panic on the streets of Thorndon


Exactly a year ago (in a few hours’ time) we were in New Plymouth A & E following a very bloody dancefloor accident. Fastforward a year and I am sitting at the kitchen table in a state of mid-grade panic, books and papers everywhere, incapable of finding the impetus I need to see my way through to that mythical wee light at the end of the mythical chasmic tunnel. Whinge whinge. (Oh, and one day I might stop taking photos of the cats, too, but what else do you do when you’re seized by mid-grade panic on a rainy Sunday evening?)

Almost exactly a year ago Simon had to get his eye stitched up following an unfortunate wedding mishap involving a non-slip dancefloor and a penguin-impersonating idiot. In the wedding season of 2008 – 2009, one of Simon’s party tricks was taking a run up to the dancefloor and, um, bellyflopping himself at speed, human torpedo style, all flapping shirt tails and wine-stained lips, in the direction of the booty shaking wedding guests, usually with the groom as the intended target. A few startled grooms along the way – all of whom have gone on to great things (and to father children) despite some heavy landings from some pretty swift and brutal ankle tackles – but All’s Fair at Drunken Weddings. Until August 1 2009, that is.

Assuming the dance floor tiles to be of the polished variety, conducive to penguin slides and dancefloor skittles, Simon limbered up, untucked himself (oh but who am I kidding… I doubt he was ever properly tucked in the first place), warming up and propelling himself in true fast-bowler fashion.

Obviously dancers are a little more safety conscious in the Naki, though, and the tiles were of the grippy non-bounce sort you might find at public pools. And to cut a painful story short, the tiles altogether thwarted him… he faceplanted and his glasses shattered, the frames embedding in his eye sockets. (Once we stanched the blood I remember being a bit pissed off that this was the second pair of glasses he’d wrecked through drunken misadventure in a short space of time… the first time I think it was late-night carpet wrestling that did it.)

So, that was a year ago. Someone else cracked their head open that same night and I know of at least two of us who had to make pale-faced emergency kerbside stops the next day as we wended our sorry ways back to our homes around the island. 

A&E was sort of romantic though. It made me think of Maudlin Street (I had sixteen stitches all around my head, etc). Ever helpful, I tried to fill out the form for Simon but couldn’t get past the surname field because I had to stop and ask how many strokes were in an E. The Es in SWEETMAN looked like centipedes, or combs. Plus I had lost my phone and had had people looking all around the venue for it as the night went on… only to find it buried safely inside my bra at the end of the evening.

And now I am here, obsessively diarising and Post-It noting, lamenting the dearth of hours in the day and the dicky girly-swat optimism that gets me in these situations. Contemplating tangled statements on rhetoric (strangely rhetorical in themselves) such as:

The world it builds [‘Rhetoric B’ – don’t ask, or Google if it if you must… but I am not going to link to it because your time is much too precious for that], left on its own, is a world of a free market of atomized persons and ideas, each privately seeking victory and hoping that in the melee a public good will be produced by some invisible hand.

That was the nicest bit I could find. Mind you, I have always been a bit partial to grand-sounding language.

Plus I need to rewrite a certain swathe of civic information on a certain website within six weeks and also at least outwardly appear to be keeping the cogs of the dayjob in motion. But that’s boring. I have a thing about the I’m so busy gripe, but here I am doing it. Who cares. I think the end-of-tunnel light might make itself known sometime around late September. And we’ll be moving out and hopefully we will have found a house by then and be Moving Right Along. And then summer will kick in and all this will be distant and laughable and not at all distressing. Ha! The mountains we make…

I just went and found one of my two copies of Bird by Bird (Some Instructions on Writing and Life) by Anne Lamott, and now I feel a little bit more reassured.  Plus Simon (looking a little bit frightened at my agitated paper shuffling) has dimmed the lights and lined up music like The Prayer Cycle and Michael Nyman. A few hours of work now, some chamomile tea and a hot bath and then, calm as anything, this, right here, will be the only reminder of me ever being out of sorts. I hope.


One Response to “panic on the streets of Thorndon”

  1. 1 damp tinder, beautiful limbs « katyink

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