Having a shape

Some people are not made for intimate relationships. For them falling in love is like falling into fire: their edges burn and the boundaries blur. This is dangerous for the soul that needs some form or mapping for without it people become dependant or possessed or both. This has always been my greatest fear, yet I am drawn towards the edge like a bird to a branch of berries. The possibility of burning etches an arrow to the point of connection and off I go again, trying to ignore my mother’s voice in my head, ‘You’ll get your fingers burned my girl,’ she is saying over and over so I lalala loudly to block it out. Seduction draws me in. It is after all what it is for and I am strangely susceptible to its pull. I think Sylvester is made for the act of seduction. I know that I stand on the cusp. No thank you I can say and turn my thoughts to Spring and my garden lying there still and dank and in need of attention. But I don’t. Instead I remember another seduction and another January when the Boy and I came together like two magnets, losing in the act all possibilities of boundary-defining until June when a careless remark on my part about the shortage of foreplay sent him running for the hills. I didn’t see him again until September when, if my memory serves me right (never a good bet), it was I who did the seducing. But I don’t have to make my mind up about Sylvester until next year-still a week away as he’s off to speak at a Mind Body Spirit Conference in California. “Sacred Geometry Mappings in Authentic Crop Circles” he’s called his talk. He’s promised me a recording.
Giles who is spending Christmas with an aunt in Normandy sent me a huge basket of creamy pointsetta(I’ve only ever seen red ones) with a note promising a long chat on his return to Paris after the New Year. Oh dear.
My friend Mack says that she sometimes loses her shape, even when she’s not in a relationship. She says it feels like being an orange in a pile on a barrow when the critical one is removed and the whole lot spills onto the road. Sounds catastrophic. I tell her to work on her grounding by living consciously and eating chocolate. She says yes yes and carries on doing what she has always done.
I’m glad I’ve been rigorous in my pursuit of change. I think my girls appreciate it too. My GP daughter Lala said on Christmas Day that my shortcomings as a mother were more than compensated for by my success as a grandmother. Mimi agreed with her. Instead of basking in the sunshine of a compliment, I immediately wanted to know what my shortcomings were as a mother. All I could get out of the pair of them was a dark shaking of heads and something about me wearing a lace body stocking when one of them brought a boyfriend home. I don’t remember anything about this which worries me. I try not to dwell on the past in any real way or I get flashes of sequined boob tubes, dancing feet on tables or worse then I can’t get to sleep.
The present is still colourful but I’ve learned not to scare the horses. Does that make me more mature or more adept at covering my traces, I wonder
We had a lovely Christmas. The Warren was bulging at the seams with bodies. My glam sister Harry (short for Harriet) who spent most of the time in the loo backcombing her hair, Dor who took over the kitchen and prepared delicious meals and an ex mother-in-law whose son was once a husband. His face I’ve long forgotten- he has lived in South Africa for years -but I’ve always loved her and strived to keep her in my life. Doris is her name and she is in fact a dead ringer for Doris Lessing, a great hero of mine. The four of us had a great time together. Harry and I had arranged to sleep on the floor. Well I did just that, having bought a couple of mats that kids take to festivals so woke up feeling as if I’d spent the night in a damp field. Harry came with an EZ BED bought off a shopping channel in the middle of the night and a bottle of whiskey. It was an amazing beast that plugged in and opened like a caterpiller on legs which extended from top to bottom then puffed sideways into a monster that practically filled my study. I’m glad she didn’t go with her inclination to buy the double because it was only ten pounds more. We had great fun opening and shutting it on Christmas Eve, though I missed singing the usual Christmas carols around the piano.


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