First week: Virgin Gorda with Kara and her mom, Laura. Wonderful to see them, but of course I had to study for the PAVE qualifying exam (Program for Assessment of Veterinary Equivalence – required because we’re an “offshore school”). Took that Thursday. Some of it I knew, some of it I used to know, a very few questions were WTF. Six and a half hours of testing. And then…
Moving. Urk. Thanks to a hired guy one day, a kind classmate with the welcoming committee van another day, and my gracious landlord with the Land Rover, all the stuff is moved! Hurray! Of course, as the last tenant just left all of her stuff here, I ended up having to first clean up after her and throw all of her crap away. Then scrub the apartment. Then move the stuff in and put it away. Today, the last big hurdle: cleaning the old apartment. While trying to manage my cleaning lady’s ADHD 7-year-old, and having to clean up after her. (“Shequala: LOOK at me. Look at me. Good. Now listen. Put that down and don’t touch it again. Yes, I know that you want to, but wanting isn’t everything. No, I really, truly mean that I don’t want you to play with that. Put it down. You may play with the vacuum cleaner. You may not play with the mop. Shequala, look at me please. No, look at ME.” Etc. ad nauseum.) I know women have been doing this as long as we’ve been a species, but HOW completely eludes me. It takes 5 times as long to get anything done! And they come through like little forces of entropy and undo all the work you’ve just completed. Her mom, Candace, whom I’ve hired to help me clean before and who has been helping me with all of my cleaning tasks this week, just yells at her. And Shequala ignores her completely. Completely. Keeps talking to me in a mostly-unintelligible near-whisper all through it. (“Shequala,” I tell her, “Your mom is trying to tell you something. It’s important to pay attention.” Then she totally ignores what her mom told her to do. She knows there will be no consequences. All this talking with so little effect. I tell her what she may and may not do, yet unless I physically prevent her, she will do whatever she pleases. Sort of like dealing with Buster, actually. Who doesn’t understand “no,” “get down,” or even that “you’re in trouble – better stop what you’re doing” tone of voice – as when he goes for my dinner or The Boys’.)
I’m too tired to write intelligibly. Journal from Virgin Gorda later. I’m writing a story that came to me practically entire, one morning (when I should have been studying); you’ll see it once I’ve worked out the bugs and smoothed the writing.
Scene from home now: piled masses of crisply extruded cloud etched by blue shadows, tinted by the hues of dying afternoon in the long slant of the light. Form, depth, distance. The laughing gulls were flying en masse above me on my weary way, headed for those golden and apricot cities. Home, and the light is reflected on perfect turquoise water, stretching away as far as the eye can see from my verandah. God, I love it here. I think I’ll spend tomorrow afternoon drinking by the pool. See if I can get a couple of friends to come over.
Brent gets home in 4 days. I sure miss him. He’s been “running around like a chicken with its legs cut off” (in-joke; nevermind) doing errands; poor baby. Been too busy to write much, and then when he does write me I get weird on him – panicky at suddenly finding myself with time to think about the last two months (and the decisions I’ve made therein), and my defense mechanisms are kicking in big time. Still, he’s not as present in writing email or on the phone as he is in person – larger than life, almost, in person. I worry about the 8 months I’ll be in Minneapolis while he’s here. First obstacle to work on, I suppose. Get a spine, Catherine! So what if he’s reserved in his writing – you CAN stand alone – you’ve proven it to yourself! Let the poor man be.