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Posts Tagged ‘shame’

New Year’s Eve is surely the loneliest day of the year. What to do this morning but stand alone on the miserable, windswept plains at Year’s End and look backwards on desolation, or strain tear-stung eyes into the gale to catch a glimpse of an empty, awful future? Behind me, the virgin mistletoe hangs withered and dry, the Christmas cupboards are bare, the Yule fire lies cold ash. The present is bleak and comfortless.

Yes, today I am sad, and more than sad; a night lying awake with my partner’s snoring ringing in my ears and my head ringing from that knock has left me too much time to think. I am overwhelmed with sorrow and regret – the things not done, the things I will never do, the many things I wish undone, all crowd my thoughts until no room for positive thoughts remain.

I know I should raise my head proudly to look into this rising sun and visualise my future, to remind myself that I have within me all I need to achieve my dreams; I am a burgeoning seed waiting for the promising spring, a sleeping flower waiting for the warmth of a helpful sun. But I have woken from the comfort of my dreams into a harsh reality, and as I stand on the porch watching a stern, grey day break over the exhausted, wind-whipped garden, I cry.

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I overheard a conversation about pheromones this afternoon…

What are pheromones? Some kind of hormone I think, that you can smell. Yeah, moths use them to get a mate and women have them. Did you know that fish can smell them and so women are better at catching fish than men? You’re joking, why would a woman want a fish? And so on.

But it reminded me, sadly of course, that in our early days he said that I had irresistible pheromones and they drove him mad whenever I was near him. It was probably just sex but it was nice at the time.

Anyway, I thought, what the heck, and sent him an email, wherever he might be, asking if I still have pheromones. I just got his reply.

‘Yes, I’m sure you probably do.’

That was like opening my shirt (which I would never do after that bathroom experience) and shouting ‘Go on, stab me there, for old time’s sake!’ Which he did.

I’m getting reckless. Maybe I’ll rename the blog.

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Today’s shame, fresh and sharp like the frost, is all the harsher when I meet it relaxed and unguarded from a hot bath.

‘Are you working this morning?’ I asked. ‘Yes’ (of course).

So I turn the empty time to that magazine favourite ‘me time’ and soak the misery out in the tub, put all the little things right, wash my hair, stretch and unwind. Then I pull on the essentials and my warm cashmere cardigan while I blow dry my hair, walk through to the bedroom and there he is.’ Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were downstairs,’ I mumble; he looks me up and down and turns away, ‘No problem.’ The bleak view of his back and an ugly, empty pause as cold as the day; I leave as quickly as possible.

When I look in the mirror I’m fairly sure I’m doing ok. I’m slim, fit, in reasonable shape for my age, well maintained as they say, and still quite pretty, if that’s the right word. Or am I? If I got so much wrong, maybe I got that wrong too? And if I got that wrong, what else? The frost of his indifference cracks my confidence. If I erode at this rate, there’ll soon be nothing left.

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