, but that’s just a cliche, and how can anyone do that? So I must explain how I’ve taught people to do this for a hundred years. I’m a bit dull, exhausted like GG, but I do it in one take. We’ll upload it in the city, where the speed’s better.

I begin to move the garden in the wheelbarrow rom the pots on the pontoon, where the veggies are yellowing and only half the size of the ones in the garden, though they’ve had more sun. As I bend over them, suddenly Dy’s there.

What would you like me to keep an eye on, till you come back?

I straighten up, annoyed at unexpected tears, and ask him in an even voice to keep an eye on the sprinkler, to check if the veggies stay perky. The sprinkler here often gets clogged with wet dirt, I tell him.

And eat out of it, I say.

I wish I could throw my arms around him and hug him. Like I do with all my friends, I’ve fallen in love with him. My friends don’t have faults, they have interesting, endearing ways.

You’re right, Beth Wonders, Love is the answer.




One Response to Day 70

  1. Everything appears a little sharper today, a little more clear, as though my eyes have upgraded from HD to 4K. My sense of smell is heightened, my movements are a little more quick and agile – if only I had a pair of chopsticks and an unsuspecting house fly – a reinvigorated Sophie wakes this morning with a new lust for life.

    Usually, I’m a bit of a nihilist, a bit of a skeptic, I’m a bit untrusting – not of people, but of ideals and idealists. However, today it feels as though I’ve thrown off that hat and donned a new one. This one fits my abnormally tiny head a little better, far more comfortably; it’s far more snug and cosy.

    It seems too easy that love is the answer – it seems far too easy! Far too obvious, too cliche’, too romantic, too unrealistic. But what if I’m wrong? And what if the cliches are right? They’re cliches for a reason, right? I’m not good at being wrong; a trait that runs in my family (Did I mention that we got 24 out of 25 on the last Good Weekend quiz?… but don’t make this a competition, Sophie).

    Perhaps we’re dipping out of our dive on this rollercoaster ride. Perhaps I’m feeling optimistic and on top of my school work. Perhaps it’s because I slept for nine hours last night… perhaps it’s none of the above.

    Love makes sense, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. (I’ve been told it’s important to answer my rhetorics). Love of all shades and colours and intensities manifests everywhere, all over. Love in Dy, in morning breakfast meetings with K and GG, in swims with my dad and coffees with my mum. Love on a couch playing film trivia, love in a spa, love by a shitty fire burning cardboard boxes; maybe love IS the answer. Love is a choice. It’s chemical, it’s biological, but it’s also a choice. Give into it, or push it down. Let it breathe you in, or let yourself shiver in its cold shadow. If all paths lead to one destination, one final stop and we’re given the choice to flood ourselves with fullness, with love – then it would be pretty stupid to struggle upstream when a current could carry you along.

    I wonder if we can all tap into this consciousness; if love is the answer then what else could it solve? There’s a lot of awfulness out there at the moment… a real lot. So then how do we all tap into it? Is that even possible? How do we expand individual love to make it something more collective? ….Or perhaps we’re already there. Perhaps it’s always been there. Perhaps we are already floating with a current; I mean, the world hasn’t imploded, has it? No. Homosapiens still thrive (for lack of a better word). Like everything else, nothing is binary, it’s is a continuum. Perhaps it’s not a matter of ‘love or no love’, but a matter of ‘how much love’.

    Maybe that’s something we can all take from our global experience with the virus. Because of the virus I feel more love. Because of the virus I am here typing this. Because of the virus I get to spend precious time with my parents back home in Lennox Head. Because of the virus I get to pause time and space and spend a perfect moment with the person I love. Because of the virus I feel more love in me. I feel love for Sue, for Beth, for Shelley, for J, my brother in New York. I’m here typing this because I feel the need for connection, the need to raise my love to a collective tier.

    Just like you, whoever might read this, I’m here because I feel love for my fellow human. For all of you. So I am wrong, there, I admit it! Put me in handcuffs and chuck me in a wagon. Love is easy, love is everywhere…love is the answer.

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