At the supermarket a guy in a kilt comes around the end of the aisle and says something that I later decide must have been “nice Triquetra” because when I go “huh” he points at my tattoo and says “that’s what it’s called”. But at the time I just go “huh” again, because I’m trying to work out if there’s a difference between the different brands of English Breakfast tea. And what makes it English Breakfast anyway, is it a different species of tea, or the way they process it, or something they add to it, or is it really just the same as English Afternoon Tea? And now I’m worried that the guy in the kilt thinks that I’m one of those people who gets tattoos carved into their bodies without any knowledge or understanding of the symbols.
The velodrome on Waitangi day really was like that fruju ad, the one that I hate… everyone cowering under umbrellas, and crowded into the tiny scraps of shade behind the stalls and vehicles. The sun seems so fierce these days. I came away with a red stripe across each arm, where my sleeves moved up a few millimeters after I put sunblock on.
This week was Ash Wednesday, and I put together the liturgy for the Rush-hour reflection at St A’s. It was really cool, we did the whole thing with the ashes and oil, making symbols (spirals and circles as well as crosses) on our hands. We also built stone paths into a little wilderness area, and lit candles. I love rituals like this. I find it hard to just sit still and listen, I feel more in touch with the experience when I can do something physical and tangible. Perhaps that’s my Steiner roots.
Tonight a cicada flew in my window. At first it zipped around, making clicking noises as it whacked into the walls and ceiling. Then it sat in a corner and chirped. Now it seems to be doing an Icarus with the lightbulb. My attempts at encouraging it in the direction of the window, or capturing it and forcibly removing it, have not been successful. I wonder if I can sleep with the racket it’s making.
It was completely mad tonight. I saw two guys with capes, and one of them had flames on his tights, and they both had mullets. There was a whole flock of Red Riding Hoods, and a few wolves. A troop of guys wearing camouflage t-shirts that said “Ha! Now you can’t see me.” A grown man wearing a nappy and baby’s bonnet. Swarms of nurses and doctors, firemen and cops, playboy bunnies and countless tinsel wigs. It must make it so much easier to spot your friends in a crowd if you’re all wearing turbans or Dr Seuss style hats. And everyone seemed so cheerful, I almost wanted to dress up too, if it wasn’t all about rugby. I had to look it up on Wikipedia to find out why it’s called Sevens (duh).
And the fireworks were pretty, especially if you forgot about the fact they were probably made by children in highly dangerous conditions, and stopped worrying about the environmental impact and weather the birds and the jellyfish and the mussels got scared. And really, it’s pretty amazing what they can do. I mean, how do they actually do it? The ones that make shapes like hearts, and the ones that spiral round and round, and the ones that are red on one side and green on the other, and the ones that hang in the sky for ever, and the ones that shriek like banshees and swarm around like bees, and the ones that sound like rain. How do they do all that, just with gunpowder?
The Chinese woman next to me was holding a chubby baby. He was fast asleep, and one of his hands was squeezed into a fist, and one of his legs was hanging down all floppy as though it was made of rubber, and how could anyone sleep through all that banging?
By halfway through there was so much smoke in the sky all the stars had disappeared and even the fireworks were hard to see. I was watching from a quiet spot away from the crowds, cos crowds freak me out and I was only there in the first place cos I’d missed the bus. I tried to leave before the end so I could catch the next bus before the crowds came back, but the bus was late and soon I was getting pushed and shoved. The smoke was starting to fall and I was wheezing and people were starting to rub their eyes, and some were coughing. The bus drove a couple of meters past me and all these people jumped on, and I was just about to step up but the driver said “no more” and shut the doors. And the next bus was full, and the next one, so I walked down to an earlier stop and even then when the bus came it was already packed and I had to stand, and have I mentioned how much I hate crowds, and by this time I was trying not to cry. We moved at about walking pace, or maybe slower, until we got past Courtney Place and then we got going and I’m safe now, but still feeling really stressed.
Last night I dreamed that my broccoli plants were sick and my mum suggested spraying them with something but I just poured it on from a jug instead, and then the plants died and the ground was blue with a hard crust. And I was going out with O (my first boyfriend, we went to the Lion King and held hands which I think was just me being pushy) but in my dream he broke up with me on account of the chemicals. I was devastated, and I made him a book with delicate sketches of tiny little insects, and on the last page it said “I can’t believe you’d end it just because of one little mistake, and anyway, the garden was all self-contained with concrete all around..." I gave the book to his brother to give to him, and then I woke up thinking “isn’t it odd that in all the time we’ve both lived in Wellington I’ve only bumped into O once?”