Perfect

April 5, 2014 § 14 Comments

 My energy shifted for a day, and the adrenalin flowed.

Haiku bubbled away inside me anyway.

Just waiting.

Unstoppable.

What burst out of me was this: a modified version of a rough draft I blogged last year when hardly anyone was looking. Apologies if you’ve seen it before – but if you have, I hope you think it’s better…

 

Perfect

 Image

 

6.55: Leap out of bed. Stretch. Sun streaks through window. Breathe. Five-minute yoga. Jump in shower. Sing. Get soap in mouth. Blow bubbles. Dribble. Spit.

 

7.15: Put on clean clothes. Husband rolls onto my side. Knock on child’s door. Knock on other child’s door. Run downstairs. Fill kettle. Plug in. Lay table. Plates, mugs, knives, butter, Marmite, peanut butter. Tea bags in pot. Milk out of fridge. Slice bread. Load toaster. Call daughters. Brush hair. Let dog out. Seamless.

 

7.30: Girls downstairs. Kiss heads. Tell joke. Spread peanut butter. Milk in mugs. Pour tea. Eat toast with one hand. Fix hair with other. Number One daughter dresses self. Fresh socks. Clean knickers. Dress Number Two. Brush tangles out of blonde hair. Brush tangles out of brown hair. Still smiling. French plait both heads. Brush three sets of teeth in kitchen sink. Rinse. Spit.

 

7.45: Check satchels. Homework in. And gym kits. Call dog. On with duffle coats. Hats. Scarves. Unlock front door. Grab keys. Open car doors. Satchels and dog in boot. Girls in back. Seat belts on.

 

7.55: Sing songs. Dog slobbers. Scratches leather seats when smells sea. Don’t shout once.

 

8.25: School. Five minutes early. Open car doors. Girls out. Open boot. Dog escapes. Hand over satchels. Gym kits. Round up dog. Put back in car. Kiss heads. Smile. God I’m good.

 

8.35: Beach. Walk dog. Throw sticks for arthritic Doberman and Labrador with skin condition and no manners. Dog snores on way home. Wet sand on back seats. Melvyn Bragg on radio. Uses long words. Show off.

 

10.00: Husband has cleared breakfast table. Plumped cushions. Loaded dishwasher. Pink note with kisses on by sink.

 

10.15: Boot up Mac. Make cappuccino. Start penultimate chapter of magical realism novel. First draft.

 

~

 

7.25: Shit. Sleep through alarm. It’s going to rain. Period’s come early. Headache. Stomachache. Back ache. Want to swear. Shower. Scald self. No clean towel. Don’t sing. Pick up dirty clothes. Put on. Husband plays dead. Call girls. Silence. Trip on stairs. Bash knee. Scream. Hammer on bedroom doors.

 

7.40: Switch on kettle. Don’t fill. Burning smell. Kettle explodes. Open window. Let out stink. Fill saucepan. Turn on hob. Lay out plates, mugs, knives, butter, peanut butter, salami. Marmite jar empty. Fill teapot. Pour milk in. Slice bread. Load up toaster. Scream again. Girls come down. Bickering. Not dressed. Burn toast. Scrape off charcoal. Cut off crusts. Brush wet hair. Scrape back with rubber band. Number One goes upstairs to dress. Won’t come down. Says is sick. Watching TV. No clean socks in house. Blonde and brown hair tangled. Brush hard. Find nits. Brush harder. Number One yelps. Number Two whines. Don’t do French plaits. Don’t brush teeth. Don’t check satchels. Don’t care. Dog sits by door with legs crossed. Coping just fine.

 

8.15: Unlock front door. Car keys gone. In pocket. Unlock car doors. Satchels in boot. Girls in car. Call dog. Won’t come. Having pee. Steer with one hand. Eat toast with other. Hate peanut butter. Hate salami. Won’t sing.

 

8.50: School. Bell gone. Forgotten gym kits. Dog runs off. Chases football in playground. Punctures it. Small boy throws wobbler. Offer to pay. Hate dogs.

 

9.00: Beach. Deep breath. Dog runs off. Catches baby rabbit. Gulps it down in one. It wriggles as it goes down. Want to be sick. Labrador mounts our dog. Shriek. Throw stones. Separate. Put on lead. Haul back to car. Labrador man jumps up and down. Doberman dances around car.  Gouges paintwork with claws.

 

10.30: Husband gone. Beds not made. Breakfast not cleared. Dishwasher not loaded. Cushions not plumped. Back caning. Headache worse.

 

10.45: Find scotch at back of cereal cupboard. Crack ice out of freezer with screwdriver. Dog sick on carpet. Dead rabbit comes out. Go upstairs. Puke. Feel better. Husband’s clothes gone. Suitcase disappeared. No note. Bastard. Go downstairs. More scotch. And another. Load dishwasher. Plump up cushions. Crawl upstairs. Fall asleep.

 

11.30 ish: Dream. Large white room. Chapel-high windows. Sun streaming. White carpet. No stains. No clutter. White Steinway. White shelves. Books filed neatly in order. No husband. No children. No dog. No dead rabbits. No aches. No period. I am clean, thin and beautiful. Flirt with postman. Have fling with man next door. Break a heart or two. Novel published. Accolades. Parties. Groucho Club. Ben Affleck invites me to lunch. Have yin yang tattoo done on thigh. Get rich. Cheques don’t bounce. Buy Porsche. Stay single. Break more hearts.

 

2.30: Wake up. Headache worse. Want new body. Take Aspirin. Phone vet for morning after pill. Don’t make bed. Lost car keys. Find in car. Dog jumps on back seat. Stinks of puke. Daren’t look at self in mirror.

 

3.00: Hate Tesco’s. Buy kettle, alarm clock, Marmite, whisky, pot noodles. Won’t cook ever again. Husband can go to hell. Want to get on plane. See world. South America. Tibet. Mongolia. New York. Find out who I am. First Class Virgin ticket with thick down pillows. Go dancing. Eat at Nobu’s. Dance to Eric Clapton at Carnegie Hall. Have a Macy’s Credit Card. All expenses paid.

 

3.45: Late picking up. Scotch worn off. And Aspirin. Girls sulk. Want feeding. Buy chocolate. Don’t sing. Don’t talk.

 

4.15: Telly on. Thumbs in mouths. Feed dog. Feed girls pot noodles. Open whisky bottle. Out of ice.

 

6.30: Husband walks in. With takeaway. Says sorry. All his fault. Bunch of red roses behind back. Put in vase. Bathe girls. Put to bed.

 

7.30: Eat lukewarm supper out of cartons on sofa. Give dog leftovers. Watch DVD. Share bottle. Feel giddy. Load up washing machine. Close eyes.

 

10.00: Put sticking plaster on heart. Again. Have to think of the children.

 

*

 

 

 

 

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§ 14 Responses to Perfect

  • mikesteeden says:

    The craft of poetry in timeline form – very clever indeed.

  • A brilliant reflection of what life is like sometimes. Some days on top of it all, the next day life is bleak and hard. Personally I can’t get the day started without a whisky on my cornflakes 😉

    I loved this Rachael, I wouldn’t change anything, it has a great pace and I like the format.
    Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

  • D'ascent says:

    What a great read….:) I love how the story comes out in list form. Amazing how much story there is in such economy. And the daily mundane:Stories in the ordinary. Enjoyed this very much. Plus..As a New Yorker, I just like the sprinkling of brit terms & things. Teehee.

  • renobarb says:

    I like the way you wove the story amidst the minutiae of the day. You’ve captured the rhythm of daily family life perfectly. We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of caring for our children and spouses, all the while realizing that there is love in all that we accomplish. And then we pour a cocktail, either to celebrate a glorious day or to sooth our souls at the end of a horrid day.

  • Rachael Charmley says:

    Thank you. It was an experiment really – a second attempt – and I think the short, sharp sentences have captured the energy of the piece and have driven it along reasonably well.
    All the best with your blog too – it takes a lot of courage to put one’s writing up for the world to see – but our part of the blogging world is a lovely, supportive and inspiring place.

  • you got me roaring with laughter! oh i hear you loud n clear xx

  • Funny how, under scrutiny, life comes down to a series of (often disparate) moments, which can turn in the blink of an eye. Looking on the positive, at least there’s waves*nd your days haven’t flat-lined! An enjoyable read, Rachael.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      Thank you for your kindness and sensitivity, Chris. It feels good to break away from the peace of the haiku, but I’m headed back there now!

  • Miranda Stone says:

    Whew, this makes me tired just reading it! (And the bit about the rabbit made me feel as nauseated as the narrator.) Some days, it feels like the universe is working against us. But your story is a reminder that nothing–neither the good times nor the bad–lasts forever.

  • Rachael Charmley says:

    Haa! – felt like having a catnap after I’d finished it too…:-/

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