A week has passed. I woke during every night to make sure that it was real. The scent of my wife lay beside me and I would reach out and touch her skin just to make sure.
I had decided at some point that my stay in Mallorca was a Waiting for Godot experience. I had even decided that, at some point, I had died and that was where my soul had washed up, beside the bay of Palma with yachts, body-boarders, and stumbling middle-aged people shuffling from bar to bar whilst socialising. I was worse in my apartment because I had no reason to think that I had not indeed died. To keep me occupied, I read. When I wasn’t reading, I watched the sea, drank some wine, watched the sea and drank some more wine, or I talked.
I am a teacher so talking to myself comes naturally.
In the apartment, there was nobody else to overhear my little chats. Perhaps little chats is over-egging it somewhat; I had little snap-chats in which I would make an observation on something as if there was an audience to appreciate my insight. On other occasions, I would say the punch-line to a joke and ‘boo-boom’ it. A lot of the time found me pub-singing. The latter was invented by Reeves and Mortimer before being re-invented by my best friend and me. It has rather strict codes of expression and falls somewhere between Japanese puppet theatre and ballet. It is the received convention that it be performed in a duet but as my stage only held the one, me, myself, I, I had to do it solo, so to speak.
In that event, it’s just a case of finding the appropriate song to reinterpret and then improvise that chosen melody into something that resembles a scratched record jumping through intervals in time and space in a vain attempt to make sense of that which is patently insane. Sounds like a familiar theme. Anyway, pub-singing brought me a little solace and gave me a chance to laugh without people, who were not there, thinking that I had lost the plot.
British clouds have settled into the vacant sky and I am feeling the familiar again.
My wife and middle daughter have gone to the Midlands to pick up our eldest daughter from university, leaving the youngest and I to share a full English breakfast. Tomorrow I begin a stint of supply at a special school where naughty children are sent because they cannot fit into the perfectly reasonable education system. I dropped in there during the early part of the week and was struck by how wonderfully some of these children played their roles. A few salvos of swearing, kicking plastic bottle across corridors and outright refusal to do anything politely requested of them, told me what to expect. I was rushed in and out, asked if I knew about teaching English, asked if I wanted a permanent job, told that one woman was leaving to have a baby (even thought I suspected that she hadn’t got anywhere near pregnant by that point), then informed that another teacher was on her way out because she could not tolerate being sworn at so much during the course of a working day. Oh, and by the way, when could I start?
It’s nice to be wanted. I told them that it would be better if I just saw how it went, day by day. I had decided to pull myself away from the Prozac, and still do, but for the time being sticking with the programme seems to make some sense.