Tuesday, December 16, 2008

dear diary


Under the water I went, down to the blue-grey depths of the pool where it was quiet and half-lit, like the ocean. I swam breaststroke, pulling at the water with strong arms, kicking in great powerful sweeps. It was silent save for my own bubbling and swishing sounds. I thought of my friend fifi, who is part woman, part fish - I thought this is what she loves, this privacy and secrecy and intimacy in water. I felt hidden and invincible, and I wanted to stay down there all afternoon. When my need for air became too urgent, I burst to the surface in a great eruption of foam and pale flesh and trailing wet hair. Breathed in gulps, then more calmly. Then back under I went, like an addict.


Like a traditional husband, I came home from work to find dinner being served. I sat with Fatty and the kids on the back deck and watched the fruit bats come winging past, to roost in trees near and far. The air was warm and soft on my skin. Laura and Ben were giggly and exuberant. Later, I read aloud to the children - Winnie the Pooh, from a childhood edition of mine, all tattered and smelling of dust and days gone by.


We boarded the train, my kidlets and I, and we stood in the foyer (if trains can have foyers), hanging on to rails. A woman sat nearby, in a pretty knee-length red dress and high heeled sandals, with ankle-high stockings on. I was mesmerised and fascinated. This lady was attractive, and otherwise well-dressed. She sat quietly reading, and gave no outward signs of mental illness. She looked like she wore the foot stockings simply because it suited her; they were comfortable, maybe cooler than pantyhose? She obviously didn't care that they looked odd. I didn't know whether to despair of her dress sense, or to admire her nonchalance.

The art gallery visit, much maligned by my son beforehand, was a great success. I decided that artists exist in another dimension altogether - their imaginations are exaggerated and immense; more creative and expansive and wondrous than my mind can even grasp. I am awed. My children were awed. We stared and gasped and pointed. I am still thinking over what I've seen.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

innocent remarks

I'm not sure if all kids are this weird or if mine are weirder than most. They do have my DNA after all.

This is what my son said to Fatty and I, apropos of nothing, as we all sat eating dinner tonight.

"So! What do you think about each other since you've married?"

We both almost choked on the spaghetti, and I'm sure I snort-laughed. I went running for a pen so I could write down Ben's latest quote. When I returned, Fatty was soberly telling Ben that he was quite happy with his decision so far. (Quite happy? I needled. Just 'quite' happy? Not really happy, or plain happy? Just 'quite' happy??)

It was all laughter and happiness and fun and games, and 'isn't Ben funny' indulgence. And then Ben came up with his second quotable quote for the evening, as I was standing in shirt & undies, ironing a pair of pants to wear to a work meeting.

Ben (approaching me, peering at my legs): Are you wearing stockings?

Me: No, why?

Ben: Oh, no, you're not. So why are your legs all crinkled?

Me: (inwardly cursing my cellulite, hating my cellulite, wishing I had killer thighs and a bouncy butt) Oh, that's just what happens to legs as they get older.

Fatty looms around the corner grinning silently, herding Ben towards the bath before he can crush my self-image further.


I am not my cellulite. I am an intelligent, interesting, independent woman and it shouldn't matter what my legs look like.

Double gulp.