Bleak House, Brideshead and Bicycles

Am “resting” at the the parental home at the moment: rampaging around their hot glass house – imagine living in a microwave on full power that leaks all over you when it rains. Am not quite sure for whom this is meant to be a rest.
Certainly not for Mum who is woken up to play with me at 6am, or when I “tidy up” in the night. Trailing around the house after her, talking at full volume – it’s lucky that she’s almost deaf, I know that I’m annoying but I need company, need an audience, need not to be alone, need someone to laugh at my jokes and hear my observations and find my…whatever it is I’m looking for a moment ago but I’ve already forgotten and now there is a trail of ornaments that have crashed onto the floor and Oh No what if my kitten steps on them with his soft apricot paws and “I’ve told you a hundred times Tanya not to make a mess and if you do to clear it up immediately. Some people have paws, some orange people and don’t you dare pull him out from under the piano he has gone there to get away from you.”

Nor is it a rest for my elderly Dad who shuffles around in his towelling bathrobe because I’ve demanded we go on a bike ride now and I’m sitting here writing this with the Commonwealth Games on at full volume and if I don’t get my brilliant thoughts down in a minute they will have vanished in a puff of pink glitter and we cycle to Halfords the bike shop and I have to keep swerving away from the lamp posts because I make these tiny movements to keep upright and they become big movements because that’s what happens because I bump into things. It’s not that I’m clumsy, it’s that my distance perception or my spatial awareness – whatever it is, not sure – is disordered by my racing thoughts. Not that I have any real thoughts as such but the whizzing electricity in my brain – it buzzes whenever I’m awake which is just too much of the time anyway at the moment. The only things that dull it are meditation – of which more later – and alcohol. And there’s no gin here – someone finished it.

It’s not my house it’s where my family live, this house, this too-bright-too-hot house. This house that despite its glowing glass exterior is bleak as my parents age and I rampage around it, Skimpole, but then I-am-but-a-child aren’t I mentally and I’m not going to pull down Bleak House to check the quote because I realise that unless I do something we’re going to miss ‘Lady-Dedlock’ Gillian Anderson’s Streetcar at the Young Vic. And Streetcar is our play, mine and Seb’s – other people have their song, we have our play, and if that isn’t a bad omen for a relationship I don’t know what is.

Brideshead of course is also our novel, well, my novel. He hasn’t read it, he’s not allowed to read novels, and he wasn’t a reader before and the Abbott at the monastery forbids it, but the very fact that he wants to be a monk and he wants to be celibate – he is Sebastian of course to me. And to you dear reader. It’s not his real name.

No word from the Iceman but I wait here in my towel for the magazine photographers and Dad is going to shout at me in a minute to get dressed and…

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