Martha-The Rewrite Chapter Sixty Five
I am in my tiny backyard with fresh rows of washing. It is so clean that it doesn’t even feel right to smoke anywhere near them. The sheets move to and fro in the breeze, coming close to my face on their inward journey, sometimes they brush my shoulder on their way back, like they are reassuring me. It’s early, maybe about 6.30am. I woke up quickly, almost jolted upright. It wasn’t a panic though, more like a surge of realisation. I had realised fully when I slept that Jimmy is healing me. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and I don’t really know how this has happened but I am sure that it is so. When I am close to him, I know that I am alright and that nothing bad can possibly happen. That’s partly because he is huge and that is reassuring in itself. It’s way more than that though. The way he is with me is entirely unconditional. Sure, I cook dinner for him sometimes but he really doesn’t expect anything from me. When I am curled up on him, it’s like a silent therapy. My mind does calm the fuck down, I can feel my heart slow to a normal rhythm, my shoulders rid themselves of all the pointless tension they carry around. I am trying to not be confused by it, to let it happen and enjoy the benefits. That’s it though, I feel like I am stealing from him, I mean, does he take on my pains, my fears, my anxieties? Where the fuck do they go? I don’t want to analyse it all too much but fucking hell, it’s almost impossible not to. I think I need to listen to some Dolly Parton.
Sash is back from her dad’s and I tell her about the trip, at least the bits that I can remember.
“So you went all the way to Chingford even though you were having one of your things?” Sash is wide eyed, excited, really very bouncy, even for her.
“Yes darling, I did. But you know, I had Jimmy and Gemma to look after me, so it was fine.” She exhales heavily.
“Still, mum, that’s amazing. Usually you can’t even get off the sofa, let alone leave the flat, let alone get on a train.”
“I think I am getting a bit better Sash. I think it’s because of Jimmy. I know that sounds daft.” I actually don't think it sounds daft but I felt like I had to say that. Sash ponders this, she moves her mouth from side to side as if she is chewing the thought.
“Yes, I think it is because of Jimmy. He brings you love mum.” Now it’s my turn to ponder.
“But Sash, you bring me love too.”
“I know but that’s different as we have to love each other, well, we’re meant to anyway, like it’s a part of life. But Jimmy, he can bring his love to anyone he wants to. And he brings it to you.” Well there you are, as ever, the little lunatic has nailed it.
“Dad says you can come round in the week to meet his girlfriend and his son like you asked to.” I had forgotten all about this
“Yes Sash, maybe Wednesday, after work?”
“Ok, I’ll let him know.” I wish I had never said anything but I can’t really back out now. There is a bit of curiosity about the new woman and I want to eyeball the son so he knows that I am the terror mum from hell. I’ll wear too much makeup so I resemble a mid-nineties PJ Harvey. A bloke once told me that I looked like a miniature version of her and I think that was maybe the happiest I have ever been. Well, for an hour or so anyway. Phone goes, it’s Jimmy ‘fancy a roast for lunch?’ I reply ‘Jimmy boy, it’s Saturday?!xx’ ‘Is it? Fuck. Sorry. I’m just hungry and wanted to eat something big’ like he ever eats small. I call out to Sash.
“Do you want to go out with Jimmy for lunch?”
“Well, durrhhh mum.” I reply to him ‘let’s go to the posh pub and get lunch, Sash coming too xxx’ ‘cool, I’ll see you there as I am out right now’ It’s silly, I'm curious, I wonder what he’s doing. Fuck, am I jealous? Wow, where the fuck did that come from?
It’s early lunchtime and the pub is quiet. Jimmy is sitting at a table in the corner. He gets up when he sees us and meets us by the bar. Sash grabs him and hugs him around his belly. I think fuck it, I am having some of that and I go in for a hug too. As I pull away he touches me on the cheek with the back of his hand, a gentle stroke with his paw. I smile as he looks at my face.
“I still haven’t got it, hang on,” he reaches to the bar and picks up a paper serviette and dabs at my face with it, “there you go, mascara stuff I think. Drink?’”