I spent all of August at Grandma’s house to help her recover from ill-health. Did the grocery orders, weeded the garden, painted the windowsills. Spent the 9 to 5 on the computer writing family violence policy for an NDIS provider. Grandma watched the SBS news every night. We watched the numbers rise and then fall slowly. Settled into a routine of tea and Mastermind with Jennifer Byrne. On Dad’s 10th death anniversary, we lit a bonfire in a wok in the back yard.
Back in my share house my dog Axel crossed the rainbow bridge.
When the power went out for 64 hours, Gran and I played Uno by candlelight and sat in the car to charge out phones playing aggressively loud ABC Classical Radio.
I love my Precious Gran so much. I miss her while I sleep.
And in Caulfield Park. The ducks swim. Little mallards, little family. Kids on scooters. Exhausted mothers. Sat on that grass and we separated ways. Lockdown Breakup™. I am not Taylor Swift.
I ordered my brother a custom T-Shirt with a picture of the family pet lamb wearing sunglasses.
Went back to university, online, in a daydream nightmare. A cosmic exhaustion.
Late night television.
Listen to Dreams by the Cranberries on repeat only to bathe toxic in loops. Some pained crow call & the voice of Dolores O’Riordan. Think about how many musicians have mental illness.
Have a nice sob to children’s choirs.
Break up shrines. Dead dog shrines. At least I was momentarily creative.
No adrenaline to carry through. Feel like I have been trapped in a year long SWOTVAC.
Not really. There are no analogies or metaphors.
Just more of the same.
Carrot shoots come through, rose blooms in the front yard. We play badminton and then volleyball with a deflated soccer ball. The ducklings multiply. The goslings hatch. The village geese glare and kink their neck. Enable flash so I can jump on Club Penguin and adopt a Puffle. Gran calls and says the magpie is singing.
I just have to focus on the carrots. Watch the sun and the heat and the rain.
And little things grow
and an exercise in nurturing.
Jasmine Shirrefs is a zine maker, dog parent, writer and social work student living on Boon Wurrung land. They were a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow 2019 and have work published by Overland Magazine online, Right Now and Lot’s Wife.