Sunday, May 23, 2010

23. On putting the jug of water on the floor, instead of on the desk, so I won’t spill it over the computer

Do you ever write a text or e-mail, and then a voice in your head says, urgently: Don’t send that! – you’ll regret it – whatever you do, don’t send that! While another voice is raising its eyebrows archly: I’m going to, you know! And so you send it. Your heart thudding.

Also, in the future, do you think that mobile phones will split into pieces when you drop them, and fry when they get wet in the rain? Will computers crash when you spill coffee on them?

Getting up suddenly – remembering something I had to do downstairs — the jug of water on the floor flew sideways. A gushing flood of water over cords and electrical outlets and tangled modems and wireless routers. The rush and shock of it!

I got them all up out of the way. Turned off the power at the wall. Put some towels down, opened the window. It was all fine in the end. Not such a big deal. But at the time!


Charlie running alongside me down the hill, saying, ‘Go, go, go’ and instructing me to do the same. Then he pauses, glances up at me: ‘I just have to stop and swallow the water.’ After a moment I realise he means the build-up of saliva. Most people, they just swallow that.

At breakfast, eating toast, he remarks, friendly, ‘I don’t like the black crunchy bits.’ A lot of people, in that situation, they'd tell me I'd burnt the toast.

A while ago, I put all his soft toys – teddies, puppies, snowmen, cows – in a bag and hung it from the living room door handle. I wondered when he would notice they were missing. Days went by, and then the bag caught his eye. He looked inside, busy and curious, then nodded, once, and murmured to himself: 'Everybody’s in here.’