The tiredness is cumulative. The week has been one of constant effort, filling in for the boss, friends for dinner, Meg’s netball and the theatre. At last the weekend is here. My chance to lie in and to sleep undisturbed by the alarm clock. Ah heaven. Just a few more precious moments with my head pressed into my pillow floating on my waterbed and then I will wake up.
When I open my eyes it feels like I have been asleep for a long time. I look around and find that I am in a different place. The tiredness has not gone away. It presses over me like a fog. I am in a room. It’s like a lounge room but there are more sofas. Glenn is talking to me imploring, Meg has tear glazed eyes. The tiredness is too heavy and I can’t talk back. They will have to wait. They need to realize that I’m fine. I’ll get better soon.
Today they are visiting again. It is one of many of their visits stored in my memory. I have been here for a while now. They never seem to make any headway. I feel sorry for them. Today seems different as they seem to be making a decision. Meg looks at me and looks at Glenn and shakes her head. I see in Glenn’s eyes an acceptance, no an endorsement of her defeat. I am wounded by their failure. After a time, I don’t know how long, they stop coming. At least I think they stop coming. Either that or I stop noticing them.
Ida takes me under her wing. This is my life now. She understands me even though I don’t talk. The weight of my exhaustion doesn’t faze her. When she talks she doesn’t need a reply. She takes me away from that place, moves me to her home. She is my life as I am hers. She is poor but “not to worry” she says. “We can decorate this place with toys.” By toys she means second hand items from opportunity shops and flea markets. She decorates her small room with cups and saucers, broken children’s toys, single slippers, ancient pot lids. She fans these objects out from the fire place. The walls of the room and the bay window frames are white.
After a time Ida is not there any more. I have no memory of what happened to her or where she went. It is just me in the room with her things and my thoughts. I am content here. Just give me five more minutes.