My wife called and asked me to meet her today. We met in a coffee shop. She looked, stern and cold. I asked, “how are you”?, and immediatly realised it was a stupid question. She just looked at me hard. She said she would never interfere in my life again. She also said I was cowardly, making the final break in an e-mail like that. She’s right. I should have had the guts to tell her directly. We talked about the kids and she told me what a mess they were and I felt the guilt knives turning in my back. “No, no, no’, I kept telling myself, “this is not just my fault”, but another voice tried to pop up saying, ‘yes,yes,yes” I met my 17 year old daughter K after. It was so nice to see her. We wrapped our arms around each other and hugged with great meaning. We had lunch in a pizza restaurant and we talked about, home, family feelings etc. She’s always a bit remote and I really need to to get to know her properly in our new situation. We’re going to go to Thailand together to see her brother who is a Buddhist Monk. (another story). I’m really hoping we can get to know each other on a whole new level. She dropped hints about wanting to buy clothes and I immediatly caved in. We caught a tram into the city together. She looked pretty in funky clothes, but a bit tense, looking out the window, a bit absent. She has a marijuana and tobacco problem and I was wondering if it was getting to her. Or maybe the situation with her mum and I. We went clothes shopping in a warm, little shop in a cold, dark lane. I used to hate this kind of thing, but now these were precious moments. She bought a pretty jacket and a nice warm top. I paid and felt good. I’ll probably hear something about how she doesn’t deserve this and I’m contributing to her “problems” by spoiling her. Will I give a fuck? NO. We kissed goodbye and I watched her walk away and melt into the crowd.
I rode home along a path under the grey, concrete ceiling of a freeway, a cold breeze stinging my nose. A dirty creek ran alongside. I saw an old lady, rugged up in woolies, standing on the edge in the wet grass. Wirey, grey hair stuck out from under a knitted cap. She was looking at two black swans and their little grey baby swimming in the murkey water. She was very still, with a calm, contented smile on her face. Nice.