Friday, August 24, 2012

End of the month

Today I got paid, which was nice, because I only had $20 left in my bank account. I suppose that is a success, to have burned through almost exactly (but no more) than the cash I had a month ago. I contemplated celebrating by going to my favourite bar and drinking half the month's salary, but my wife had other ideas this evening.

"Come join me" she texted. "Food is here too." How could I possibly reject the thought of food? I hopped in a taxi and headed out to the East Coast. Ironically, it was one of those taxis where the driver pumps the accelerator pedal up and down, and five minutes into our half hour journey I was already bilious, face grey and voice trembling; by the end, I didn't believe I'd ever eat food again. I fell out of the taxi, a broken man.

But like a Weeble, I wobble but I don't fall down. I was still the right way up, so I shambled off to my wife's school. It was a very friendly, brightly lit place, unlike the very unfriendly gloom of the taxi I'd been trapped in a few minutes before. I don't remember the schools of my childhood being so nicely decorated - I just remember the 1980s being very grey, cloudy with a threat of nuclear war - so that was nice.

But then my wife's nefarious scheme became apparent. She'd only got me out to the school to help decorate it for the impending parent-teacher meeting. Four hours of hanging papier-mache planets from the ceiling, at astronomically-inappropriate distances from one another and the sun.

That was four hours of me hanging planets from the ceiling, just in case you thought that was what happened at parent-teacher meetings. You dumbass.

There was food, but it was Canadian Pizza. That name is enough of a punchline without me saying any more, but I sucked down a few slices of cheese and carried on with my celestial engineering.

I felt like dreck (I woke at 5 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep), but then my poor wife had been at it all day, and will be tomorrow as well. At least I did something tangible; all afternoon I struggled (and failed) to upgrade a database. To be able to say that this evening I blu-tacked twelve pictures of mangoes to a wall is a measureable achievement, something that has meaning and true worth. Or perhaps I'm high from all the chocolate bars I ate this evening, when, in a rebellion from the school, I fled to the 7-11 to buy junk food.

Or perhaps it was the coffee. I had a double espresso at 11 this morning, and it was dreadful, and gave me no reason to regret renouncing coffee for these past two months. My wife thinks my biliousness and nausea might be due to this, but I don't think caffeine can have twelve hours of effectiveness, even on someone as sensitive and etiolated as myself. We'll see the truth of that when I don't sleep until 6am tomorrow.


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