close up photo of coconut tree

After The Storm

I love that smell of freshly rained on earth. There is nothing like that freshness, that green, that fizz in the air. Every blade of grass coated with droplets, perfect, pear shaped, stuck to the greenness like beetles. We are in a dry season. There are a few rainstorms, out of time, out of place, but welcome non the less. The storm came and went on Wednesday. A few squalls returned as it blew out of town. I am hoping for some clear weather, some plain sailing. I am hoping for some peace now.

I have another three months subsidy. Another three months of worrying about the fourth month. Another three months of fear. On Friday the DV worker walked in, walked round, signed paperwork and walked out telling me it was over and I would not be required. I cleaned up after her dirty bare feet on my floors, I put my rooms back together. I re-cleaned the bathroom after she touched everything. She said the landlord didn’t need to come in. He knocked on the door an hour later, just after I had cleaned, and walked over my floors in filthy boots. He peered at the sockets and wanted to install a massive electric heater opposite my gas one that is meant to be included in the rent.

The heater would take up my only electrical sockets. There are only 4 in the entire room. He didn’t want to remove the other heater, and so a huge amount of space in my tiny living and sleeping quarters was going to be taken up. I protested politely. He suggested I got rid of my work desk to make room. I need my desk. I need my internet plugged in. I need my fucking printer and computer. Some things need to be directly plugged into the wall for safety. On Saturday I was sitting in my PJs, no phonecall or warning, when the landlord knocked on my door. He wanted to walk through my apartment because he forgot the back door keys. He wanted to use my paid for space as a walk through. I had no choice. I had to scrub the floors again. When he left I realized I had no bra on. I felt exposed. It was not even legal for him to do so. Who cares about my privacy and right to live here unbothered? Who cares? No one.

After everything I need my space to feel private and unmolested. I need to feel safe in my surroundings. I need to feel like not just anyone can wander in. I wonder if the landlord has ever come in here when I am out. I might sprinkle talcum powder on the floor to see whether or not he walks through here when I am out. My skin is crawling. My apartment is not his walkway. But I guess it is. Rights? Privacy? Anything? For some, but not for me.

The weekend finished off in a rousing chorus of phonecalls from Pig. Come back. I love you. I want you back. I want to talk to the Boy. You are a bitch. I hate you. I wish you were dead. I will fuck you. I will drag you back by your hair. Return. It was the eye of the storm.

Of course, though my mama never told me there would be days like this, I became very aware of all this very early on. I am used to the abuse. I simply sat on the phone long enough to calm him down and persuade him not to try and resurrect Hague charges against me, or get custody of the Boy, and strung him along. I told him I would think about it. I hate myself for having to play these games, but have no choice. In the end I have to consider what is more important to me: my temporary but great fear and being abused verbally, or being able to then turn off the phone, close the curtains, pretend we are not home, and hug my son in our little apartment. I tolerate the intolerable because the intolerable is transitory. The pain of loss is permanent.

All that said, I am not superwoman. I am absolutely wrecked after the end of last week. I am viewing this Monday with great hesitation and suspicion. I am hoping the storm has headed out of town and away from my door. I am hoping that the beast has temporarily had enough of my blood sweat and tears to sate it’s appetite for my destruction. I am hoping for some quiet days.

Today I am going to be drawing up plans for what needs to be written and pitched next. In the afternoon I will go for a walk up some hill to a park and sit there quietly. I used to like listening to music as I walked but nowadays I can’t take the risk of not being able to hear the world around me. I remember listening to Tusk, by Fleetwood Mac on my walkman as I scurried through Shinjuku station in Tokyo, my feet moving surreptitiously in time to the heavy beat. San Francisco calls for some Grateful Dead, or Love, some Skip Spence’s Oar, or Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. I will never try it out.

Outside the streets are full of suffering. Inside at least I have occasional respite from that fear and hatred, that imposition and all that violence of thought and action. At least inside here, at least for now, I have my child that allows me to mother them, and that I have loved since he existed. The past stretches behind me like stretched ribbons. Roads and places, smells and spaces. The ribbons tangle and get lost on the horizon. There is no going back. There is never any going back. This is my home. Please let me stay. Do you think the little Gods and Goddesses will show me any mercy? Do you think the men that make the world turn will leave me be? Who knows. I only have today.


  1. clcouch123

    I am happy and relieved you have an extension. I wish it were definitively more lasting. I can appreciate your having home for sanctuary. I think everyone should feel that way. Then remember that everyone feels that way. I’ve never been threatened the way you’ve been. The way you manage is extraordinary. Certainly, the divinities should treat you with mercy and provision. And the men who run the world can go bother other people ’til they (these men) burn in hell for abandoning benevolence and humanity overall. I too hope for quiet and good days ahead for you and you two.

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