Thursday is my town day. This is when we country folk put on our town uniform, write out to-do list and hit the big smoke. I have the hours between 9:15 and 2:15 precisely to get my town shit done.
Here’s what my usual Thursday looks like:
- Meet friend for brisk walk and extended week’s worth of debriefery. Pause debrief for the steep bits where I have to just worry about oxygen intake.
- Drop off something to someone’s house (I seem to have at least one drop off each town visit)
- Pick up a machinery part or hardware or some office stationery (I always hope for the latter, love a stationery stop, except that it will set me behind schedule because I get in there and decide I need a new pen, a notebook and a roll of bubble wrap.
- Purchase assorted essentials such as knickers, sink plugs, cholesterol tablets, worm tablets and vacuum cleaner bits.
- See to obligatory health needs such as optometry, gynecology or wart removal. Just kidding. No warts. Well only one small one.
- Go to weekly singing lesson. This is with my gorgeous teacher Jude who runs The Voice Academy. Easily one of my favourite hours in the week.
- Grab a couple of spicy rolls from my favourite vegetarian cafe. I love those little bundles of spicy goodness, lord knows what they’re made of but they kept me alive through about 16 months of morning sickness. Thursdays are the only days I can get away with vego food without some sort of farmery scoff. I might get a freshly pressed veggie juice too depending on how much of a temple my body is that day. If temples are off the body agenda I might get a solo.
- If there’s time before the mad rush back to school, I will either drop by a book shop, a clothing shop or a plant nursery. Or if things are getting desperate, a beautician.
Every Thursday there is a guaranteed spanner or two thrown into the spokes. Today there were quite a few, which is what has prompted me to write about this particular Thursday. Not all particularly remarkable spanners but I was in the frame of mind to notice them perhaps.
- I put $2 in the parking meter, which covers me for my singing lesson, and the meter machine ate the coin and wouldn’t spit out my voucher. I had no more coins and thought, ‘fuck you voucher, you sting me every week and you’re not getting away with this.’ So I phoned the assistance number on the machine, the number that I’ve looked at before and thought, “What finickity dick rings the number?”. I do. I did. A dude answered and he said (a bit spookily at first) “Give me 15 seconds, I’m there.” “Where?” I said, looking suspiciously around me and up at the warehouses looming above me. All a bit JFK. “There, at meter 9. I’m here”. And he pulled up in his car. I’m not kidding, it took that long. Maybe 20 seconds. He got out and opened the front of the machine, fished out my coin, posted it back in and said, “I’ll give you the full two hours.” Just like that. It pays to call the finickity dick number I tell you.
- I rehearsed a song that I am performing for a songwriter friend of mine. It’s a song she wrote after the death of her husband. She listened to me for the first time today – very nerve-wracking, I’ve never sung someone else’s work with them actually present and there’s always a chance I could cock it right up. She loved it, she cried a bit and said it was her dream to hear her songs performed. How nice to help make a dream come true. Here’s her website, give her a look.
- I went to buy some new bras. It’s amazing how you think your bras are new until they fall apart and you realise you’ve had them since 2009. Anyway I decided it was high time I had a proper fitting. So a terse-ish older woman hauled my boobs into a few different bras (you have to bend over at 90 degrees for best fit!). Two didn’t satisfy her eagle eye (she only had eyes for the bra, I kind of wanted her to comment give her expert opinion on the quality and droop factor of my boobs for my age but she didn’t) and the last one I tried on was “the one”, never mind it wasn’t as pretty as the first. I fancied a little more lace. She was so right though. It’s like my boobs have suddenly taken an interest in things. They’ve felt like companions; I keep patting them. Must get out of that habit before people talk.
- I lost my list. This wasted a precious few minutes while I retraced my steps in the hardware store, mostly because whoever came across it would see that I need to buy loo paper and get the car serviced, and that I’m booked in for an eyebrow shape and a mammogram next week. Oh well, it might prompt someone to book their boobs in. I’ve talked a lot about boobs in the last minute. It must be because they’ve been so interested today.
- Whilst in my vego cafe buying my spicy rolls, I asked where the nearest loo is. A couple of young women said that the nearest public loos were closed. This is never good news for a 40 year old mother of three. The lovely cafe owner (who knows me well) said I could use her loo. I gratefully went in, spent my substantial pennies and came out to collect my rolls. The two young women were laughing when I came out, and one of them said, “That was a really big wee, we could hear it from here!” WTF? I mean I laughed along with them a bit, expressed my mortification and apologised. It was all pretty non-disturbing and stuff, but seriously, who says that to a complete stranger? I guess they could have just laughed behind my back; I should be glad they felt they could include me on the hilarity of my wees. And at least I have a healthy flow, no piddling piddles here.
- I heard some really beautiful music that stopped me in my tracks. It was called “Remember Me” and it was composed and performed by two musicians – a violinist and maybe a flutist (some sort of haunting wind instrument anyway) who were inspired after spending some time in the Tarkine since the bushfires destroyed large areas of it. It was so beautiful. I didn’t hear their names and I can’t find a link to it anywhere but I’ll keep trying because it deserves to be shared.
- The other night I went to the Spiegeltent in Hobart to see the circus/acrobatics show “Limbo”. As I watched these astonishingly skilled performers do their truly death defying stunts, I worried for them that something would go wrong, I hid my face, I couldn’t get comfortable in my seat and at the end of it I left feeling a little bit relieved that it was over. And when I got home, I sat in the silence of the late hour, sipped coffee and felt altogether unsettled. Today it occurred to me why. I’m envious. I am. Jealous even. I’m not a jealous person, never have been. But those beautiful bodies, those thrilling heights, exciting travels, uninhibited confidence and complete dedication to a craft and sheer talent are completely and utterly out of my league. I will never get to run away with the circus and disappear into a shadowy life of a limber gypsy. And dammit, maybe that was one of my fall-backs. People can say, “It’s never too late ’til the cows come home but you know what – it is too late. Too late to fall in love with a mysterious sword swallower and mesmerize people with my trapeze swinging bod; too late to fly in slow motion through the air on bendy poles (the best part of the show in my opinion) or bend myself in ways that are inhuman and strangely arousing. Too late. Tonight I wallowed in it by googling all the performers and finding them on facebook, which revealed them as every bit as fun loving, glamorous and familial in their posse as I suspected. Now I’m just resigned. Close the circus door (or tent flap). Maybe it’s time for no fall-backs, but just to find my own version of the bendy pole (not that sort) and get on with things before some other fantasy falls victim to the speeding years and all that’s left is knitting.
Phew, sorry, didn’t intend to rant. Gosh, must get to bed, way past my bed time. There goes another Thursday. xxxx
PS I could probably still be a clown.