A Small Blue Thing
18.07.14 (Day 208)
We try to maintain an open door policy here. Certainly, the door to my room / office is always open to those who wish to speak to me. Actually it’s usually closed because I do like some privacy but our residents know they can come in (a door only has two moving parts after all). Other doors within the building have been variously kicked in, used as barricades or simply absent without so much as a by your leave.
The front gate is closed but it has two moving parts too: the gate itself and a tree. I’m hardly giving away a trade secret when I say that the tree needs to be moved in order to open the gate. The point is, anyone can get in. Well most. This is Tonbridge after all, where a proportion of the population like to keep it in the family and maintain a small gene pool; the kind of people who open their front door in the morning, see that the empty milk bottles they left on the doorstep the night before have been replaced by full ones and wonder how it happened. That’s if we’ve not got their first by following the milk float up the road and doing our own milk round. We take away a worry for those who wonder where the milk comes from: we call it care in the community. But I digress.
So anyone who knows where we are can get through the front gate. And they do: mainly the kids and most with the knowledge, understanding and approval of parents and guardians but some without. I won’t ask any of the latter to leave usually. They come to see their peers, to talk and escape. There is practical help on hand too. And while they’re here, I have a self-imposed duty of care. Sometimes that involves installing additional security measures, when we get wind of an unwelcome visitor or one of those on the inside requires a greater degree of safety. Quite simply, we lock the internal gates. We also post a bouncer on the door, in the form of our tennis ball in the courtyard (it bounces, see?) When we’re at DEFCON 3 like that, there are simple instructions for gaining entry: phone me. If you’ve got no credit, drop call me. If you’ve got no phone, shout up to my window: I’m always here because I’m unable to leave and my window overlooks the courtyard. Simple? Apparently not. Some of these people must wonder why we’ve got milk here and there was none on their doorstep in the morning. So we have the house rules too: who you see here, what you hear here, what you say here, stays here. Some of those who’ve not had their milk before coming here (to milk me) don’t understand that breaking those rules means that we have to lock down. They’re the very same ones who then can’t work out why they can’t get in. Phones and social media are the keys to this place and we are at DEFCON 3.
Today we’re expecting the doorway to be darkened a deep shade of blue: The Courts is due to visit. I suspect the gates will be busy. After last night’s rather splendid thunder storm, I’m more sleep deprived than usual. I had The Dog in my room as he’s afraid of thunder and one of our kids on the phone because so is she. The Dog got back to sleep but I didn’t, so I have two hours to add to my cumulative total of 24 in the last seven days. Dog overslept in fact and I just let him out of the gates to run and meet my sister (not the real one but the one I merely affectionately call The Bitch as she’s The Dog’s other half). I didn’t realise what the time was as time is an illusion to me and I cant be his alarm clock as well as message taker and everything else I don’t.
For my part, I’ve been distracted, hence losing track of the illusion of day. I’ve been exercising and exorcising the grey sponge in my cracked skull (it complements the broken heart but that’s under reconstruction, thanks to someone who can get inside both head and heart) by distraction and concentration respectively. I’ve been reading: last Saturday’s Guardian (still) and White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I never follow the crowd, usually eschew conformism and do my own thing. White Teeth was a bit too populist in my mind but now I’ve succumbed. It was on my bucket list and Someone Else has said that the bucket may be near, so I figured I’d get this one done. I enjoyed the last award winner I read (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time; possibly because it dealt with mental health), so I’ll see how this one goes. Another box ticked. Writing this, drinking black coffee (I’m not racist but I do like my sandwiches cut into triangles and that’s not racist) and listening, to Radio 4 and Someone Else. With The Dog out and me holding the fort, I have time for further inward reflection.
Someone Else has ignored me. It’s the head and heart thing again. The person who is helping to repair me (my heart) has also said they’ll wait if I have to go away to exorcise Someone Else. That person has gotten inside both of us.
It’s been opined that I may have BPD (Bi-polar Disorder, or two bears that are untidy?): this would explain a lot. Add that to OCD (or CDO, as I like to have the letters in the right order. I also keep this place in a state where an estate agent would only need to be a little creative to market it as a flat. But it is what it is and we’re only still here by the grace of the owner) and ADS and I’m fast collecting an alphabet, like the lids from old Smarties tubes. I have swaps: a C and two Ds. Anyone want to swap? I’ll have an E, please Bob.
I’ve also been reading The Bible; specifically Job: “Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?” I asked above but He was out. Probably moved out when I asked begged “God, please help me” when I found out The Courts was visiting. But He has granted me gifts of forgiveness, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, patience (and patients), love, empathy, friends and family. If it wasn’t for those gifts and my application of some of them, I wouldn’t be here still. Read that in whichever way you wish but I wrote it, not Someone Else.
But that Someone Else is still company: company I crave and eschew in equal measure at different times. The company I really crave is the one who’s mending me and helping me back up. There’s a long way to go. They can’t be here but know where I am. Name that paraphrased tune:
“My name is Laker. I live on the second floor…”
Alone today, I am a small blue thing.
A Small Blue Thing