Aside

Shower Thoughts

Shower time is thinking time. And time to pause, strain my ears and wonder if I can hear a baby screaming outside or just in my head.

Last night I pondered something that I’ve never spoken with anybody about. It’s the use of a bath towel. Usually you use your towel 2-3 times before washing it, or even more (is this just me? What is the normal amount of towel uses before washing?) however my issue is this. You dry your body with your towel. Your whole body, including your bottom and V or P is exposed to some part of the towel. You dry your face with it and in between your toes. Behind your ears. Your underarms. Then you hang it on the rack to dry, ready for use again in the morning.

The morning comes and you do your routine. You need to dry your face again because naturally it is wet from the shower, but how do you know which part of the towel you used last night on your bot? Are you happy to dab dry your face this morning with the part of towel you used on your V or P last night? Is this like using the same chopping board for meat as for vegetables? Are we cross-contaminating here? Despite being “clean” from the showering, the skin itself carries millions of little living things on its surface. The more hidden parts of the human body even more so, and the parts that live in underwear, well…

It would be a ridiculous luxury to fetch a fresh, clean towel for every shower, surely. Until I find a way to get around this perplexing problem, I shall remain thwarted and confused each time I shower. Will post again when a solution is imminent; am open to suggestions or advice.

Enjoy your shower tonight!

Aside

The Simpson.

I am currently in awe of a purchase we made recently, which took a long long time to occur. It’s an item that always seemed a bit haughty to me; it’s The Clothes Dryer. In the years before new neural pathways grew and I realised what a dryer would do for my time management, I would scowl upon seeing one tossing things about on a day that the sky was being blasted with sunshine. Like, what is wrong with hanging clothes outside on a clothes line, I would think. I knew the dryer made your clothes feel soft, but it was an unnecessary luxury for people who cared not for the environment and were too lazy to peg their clothing outdoors. Now, as I type these words I am serenaded by the sweet sweet sounds of The Simpsons spinning drum; its third load today. I’m 30, and I have come to my senses.

The exact foundation of my very stern frown toward the dryer is easy to pinpoint and that location is definitely within the realms of my childhood. Our clothes line was always full and still to this day I have never seen either of my parents put a load of washing on and stick it straight in the dryer upon completion. The dryer was always an extreme last resort; used when washing had weathered the start of rain or a late winter afternoon and needed a few minutes of heat to get the damp out. It was expensive to run and “bad for the environment.” Without looking any further into this, it was my contra-dryer theory for many years.

Recently, however, I became a mother of two, and I am all about convenience now. Any parent knows that laundry is a huge part of, um, life, when you have children, because of how feral kids can be. They play in sand, dirt, mud. They pee themselves. They poo themselves. They vomit on themselves, and you. They drop food on everything and they dribble, just to name a few of their strengths. So when we increased our household to four people, our washing naturally increased too. We needed a drying mechanism for the coming winter…and holy cow. How my life has changed since it’s arrival. Now, I cannot believe how many hundreds of hours I can look back upon, having spent WASTING my PRECIOUS time HANGING WASHING OUTSIDE, and bringing it in. No. Those days are gone, my friend, gone gone gone.

Never again will I spend my winter minutes hanging bits and pieces outside in the snippets of sunshine, only to dash back at the onset of rain. Never again will I hang stuff outside and leave it out there for days and days due to recurrent rain and intermittent sunshine. My washing basket will never again overflow due to weeks of rain. Rain, rain, rain. Causing havoc for clothes washing slaves everywhere. But now, my life is complete. Who knew you could be best friends with a piece of machinery?

Rant over.

dreams, deaths and disloyalties

It’s a strange feeling, waking with fragments of vivid dreams having tarnished the supposed clean slate of a new day. What is the purpose of dreaming? Why, sometimes, do our minds delve beyond what is real world and into this cosmic abyss, which can sometimes be eclipsed by what seems like proper horror?

Think of a bad dream you’ve had. How bad was it? Did somebody close to you die? Did you kill someone? I know that these sorts of dreams exist. Personally I’ve never murdered anyone in my dreams, but family members and pets have died horrific deaths, my husband has turned into an appalling infidel with a non-existent heart and some other downright awful things have happened. What drives our minds to these places of darkness?

Most people are familiar with that weighted feeling of regaining consciousness in the deep of the night, having grown so unsettled by a dream that sleep is no longer possible. It’s as if we need rebooting – awaken, breathe deeply, acknowledge that it was all a dream and everything is truly as it should be. Then often, the remaining hours of what should be pure rest are blemished; bodies toss and turn in a restless chasm of ambiguity and confusion until finally, another day dawns. You sit up, gazing quizzically at nothing in particular, pensive about the origin of such creations, your mind boggled as you begin a new day. Today, the slate will not begin as clean.

At night, the brain becomes similar to that of an electric car wash. It removes grime from the day, it polishes a clean surface once the muck is gone. Build up of amyloid plaque is scrubbed back, memories are removed from short term and stored in long term. It seems though, that the mind becomes more susceptible to both genres (good and bad) of thoughts and dreams during this time. Have you ever been in a half-woke sleep state, and suddenly the weight of the world is bearing down on you? Conundrums of the day are amplified and your feet are glued to the patch of grass in front of the speaker. You wear no ear plugs and through your restless sleep, you sense no escape from the discomfort and unrelenting noise in your head.

This morning my son awoke in a state of distress. He removed his little body from bed and advanced to the two corridors and three doors blockading his access to safety. He managed 20 steps before tears could be retained no longer and a little voice perforated the morning quiet. “Mummy,” though much longer and slower and with sorrow in his tone… “I don’t want to go to school.” He sobbed, briefly explaining the source of his upset. I wonder if I really do need to reconsider my child’s one-day-a-week expedition to daycare, with it now being the origin of his nightmares. All our issues are relative, I suppose.

I dare you to anonymously (or not) comment on this post with your most baffling dream to date. Have you ever bludgeoned someone to death with a sledgehammer, feeling and hearing the crush of his skull under your destructive force? My gentle, compassionate husband has. Have you ever woken to see your spouse sleeping peacefully after they’ve just spent 8 hours destroying your life and ripping your soul apart with their promiscuous  treachery, your eyes swollen from crying tears of utter heartache? I have.

 

Those California Smiles

It’s funny, thinking back to when we were kids. Unconsciously taking each moment as it came, not worried that standing in the rain would make our clothes wet and we’d be cold later, or that too many cupcakes would head straight to our thighs, and never second guessing that the people around us had anything but unqualified love for us. It’s only when we grew a little more, when our brains were roused from childhood slumber, that our thoughts became a little more conscious, and we learned to worry about more superficial things. Once innocent thoughts became tainted with the mundane realities of “life.” And of course, maturation continued and the thoughts evolved into grown-up beliefs and realisations.

One of these realisations for me was the recognition of old people’s teeth. I believe that many people would agree with me when I say that old people have a special sense about them. It’s funny to look at one (old person) and note that they too, were once a baby, once a child, and lived out their whole adult life as well. And upon passing the threshold into becoming “elderly,” came a certain essence that reverberates in the people around them. I think children, especially, unconsciously summon this innate feeling in the presence of elderly people. Perhaps it’s something to do with being at paradoxical ends of the life-spectrum, or something. It comes in the form of an unabashed love; it lives in their hearts because they’ve not yet grown into that state of self-awareness that is cultivated with age.

I used to believe that all elderly people had nice teeth. I remember feeling perceived confusion, however slight, at why people got old and ended up with nice teeth. If I was lucky enough to have seen a photo from their youth, why had their teeth changed so much? Is that what happened to adults? Why did I notice “my-parents-age” adults with seemingly normal teeth, and then old people, older than The Adults, with perfectly aligned pearly whites, all the same size and without blemish? These thoughts developed into a reasonably solid belief inside my young, impressionable and ever-expanding brain…that all old people had nice teeth.

The realisation did too, undertake the process of change. It wasn’t till much later that I learned about the existence of dentures. From that point, the light bulb flickered on and the door to curiosity was closed. No longer did I need to endlessly wonder why this phenomenon remained a “thing” for those in the later stages of life. My marvelling mind ceased its justifying and reasoning, and the transient question that I’d never actually asked was answered.

This piece was published in Bella Rae in the second half of 2019.

Aside

“organising your space” (a sample)

The space in which you spend time is not just an area to stow your belongings; metaphysical or tangible, but a reflection of the fragments of your life. Just like the clothes you wear and the people you connect with, the spaces we occupy could be seen to represent more depth than first discerned. Why were our parents always telling us to “tidy up our rooms, we are having guests over”? Because who wants to be seen as too lazy to get organised? We care about how we manifest to others, and to maintain order indicates a person who is in control; who has their life sorted.

Fast forward to now and many of us millennial carry that one close, attempting to assemble and systematise every segment of life itself. Even The Hipster, with his long, unruly hair and disheveled beard, with his oversized clothes and barefoot presence will surprise you with his diary, his personal and spiritual 12-week journey and the goal setting, oh the goal setting. And it’s not entirely unnecessary, in fact. Maybe if we have some control over where we want to go, we might eventually get there. Organising your space is not just actionable through the rearranging of objects in an environment, it’s the creation of a drive for more. The human lifespan is not that long, really, so if we can maintain some semblance of order during the time we have, maybe we can thank mum and dad for those early rules after all.

 

The Adult Party Pie

I don’t think I’ve met a person who doesn’t thoroughly enjoy a party pie. And I’m not talking that “traditional” party pie you had at every single children’s birthday that’s piled into a silver tray and tepid by the time you get off the jumping castle and fill your plate…I’m talking about, The Adult Party Pie.

Yes. You know exactly what I mean. The Adult Party Pie is an upgrade from the minced beef thing. It’s crunchy crust, it’s gourmet fillings, it’s tenderness and warmth compiled into a little container of tasty pastry goodness. It’s the type of pie your company provides you with on a professional development day. You look forward to this moment from the instant your computer notified you of mail the week before, and the agenda was received. You scanned the itinerary for that one bold, blissful sentence: “lunch provided.” You know deep down, that the best part of this day that is void of actual work, will be the minute session four ends, and it’s time to eat.

There are some challenges associated with The Adult Party Pie, however. It could be said that one of those challenges is the scrutinising stares you cop from fellow staff members standing in the line watching as you fill your plate with 2-3 of The Pies…but the look isn’t because they think you’re being greedy. It’s because they are still 4-5 persons away from the plate of Pies, and the risk of missing out is threatening and imminently looming.

The second noted challenge associated with eating The Adult Party Pie is the part where you actually consume it. That glorious moment that it travels, steaming, from the tiny openings where pastry has become overwhelmed with heat and popped open, from the plate to your expectant mouth. You open up for The Pie to enter…you take the first bite…and this slow motion moment comes to an abrupt halt as your mouth registers the temperature of the dang thing. It’s too late. Your teeth entered the lid of The Pie and progressed downwards. The roof of your mouth came into contact with the gourmet filling, and it, along with your tongue, is now a burnt up mess. You can fill the skin peeling slightly, it is a funny type of painful…and your pie eating experience has ended. No longer can you take pleasure of the crunchy-bits-in-all-the-right-places. No longer can you indulge in the pleasures of a grown up Party Pie. And the admin lady featured earlier is smirking at you from two tables away as she peels off the lid of her Adult Party Pie and blows on it to cool down the contents.