Thursday 3 November, 2011:
Everything is much easier and harder than I thought it would be. Physically – and patiently – I ache with this stuff that’s in my heart, pressed down and overflowing.
Today, Tau is discharged from hospital. We drive to Fitzroy St without much being said; he gets out (to pack, he says) – and I go home.
I think, well this is it. Either way, something’s going to change. He’ll stay, or he’ll gap. And either way – I get it.
I wait: nothing happens for a while, I don’t know what to think. It’s pissing down with rain. And then an hour later, Tau and his dad and uncle arrive, with the bed and a couch; bags and boxes.
And so it begins.
That first night, listening to the rain drum down, and knowing Tau is at last out of the elements, I feel a state of radiance that I can hardly explain; some feeling of great safety. It’s like that all night, and when I wake, and then into the morning – even driving to school. And then I start getting scared, as if I’m going to break a spell. As if I could be careless and let go of it, and smash it into little fragments. I feel such a need to cling to it, and I do, and the more it seems to vanish in my hands. Until I’m hardly daring to breathe, in case I make a false move and lose it for ever.
The least thing makes me feel sensitive and quivering with response, like a little ball of mercury inside a thermometer. Do I?.. Is that?… Can I? I’m tracing consequences – I should stop – it’s the very opposite of Tau’s strategy!
But I’m kind of amazed, and a little bit scared to see what’s happened since I’ve moved to Municipal, eight months ago. I remember how I lay in bed every night with my curtains left open, hoping somehow to send a communiqué into the night sky.
Friday 4 November:
Tau goes for what he calls a ‘spray’ – this makes me laugh, reminding me of nothing so much as a tom cat marking its territory. He comes back and tells me about his tags in the vicinity: one on the electricity box at the end of the street, another over by the park, and the crowning glory – a big one on the roller door of the dairy. Tau recounts all this with such cheerful pride that it touches me a little bit – listing his accomplishments like a kid wanting praise for his efforts at school.
People might think I’m crazy: Tau with a key to my house, Sheree and Scott coming back and forth at will (the crisis seems to have helped ease the relationship between Tau and his parents, to some extent). And do I have the courage and the heart to let worlds collide and merge? If I try to keep the way open for retreat, Tau’s like my counterweight, and prevents me. And I? – what do I prevent? I think in a way we’re complementary, tempering each other’s excesses.
But things aren’t just ‘simple’. They never are. I’m aware that I’m becoming much closer to things that are generally sub rosa.
Saturday 12 November:
Around 5pm, Tau asks if he and Shae can have a drink – just a few cans, he says.
Well, it’s not like I mind them drinking, exactly. Cos they’re going to do it anyway. And I guess staying here is, even if nothing else, safer than being out at the park with alcohol. Tau wants to get some vodka cruisers, and I go to the liquor store with them, where Tau buys a box. We come back and they just sip a can each, slowly, while Tau watches TV, and Shae writes her CV on the laptop.
No dramas, it’s even companionable, in a way. But it makes me go a bit quiet, as I feel conscious of the game changing. Half of me wishes I could go back and undo it, the other half of me still wants to know: What happens now, what happens next?
Wednesday 16 November:
Little things touch my heart… that Tau buys ice-cream and Choc Magic for dessert, because he remembers that I said I liked chocolate sauce. It squeezes my heart that he wants to show care.
Before that, he spends most of the evening weighing and wrapping two ounces worth of foils. Out in the shed of course – but the place still smells like a ganja factory. Just a small stash, tomorrow it’s going to the safe house (one of two). Tau is as matter-of-fact as I’ve ever seen him, padding around calmly. He comes in for dinner, and then keeps going.
I have just a short talk to him, telling him to be careful. “I will Miss – it’s gone tomorrow,” he says. I’m still worried though, and he looks at me with a little indulgence. “I used to worry too,” he says.
This is… different to how it used to be. It’s real. It was real before, too – but now it’s everyday stuff, and that makes it different. Everydayness is a little bit scary. Whereas before, every time I saw Tau was like a time to do, or try to do, something ‘special’, I guess. To talk about all the important stuff, and make time for it. And now everyday life means cooking dinner and doing up the foils.
I feel so vulnerable tonight, to the everydayness of life. I’m used to my relationship with Tau being defined by other things. Sometimes I even just miss hugging Tau when I see him. But everydayness is different; you don’t behave that way when people are there everyday. You just… don’t. And that’s the way it is, and I get it.
I remind myself that we both chose to do this, or at least to try it. And that it was a big, big step to take. But I don’t think either of us would go back and choose differently. Tau would have been left there on his own. And I would have known – and he would have known – that I never tried.