Thursday, November 11, 2010

Scenes from suburban Brisbane

I am watching the bats move across Samford Road in a low pink sunset. It's not hard to imagine them flying through the dry scrub and gum forest that preceded the whites. I am eating a mint.

Three days ago, I watched a lizard scuttle through the back yard. It seemed purposeful but no one imagines a lizard has a mind. Who knows what gods a reptile would create if it did.

We are covered with sweat as the night closes in. I love being with her but there's always something that speaks softly: you cannot be wanted, and it's confirmed day to day by the small and not so small acts of spurning that are striped through my days.

Yesterday, I had a long talk with someone who I haven't spoken to for two decades. I try to tell myself he's just bored and I am still nothing to anyone. Sometimes I wish I had the confidence that I am real that others take for granted. I ate a couple of biscuits because sugar works.

The first time I came to Australia, it was a warm night. The woman who came to meet me hadn't dressed up, just a tshirt, but that was her way then: unaffected and real. I felt a stillness within me that I knew could sustain me. But everything dissolves into pain given time, and now I am sitting in a room in a house where I am not really welcome in a country I don't understand or want to, isolated, turning to ice, always bereft, wondering whether there is any good life for me.

7 Comments:

Blogger Annie said...

I Read it. Were you raised as a Catholic? I was, and struggle with similar things.

November 11, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

No, I went to Methodist Sunday school though (Methodists in Cornwall are not firebreathing biblethumpers but more like Quakers with more singing).

November 11, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Arleen said...

These are the things I tell myself:

People will always make you feel unloved if that's what you're looking for because that's what people do. People will always make you feel loved if that's what you're looking for because people do that, too.

What you want will never exist anywhere but in your mind. You can choose to live in your mind, always wanting, or you can choose to live in the here and now, taking joy where you find it, accepting that this is what is.
---

People fall short. We just do. That will never change. And all those acts of spurning that are striped through your days? It's happening both ways.

November 12, 2010 at 3:01 AM  
Blogger Don said...

This certainty of not being wantable comes from a place deeper than Sunday school could reach, I think. What was your mother like when you were two? Mine needed me then and only neglected my needs later, which may be why I feel unfit but not unwanted.

November 12, 2010 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Don,
When one's mother and close relatives are catholic, it's pretty damn deep.
So much of that religion is about shame and guilt. We stopped attending church when I was 13, and I am 53 now. On a frighteningly regular basis, I have to push back against feeling unworthy of good stuff. Which is exactly why I kept my own kids far away from the catholic church. But that's just me.
Oh, and she stopped going to church because she vehemently disagreed with their stance on birth control, among other things.

November 13, 2010 at 5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week I was thinking, you don't blog much and there has not been any depressed whinny ramblings and I actually thought that you may have actually found yourself in a better place physically and mentally. Alas it appears no to be, shame.

You know what you need, you need councilling and therapy, you will of course deny and reject this like an addict denys his addiction.

November 13, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your concern.

November 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

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