I kept my house clean, I kept my kids clean.
I did my washing, I made the beds.
I remembered birthdays. I dressed up.
I smiled and I laughed.
Oh how I laughed. How I played.
How I drank. How I obeyed.
I learnt to cook. I learnt to iron.
I learnt to drive. I pretended to survive.
With my cloths and my spray, I wiped the ‘Table, surfaces, sink, cooker, floor. Table surfaces, sink, cooker, floor.’
With the vacuum cleaner I went ‘Dining room, kitchen, sitting room, hall, stairs. Dining room, kitchen, sitting room hall, stairs’
I picked up the ‘Shoes, coats, washing, rubbish, recycling. Shoes, coats, washing, rubbish, recycling.’
In the bathroom I dealt with the ‘Dirty clothes, towels, basin, bath, toilet. Dirty clothes, towels, basin, bath, toilet.’
At each turn I reprogrammed.
With each task finished, I changed the list. Always five things, always repeated.
Keep the focus, keep on course.
Don’t stop. Don’t talk.
Don’t answer the phone. To stop is to fail.
A changed route means anger and confusion. You’ll never pick up and start again. You’ll lose the power to carry on.
Keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on.
Keep up, keep up, keep up, keep up, keep up.
Keep the rhythm. Keep the pace. Keep up appearances
You have to go out they say. People who don’t go out are depressed, are hermits, are weirdos, are creepy loners.
A drink. Another drink, another and another.
‘Let’s go home.’
‘Let’s stay out.’
‘Drinks at ours!’
Maybe next time?
Please say there won’t be a next time.
No. More. Words.
I can’t cope.
I’ll be that depressed, hermit, weirdo, creepy loner.
I’ll make tea. I’ll sit down. I’ll look at my photos. I’ll write some words. I’ll write a gardening list.
I’ll find me. I’ll find peace. I’ll stop counting in fives.
I didn’t change.
I fooled you all.
For a while.
That was all.