Remember a while back when I had on the website tag that 100% of my words are NOT written in a cafe?
Back when I had a place in my house segregated from the rest of my family where I could sit and scribble or tap away and only be as disturbed as the voices in my head tell me that I am? (you probably don’t remember it like that.)
Well I’m currently sitting in a rather hip little cafe, at a table made of old white picket fence palings that’s holding up a rather funky looking lamp made from the cogs of a differential and some pipes that obviously has a filament bulb instead of a normal one.
There’s a long black sitting next to me curling my nose hairs and I think the barista said something about ‘Congan’ and ‘Ethiopian’ but my geography is pretty shit so I may have been lied to. This may be paint thinner mixed with tar but as long as it’s strong as it smells I couldn’t give three fifths of half a fuck.
Either way you shape it, the long and short of the whole thing is I’m writing this in a cafe.
I wish I could tell you that I’m ashamed of doing this. It certainly feels alien. It’s exclusively suits getting their morning ‘I swear I didn’t hit the glass pipe on the weekend’ doppio while sitting in plush leather chairs next to load bearing pillars made from old books. There’s even the obligatory couple being accosted by the twilight-of-his-years grade business chap; rotund with the exception of being like a lycra bag full of cottage cheese beneath his shirt, talking at them loudly about his new eating plan while they wish they had the hindsight to not mention that the female of the duo was a dietician.
They’ll be here for another hour.
And here I am, camo shorts, oversized flannel jacket, tattoos and skull jewellery all up the arms. Looking like the kind of guy that these guys probably manage for a living.
But me looking like the tartan sheep in a pack of greys isn’t why I feel ashamed. I don’t give a crap about the outwardly projected level of success or professionalism displayed by the fact that you wear a suit worth my weekly salary to work every day. I feel ashamed just to be writing here because I never wanted to be ‘That’ guy.
I’ve learned to give very few shits over the last couple of months. I call it rolling over into ‘Dad-mode’.
It’s the level of ‘Can’t give a fuck’ -ery that sees me singing the wiggles out loud in the supermarket. That has me playing hide and seek in a bookstore while the Wif tries to find a new book uninterrupted. It has me reciting entire children’s books from front to finish, dedicated to memory like a recalcitrant teen memorises D12 songs that were written before they were born; books which I excitedly recite out loud in any environment so my daughter and I can perform the actions or just shout words at each other. Hell, sometimes I’ll just shout an animal name out loud to hear her scream the sound that it makes back at me for no real reason other than FUN!
And if I had her here with me right now, I guarantee she’d be sitting next to me with a babychino while I have a full on one sided conversation with her while we plan our day in town together.
But; she’s not here.
For the first time in about half a year or more, I’m not at work and my little mini monster, my best friend and my sidekick isn’t by my side.
And it’s the weirdest combination of relief and sadness that I think I’ve felt in years.
And no, she’s not at home, that’s not why I’m out in a cafe writing, she’s at day-care while my hard working loving Wif is off supporting her deadbeat stay at home part time working husband.
I’m at a cafe writing because today is probably the most exciting part of my birthday. A day entirely to myself. Well, at least till after day-care.
I am by nature a solitary person, if there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s time alone. Which you can NOT have when it’s your responsibility to raise a child. No shit, I haven’t taken a crap at home alone in fucking months. She points to the toilet when her mothers home and says ‘Daddy!’
And that’s when I’m in the same room on the fucking couch!
So why aren’t I at home then? Why degrade myself by falling victim to the hip writer stereotype of writing in a cafe when there’s not a soul in the house?! I could be procraturbating myself fucking raw while screaming like a YouTube goat!
The truth of it is, I can’t be at home without her at the moment.
I can’t be there, all alone, in the silence enjoying my time. I need the sounds of her thumping around like Indiana jones trying to escape a 30ft stone ball while chasing a cat. I need the sound of her grabbing an empty toilet paper tube roll and screaming ‘DOOT’ into it. I need her whining because she wants to see her toes but her socks are in the way.
Jesus Christ I dropped her off at day-care an hour ago and I’m already a lost mess!
While I know that I kind of want her here with me, there’s also a part of me that needs this alone time. A part desperately screaming for solitude. But not just that, screaming for the ability to go from one shop to another without having to strap a child in an out of a carrier, without having to ask someone if they’re hungry every 30 mins, without having to say ‘sorry’ to 20 people when my kid does an impersonation of a cannon ball down the middle of an isle bowling every item off every shelf.
I know I feel weird now, but soon I’ll go home and sit in silence and love every second of it. Then I’ll go collect my tiny fleshy wrecking machine from day-care and unleash havoc on the world with here once again.
But until that time, I’m going to enjoy what I feel every single at home parent deserves but not many get.
The chance to have a second coffee because there’s not someone laying face down on the floor in a puddle of their own beet-red-faced tears squealing because you didn’t let them shove a fork into a power outlet.
Today will be a good day.
But I can’t wait for this arvo.
If you haven’t already figured it out, the take away from this is let the at home parent have a day to themselves. Even if they’re not the creative loner types.
Also that my Wif rocks.