Sunday, November 2, 2008

swathed in dustsheets

Sorry about this - the carpets are rolled up, the furniture is swaddled in cambric, supper will be cold cuts and fridge leftovers and if you want entertaining, grab a paintbrush. I'm renovating. Don't know about you, but I've been bored witless with the way this page has looked for over a year, and for heaven's sake, I am supposed to be an illustrator, so surely I ought to be able to produce a more visually exciting blog?

Sadly, illustrator I may well be, but html code decipherer I am not. Dweebs are sooooo not us. So the title bar with attendant illustration may well be as far as my renovations go. I'd love to be able to lay out my blogpage in a more adventurous fashion but I need to be shown how because, well..perhaps I'm just terminally dim, but I don't understand how to tweak the Blogger layout and make my page my own. Also, time is somewhat precious, money is scarce, and spending hours plittering about with pixels is not going to put broccoli on the table.

The good news of this week is that eldest son is off to rehab after going through three weeks of rapid detox. He has done very well to overcome the chemical addiction, but his thoughts, dreams, desires and general life patterning will take longer to detoxify. That's where rehab comes in. Unlearning what he learned from the unreliable pedagogy of the poppy. Changing all his habits. Untying the knots that bound him to a half-life spent oscillating between the dealer and the Deeps.

I'm doing a fair bit of oscillation myself between a range of emotions that I wish I could harness for the purpose of energy creation. I'm a one-woman alternative energy generator, me. My feelings can blow up into gales which could set the blades spinning in a wind farm. My stormy highs and lows are like a form of emotional wavepower. Intense bursts of rage and grief flare like solar power... I could go on. I'm sure you'd rather I didn't. However, it should come as no surprise that I can hardly get my head off the pillow in the morning ; the whole upheaval and upset and digging up of the past consumes so much time and energy that I feel wiped out by it all.

Next week, with my son safely tucked up in rehab a long way from wintry Edinburgh, we have to go to his lair and gather up the salvaged bits of pieces of his life that he would like us to keep for when he rejoins the human race. His home of the past three years is a lair ; there is no better word to describe the flat he has inhabited through the dark years of addiction. I would rather never go there again as long as I live, but this mother's hardwired guilt will drive me up and down the entire height of an Edinburgh high-rise, over and over again to retrieve the detritus of my son's long love affair with narcotics.

It has been a long love-affair, and there is a heck of a lot of detritus. He has an entire room full of disembowelled bikes. He has another room full of disembowelled computers. In the middle of this incredible chaos, two sleek, well-fed and beautiful black cats prowl, stalking through the circuitboards and derailleurs as if rooms full of urban trash were as homely as their ancestors' palaces of Ancient Egypt. The ashtrays are full of cigarettes rolled from the ends of other cigarettes which, in turn, have been made from the cannibalized remains of other cigarettes ; the whole ashy history stretching back in time to the days of a tar-drenched nicotine quest fuelled by poverty and need. The kitchen houses a vast collection of brown medicine bottles and burgeoning spider plants spilling out of their pots over the top of the fridge. He began to strip the wallpaper in the hall, then gave up on the job. The scraps of discarded wallpaper have littered the bare floorboards ever since. There is an unsurprisingly bad smell; strong enough to make me mouth breathe on every occasion I have visited.

I hope that the next time we go there is the last time. Groundhog Day is all very well and good if you spend it someplace pleasant. Otherwise, you have the feeling that you're on the Hamster-wheel of Hell.


Alwen said...

That's a rather heavy post to follow up with twittery comments, but I still wanted to say that I love the illustration at the top. And that "Sketchy" widget at the bottom!

Debi Gliori said...

Hey Alwen, twittery postings work for me. And I'm even more cross-eyed with tiredness because, fool that I am, I stayed up waaaaaay past my bedtime trawling through blogger listings to find a half decent widget that didn't come with a ton of add-on advertising.So - hey - I'm delighted that you found it and like it.

But how weird is it to draw with a trackpad - a bit like drawing with half a brick, no? Good practice for the dreaded interactive whiteboards, though.

Alison said...

love the fiddling grasshopper! hope the flat clearance went ok.

i hope the sleek and fell fed cats are somewhere happy too.