It took off like a bat out of hell, never once looking behind it or faltering in step - such was it's haste to escape from my clutches.
It had been waiting to be released for a very, very long time.
I let myself be happy again.
And let me tell you, it was bloody beautiful.
I had been afraid, so very, very fearful I would never feel it again. That was one of my biggest fears, that I would never be able to appreciate the beauty of the world, of life.
I had kept life in a box for the last few years, stowed it away in a deep and dark corner to gather dust and didn't think I could bring it back out and open it.
Look at it, appreciate and love it again.
I even seriously considered taking anti-depressants, something I had toyed with but always dismissed. I love my family but I was terrified of the thoughts in my head - the guilt, the fear, the boredom and hurt. I didn't know what to do anymore.
My looming 40th birthday only seemed to exacerbate it, heightening all my worries. I wanted so much to return to the past.
When life was slower.
And the world was at my feet.
When I could have been anyone and done anything.
I was invincible.
Yet, depsite my fears something happened.
Something I hadn't experienced in what seems forever.
And it had happened without me even realising it till just now.
Perhaps it was the bright autumn sunshine, or the many family gatherings over the five day Easter break. Or just the joy of the kids playing together.
But I found lucidity and peace.
And I remember celebrating my birthday, taking off my shoes and having my toe stomped on whilst linking arms with complete strangers to sing Frank Sinatra's "New York".
"If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, it's up to you, New York, New York".
I may older, the carpet may be matching the curtains and gravity is doing it's utmost to play havoc with my body but I feel as though it's my time now.
Well, the white walls do make it look rather sterile but it seems to be very cosy in here with all the padding on the walls doesn't it?
I don't mean to be rude but the jacket you've provided me seems to be too small, are you sure you got the right size?
I can't move my arms and I have an itch on my nose.
Would you please scratch it for me?
Thanks for that.
Why do I think I'm here?
I don't think it, I know why I'm in here.
I've entered all these contests for a free holiday in Queensland, stating in twenty five words or less why I should be sipping from a glass with a little umbrella in it, dozing on the impossibly white sands in a skimpy bikini designed by Jennifer Hawkins whilst whales play happily in the waves and the fuckers in charge can't even send me pissy second prize.
The relaxing and calm atmosphere in here is the next best thing, believe me.
I don't know why I should be telling you about myself. They warn people these days especially not to post things on the internet, like pictures of yourself and personal information because it could be quite dangerous.
Besides, finding out who I am is your job, not mine.
I shuffle bits of paper.
Sometimes I write on them.
Then I might staple them.
Occasionally, I'll sign things.
It's all fascinating stuff.
This pill is rather large you've given me.
Can I curl it under my tongue and pretend I've taken it?
Ok, I'll swallow.
I normally wouldn't do that sort of thing but you seem quite nice and I like you.
I'm feeling rather sleepy now but I have two sons who need me you know.
As a child I remember how different he was and the nervousness I felt when around him which didn't dissipate even as a young adult when he came to my wedding.
He stared blankly, with a look I now recognise, into the camera when the traditional family pictures after the service were taken.
Recently, his older brother proudly told me of his enormous talent for reading and memorising maps.
Johnny, now in his early thirties, was a walking GPS unit when they recently were in London having memorised the entire train network and most of the area they were in whilst they were visiting their sister working over there.
None of his family probably knew what it was he had back then or if they did I don't believe they understood it.
Certainly there was no name they gave to us.
We just knew he was different.
The uncomfortable feeling he gave me is most certainly the feeling others have around my youngest son Mark.
Not that I blame them for that.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
And shit, I would have given anything, anything to "cure" him.
To save him.
To undo whatever it was that I had done to make him this way.
To rid the guilt.
The realisation of how futile, desperate and pathetic those actions were came like a blow to the head.
In all that time when I couldn't accept his diagnosis of autism I never stopped to think I wasn't accepting him.
The human being.
And so it must be with Matthew as well.
He may be.
He may not be.
Sign the form, take him to the shrink.
Tonight after dinner I just limped towards the bed then curled tightly into a ball, sheets over me, the door shut so he wouldn't see me.
Bereft of rational or calm thought.
Tomorrow I may throw myself at it, embrace it, accept it, love it.
Or maybe next week, or next month.
Just not today.
A week and half ago on his birthday I was driving him to school.
La Roux on Triple J was singing about how she would be bulletproof (this time).
He said to me from the back seat "Mum, I'm twelve now and I've got my whole life ahead of me".
Our eyes met in the mirror and crinkled at the corners.
My day began at 12:00am this morning where I was still reading "The Slap", sitting on the couch as my husband watched an interesting French movie on SBS, both of us bleary eyed.
It had been ages, AGES since I had bought a book and I didn't realise how precious it was, walking out of the book store with that book in the white paper bag with a spring in my step the day before in my lunch hour, fighting my way through the seething masses of kids and zombie eyed adults going about their business in the zombie shopping centre.
At 1:30am our eyelids began to close and we crawled into bed.
I finished the book at around midday, exhausted from all the "fuck's", "cunts" and "cocks" peppering the pages and although it was confronting, explicit and violent I don't know if I enjoyed it.
I couldn't, however, put it down.
My personality has always been all or nuthin, up or down, crazy or quiet, addicted or not.
A (happy) medium, a level, a sustainable point or line in the sand would be nice, boring but agreeable and pleasant if for a short time.
And so I read it till I had turned the last page.
My cousin, an avid reader who takes a suitcase of books on holidays with her to read under a sun umbrella by the hotel pool will be the recipient of it next time I see her.
"It's graphic and there's heaps of fucking".
"You'll love it".
The housework beckoned and I put another load of washing on whilst watching my ironing pile escalate.
What would my carbon footprint be getting rid of all that shit I wondered.
My head is busting, BUSTING with stuff to write about.
When I sit at the keyboard my brain freezes.
Ever tried to fuck at your parents or relatives house (when you got married, became middle-aged and cringed if the bed squeaked, that is) and disovered stage fright?
Or been busting to rip out an enormous number two in the ladies at work then someone walks in and instead you squeeze out a hapless and thoroughly unsatisfying fart?
Well it's similar to that.
An activity which gave me so much pleasure and made me smelly armed with passion and fervour as I typed, wildly and ambitiously has now almost reduced me to tears.
All I can push out are tidbits, scraps, the entree to the meal but not the meal and certainly no bloody desert.
So my head is a rambling, jumbled and incoherent mess at the moment.
trust autism aspergers americans who oppose universal healthcare are fucking idiots love and the lack of it missing you desperately and knowing I will never have you, you know who you are my beautiful kids my anger my fear my guilt my sorrow
It was 2007 on Australia Day at Windang, south of Wollongong in NSW.
My car with sand in all of it's orifices had been parked in the cool shade under a tree that swayed to the tune of the ocean wind and I'd stripped off down to my swimmers, hurriedly thrown the excess clothing in a crumpled pile on the back seat and taken out my board.
I had paddled, swum and kicked past the white, churning and breaking surf and was floating on my board in the calm, clear water with the white sands of the beach seemingly a million miles away.
The sun beat brightly and lit up my salty body to glisten, diamond like.
Elated and on a high I grinned at the vast and excessively blue sky.
Sky smiled right back at me.
There was no
guilt fear regret or loathing.
Only zen like peace and sage like clarity.
It occured to me only recently that it was the last time I felt truly, wonderfully, child-like happy.
The elusive inner peace I had craved for so long was mine, if only for that incredibly brief, precious hour or two until I realised that being on my own in the ocean, having told no-one where I was and without anyone around me to help me were I to get into trouble was very, very foolish.
Reality does that though, it shits on you unsuspectingly, quickly and seemingly with glee, delighting at awakening you from your slumber of serenity and cutting your bliss deeply with a very sharp knife.
I've had my hopes and desires fall from my hands and shatter into a gazillion pieces and I've walked on those fucking shards of reality ever so painfully for the longest, longest time.
Eventually though, the pain and anger from love found and lost and the occurence of events beyond my control have slowly subsided.
Even the silent, salty tears have dried up and no longer fall.
I am for the most part - thank you very much - comfortably numb.
Yet even so, I hope to relive that precious, cherished day again.
My father bought us this bed when we got married 17 years ago.
I had turned 21 the week before.
The radio worked for about three weeks until it died.
Something to do with the movement of the bed.
It has been the scene of many a sweaty, naughty, vivid, inappropriate and lustful encounter.
It has also been the backdrop for lacklustre, shopping list in your head, yawning, Ithoughtyousaidthiswouldn'ttakelong or for the technical term: assisted wanking encounters.
This ball in the [messy] kids room reminds me of a huge pink balloon.
The more excited or upset Mark is the more animated and faster he will bounce.
I'm waiting for it to burst one day and scare the crap out of him.
Hilarious for me, not so for Mark.
Like most autistics, he hates loud noise and his hands automatically fly up to his ears.
Entertainment at other people's expense is not very nice.
This is from our trip to Biograd in Croatia many years ago which I stare at wistfully when I get itchy feet.
I remember how ripped off I had been feeling up until we visited that day as the place we had been staying at had a very ordinary beach and coastline.
Lots of Germans going about almost naked whom nobody blinked an eyelid at but a really shitty beach.
Until one day when we visited a place called Biograd and I truly understood when a fellow Aussie I met in Switzerland told me that the beaches in Crotia were as good, if not better than here in Australia.
The rocks hurt my feet, it seemed to take forever to get there and the beach was so packed even my little towel had trouble squishing in amongst all the other hundreds of towels.
But the view.
Still, going topless in Biograd was frowned upon with one hapless and puzzled female foreigner enduring many stares and no doubt perplexed in the extreme as to why she could put her tits out in one city and not in the other.
Yes I know.
There's no point in taking the xmas decorations down now though as it's only a few months away.
Three months after that it will be Mark's birthday.
Sometimes I leave things until the last minute.
Other times I'm happily surprised at how exceedingly well prepared I am.
The christians in Bosnia had the good sense to adopt this dish called pita from the large muslim population and it's become a staple part of their diet as well.
After many failed attempts at stretching the dough paper thin by hand I have finally got the gist of it and may yet be married off to a Bosnian.
A bonus feature of this simple yet delicious food is that it momentarily halts the irritatingly regular cries of "I'm hungry" and "What's for dinner?" from children who are going through growth spurts akin to weeds.
The intense, deep brown eyes peering out from thick dark lashes, the full mouth with the just discernible fuzz of hair on his upper lip and his thick, dark hair growing forwards - the exact same direction as mine and his uncle's. His shoulders have broadened and squared and his waist has narrowed from many hours spent training and playing soccer.
With his shoulders almost at mine and his nether regions so bushy only a compass could help navigate a way out I find it hard to believe he's only eleven with almost another two months before he turns twelve.
My son is growing up.
Not yet a man.
But no longer a boy.
I've enrolled him into high school and am waiting, almost impatiently for him to begin his life but with a slight trepidation as well.
I know he finds school boring now - the work is too easy, the girls fight too much and most of the boys are stupid.
Sometimes I think he's really a little man in disguise, not just because of his academic ability but also his capacity to read people and situations. Messiness and teenage boy aroma aside he is full of curiosity, empathy and, largely, listens to me.
Still, he's not a saint.
A little over four months ago he punched his laptop with such force it cracked in two places.
The enormous smack I gave him to the back of his head as he walked away from me was so automatic anyone who witnessed it would have sworn I did it everyday to him, not realising I hadn't laid a finger on him for six years when, after the look of terror on his face one day as I lost control, I swore I wouldn't smack him ever again.
There I was though, horrified and more than a little ashamed that the present his uncle had given him for his confirmation was now destroyed.
A three month ban from the pc and the laptop I repaired at home with a new screen did wonders for him though.
He rediscovered the outdoors, writing in his books and I witnessed a new humility born that could be seen in his actions and his words, the boots he had gotten too big for now just the right size.
As it's now August and sunlight is just beginning to inch out a little longer each day, I do wonder how the other children will see him next year and what awaits him but..
I'll have to cross that bridge when he and I reach it...
That's what researchers have found whilst investigating whether cusswords relieve pain - which, apparently - they do.
Apart from profanity being useful when that hammer misses, when that big toe throbs or when females try to squeeze a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon, it's also a versatile and adaptable ingredient in the vast, messy kitchen of life.
The expletive vocabulary of my eleven year old son is impressive (see blog "Eleven"), written in his barely legible, slanted cursive writing one night on a lined bit of paper.
What was he angry about?
And more importantly, what, in no uncertain terms, is a hobosexual??????????????
I do remember the first time I used the word cunt.
It was in high school when I was twelve or thirteen, heard at first from the lips of another girl my age.
Wendy, a girl in my group had an older boyfriend.
Apparently he liked to have sex and quite often too but she was also from a family of nine with some older sisters and brothers.
An excellent candidate for vulgarity.
So when a boy yanked the edge of my folder hard, sending it flying out of my left hand and all of my papers with it the word just, well, slipped out...
The shocked look on the face of the nearby teacher and her stern warning didn't register at the time.
I simply thought it was a deliciously uber cool word at the time, only vaguely aware of it's full and implicit meaning.
Really though, it wasn't nearly as creative as the wonderfully inventive words I heard when I was in Croatia on my European holiday and heard a woman cursing her huband who meekly tried to defend himself and his stint at the local pub.
Go to a woman's private bits times three she screamed at him.
Women and their most pivate, intimate body part are noticeably prominent in the naughty words of the people of the Balkans.
God gets quite a workout as well.
Cursing is nothing, if not adaptable.
But a word of warning...
Beware of the guilt, depression and fear, all symptoms of mental pain with swear words that have turned ferally inwards and have doggedly set their sights upon your good self with a blinding gusto like....
bitch asshole dickhead fuckwit....
for that handy ingredient just went and spoilt the whole concoction.
I spend alot of time inside my head but it gets lonely in there by myself. So I invite you to share with me my grey matter, an offering, if you will, of my brain molecules. They're quite tasty. Honest.