Episode 2-102 – What’s Next? 

Episode 2-101 is half written, I’ll come back to it as some point. Maybe. 

Monday Afternoon 

I’m tired, it just hit me. It’s not that I was up early – am I ever? – but I have got a few things done this morning, not major things but grocery shopping and tidying and washing myself and getting dressed. Basically everything that normal people do by eight am when it’s time to leave for work. 

Work: that place I haven’t gone to since September. 

I haven’t written in a few days because I was having a pretty good weekend. I’m guessing this weekend was the best weekend a lot of Irish people have had in a while. I FB posted and tweeted a lot on Friday and Saturday, as did anyone with a wifi connection, a smartphone and a YES badge. Twitter was a rainbow of joy. 

I mentioned that I hadn’t experienced such collective euphoria since Packie Bonner and Dave O’Leary carried us through to the quarter finals of Italia ’90. I remember that so clearly – my parents watching in our “good” living room; my dad nearly climbing into the tely to cover the other end of Bonner’s goal; my mother not just feigning interest in football for once, but actually caring. I had to step outside into the hall. I couldn’t take it: the tension. I played a sort of slowmotion hopscotch in the pattern shapes of the hideous eighties carpet left by the previous owners which would soon be ripped up and replaced with regal townhouse black and white tiles by my stylish mother. I was nine. Even then I was incapable of processing intense emotions in the company of others, especially my parents. I had to be alone. 

Saturday was something else. It was a great big FUCK YOU to the Catholic Church and the post-colonial internal repression that Ireland has been struggling to shirk since, when? Since the second wave feminist movement took the trains to the North for contraceptives in the seventies? Since the Kerry Babies scandal? Since the Divorce Referendums (I still think referenda sounds better as a plural)? Since we finally acknowledged what had really been happening behind the closed doors of the sacristy? The sexual abuse revelations proved the final nail in the coffin of being dragged to mass and”confessing” your “sins” to a strange man old enough to be your grandfather and every other fear-of-god lie that was drummed into us throughout our thirteen or fourteen years of education. 

And speaking of coffins, don’t bring my dead bones anyway near a church when I’m dead. If I catch any of you leaving me alone in a chapel overnight, consider yourself haunted for eternity. Not that I’m thinking about dying – in less than three weeks Elsadaughter and I will be Stateside for the summer with the family so for the foreseeable future, I’m all about the living. 

I’m tangentialisifying.

I read an article earlier, pretty sure I posted it to Dotty’s Facebook page, that explained that Dr. Angela Merkel is now under pressure from the public to hold a similar marriage referendum to ours in Germany as their civil partnership legislation has too many unfair distinctions between homo- and heterosexual couples. Apparently, most Germans are shocked that Catholic-hostaged Ireland is socially more progressive than the globally perceived image of nuns and priests and non-lesbian virgins (deV and his “comely maidens” again) waiting for very masculine, very straight farming men to marry them so they can get down to their life’s destiny of creating the next generation of nuns, priests, virgins and  farmers. 

The perception of Ireland by “foreigners” really bugs me. 

I titled this post What’s Next? in honour of my favourite  POTUS – Jed Bartlet – in the hope that the Eighth Amendment might finally be more than sidestepped by Joan Burton of Labour as an issue for the next Dáil.

I’m sorry but a foetus does not have the same constitutional rights as a woman. And before you stand up on your moral high horse, nobody is talking about “abortion on demand” which implies that women will happily use abortion as a form of contraception rather than an absolute last resort. No woman would willingly put themselves through an ordeal like it unless absolutely necessary for her own wellbeing. 

3° The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

I’m pro-choice: it’s not my place to tell another woman what to do with her body and her life, nor is it anyone else’s, especially not a man’s. There are women dying because of this, just as there are young people dying by suicide because they are scared of their sexuality in their own country. Hopefully last week’s referendum result will have a direct effect on suicide statistics as we see sexuality become less of an issue and humanity takes its place. That humanity needs to be delivered to the thousands of women of this state forced abroad in their darkest hour; left to be poisoned to death by a miscarriage; drained of all hope so as to abandon a baby on the roadside or ending their own lives knowing that a pregnancy in their circumstances effectively ends it anyway. 

Rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormality – nope, her uterus is a vessel. 

But then we live in a country where this is still part of out constitution: 

2 1° In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.

2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.

Right, so the government is going to pay mothers (might need more than €135 per month per child, lads) for their careers as homemakers and caregivers and chase up all the dead beat dads who fuck off and leave mammy literally holding the baby? 

The neglect of her duties in the home … Jesus Christ, what is this? Still 1937? 

Equality my arse. 

I haven’t mentioned much about my dating escapades lately. I’d bet you’ve missed hearing about all the men I scare away. 

My Gentleman Caller is to call no more. He’s been calling for a few months now and it was all very… easy. 

Truth be told, in the beginning, I wasn’t so fussed. I’d had a brief dalliance with Mr. Marathon which was pure convenience and short-lived, in every sense of the word. My Gentleman Caller was persistent in his pursuit and that bugged me. If I don’t reply to a message, it’s because I’m busy or I don’t have a response or you didn’t ask me a question or I don’t want to talk to you. It doesn’t mean keep sending me messages. But he did and eventually I capitulated. Why do I do that? 

As it turns out, I was glad I gave in and it was all lovely and simple and non-relationshippy for a while but then it went a bit pear-shaped – a phrase whose (that doesn’t look right) etymology I once watched explored by Victoria Coren on the BBC series Balderdash and Piffle but now I can’t remember- it just felt a bit…empty. 

It’s not that I want romance – Jesus, I wouldn’t know what to fucking do with romance – or love, that’s more goddamn trouble than it’s worth – but conversation: political, social, literary discussion, arguments, commentary. Stimulate my brain as well as other bits of me. 

I HAVE A BRAIN. 

A decent brain. I like learning. In fact, I love learning. Teach me stuff. Educate me if my opinion is misguided, don’t look at me like I’m a silly little girl. Don’t scoff at me, like a certain ex was wont to do. 

“Scoff”: say it out loud and feel your eyes roll onomatopoeically. 

Tuesday Evening

Today was delightful when I got going, which took a while but then Elsadaughter and I took the dogs to the beach and stuck two fingers up at study and list writing and budgeting and strolled in the sun eating a mini picnic. 

I like me on days like today. 

Wednesday Night

Fuck it anyway. 

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. 

I’m in bed. It’s eleven ish. I’ve been here since four fifteen bar about an hour in the living room mustering up energy to go for a run that run never happened. 

I wish I had gone because I wouldn’t feel so much like a big bag of rotten mulch now. 

The PricklyBurn is scaling my skin. I had managed, over the last while, to mentally lotion up against that skin burning feeling but tonight I’m not doing great. 

I tried today. I knew it was a dodgy one when I woke up. But I got up and showered and made up and nicely dressed and gave grinds and tried to think about dinner and writing letters to banks and calling the phone company to say, “Go ahead, cut us off – I can’t pay it anyway” but instead I was weak and went to bed and slept the nap of the damned when you’re trying desperately to wake yourself up but your eyes refuse to open and your body is solidifying into the mattress. 

I should get up and eat. I have no appetite for anything other than sugar. Of course you don’t you lazy ass bitch. 

I’ve got nothing done. I need to sort out a budget. I need to clean. I need to run. I need to stop hiding away. 

I was doing ok for ages and now I’m fucking sinking even though I’ve been trying hard to keep hold of the raft for a couple of weeks. I had a grip but now the salty night sweats and tears are sliming my hands and its slipping away from me. 

It’s not because of the Gentleman Caller, I’m sure of that even though I saw him today cycling by and he looked good – I know I need to let that one go and I’m proud of my decision to save myself getting in deeper. I’m going to America in two and a half weeks with my beautiful daughter so I should be grateful and excited, and I am, but this fatigue, this cocooning and dread and fear of the outside is taking over. 

Fuck it. 

Cop on. Fix it. Act. Do it. Get on top of it. 

Get through tonight and start over tomorrow. 

That sounds like I’m going to self harm, I’m not on that level. I’m determined not to sink to that number on the scale. 

I’ve just downloaded Amy Poehler’s Yes Please On audiobook. I’m hoping some feminist humour will cheer me up. 

Dot 💋

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