March 25S is confident and outgoing, and she doesn't like me. She is what the French call jolie laide, gives out an air of good health, which I find attractive, and is thin and lithe. Nothing I say ever seems to please her. It bothers me but I have no idea how to fix it.
Shut the fuck up, will you? a little voice is saying as I am talking. I am surprised for a moment that no one has heard; it seems clear enough.
Why do you imagine that anyone wants to know what you think? it peals. Why do you imagine you have anything to say that anyone will ever want to hear?
Driving through the dark, quiet streets of southern Brisbane, I am listening to The district sleeps alone tonight. It brings on a sense of melancholy: the sound of our bleak lives, wet streets, walking home with tears in our eyes, the frustration of finding out you were not worth having, and knowing that justice is being done.
I look at Naughtyman, fast asleep. He has never been any trouble. It's hard to understand the school's difficulties because he is easy to have around. He is gentle and sweet, a beautiful little boy.
Today they had their hair coloured. It's a charity thing: crazy hair day at the school. Zenita is excited when I pick them up from afterschool care. Everyone agreed that me and M had the best hair, she is saying. When Zenita kisses you, she sticks her belly out and puckers up. Zenella turns her head and proffers you a cheek or her forehead. Sometimes out of the blue she will say, I love you, Daddy.
I was thinking this morning, one day she will talk to me about love, and I will say, proudly, that I have loved her for every moment of her life. I enjoy being able to think something so trite: it makes me feel deeply human.
Not that I am.
It is not easy to make someone feel loved. They want it in a particular way, and you feel you shouldn't, or can't. You try to express it, but it's as though you are talking in a language they do not speak.
This is because within us love is wordless and ineffable. I often feel that we are not its agents. It happens to us; we do not, cannot just do it.
Or it seems it is that way for me. Maybe others have learned how. Maybe others are their own master. I think about S. Her life brings her good things because she approaches it as though it is something that belongs to her. Or so it seems to me. I'm not interested enough to think any more than that about it.