Friday, December 09, 2005

Liminal

When you come home what you gonna do
Oh brother, oh brother
Don't you try to deny
What you know to be true
The same mess of misery that you done been through
Standing in line
And it's waiting for you
One kiss leads to another
Brother when you come back home


Oh Brother, James Taylor


Here I am, stuck between worlds. I have left Perth, but am not quite back in Kuala Lumpur. Head in the clouds, waiting for the aircraft to land, the wheels to touch ground, that harsh jolt of reality.

Most days, I drive around in a daze, wrapped in cotton wool, a sheet of glass between me and real life. Maybe it has to do with being broke and not having a job yet. I can't go out and buy stuff, hang out in cafes, do anything.

But what's even worse is that I'm not looking for one. A job, that is. Content to lie curled up in bed while storms rage outside, lost between the pages of some ancient children's novel.

Evadne Price, Richmal Crompton, Anthony Buckeridge, Jane Shaw...

When people ask me if I've applied to so-and-so newspaper, wire service or magazine, my eyes become unfocussed and I tell them I'm sending out good thoughts. They regard me in a puzzled fashion.

"We always knew she was peculiar, just not this peculiar. Australia must have seeped away what little sanity she has left."

I smile vaguely at them and turn to walk away. It feels like I'm swimming through the steamy air. Nothing seems real, I can't make it real, I'm floating three feet away from my body.

"So have you started on your novel?"

"My what?"

"Well isn't that why you went there? To learn to write novels?"

"Er...no, not exactly, it was a kind of time-out from life. But I guess I could, write novels that is, except that I don't feel like doing anything once I'm here."

"Grow up girl!"

I get so tired of sensible advice. So I walk away.

Nothing seems real. I can't make it real.

Christmas cheer all around as I sit wrapped in my customary rags, waiting, waiting, waiting...

3 comments:

Andy said...

Do you know why you haven't been more active about looking for a job? Because getting a job, having a job, would be the bitch-slap of reality. It means you've just made one big ol' step toward permanence where you are. And you're not ready for that since you just came in from Oz. Other things that tie us down, when those of us who are really more vagabonds don't want to be: good friends, favorite "places," and especially a relationship.

goldennib said...

Don't rush to join the real world. It will happen eventually. And don't let anyone else push you in to reality. Enjoy your clouds. Enjoy your childrens' books. Once you start the ratrace for money, it will be hard to stop. Take this opportunity to wallow, be wild and be odd.

Jenn said...

Andy: I feel a tad guilty about it. And the slippery slope - first, I'm just waiting till New Year's to get a job, next, it's four months on and my Mom is on the phone to my sister, lamenting the fact that her daughter is still bumming around.

Goldennib: I have this great capacity to remain divorced from reality indefinitely. Especially when reality jars with the ideal. Some part of me is still stuck in the quiet pavements of Perth.