How My Brain Ruined Water For Me

Pureau water from a cask is the best water I’ve ever had the pleasure of having in my mouth.

Pureau Water

The essence of moisture

It’s crisp, it’s cool and most of all, it’s light and tastes like dream-streams. It’s also my most crippling addiction because every other water now tastes like disease.

The moment I dare to utter my feelings about this water, I hear a voice. It tells me that I should be grateful to be able to turn on a tap and fill a glass with clean water, while children walk miles every day with buckets on each end of a long bendy stick, just to bring home filthy brown water to cook, wash and drink from.

Declaring my love for this conveniently boxed water makes me feel like a white person who goes to a Kenyan refugee camp to film a documentary about the true horror of refugee life then books a flight home via the Qantas app on their iPhone in front of everyone.

My overactive guilt [read: emotions in general] gene manages to creep into action at least once per day, sucking the enjoyment I get out of any activity.

I just never imagined water to be an activity.

Endings and Beginnings, or, I got a new phone – Inbox me ur nmbrs

It was well past midnight when I finally made it to bed, much later than I had expected to. My journey to PillowTown had been delayed by the catastrophic discovery that my Nokia 2760 could no longer continue its brave struggle against time and fashionability.

Nokia 2760, 2007

I will miss your buttons and also that you were the size of my hand.

The situation was shocking in its expectedness. I had unknowingly missed out on receiving text messages for ten days (yet more evidence that I am a Popular And Social Person) and when Sid worked that out for me, the sudden flood of modern correspondence pushed that labouring heart to its limits, this time for good.

I spent a few hours with it today, smiling fondly at its worn edges and its perfect fit in my ridiculously small hand. Its buttons were more familiar to me in the dark than my own body, and each morning at the cold, 4am pee awakening, I knew just how many presses of the down button I needed to do to make it to the bathroom without having to assault my sleepy eyes with any other light source.

Inside me, a war was raging.

“It’s time, Bri”, reasoned one part of me.
“You’ve started a Twitter account, five million years after the rest of the world. It wasn’t so hard. Go. Go and get an iPhone”, she urged, shoving me in the back with her tiny peer pressure palms.

“Or, you could just get another one like this until you decide which smartphone you want”, said the other, more familiar part of me, clinging desperately to the comforts of a numberpad beneath her fingertips.

It really wasn’t a contest. I had started to avoid using my phone in public when Success is Measured By Having Things Bri had been let out of her cage following some superficial and generally self-administered blow to my ego.

The shop had run out of iPhones so I bought a Samsung Galaxy Something and proceeded to spent my entire night downloading apps, synchronising social media, and actively using the word ‘tweet’.

When I make changes in my life, they’re gargantuan.

Soon I will be Instagramming the shit out of boring shit and pretending anyone but me cares about it.

Just like I do with my cats.

And there it is; the sweet middle ground where the new changes meet the old routine and the transition from one to the other is effortless.

Orange

Over the years, I’ve noticed many changes in myself.

It began with clearing the bedroom floor of its layer of clothes on a weekly basis rather than monthly and eventually turned into developing a strict work ethic which now sees me regularly switching the lights out behind me as I leave the office, alone in the dark.

Whilst these have been welcome changes, others have not, such as my newfound penchant for pastels and most disturbingly of all, my sudden delight in the colour orange.

There have always been personality wars taking place inside me, but lately their voices have all been getting louder, fighting for domination and today, when I picked up a loosely crocheted orange jumper and considered trying it on, I realised that Crazy Old Lady Bri (I mean, really crazy. “Smells like warm milk and loneliness” crazy) was far too close to the surface for any kind of comfort.

These personalities will forever jostle and shoulder each other out of the way and I occasionally indulge them all in their fifteen glorious minutes, but liking the colour orange is taking it all too far. I have many arch nemeses in my life, such as Tuesday, that hobo on the corner of Liverpool and Castelreagh streets and Peter Everett from Ready Steady Cook, but ever since I can remember, orange has been my arch nemesis colour. To suddenly turn my back on who I have been has shaken my world.

Tomorrow night, when Irresponsible 20’s Bri decides to drink a bottle of whiskey and ruin Mother’s Day with a hangover, I’ll probably change my mind about Crazy Old Lady Bri’s place in the world but I guess we can all take comfort in the fact that whichever Bri I happen to be whilst in your presence, there’s usually a different one waiting just around the corner, and if you hang around long enough, you’re sure to meet her. I’m not saying you’ll like her, but I can at least guarantee, she won’t be wearing orange.

However, she may still smell like warm milk and loneliness.

Reason #5876 as to why I won’t be invited again

Prompted by a comment made by a friend on Facebook, I began thinking about baths. In particular, shower baths.

Every time I use someone else’s shower bath, I automatically look at my feet and think “somebody’s bum has been here. Or here”, I think, looking toward the opposite end.

Personally, I’m still grossed out by sitting anywhere near the plug end. It’s like that urban myth (or truth, I don’t know) where that person sat on the pool filter at the bottom of the pool and their intestines were sucked out of their body. Same thing.

So, friends. Now you know. Next time I’m in your shower bath, I’m thinking about your bum. Or your intestines.

Are you sure you want to delete Reminder? Y

In one of my frequent Must Be A Better Housewife manias earlier this year, I decided to set a cleaning schedule for the housework, to break all the jobs up across the week, rather than forfeiting precious weekends to getting them done at once.

I got as far as entering “Clean Bathroom” into my google calendar before either being distracted by something on the internet, or, getting instantly bored with the idea. 50/50 chance on that one.

Consequently, each Monday at 6pm, I receive an email reminding me to clean the bathroom and each Monday at 6pm, I delete that email and remain where I’m seated; in front of the computer, mindlessly trawling http://www.uberhumor.com, eating Mamee noodles in my dressing gown.

LazyBri wins again.

Going back

Getting older does strange things to a person.

It isn’t just those sneaky grey hairs that only show up in nightclub mirrors or the way your body starts acting like a complete stranger overnight, it’s also in the way that seeing a smiling photo of a distant friend makes your heart ache for the laughter you stopped sharing as life and its complications stepped between you.

It’s in the phrases you never thought you’d utter, like “I can’t come and see you until next month, work’s got me so flat out at the moment” and before you know it, it’s 2012 and five long years have somehow slipped by since you last wrapped your arms around them in a hug or even heard their voice over the phone.

My heart is much bigger than I am, and inside it lies the memories of all the people I’ve loved. Sometimes one of them calls to me from the past and my throat aches from holding in the sobs that threaten to crash all over me.

I vow to change it all, to take some time off and spend a few days alone with them, getting to know who they’ve become in the time that I became a ghost. The next day another bill arrives in the mail and the trip gets pushed back once more, or our schedules conflict and neither of us can get it together.

In my version of growing up, I’ve stopped being who I was in order to become a Proper Adult but even there, I’m failing. Somewhere, there’s a happy medium where the old me finds the new me and discovers they can both share this body without threatening the future I’ve worked hard to attain.

Maybe that’s all growing up is meant to be? Maybe it has nothing to do with buying a car or a house or having babies. Maybe growing up is all about reconciling the many different versions of ourselves and learning to let go of the judgements of strangers or loved ones whilst trying not to harm them with the sharp edges we all have.

I’m not sure, but I do know that there’s a girl who once laid on my bed, throwing my floor clothes in the air and shouting “secret surprise!” as a mystery article of clothing fell on our faces who I’d desperately love to see face to face, instead of on facebook, and it’s probably time that I put her ahead of my bills, my work or my beloved couch-fort weekends.

We just thought you were sleeping…

If you didn’t turn up to work one day, would your employers call to find out where you were?

Today I discovered that mine don’t.

Ordinarily I would txt my coworker or call at 8:30 when I knew someone would be there, but my last txt to that coworker went unanswered and this morning, at 8am, I just really wanted to go back to sleep, so I left a voicemail  on the main switch number for my organisation.

At 5pm I checked facebook and saw a message from a different coworker, asking if I was okay.

My initial reaction was “aww, that’s very sweet of him to ask”, and so I explained that I had been sick but was feeling better, and thank you for asking!

He then explained that nobody had heard from me.

I immediately phoned my boss’ office number to explain the situation. I felt terrible that they hadn’t known where I was. He said “Ah, Bri! We’ve been waiting for you to show up all day!”

We laughed about the situation and I hung up the phone and then realised… hang on a minute, shouldn’t someone have called me? I know that I’m late every single day, but I’ve never just not shown up!

I suppose I should be content with the fact that at least they knew I was missing?

Now I wish I hadn’t called my boss, so I could run an experiment to determine just how many days would have passed before someone came to check that I was still alive!

My estimation would be 2 days. The pile of filing was pretty high when I left yesterday afternoon.