Text ‘happy birthday’ to her old number. You never know, you may get a, thanks, it’s not my birthday but thanks in advance, or you could get, who are you, or you may get a message failed message because her old number is as dead as she is. It feels nice to do though the nice feeling doesn’t last for long, but the idea, the idea of contact is great.
Message Send Failure took the wind out my dropping sails. I may not text her at Christmas time.
Try to make some decent sentences. Try to get on with the new old story, try to get on with the new, new story. Drink two cappuccinos. Slam them down fast like a Solo Man. Try not to despair that sentences won’t come and engagement is impossible. Pack up, pay up, go home.
I said, try not to despair.
Yes, that’s right, be philosophical. There’ll be better days for sentences. And it’s fair that you’re distracted, it’s your dead sister’s birthday today but she’ll be forty-two forever.
Call your alive sister. leave a message that you hope covers it and try not to sound too murky because you don’t want to bring your alive sister down. Stop worrying about sounding murky because your alive sister is brought down, she’s not an idiot and she knows what day it is.
Call your mum. Check in. Hang up. Murkiness makes your throat ache and your eyes sting and that’s enough of that.
Cook something, clean something, wash something. Shave your legs. Eat a decent lunch. Watch a home improvement show. Pay a bill. Play Madonna.
Try not to freak out at your weekly counseling appointment. Try not to cry, because you hate crying.
‘Why do you hate crying?’ my counselor asks.
Bugger, why did I tell her I hate crying?
‘Because for ages after you look like you’ve been crying, because your throat hurts, because I feel weak, because I might not stop.’
‘How do you feel after you’ve cried?’
Yes, I know the answer to that one too.
‘Better. Tired but better. But I hate crying.’
She passes me the box of tissues and I take the bloody thing.
However much you want to don’t stop by the supermarket for chocolate on the way home. Your’e too vulnerable for chocolate. One could lead to ten and ten will turn to twenty and twenty is a catastrophe, a catastrophe. Make it home. Say Happy Birthday to the photo in the hallway. Call her partner. Darren’s not answering. Leave a message about how it’s been too long, you’ve been busy but you’ve been thinking about him and you hope he’s okay. Say you’ll try again later.
Play Words with Friends. Your partner plays the word, HUG. Message him, yes please.
It’s only a day. One day of the nearly four hundred that have passed since you last spoke to her, touched her, told her you loved her, laughed at her jokes, understood she was not well but she was happy. It’s only twenty-four hours out of the around 9,400 or so hours that have elapsed since she went away.
Libby was too tough for Brownies but too short for the SAS