Thursday February 28, 2013:
Not going to school today. I wake up at 6, and realize within ten seconds of opening my eyes that I can’t. I’m not ‘sick’ sick, but I’m exhausted.
I text the relief phone, then mail the work through. Just stuff out of the textbooks – and that’s easy, as for some reason I actually have the books at home for once.
I’m back in bed when Leroi texts me, just before 8, wanting to know if he can get a ride to the bus stop. Of course he thinks I’m going to school like usual. I don’t have the heart to tell him I’m still in bed. So I just go over and pick him up, in my jarmies. No-one bats an eyelid, to be honest. Not Leroi, not Sheree, and not Tau – all of whom come out and talk to me. And I end up taking Leroi all the way to the gate – and why not? I’m not doing anything else.
When I get back home, there’s a card in the door for Tau, from the Ministry of Justice. So I go round to Fitzroy again (still in my pj’s) and Tau and I ring them. Tau looks alarmed at the card. I can see he’s in two minds about even calling the number. But I think he sees there’s no point in leaving it – especially not with his next court hearing today.
Turns out to just be about fines, which makes us both laugh with relief.
I think I’ll take the day off tomorrow as well. And have a good look at whatever it is that I think I’m doing. Ohh, I don’t want to be a teacher anymore. I hate almost everything about it: teachers, teaching, school. There’s an unbridgeable gap now, between what I have to do there, and what I can actually bring myself to do. Some days I wish things would just hurry up and crash, so I could say how I really feel about it.
The only genuine interest I’ve got in the whole place is in my compadres Rook and Quest. And I think I could do just as much out of school, with those two.
Like this morning. Everything I did was… it was real, not fake. And even yesterday, with bloody Kepaoa. For what it’s worth – I know I’m real, when I react like that.
Later Kepaoa 798’s me and I call him back. I can sense that we both approach the conversation warily. I’m expecting him to say sorry, I guess. But hmmm… I expect too much. I expect a lot of things, huh.
Anyway, we just talk a little bit: how are you’s, that kind of thing. And he wants to know if I can print out his CV, he’s got an interview at Foot Locker, down at the mall. I tell him I’m not at school today; I’m sick. Tell him I got no ink in the printer at home, which is true. If he wants, I could go get some ink later on.
He says his interview is at 12:30, his brother’s gonna drop him off there. It’s almost 12 o’clock already, when he rings. I can’t have it sorted by 12:30, and I know it.
I suggest he should go look for the CV which we did ages ago. I gave him copies at the time. And that’s pretty much it. I feel myself go quiet, with not knowing what else to say right now, and wanting to cry because I’m still hurt. I feel tears run outa my eyes and drip, drip against my fingers and hair.
“Miss?” Kepaoa asks. “You ok?”
“Um… yup,” I manage to say.
“Take it easy today,” he says. “K Miss?”
Afterwards I cry a bit, and then go take a shower. There’s no point, is there? In crying – when it comes down to it.
Tau texts, right after that: Hi miss d u thnk u cn take me t court at 1.55 an il gve u 10buks gas, algud f nt
Of course. And honestly dw bwt the gas. Thnks for offering most people dont even offer. Il come get u at 1.55 then.is tht algd?
Yup k miss, thanks for that
It’s true, most people don’t offer. Tau always offers, if he’s got money on him. Right now, I really appreciate that. It isn’t the money… it’s just knowing that not everyone wants something for nothing.
At the end of the day though, I think I’m just a blip on the radar.
Off we go to court: Sheree, me, Raphael and Tau. It works out good – he gets PD hours, no extra disqualification, and the knife charge gets dropped.
Raphael and I just hang around and wait for them. Couple hours. I can see Tau is glad I’m there. I think he wouldn’t even mind if I came in with Sheree, but I don’t feel the need to; I’m ok outside.
Actually, I’d rather be here than almost anywhere else I can think of. I sit with Raphael, right on the footpath. People walking past smile at us. Later on, we go and sit on a bench, in the sun. We just talk, and wait for Tau.
“How come you didn’t go to school, Miss?” Raphael asks. “Are you sick?”
“Yeah, I’m sick…” I say, then mutter: “Sick of assholes.”
He cracks up laughing, at that.
I never want to go back either, but Monday’s still three days away. Tomorrow I’ll do my CV.
A couple times I think about Kepaoa, and my eyes fill up with tears all over again. It’s like this: I think that other people can let you down, not show up, say the wrong thing, get mad, have a problem… and it’s all ok. But with me – it feels like it isn’t that way at all. Aw, what’s this all about? How come I think that people only want to be with me if I’ll do more and more and more for them, and never falter? Never get tired, never get mad, never say no. I feel like if I do one thing different, everything cracks apart. If I make one false move: I lose, perhaps for ever and ever.
Later on, I ask Sheree if Tau has been to the doctor yet.
She shakes her head, saying, “I talked to him. He just won’t go.”
“I talked to him too,” I tell her. “Just to ask him to think about it. And to let one of us know, if it got any worse or if he felt sick.”
“And what did he say?”
“He said… he would. Think about it, I mean.”
“Ohh, I wish he’d go,” Sheree sighs. “But you know how much he hates going to the doctor.” Then, “He’s got some real issues, about… his body,” she says, quietly. “But, you know that already.”
“Yeah, I know,” I say, without the least judgment to make about Tau, who’s always beautiful in my eyes, no matter what’s going on. I add, “It must have been so hard for him, to go to hospital that time.”
“It was,” agrees Sheree. “It was… traumatic for him.”
“Course it was,” I say, gently. “Tau was very brave, that’s what I think.”
“Oh my goodness,” Sheree says. “You and Tau have got such a strong bond. I think you understand him better than anyone, sometimes.”
“Mmm, I think I bonded with Tau on the very first day I met him,” I say, thinking about it again.
“That’s what Tau said, too,” Sheree tells me.
Friday 1 March:
I really miss Kepaoa a lot. Miss his stream of 798’s and his funny ways. I know he’s got his violent side, and sometimes I think that’s part of what draws me to him. There’s something in my blood which understands it, tooth and claw. It scares me a bit, to feel this way. To feel ‘natural’ towards it, I guess. It’s hard to explain. I can’t encourage it. It’s more that I can’t pretend I don’t understand.
Yup, I miss that egg. I feel like I’ve been ‘careless’ with a person that I really care about, and at the same time, I think: Did I do anything real bad? And the answer’s no, I didn’t. But in my heart, I still feel that way. I think no-one could really care about me unless I flatten myself for them; unless I say yes to everything they need.
Old patterns – sure can’t beat ‘em. Or can you? You’d think I’d learn – wouldn’t you? To do things differently, and not cry for the moon. I don’t know. Sometimes I think I can’t stop until I call that moon right down from the sky and into my arms. And some days I think I’ll do it, too. If a way exists, I could find it.
Saturday 2 March:
Late at night, Kepaoa texts me off his brother’s phone, he’s got no credit and is stressing out. He hasn’t heard from Teri for two days, since yesterday morning. All in capitals, he begs me to: TXT MAIL RING PLZ MS HNESTLY MINDS GETTN CRAZY KANT DNK STR8 PLZ MS KANU TELL HER HW WIRED IAM!!!!! :(‘ He adds: wat if sumin bad happnd!? Aw fcuk man :(‘
I try to reassure him that everything will be ok, and start to ‘txt mail ring’ – eventually I get hold of Teri’s cousin, who tells me Teri’s alright.
I text Kepaoa back, and get this message from Paki: he just doing some chores, man he worried ae cant even do his chores properly, what happened?
Canu tel him shez alryt plse? I write. Teri’s ok
One more crisis averted. But the whole time in my mind, I feel so tired I can’t even think straight. And oh, I just want everything to be alright, for all of us. For me, and Tau, and Kepaoa, and Elroy, and Mischa, and everyone… and I don’t wanna be a teacher anymore, I can’t stand it, I can’t even stomach the thought of it.
When I look in the mirror, I feel ugly, hollow, pinched, weary, and disgusting. I can hardly look at myself. And I think: I might lose. I really might. I don’t know how to do this stuff. I’m just a tired, strung out bitch, who’s got nothing and got no-one, and I don’t know where to go with it.
All I know is that I can’t give up. I may be the weakest and most useless member of this alliance. I honestly might be. But I guess… it’s my vocation. And I can’t give up on it. Somewhere, it’s probably going to matter, that I didn’t give up. I really believe that, as much as I’ve ever believed anything in my whole, entire life.