A small dream of tea

Last night I wrote a really angry post, an indulgent post all about my own irritation at a world where I perceive people both living in perpetual expectation of nothing and at the same time participating in a hollow hopeful dream of ultra-everything. Of course really it said more about me than anything else. I’m struggling to get through the days, to concentrate on the here and now, when it feels as though the dream is within touching distance. When at the same time it’s the here and now and the everyday that will, eventually, make everything possible. I remember being on my knees in the kitchen of this house, goggles steamed because I was wearing a paper mask while I raked a crowbar over and again underneath the five inch squares of brittle lino that remained on the floor. The heat coming off me was ridiculous because I was also wearing polyester overalls. It was August. The sweat was pooling in the bowls of the glasses whenever I looked down – which was, given the task, every moment in between breathing and stretching my arched neck – and falling from my forehead into the otherwise untouched spaces beneath every piece of every square I levered up. And when they came all in one go, all in one piece, what feeling. And I repeated the same three or four movements (stab stab shuffle shuffle swipe swipe pry pry) for hours. And I crawled from one end of the kitchen to the other. And I looked up at the corner of the room, where we knew we would put the kettle, and I saw myself making cups of tea. I felt how good it was going to be, to lean on the counter and enjoy a drink and look down and know that I had made this happen, that I had scuffed my way across the kitchen floor until the job was done. And it was just one tiny almost insignificant part of what was obviously a more involved process between bare stone shell and fully fitted kitchen but that’s how I did it. That’s how I kept going through the weight of doubt and worrying about whether what we’d taken on was really beyond me, whether this really was such a good idea, at a stage in the project when I didn’t even know what was going to happen next, at the beginning when the idea we’d still be in a two room flat over a cafe with a newborn baby three months later was so ridiculous that in fact I don’t think we ever even considered how long it might be. I wanted that time to be right now (right then) and the last thing I wanted to be doing was scritching and scratching millimetre thin shreds of decades old plastic from the floor but I wanted it so much that I knew I had to get there, whatever it took. It was just a small dream, a cup of tea and a rest, but right then it was the dream that filled the small and sweaty world I was in. And even now, when I remember that floor, it’s still a dream. The first of many.

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