Dear December, nine to eighteen: if life hadn't got in the way.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dear December,

Hello! I'm 
still here. Though I'm going to sleep very soon because it's quite late. I will get back to writing more regularly. Promise. In the meantime though, here are three things I might have written about if things hadn't been so busy the past week and a bit: 


[one.]

I might have written about the afternoon I tried on jeans in GAP. My current pair have scuffed knees. After trying a few pairs on (none of them fit), the weight of the week made the idea of heading back out into the rain and starting to think about dinner too heavy. So I just hung out for an extra ten minutes, sitting on the changing room floor, curtains pulled shut to my right, legs stretched out in front of me (the soles of my socks touching the soles of the socks in the mirror), head resting back against the wall: listening to other customers moving about and feeling vaguely disenchanted with the music in the store (‘All I want for Christmas is you...’ ‘It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together...' ‘It’ll be lonely this Christmas...’). I'm not a Scrooge, but Christmas music can have this way of making you feel very small if it catches you at a funny moment, don't you think? 





[two.]


Or I might have written a longer post about looking through old photographs in my Grandpa’s house last Wednesday (sitting with my duffle coat on the whole time because the heating had been switched off all day). Feeling very weird being in his living room without him there with us, sitting on the end of the sofa bemoaning something or other and cracking puns (‘Are you all right?’ ‘Just down the one side. Heh heh.’)




There are boxes by his window. The pictures have been taken down off his wall. There are gold hooks sticking out of the wallpaper. His shoes - thick, black, comfort-fit - are still sitting by the sofa. (I couldn’t stop looking at his shoes. Glancing away and then glancing back. The laces were splayed out across the wooden floor. I couldn’t stop looking at them, the thought occurring: did he not have his shoes with him? Did he leave the house in his slippers?) 

It's been a month now. We were there so my Dad could sort through papers, so I could pick out something from his cabinet to keep: a little crystal swan maybe, or a bowling club pin. By accident we came across the handful of old polaroid-type pictures of my dad and uncle when they were little. If that’s to be my last time in his house – sorting through those photographs, laughing at the 70's hairstyles – I guess it was quite a nice evening to end on. (The time before that, rain was bouncing off the roof and we were all dressed in black, huddled in the hallway, waiting for the cars come and take us to the church. The gaping front-door let cold air wrap round our ankles.) 




[three.]


I could maybe have written about standing in my sister’s kitchen on Tuesday there, trying to artistically smear lemon icing onto the gingerbread cookies she’d made while I was sleeping, and thinking that this – the fact that here I was: standing in my pyjamas in her kitchen, being watched by the 217 cats she and her fiancé own*, the sound of her and our (tall) little brother playing Guitar Hero in the next room – 'this' is one of the things I’m most grateful for this year. This. Us. If I’m uncertain of who or what I am in other areas of my life, I’m so glad I get to be ‘sister’ to those two. 



(Note: *slight exaggeration. There are only three cats.) 

A song a day:

I won't link ten songs, because this post is already quite long. But here are three: I came across 'Shut Eye' by Stealing Sheep yesterday and quite liked it; I actually quite like this cover of 'Lonely This Christmas' by K.T. Tunstall, even if it is a bit of a downer; and I've found the words of 'Pieces' by Amanda Cook quite powerful the past few months... if I could live like I believed them, I think things would be rather different.) 

Pictures by: Julie Morstad

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