FJ steals a telly.
There's no internet at New Timer House at the moment, which means that I'm writing this at school. If the flow seems interrupted, it's because I've had to stand up and encourage a student not to stab someone. Both the student and I apologise in advance.
This lack of internet is the latest of crushing blows to the house. It's been a tough week. Actually, it's been a tough month. No internet may seem like a pretty minor thing, a first world problem, but taking a channel of communication away from dudes who are leaning on their communities more than ever, who are using those emails and facebook messages and texts and comments as the straw we clutch for? Well, that could be the breaking point.
As well as the death that seems to be following us both around at the moment, attached but not touching, hovering always a metre above and behind like a daemon, there are a thousand other little cuts, non-fatal wounds that would, on other days, go unnoticed. Tara Jayne leaves town. The weather turns bad. Sleep is hard to come by. Money is tight and the bills are due. Neither of us can ride our bikes. There's a weight to our day to day interactions that seems to multiply everything, until even the slightest thing can bring us to our knees.
The emotional pendulum swings both ways, however. For every cut there's a suture, and the stitches used spell out the names of your friends. Seeing Tara Jayne off, nearly crying in public, seeing her that one last time before she left, letting her know that I will miss the hell out of her, but am so excited for her. Knowing that someone was there to talk to James the other night, and that they were probably the only person in the entire world he could've handled being around in that moment. Someone giving you a poem they said they'd copied out, then you loving the shit out of that poem, then them telling you they'd written it themselves. Jawbreaker. An ex-girlfriend messaging you football results when the game is only being screened on Fox Footy. Jen Whalen messaging to say that she "Just woke up. And it's Monday. Laying in bed with the dog." Someone reading all this blogborne melancholia on the internet and emailing a bunch of songs that got them through when things were tough for them. Being in the paper. People trusting you again. James getting stuck in the car because Teagan broke the door handle. Being able to knock one someone's window late at night. Riding your friends' bikes that don't fit you. Zoe emailing to call me out on that time that I was a jerk, but doing it in such a positive way that I almost wanted to invite her over to discuss in greater depth me being a jerk, which is not usually one of my favourite topics. Waking up and finding three text messages that say, "I can't sleep. Are you up?", all sent at 3am. Friends from highschool who remember you when you had multicoloured dreadlocks and wore disintegrating overalls with hibiscus stars sewn on them, but don't hold it against you. The daily pictures I get of KO wearing a Bombers scarf after she lost our bet on the weekend. Sending a text out that says, "Sometimes things these days feel a little loose, without a structure or skeleton, and I can't help but wonder what will hold us up when things get too heavy," and receiving one back that says, "Remember you can be broken, but not by this." Phone calls from far away. With a "Hi, how are you today." And a sign recovery comes. To the broken ones.*
I know that folks are mostly here for the bike talk, and trust me, at some point I'll go out to some races again and write them up. But right now I can't think about bike racing. All I can think about is trying to find a way to make it through. If you've got anything you want to add to that list, well, I can't think of a better use of the comments section.
*Ok, everything after "...but not by this" is from The Weakerthans.