These days before starting the day, 2019
Swishes. Gentle touches. Leda whispers something. I know my sleeping time is over but I linger a bit longer. I take off my pyjama and the diaper, she announces. I want to pee in the potty, just a moment after that. No way to procrastinate further. Actually we are already behind schedule. Trying to get ready to go out as fast as possible, and being once again surprised by how much longer it takes than what was initially planned. I kiss Marthe and we are off.
It snowed again last night. I am fed up with the snow, pushing the stroller is quite an undertaking. How much time would I save if there was no snow on the ground? And how much easier it would be! I wonder how many calories I am burning. Not that knowing an accurate number would make any difference, but I do consider the positive side of it: physical activity is good for my health. And I can also put some extra mayonnaise in my sandwich without feeling bad about it. Speaking of health, it is time to undergo a complete medical check up, or at least a cholesterol test, for I am aware that a high level of cholesterol constitute a risk factor for heart disease. And a skin examination too. Last time I saw a dermatologist, probably more than twenty years ago, he recommended not to wait more that ten years before the next check. That brings to mind the cavity on my wisdom tooth. Incurable, according to my dentist. Remind yourself to make an appointment with the dental surgeon, as soon as possible. In the meantime I keep on pushing the stroller up the hill. I am fed up with the snow. Hopefully it will melt quickly this year. I try to figure out how long it would take to melt with the current average temperature. Or at least to get rid of the layer of slippery ice that prevent my shoes from having a grip on the asphalt. My shoes. I won’t dwell on this, but I must remind myself to polish them, the leather is dirty and when the humidity penetrates, my feet get frozen despite the wool lining. They definitely need a waterproofing treatment. Hard to find a good moment for this. In the morning I never have enough time, when I’ll get home in the afternoon they will be too wet, and after dinner I will certainly have forgotten about it. After having turned left twice, the way is less steep. Easier to walk here. I am able to appreciate those majestic trees silhouetted against the sky. I compare the enhanced brightness of the snow-covered ground, which seems to shine on its own, against the rather drab, cold greyish hue in the sky. A somehow comforting kind of magic. At this point I have simply reached the other side of my neighbours’ block, I am still very close to my house as the crow flies. I take a quick peek at the gardens, how much shorter would the route be without this nonsense of zigzagging between the blocks? I am about to approach the steep stretch that leads to the kindergarten where my daughter is spending most of her days, establishing friendships, learning and practicing ways of socialising outside of her domestic environment, with adults and children outside of her close family. I meander around considerations such as how fast she is growing, how my perception of time and hers may differ, the amount of things she is learning, her personality traits, her language skills, the benefits and challenges of bilingualism, whether I am projecting on her my wishes and desires, perspectives and fears, and whether those might constitute an undesirable conditioning of her development. Day after day, on this short walk, a variation of this train of thought unfolds in between our conversations, observations and singing of invented, as well as already-existing, promptly-appropriated and live-adapted melodies and lyrics.
I finally reach the destination and make sure everything is set for her. After a goodbye hug, I head to the bus stop. I can start off my day. Now I am walking downhill, without the stroller. I feel much lighter. I roll a cigarette, light it up, savouring its taste and the pleasurable sensations provoked by the smoke. The first cigarette of the day is definitely the best. I should quit, but it won’t be today. Today I have other plans and I am already thinking about them. I have a few hours to make them happen.
- Adjustments, Infiltrations and Other Matters I Shouldn’t Be Concerned About, 2019