Five hundred, twenty five thousand six hundred minutes….As the song goes. How do you measure a year? In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In cups of coffee? In inches? Although I think this song was about AIDS and they all died.
I have tunnelled through layer upon layer of thick murky grief and it’s followed me around like a stray dog. Yesterday the recycling bin revealed a very posh calendar bought by my friend Alex so that in those initial days I might know what each day was called and if I had somewhere to be or something important to do.
Someone once told me that once I got to a year things would be less painful. In the same way that the therapist said that they don’t like to see anyone before six months. When I pressed her she said’ – “After six months you should be getting better, not completely, but better.” But what I really think she meant is that- after six months you will no longer believe he is coming back.
I’m measuring mine in Prufrock esq coffee spoons of joy. I don’t need it anymore (the calendar); this must be what progress feels like. Those tiny split seconds of joy, which sneak in when you are not expecting them. I’ll take one of those. Minute tablets of joy and perfection. Like when you accidently fall asleep and wake up to find your daughter has framed your entire face in rose petals like that chick from American Beauty (sure your garden has been annihilated in the process but who cares? It was a shit garden to begin with) or Spencer from Wheelers hands you yet another bunch of beautiful flowers and says absolutely nothing, just smiles and walks away. Or maybe you just get sent a poem written to and about you from your friend Lex which is a bit shit, but kinda nice. Or you are sitting having a romantic meal with your friend Josie in your kitchen and Alexander O Neil comes on the radio with ‘Criticize’ and you do not speak, you simply put your knife and fork together simultaneously and meet each other on the dance floor, dancing and laughing until your sides hurt. (BTW. I defy anyone to hear this and not do the same). Or you are hammering an angry blog post on your keyboard and your daughter is on the floor beside you doing a puzzle and stops only momentarily to say “Mum, if I was a fish, I would be so beautiful.”
Some things will, despite everything, still put a smile on my face. A beard and a bun, for example never fails, which is why I have been spending so much time in Hoxton of late.
These moments are wonderful, albeit infrequent, but I must grab them with both hands and somehow make them multiply like gremlins in water. I know it’s all about time but time takes too much time.
A shit poem by Alexa Charlotte Carey.
I’m sorry I ask you how you are.
I’m sorry I live so far.
I’m sorry that we missed our date
And that I’ve not been the best mate
I hate that I can’t do more to help.
But most of all I hope it’s clear
I wish to God that Gumby was here.