Saturday night was good but I discovered too many months, had passed and I had lost the connection with people I was becoming familiar with.
I learnt about parties that I would have been invited to but because my letter writing had disintegrated into nothing but 'mother' and depression, I would tear them up and not trouble others with my trouble.
I retreated into the shadows and took up my people watching stance.
They were uninhibited, drinking, dancing, having fun without thinking about getting home in a taxi, what was the cat going or having knees that don't dance.
The first time I went to a party at that house, it was a major miracle. I hadn't been out alone for nearly ten years and it took a heap of backbone to get dressed and go. It was the same this time. I haven't been out alone at night for nearly two years, it felt like the first time and right up until I put my hand on the phone to call for a taxi, I didn't know if I could do it.
Perhaps it was too soon to be the life of the party. I'm still running on empty.
I aided in breaking the law by helping build the longest spliff I'd ever seen in my short party life but moved to the verandah before the big lighting up. I don't like the smell of the smoke, it makes me feel ill. How big? So big it had to be held in BBQ tongs for anyone to take a puff.
I've never been a huge party animal preferring a dinner table discussion and good food and that was part of the downhill turn.
At some stage, I realized that next day would have been my 40th wedding anniversary and only one of that mad, funny crowd I was watching had been there. Forty years and only one person beside my mother and sister was near me. I don't count the relo's but not one friend from those days has been seen for years. There was one but I was doing all the phoning and I could feel her moving in different directions especially since The Blight left and there were no more boozy barbie afternoons. I ripped up most of those photographs with great pleasure. So I thought I would let her have the next phone call and that was a year and a half ago, maybe more. And another one bites the dust.
So Sunday morning comes and I look at the shambles that is my home, the curtains are still shredded, the cat is sleeping in the washing basket and my mother's house is still scattered in every room. Also scattered and joyous on bare feet is crystal kitty litter in the laundry where I find most of the towells and clothes I've forgotten to wash, another chore. I am surprised that I haven't wept since I usually do.
Monday brings the call that mother has had an 'episode' and she doesn't remember what has gone wrong. I do, and tell them, explain what to do, tell her not to worry, it's all happened before and will again. Could I go through my diaries and tell them exactly when was the last time. Not a snowball's chance could I read about the last three years so I say it was about 2008. My sister doesn't remember it happening at all. She goes down Monday, says hello and comes home.
I have slept on and off for three days and going there yesterday was almost at bad as Saturday night but it was needed and she was in bed, the colour of the sheets. By the time I left, her colour was much better and I was happy to see that the nurses were in all the time to check her.
She called this morning, much better and looking forward to a shopping expedition in the morning but she'd noticed me.
I laugh it off but I'm in trouble with a knee that shouldn't be hurting, bruises I hadn't seen before I fell off the ladder. My life gauge is stuck on empty and there's nothing and no-one to help fill it.
But then why would anyone want to, according to my sister, I am so negative and unpleasant to be around. A remark made in the middle of my dealing with every bureaucracy in the universe.
I won't forget that remark. Over 40 years I have finely honed my secretive and untrusting nature into a suit of armour that lets nothing penetrate or if you like, I'm a giant Easter egg, full of gooey, luscious fruity centre but the chocolate shell is a right bastard to break.