Monday, December 14, 2009

Bleak Blog

I have just said goodbye to my children. They got on a bus in Storms River, headed for Cape Town. We sat and waited at the restaurant tables drinking chocochinos. I felt gripped by the desire to travel myself. I have often been a traveller myself, in my life. My husband even more so. Both of us felt the excitement of our daughter, the anxiousness of our son. Buses pulled in and out - but not theirs. We filled the time by looking up at the great span of the bridge, talking of how it was constructed, telling tales of tragic jumps, imagining how it was before....

Eventually their bus came and there was their Oupa, already on the bus, coming up from PE. He and I have always had a deep affection for each other, although his son and I separated and divorced over ten years ago. And then there they went, hands waving at windows, Oupa giving me the thumbs up. Everything is ok, everything is going to be ok...

This is for all of you reading this who are divorced, who have to do this thing. This separation thing.
So, there I suddenly stand on the desert of tar that is the petrol station, with cars pulling in and out around me. Lex stands next to me. His hands hang down. My hands hang down. I wear sunglasses, but I feel my eyes tearing up. He knows they are. I am making gulping soft sobs. My heart is constricting, tight, loose, tight, loose. He knows it is. Maybe his is too.

He speaks of another chocochino - he hugs me right there in the middle of the cars pulling round us. We don't do that, we drive home. It is not them going. I wave them cheerily off on many an adventure. It is the leaving, now we drive over the bridge - and thats what I feel - the leaving and crossing over to the other side.

It is a place where I have no place - the world of their biological father - a world where they are not always at ease. But most of all, it is not mine. I am not able always to reach them there. I am dereft.

We drive in silence, and my husband offers only to drive me any place I want, Jeffreys Bay, Kareedouw. I feel bleak. I feel bleak. I only want to go home.

So, we take the winding road between the hills. He drives slowly, his hand on my thigh, my hand on his neck. My mind is struggling to find that place of peace. It is running back and forth, dodging me - that peace. I am sort of praying for it, but even prayer, right now, is illusive.

But when we get there, so that the town is dotted before us, we don't want to go home after all. Lex says it out loud, and so we end up at the only restaurant in town, and sit outside with a plate of chips and toasted sandwiches. It is school holidays, and busier than I have ever seen it ( five tables). I feel comforted. My husband and I enjoy each others' company.

By the time we open our back door we have settled down. The house is totally silent, but thats ok. The bedrooms are a mess, abandoned in the excitement of the departure. That is also ok. I plan to tidy their rooms while they are away - fresh linen and fresh flowers when they get back. Tidy cupboards and piles of clean clothes. Its always like that when they go away. Sometimes gifts await them on their pillows.

We move about , we plan our week. We wait. We resolve to enjoy ourselves. We resolve to work, to write, to work the garden, to eat what we like when we like. We wait. We wait.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle sterkte en hugs van my. Ek ken ook daardie lee gevoel wanneer jou kind op 'n vliegtuig klim en jy weet hy gaan terug SA toe, dan sien jy hom eers 4 jaar later weer. Ek het anderdag so 'n kort stukkie geskryf hier oor in my storie blog Past and Present gaan lees maar.