Tonight with every breath

Today was very quiet. It’s one of those days where I annoy myself – there’s a lot I COULD be doing, but I can’t seem to rouse myself out of a semi state of being. Oh well, I guess every now and again your brain needs down time.

I think part of the reason I’ve been kind of lethargic is a really horrible dream I had last night. The grief I felt while I was sleeping has stayed with me all day.

I won’t go into specifics, even though every aspect of it is as clear to me now as it was when I was sleeping. I dreamt that I was going to die. Not only that, someone (or something, it wasn’t clear) was going to take my life because of a decision I had made (a decision to do with travelling to South America). The worst part of the dream was saying goodbye to my father knowing I would never see him again. At the end of the dream I came to the realisation that I wanted to live. I said it aloud to Dad – I want to live. Then I said the same thing to Mum. Then I woke up, only with a feeling of knowing my death was inevitable and there was nothing I could do to avoid it.

Part of the grief I was feeling when I woke up this morning is the same emotion I felt when I said goodbye to Nan. That was a traumatic experience, and the fact that it happened almost the second I got off the plane from South America is probably no small part of why this dream transpired the way it did.

Leaving Wagga that day was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I had been sitting by her bed for 2 days solid, and I had been watching my mother care for her mother like some sort of saint. The woman in front of me was a shadow of her former self physically, but her eyes were burning as strong as they’d ever done. The thing that absolutely slayed me was the will to live in those eyes – she loved life and she was hanging on to every second of it. She was an amazingly strong woman, and she could feel her life ebbing away and it terrified her. In those two days we spoke about the most inane things – my trip, the weather, my brother and sisters and my cousins, her dog, her house – just every day stuff of no real consequence. She was in massive amounts of pain and her breathing was very laboured, but she was still mentally sharp as a tack.

While we were speaking about this stuff I wanted to ask her so badly what it felt like to be dying. What had life amounted to for her? It’s only at a persons death can you accurately understand the full meaning of their life. There was so much I wanted to tell her about the person she was to me and the person I had become because of her, but I was worried that nothing I said would be enough.

The morning I had to leave I was sitting by the bed holding her hand. She had been more or less unconscious all morning because she was really struggling to breathe. The time on the clock was ticking by and the time to my flight was getting closer and closer. Just as I was about to leave she opened her eyes. I was crying but I said hi and she smiled and said hi back. Then she said (and I remember this so vividly) –

‘Are you leaving?’
‘Yeah I am. I have to catch my flight home.’
‘Thank you for coming. It was so wonderful to see you.’

At this point I my breath was coming in gasps because I was trying desperately hard not to start sobbing. I said to her, trying to smile –

‘I think you are so brave. I have no idea how you’re being so brave.’
‘I don’t feel very brave.’
‘You’re one of the strongest people I know.’
‘You beautiful girl. I need you to tell Tara how much I love her.’
‘I will tell her.’
‘And stop crying.’
‘I can’t help it.’
‘I won’t see you again.’
‘I know.’
‘You need to promise me something.’
‘Anything. I’ll promise you anything.’
‘No more crying for you. Only happiness for you from now on.’

At this point I nearly lost it and descended into a whole lot of I love you and goodbye. Then I went out into the back yard and howled like a baby.

I’ve been a bit cowardly when it comes to thinking about all of this. I don’t do it often, and when I do I stop it short because I feel myself getting upset. In writing this my eyes have become swollen and red, my nose is running and my head is pounding, but for the first time all day I feel clear in my mind.

Damn subconscious. It will always find a way of making you deal with shit that needs to be dealt with.


I’m stuck watching Karate Kid II and I can’t stop. I had Video Hits on and then this movie started and now I can’t look away. It’s like a train wreck. I must keep watching and see how these two old Japanese men sort out their differences while upholding their honour via their karate students. And the soundtrack is gold. Is it scary that I know a lot of the words to The Glory Of Love by Peter Cetera?

I am yet to do anything with my day. Waking up at 11 didn’t help that, but I figure at some stage I should probably get out of my pyjamas.

Elegantly wasted

Last night started innocently enough. It was supposed to be a few quiet drinks with everyone from work to help erase the pain of the crappiness from the last two weeks. It ended with Cara and I trying to help Debbie and Carole pry themselves off a picket fence surrounding a cricket oval. Things keep coming back to me, in bits and pieces, like Debbie in response to the bouncers question asking her if she was alright – ‘yeah, I’m fine! I just don’t think I’ll ever be able to have children.’ Or her telling Cara in the car on the way back to my house that everyone who lives in Brighton (England) is gay. Cara then says ‘hey, my grandparents live in Brighton!’ to which Debbie responds ‘well, they’re gay too!’ Also, Debbie (reoccurring theme here much?!) sitting on the edge of my couch and falling very slowly and elegantly to the floor.

We were drinking those Smirnoff Black Ice things, which were going down really easily. By the end of the night I was very, very drunk. More drunk than I have been in a good while.

When you’re that maggotted there are a few things you probably shouldn’t do –

  • Text massive amounts of people from your phone book, including people you haven’t communicated with for like 12 months FOR GOOD REASON

  • Go to pubs that play bad 80’s music and have bad INXS cover bands, because someone always ends up dancing

  • Get into a discussion with a person from your office who has recently resigned about your real thoughts on why he’s leaving

  • Post on your website

  • Try and talk to people on MSN

There’s probably more, but that’s a good start.

I woke up very, very seedy this morning. I had the shakes and had trouble standing upright. Added to this my mobile phone had gone flat and I had left my charger at work. And I couldn’t go to pick it up because I didn’t have my car. And Angela was supposed to be phoning me at 10 on my mobile. Thereafter came a flurry of phone calls to numbers I COULD remember (because I am seriously fucked without my phone book) to eventually get the number I needed (called Pat at the office, who gave me Angela’s work number, who gave me Angela’s bosses number, who gave me Angela’s mobile number – where there’s a will).

It was scary how lost I felt without my car and my phone. I should probably give that some more thought.

I am so tired. My eyes are heavy and I’m starting to see double. Tomorrow I will write about being friends with girls and how I feel about work right now and the white cottage with the green roof. Right now though, I feel a coma coming on.

Abort! Abort!

It’s all very well to decide that you want to make changes to your website. When you’re hit square in the face with the reality of making it happen, that’s a whole other thing. Massive frustration ensues.

I’ve been sitting here fiddling with my sidebar for like an hour and still it’s just WRONG. All in the wrong order, with headings I don’t want, and missing headings I DO want. And I’m getting it figured out, really I am, but I just get frustrated with how slowly these things go.

And there’s no TIME on these damn posts!! I’m sure I can eventually figure that out though. And the menu at the top isn’t really working and there’s that weird recent article thing at the bottom of the page and and and!

I have plans for that damn side bar. I just need to figure out how to get the picture in my head to equate with what the site looks like. I’m at the intersection where artistic ingenuity crashes head-on with a complete deficit of IT expertise.

All is not lost though. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the gods and Allah et. al. for friends with leet IT skillz. Without them I’ve no doubt this laptop would have ended up out on the lawn. Thanks Al 🙂

They will see us waving from such great heights

Tonight on my way home from another stupidly long day, I pulled into Subway (because the thought of having to get home and then cook something made me want to pull my own teeth). So I get into the place and I hear, through the store speakers, Such Great Heights by The Postal Service. I thought I was mistaken initially, but no, there it was. It was a disturbing contrast to the neon lights and the yellow laminate.

My first thought was that it must be Triple J. So I order my food, and I’m waiting for the kid to make it, and the song finishes. Pause. Then the track Nothing Better starts. The kid who’s making my food has a haircut on him like a member of The Strokes and is wearing a bike chain around his neck, so I say to him –

‘Hey, is this your Postal Service CD?’

The incredulous grin from him nearly split his face in two.

‘Yeah’ he says. ‘You like The Postal Service?’
‘Not as much as Death Cab for Cutie, but they’re pretty good. I only really bought the album because I’d heard the song We Will Become Silhouettes, but it turned out to be worth the punt.’

At this point I paid for my food and left. I could tell he thought it was weird as I did that we had that little interaction right there at Subway in Windsor. A 28 year old girl and a 16 maybe 17 year old boy with probably nothing else in common other than knowing who The Postal Service was. But just that fact spoke volumes to the both of us. The girl wearing the pink glitter eye shadow who was working with him thought we were both a bit nuts I think.

I just realised it’s raining outside, so I’ve opened the door. I didn’t realise how oppressively hot it was in here until I did.

There’s a lot of things I should be doing tonight rather than sitting here typing and listening to music. Like washing. And I should probably iron shirts so that I don’t have to do that in the morning. And there’s still washing up from last night on the sink. Oh well. After I post this I might try for bed before 11. !@%!!!

I managed today to get out of going to Canberra on Sunday. I’m happier about this than I can put into words – I’m going to protect this day at home on my own fiercely. I’m telling everyone I know that I have plans and I’m keeping the door closed and the phone off the hook. I might do some reading. I haven’t finished a book in about 2 months and I’m in the middle of around 3. Tara bought 2 really interesting looking books back from Canada for me, only they’re political so they will take motivated reading rather than 10 minutes before bed each night. I’ve taken to reading short stories before bed, only because I can knock one over in a night. There’s something comforting to an insomniac about finishing something and not leaving it hanging. The last thing I need is another unresolved issue to think about while I’m trying to get to sleep 😉

I read somewhere that if you lose an hour’s sleep a night from what your body physically needs, every day of your life, then it shortens your lifespan by 10 years. Perhaps I should make a will.

Ain’t that the truth

So mature! 😉

From: Karen
To: Hellen
Subject: URGENT
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:22:43 +1100


From: Hellen
Sent: Tuesday, 14 March 2006 14:34
To: Karen
Subject: RE: URGENT

MWAH MWAH TO YOU@#$^%@$^%@#$^%@#$^%@#$^@%#$^%@#$^

God today sucks!!!


From: Karen
To: Hellen
Subject: RE: URGENT
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:34:11 +1100

NO YOU ROCK MORE!&@%!&^@%!

Hang in there babe 🙂

From: Hellen
Sent: Tuesday, 14 March 2006 14:40
To: Karen
Subject: RE: URGENT

YOU ROCK THE MOSTEST%^#$%@#$^%@#$%@#$%^@#$%@#$^%@#$^


From: Karen
To: Hellen
Subject: RE: URGENT
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:41:00 +1100

YOU ROCK 100 TIMES INFINITY!@%!*^$@!%^@!

And there’s nothing more than that 😉

From: Hellen
Sent: Tuesday, 14 March 2006 14:52
To: Karen
Subject: RE: URGENT


To the power of BONO and ANI combined!


From: Karen
To: Hellen
Subject: RE: URGENT
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:56:01 +1100

GOD DAMN nothing beats the combined powArz of BONO AND ANI!*&@^!

A nervous tic motion of the head to the left

Ahaha the world works in mysterious ways. An email thread with someone today has left me a bit giddy. When you decide to just let go of your hang ups, and let things happen, it’s amazing how quickly things can sweep you up. I’m telling myself that it’s all harmless. And perhaps it is. We’ll see.

God damn. I logged in tonight to write about my weekend and 100 other things, and I ended up fucking around online and chatting on MSN and other counter productive things. Also, I need to stop playing solitaire. That shit will cause your brain to atrophy.

‘Cause it’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the left
Splayed out on a bathmat
Six miles north of South Platte
And he just wants his life back
What’s in that paper knapsack?
It’s what goes undelivered, over imbibed
Under the mister
Barely alive we cover the blisters
In flannel
Though the words we speak are banal, not one of them’s a lie
Not one of them’s a lie
You’re what happens when two substances collide
And by all accounts you really should’ve died

Sigh. Thank you Andrew Bird. I have no doubt that some day the rest of the world will realise how fab you are.

Sleep now.

The start of, well, something

For the record, the exam was fine. Actually, a lot better than I expected. I worked myself up into quite a state on Friday night, and as is usually the case with these things, I needn’t have bothered. All the revision I did paid off and I finished all the questions within the time limit. That’s more than a lot of people – I reckon about a 3rd of us ran out of time altogether, and at least two people I spoke to didn’t even get to section 4. That’s an automatic fail, and it must have been heartbreaking. Still, I’m glad to just have got through it. I won’t get results for about 6 weeks, but I’m as confident as I can be. At least, I’m not sure what else I could have done.

I came to realise some things today. 6 hours in a car with no conversation can be good for the head. The constant chatter and noise in my head subsided for the first time in weeks and with that came some clarity of thought. In addition to that, there’s nothing like a trip to the past to give you perspective on where you’re at right now and where you want to be.

So, some things were realised. And some things were decided. And tomorrow Operation Shock and Awe begins.

One breath at a time

Panic. It’s like I’ve been transported back to 1994 and I’m sitting the HSC and I’m in the toilet at the front of the school gym throwing up before the 2 Unit Chemistry exam. I was fine until about 10PM, when all of a sudden the answers to the sample questions starting becoming impossible to find, and I became convinced I will fail. All this effort and stress and revision and sample questions will be for nought.

At least, that’s what a completely irrational person would think. I’m a rational person, right?


I just want for 1PM tomorrow afternoon to come. Because then it will be over and I can just get on with things. I really, really want to get on with things.