On Monday of this week, JB texted me to tell me he was leaving for Kerry at once. He'd spoken to his father whose health seemed to have deteriorated suddenly - he seemed "shook" and poorly. We hoped that a bit of JB's magic TLC would do the trick, and get him back on his feet, but over the week the cold turned into a chest infection and from there it was a small increment to breathlessness in the middle of the night and thereon, in quick succession, to pneumonia and a call for emergency medical help. My poor J. He had to see his father being taken off in an ambulance at 4am that night. It's so hard for him, because he saw his mother be taken away too, in 2001, and she never came home.
I feel a lucky dope. My parents are alive and well and living in (their, Protest*nt, idea of) comfort, nearby. They have each other. They are (let's face it) not short of a few bob. So I really don't understand the fear that's in the JB. I mean, I try but I don't, not REALLY. Not sharply. I am stranded on another misty shore. It's like my imagination is stunted. I can't see clearly through it, it's like an immature organ or a damaged lens.
In his absence, life has taken on a different shape. Without his normalising influence, I have departed slightly from my usual self, mentally. I feel strangely exposed and a-hum with internal drama - I am buzzing around like a bluebottle trying to get out of an open window, but by going through the pane. If some unfortunate psychology PhD student was assigned the task of tracking my thoughts, they'd get something like this:
- which symbolises the whole week really.
Trips up to see house: 2
Trips to see tiles: 2
(one of which with Lithuanian builder, in a van. Funny scene in Outh*us, the tiling place. He got chatting to the guy behind the desk in Russian - and the guy very frankly told him the place was outrageously expensive. But then he'd revert to English and be all salesman of the year. Please, look at these samples and Yes, I can check for you, etc. He was the double-sided salesman).
Trips around head, chasing thoughts: innumerable
Trips from desk to kitchen to table to bathroom: 5 million (at a conservative estimate)
At one point, I found my set square on the breadboard. Was I thinking of making a sandwich with it? With nice 90 degree corners?
(They are finding the next Oliver on the telly. I can hear them belting it out in the other room, desperate to be a star. It worries me a bit that this time they are children. I mean even the big Josephs were having weekly emotional breakdowns. Hmm. Can this be good?)
Today we finished the purgatory that was Etching. I came through with an unexpected burst of (caffeine-fueled) energy at the end, and produced some stuff that might go into the degree show. As ever, I warmed to the other classmates over the 6 weeks after a slightly unenthusiastic start and was sorry to see them go in their different directions at the end. Ah, parting.. is such sweet and sour sorrow.
And so I end the week that was with tired feet but hope in my heart. Kdid (JB's Dad) is perking up and has enough strength to be giving out. A good sign, we all agree. And we must be happy with that.