Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 215

I was all set to go to bed at a sensible time last night, and then Jam the cat came into the house with something in her mouth. She’s never really caught anything before, not that she’s carried in, anyway. A and I tried to shoo her outside, but she went upstairs instead, and dropped her present onto my bedroom floor. A frog, very much alive. A one-eyed cat catching a very hoppy frog in the dark is a bit of a miracle. Anyway, A and I managed to get Jam out of the room, and then set about how best to get the frog back outside – bearing in mind we’re both a bit squeamish when it comes to hopping animals (me more than her, and I am even more scared of birds than of hopping things). In the end, I managed to drop a small cardboard box over the frog, slip another piece of cardboard underneath, and carry it out into the garden and down to the shallow butler sink at the bottom of the garden, which I’d refilled the day before. The frog launched itself happily into its own personal swimming pool. By this time, A and I were sweating profusely, adrenaline levels somewhere near the ceiling. I went to bed, couldn’t get to sleep, got up again, and read, and ended up not getting to sleep till 2am. So much for the sensible bed-time.

And now I’ve run out of words. A tired mind and body do not lend themselves to being creative, obviously. The wheels grind slowly, and the fear of change doesn’t help in any of this. We have established patterns we find it very difficult to escape from. Life was never meant to be comfortable, but that’s no reason not to hope that it would be, will be, can be.

I am writing this in between doing other things. More important things. Day job. Thinking. Spreadsheets. Planning. Work and home. With a bit of luck, the work on the house will be finished by the end of next week, and then we can actually sort the place out (and there are thousands of books still in two of the garden sheds, and shelving waiting to go back up in the garage for things that need to live in there – and then the office will no longer resemble a bomb site). I need sleep for all that, though, so I have some energy.

When I started therapy four years ago, I was diagnosed, in the first session, with attachment anxiety. I have mostly overcome that (and the doubts that come with it). That attachment anxiety came from my childhood. That diagnosis changed my life and our marriage. And here, now, with M away, I realise again that what I feel right now is not attachment anxiety, but the sense that a part of me is missing. We have become such a great team, two grown-up people having grown-up conversations, and the empty space in our bed is vast, and it’s my best friend not being here and sharing comfortable silences or ridiculous giggles or getting on each other’s nerves. That’s what it is to be married. This whole all-encompassing thing, even 31 years down the line. I feel my soul reaching out to her, along that connection we have always had.

It’s taken me a whole working day to write this. Aggie is not happy.




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