The things we predict

Sunday 26 August, 2012:

Writing straight to e-copy now, after recent events. No more pieces of paper being toted around in my bag. Ooh, the things we predict, huh. It was nearly two years ago, I said I was only going to keep a week’s worth of hard copy – and now any of that’s for emergencies only.

This morning I still feel set adrift a little, like I’ve been just summarily disconnected from some big source of power or energy – and I know I’ve got to find it from somewhere else. I keep getting this mental picture of sunlight dancing and dissolving in and out, in and out; now you see an image and now you don’t. And I don’t wanna lose… I don’t want to fade out and be without love or power or intensity. I want life so much, and I don’t know how to make that image stay. I wish I knew how to hold it; keep awake at the switch.

I try colouring my hair with a new product (henna based), and end up in abject misery as the green paste drips and oozes down my face from under several layers of cling film plus the shower cap (all as per the instructions on the box). My face; my T shirt; the carpet – I don’t think I can bear the further two hours which are suggested for this torture.

Honestly, I feel so disgusting with this goo all over my head and the little globs that kept on falling onto my face and ears and neck. I actually want to cry. I hate seeing myself at my worst – I feel like it’s irreversible, for some reason. All I see is my flaws, when I’m stripped back to bare skin and all the rudimentary tricks of beauty are gone.

And I’m grieving, I know it. I think that I’ve straight failed to be of any use to Tau, when I see him this way. I I can’t stand it at times; I honestly think I can’t bear it. And I have to bear it, because there’s no point in telling anyone else. How can I explain it? I can’t explain it – so I just have to go on, even when it seems like there’s nowhere to go.

Anyway, I jump in the shower and rinse it all out again, the colour seems to have taken – my hair looks alright.


Monday 27 August, 2012:

First day back at work, and my room is like a tip, after relievers for a week and a half. It takes me a whole hour to clean up, and my classes all get a growling.

I talk to La-Verne about the police search. The only other people I tell are Zion and Slade. Like always, I just trust who I trust.

After school, I start to tidy up the shed a bit. There’s broken glass all over the floor in there. And I know – Tau could do it himself. But he won’t; state he’s in at present. He can’t think further ahead than drinking and dealing just now. Scott and Sheree tell me they’re keeping nothing at theirs, for the moment. Must be all round at the safe houses. But they won’t stop dealing – how can they? It’s all Scott’s done for years and years (even if badly); all Tau’s ever known. Tau mentions something about selling from the neighbour’s house, too.

Sheree says Tau’s buying nothing except alcohol for himself and the boys. Honestly, that isn’t like Tau either. He doesn’t spend money on anyone, unless it’s Christmas!

All this makes me miserable, kind of grief stricken. The only thing that soothes me today is painting at break times. Just being with people who I can be normal with. I think about the boys, and how they come everyday to talk, and paint, and just hang out. Sometimes we don’t even paint first break; just pull up chairs and sit around and talk. They like being there, and I like them being there… and I think: What do they see? What on earth do they see, that makes them want to come back every single day? When I don’t feel like there’s anything to recommend me; anything I can do, say, or give as my contribution to this world.

And – love’s so embodied, as far as I’m concerned. Love has to be warm and alive and physical, and have breath and life to it. I can’t love abstractly, I can’t love ‘the environment’, or ‘spirit’, or ‘peace’. Cos, you know… what I love is to sit around and talk shit, just hang out with these gangstas and know that their warm-alive presence is right beside me.

I remember those days with Tau, and now it hurts my heart to see him destroy himself, even if I can understand it.


Tuesday 28 August:

Things are so relentless, and I just try get along with it. I wake up at 5, I’m eating breakfast by 6… by 9:30 I’m starving, and go get a pork bun up at Municipal.

After school I take a blocked can back to the store for a replacement. When I come home, I clean up more broken glass in the shed. The middle panel on the inside of the door has been smashed. Either the cops were looking for something under the door frame, or they broke it while trying to open up the shed – I don’t know. But it makes me cry to see everything gone over and turned upside down, and glass smashed on the mat. All Tau’s things dumped in messy heaps on the couch and the floor. I sweep up the glass, and vacuum the mat. I don’t wanna go through Tau’s stuff, so I just take things off the floor, and pick up Tau and Shay’s clothes and just lay them on the bed, gently. I feel so sad. Shay’s little shoes, and earrings that have been trampled down on the ground. Tau’s pens and markers tipped out everywhere. It looks so bleak, especially because I understand that Tau really can’t take care of himself, or anyone else, at the moment. He would have seen it and hated it and still had to walk away. Whereas before, he would have set to work at once, cleaning and sweeping and tidying up before I got home. Like he did when the next door neighbour’s kids broke a window with their ball.

And I miss Tau, I really do. I don’t just mean ‘miss’ – like you miss a person when you don’t see them for a while. That goes without saying. I mean I miss all the little things, the signals that told me Tau felt safe, or as safe as he could feel. I miss those things so much that it actually hurts. And yet I have to just get along with the frickin’ day; go to school and talk, and do stuff, and act like a teacher. And it’s all a big act – except for when the boys come in at break to paint, and I don’t have to pretend anymore. I can be real, for just this little part of the whole stoopid school day.

No more Urban Art – there’s to be no optional classes anymore; not for anyone – Karys has cancelled the whole shebang. She’s going to hold year level assemblies and announce some other initiative. Meanwhile, we (myself and a few painters) are gonna try fly under the radar tomorrow and hold a ‘special assembly’ of our own in the ROR. To paint, that is. Will we get away with it? Perhaps… if Karys hasn’t organised staff into particular roles yet.

Once again, I bawl my eyes out when I go to bed. It often hits me worst when there’s nothing but the calm night, and the dark room, and my quiet bed – and nothing to do but cry then sleep.



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