I have been really busy lately, a state of being slightly off-kilter with my normal mode of existence. Ever since Friday, basically, I’ve been on the go. It’s a little distressing, really. I’m really starting to crave some idle ‘me’ time. It just doesn’t seem to be happening, unfortunately.
On Friday I caught the 7:50 bus to Taupo, arriving there at twenty to two in the morning. My poor father had to drive to the bus station to pick me up (though he insisted he was really quite happy about being able to sit up and watch the late-night movies), and then we arrived home, Mom was up, had a chat, played with the cats and then went to bed. The next day consisted of trying to sort through boxes to find all my stuff from my flatting days in Wellington – four years ago. Managed to find most of it, though I think there is an elusive box of good stuff still out there somewhere. We (Mum & I) went over to my grandparents’ (which is in the process of being sold) and she basically emptied out cupboards and gave me all sorts of things. An electric frypan, martini glasses and a bartender’s guide. A set of seventies teacups (black on the outside, green inside) and saucers. A glass packed with my nana’s collection of swizzle sticks. A bottle half full of Pernod. A yellow hand-mixer, to match the yellow electric fry-pan. One of those long-handled cast-iron pans, also yellow, to make omlettes. A mixing bowl. Six wooden salad bowls, with large wooden platter to arrange them on. Two green wood (rather ornate) trays – one large, one small – made in Italy. Three crazy candle holders in increasing heights with circular plastic bottoms and a glass cup that fits into them – complete with orange candles inside.
These things are wonderful – it’s a real treasure trove, going through the boxes I brought over with me – but there is still so much of my grandpa in them, so much life still lingering in these things. And of course, of my grandma too, who is of course still alive. It feels wrong to use these things, even though I know had he been alive, my grandpa would have wanted me to use them. He was too alive, too real, for him to be dead now. It just still doesn’t seem possible. Out of all the people I know, his death just seems the unlikliest. Maybe it’s because when I was younger I used to fixate on the idea of my parents dying. I’d try to imagine what it would feel like to be alone, what life would be like without them. It was (and still is) one of my greatest fears. I guess I just never thought about my grandpa dying.
It’s a crap argument, and I know it, even though I still write it down here. Just because I used to obsess about the death of my parents when I was younger doesn’t mean that I’ll be any more prepared for it when it does happen. And note that “obsess” doesn’t mean I was hoping for it to happen. It’s more like the fear you get sometimes in the night – the fear that something’s in the walls, that someone’s broken into the house, the fear that the ghost of your long-dead grandmother will come visit you that night – the fear that you can’t stop thinking about, the fear you can’t shake loose. That’s what I mean when I talk about obsessing over the death of my parents. It was, I suppose, what all children obsess about when they start to think about mortality.
I have noticed that since November 17, most of my entries end with some sort of rumination on death. It’s not even as if I sit around thinking about death all day long – it just seems to creep into my thoughts as I sit here writing. I read something somewhere lately that quoted from Peter Pan. Apparently Peter says death will be an “awfully big adventure.” If that’s the case, then I think my grandpa will still be happy – somewhere, somehow.
P.S. Feb 20 – my 3 year D-X anniversary!