Monday, February 5, 2007

A Hint of Purple

I am preparing my house to be “viewed”. Having previously imagined it as a faithful wife long past her prime, I now feel she is a girl I am trying to prepare for the marriage market. People will soon be coming to assess her suitability as future wife. That she is too thin they will already understand from the measurements provided by the “go-between.” But they, being of modest means, will be realistic. They will look for her good qualities. What can I say? She is disobedient, untidy, unpredictable and hums to herself in unseemly fashion. But she makes people smile and how airily she looks over the tops of trees and houses. In her garden there are apples, cherries and cobnuts and the fine limb of a studio that is without spot or blemish. Two friends came today in order to help prepare for her coming out. The clutter is stashed in boxes. She holds her breath. I have not yet found a house to replace her.

I already feel houseless, or only half here. But perhaps that is also the excarnating after-effect of trying to show willing and be sociable at a Sunday lunch party of more than 40 loud people at the top of a restaurant where we were all instructed to “circulate.” No sooner had one established the ground for some form of tolerable mutual exchange than it was time to move on and begin again with someone else. I wonder how I would manage with speed dating. At one point I interrupted someone in full flow to say that I had to go outside. I told her I had M.E. and could no longer understand what was being said to me. This is unlike me. She is not someone I know or am likely to meet again so there was no need to volunteer this information. I could have professed an urgent need to go to the loo or done something or other - what anyone else does at parties when they want to extricate themselves. Perhaps this is the M.E. equivalent of becoming old and wearing purple. Or it is the beginning of the kind of incontinence manifested by the Ancient Mariner who felt compelled to tell his tale.
Oh dear, said the woman, I didn’t know, have you tried cutting out yeast, I once knew someone who –
Certainly it is easier to hold someone with a glittering eye and tell one’s tale than to listen. I went outside. I saw my daughter smoking a Marlborough. I asked her for a drag. It was good. I went back inside. I drank an Americano in one and had cake. I got second wind. I looked at the faces of my two children, my son up for the day from university. All manner of things will be well. If only one were still smoking cigarettes.

My kingdom for a Camel.

9 comments:

cusp said...

Glad you weathered the rigours of the 'do'. That tipping point where you suddenly cannot concentrate anymore and it feels like you're still in UK and everybody else has 'turned Japanese' is ghastly. Well done for just telling it how it is and scurrying outside for a drag on a ciggy.

Personally, I'd occasionally give a lot for a Gauloise.......lovely dark tobacco and pungent aroma that reminds me of the Metro and long carefree days in Paris............

Reading the Signs said...

Hi cusp - telling it how it is feels increasingly appropriate. I wish I could say that for smoking cigarettes (yes, I'd have a Gauloise too, thanks).

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs - good luck with the marketing. I am doing it myself at the moment and find the whole thing dismal beyond explanation. Some people enjoy it though - my mother for e.g.

Reading the Signs said...

I wondered how things were going with your phantom buyer, tsp, and if there had been any more manifestations.
I can see why people just stay put rather than go through this!

The Moon Topples said...

Your blog is lovely.

If you like, I can give you one of my cigarettes through the magic of imagination.

Your description of your house makes me want to buy it myself, but alas I have no funds for such a thing.

I hope she finds a suitable mate, who will treat her well and find her humming charming.

The Moon Topples said...

Oh, and I link you as well. I'll be back...

Reading the Signs said...

Mr. Moon - you are a gentleman and I accept. Of course with a name like yours (the moon being the poet's anvil) how could the imagination not be powerful? I am even now inhaling the fragrant tobacco.

Ms Melancholy said...

Ms Signs, you have my best thoughts. I hate the house selling thing. I get so attatched to my home and feel absolutely indignant if the viewer doesn't like it. I guess it must be similar to being a writer, and having people critically appraise the work you have filled with yourself. As for the party thing - just tell them you are a therapist. It soon gets them moving along nicely!

Reading the Signs said...

- well saying you've got M.E. usually works a treat - but one does risk the Advice. I suppose there's no danger of that if you say you're a therapist.