Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day In/ Day Out

The yin, the yang. Half empty, half full. The dark, the light.The days are different and the same to me, though according to the Breadwinner nothing has changed in my world. Of course i'm wise enough not to point out that what has changed is her never-ending presence and the egg shells it creates for everyone involved to walk on. Yet she is both right and wrong, my days are largely still the same sans the running the boyos to practice and games and school. I cook and clean and build furniture, i do laundry, i'm working on a basketball hoop to put in the street so the boyos can burn off some energy. I do puzzles and play games and talk to them about things, about the state of things, i try not to let them see me worry. I read and listen to records, i write, i'm catching up on all the chores i've been assigned though apparently still not fast or efficient enough for the boss. It's a haranguing i've become accustomed to.

The Breadwinner, on the other hand, has spent the better part of a decade pining and whining for more time off because there were so many things she could get accomplished that i was deemed too incapable of doing. Today is day ten of  that time and so far her days look vastly different then mine. She sleeps late, she gets up when i make coffee, she sits at the table and pulls on her e-cig, a habit that annoys everyone in the house but herself. She talks on the phone, she watches the news. We both work with the boyos to do some school work (the school having not issued any work for the first two weeks but on-line assignments will start next week) the bulk of which has been shifting towards me. She takes an afternoon nap, talks on the phone some more, pulls at her ever present e-cig. She watches her Robin Hood stock account and plays at it to diminishing rewards, a site she made me join in order for her to get a free stock. She has over ten times the amount of money in it then myself, not a lot by any stretch, she's down at the moment, i myself am not. Old horse players can read numbers and spot trends. I was waiting for the day when she'd start complaining that not enough was getting accomplished around the gaff... that started yesterday.

Having two active and rambunctious boyos cooped up due to weather and pandemics is tough. They get outside when they can and overall have been pretty good with things so far. While my patience in certain areas has waned my patience in other areas has expanded. Ten days in and i can count the times i've had to raise my voice at the boyos on one hand. The Breadwinner seems to get agitated with them multiple times a day and while i don't want this to seem like i'm piling on i realize it may be my outlet. There are rules around this place, rules that some of us will recognize and some would scoff and snort at. I find increasingly that i'm not supposed to talk though if i don't talk then i'm accused of not talking. Problem is when i attempt to talk the level of disinterest and sometimes disdain leads me to stop. My job is to listen and i've become adept at understanding my place, i've become good at short answers that satisfy the Breadwinner, skilled at the thoughtful nod, the eye-brow raise, the shrug and resigned grin. It's what i'm paid to do. If or when i want to talk i talk to the boyos. I understand this may not be the healthiest thing, that i'm basically spackling over the cracks so that i can raise my sons. Staring at the ceiling at 4am the other night i wondered if this could be considered an abusive relationship? Not in any physical sense but in the psychological. I often tell the boyos that their mother is a intelligent and kind person. I make sure i compliment the Breadwinner on things, be it a haircut or her business acumen. Around here the only kinds words i hear are from the boyos. While it's not an endless or daily barrage the fact is i'm only ever told about what i can't or don't do well. And while i'm a tough bastard a kind word wouldn't hurt now and then just to show a little appreciation but i'm not worried if it comes or not. I just get on with it.

When i look back at things i understand how much i've learned and taught myself since i took over the role of house boy. I don't need a vest with badges on it to trumpet these things i just consider it part of having an inquisitive mind. Some things i genuinely wanted to learn and others i learned because i needed to get something done. Either way learning is learning and i enjoy it. With the pool closed these days i've taken up yoga in my own inimitable half-assed way. I'm teaching myself. Early in the morning rolling around on the floor while the cats all walk around me purring and thinking i've lost my mind, though at this point i think the cats are used to this sort of behavior. I gaze out at a neighborhood asleep, of quiet houses where most of the people have nowhere to go. I look through the still bare trees to a main road almost devoid of traffic. These are strange days and here in this country it's becoming painfully obvious (as if it wasn't already) that a large number of people have been duped by a con-man and his minions. Electing despicable people whose interest lies more in protecting the wealth and security of the few over the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the many. Of course i could write reams on this subject but that's for another time.

While i'm not one to rattle easily i admit watching this unfold has rattled me at times. Mainly i worry about the boyos and a few other people but mainly the boyos. There are some selfish things, like the fact their spring soccer seasons are likely lost and there are few things i enjoy or love more than watching the boyos on the pitch (or basketball court). Yes it's trivial in a time like this but i think about it, understand the joy and wonder my father had watching me play. I worry about one of us getting this virus, i worry about not being able to hug my sons, to kiss their heads, something i do multiple times a day. I worry about what kind of world i'm leaving them and if humanity will learn anything from this? But then again Mother Earth is a crafty one. Satellite photos show that China has the best air it's had in years due to the lockdown. In Venice the water in the canals has cleared and people have seen fish that they didn't know were there. If i teach the boyos anything it's this; humans are not the masters of the Earth we are just one small part of it. We like to think we rule the planet but the planet will be just fine, in fact better off, without us. It's all connected and until we learn to respect it and each other we're fucked. Tomorrow will be the same day again... and it won't be at all. While i may not enjoy watching the world fall apart i have enjoyed my little, tiny corner of it with the boyos. Something about lemons and lemonade comes to mind.


looby said...

Oooh, kono that sounds like hard work and a real test even of your sangfroid and forebearance. You're too clam for this to happen (I think!) but people acting like that create such a pressure cooker of tension in a house, which could explode at any minute, when she just adds on one complaint too many. Well done for turning away, as far as you can, from all that bitterness and unhappiness she must hold witin somewhere. Best of luck my friend. It won't be easy for cooped-up families.

daisyfae said...

Read an article detailing the history of prior pandemics - many fell prey to conspiracy theories, many turned to religion preparing for the end of days. But civilation came out the other side - likely changed for the good for a short time, before reverting back to abusing the earth again, until the next round. We'll get through this - well, most of us.

One thing i know for sure? Your boyos know what's up. They see who you are, and what you are enduring for their benefit. When they are old enough, they will look forward to the day that you an get out, and the three of you can spend time together without those fucking eggshells. Abusive? Yeah. It's fucking abusive. Hold on, brother... you will get to the other side. You're a great father.

Kono said...

looby and daisy - i know that i bear a lot of the responsibility for the state of the situation. i also know there are things i could do to maybe help it. She isn't a horrible human and in many ways she is quite decent, (i've learned this from reading Ms. Daisy and what she has said about her previous relationship) it's just we don't really work together. And that's okay, i worry more about the boyos than anything cuz i know how fucked up i was when shit hit the fan but i'm doing my best to make sure they understand that sometimes things don't work out in the end and that it's okay if they don't. It doesn't have to be anyone's fault, at times it's just a natural progression of things, some flowers grow differently and are incompatible in the same garden. As for being a great father? i don't really know. I know that there are not two humans i love more than the boyos and that i'm trying to give them the skills to cope and navigate a planet both dangerous and beautiful. I had a good teacher. I'm working hard to honor him and pass those nuggets of whatever it is on to the boyos.