Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What have I been doing? Lately, whenever people I haven't seen in a while ask me what I've been up to, I really struggle to think of anything. My mind sort of riffles through the past few days and weeks and months for any activities of any significance, and comes up short.

On Saturday I vacuumed the living room rug. Not even the living room, or the house – although I basically ran the vacuum cleaner over those bits of the house I could reach without having to unplug and replug it again. 

Vacuuming the rug is such an awful task I put it off for months if I can. It's like trying to vacuum a piece of Velcro. First I do one pass with the vacuum to get rid of any surface debris such as the sticks and leaves that Graham brings in on his fur. But Graham's fur adheres to it and won't come off with just air. 

Then I have to scrape the fur loose using the brush setting on the vacuum cleaner (any other brush or broom has bristles too long or soft to lift up the fur). This requires bending over for at least an hour, painstakingly scraping the fur in small patches, and then picking it out of the bristles when they get clogged.

By the end I am sweating and my back and legs are aching as if I have been exercising. My hamstrings were still hurting this morning.

Hmm… what else have I been doing? Well, I go and see movies for work. That's the main reason I leave the house. Anthony has seized the reins of our jointly written novel project and is making sure we are currently meeting once a week – at my house, or in a food court in the city – and trying to write 2,500 words at a time. Anthony's goal is to have a full draft by the end of the financial year. So far we've written a bit over 35,000 words.

I have so many other book ideas in various stages. The thought of which one to write, and when, is dizzying and shaming. I feel like I should be much more motivated to write. I feel paralysed.

At other times I toil in the online think piece mines for $100, $150 a pop. It is dispiriting how much I invest in this work and how little I get back. I don't think anyone even reads these articles I craft so painstakingly. I don't think I'm very efficient at my work, but on Friday Penny told me that she's impressed by the amount of work I get done and wishes she could get as much done. This is absurd, because I often think guiltily of all the work Penny juggles and wish I could get as much done.

I spend a lot of time idling in cafes and restaurants between the hours of 2pm–5pm and 8pm–10pm. This is my biggest vice. During this time I read books, or articles I've saved to Pocket, or mindlessly cycle between email, Twitter and Facebook.

I visit my parents at least once a week and watch TV or movies with my brother. The weekend before last I stayed over there the whole weekend. I used their industrial-size laundry equipment to do a giant load of laundry that included 55 pairs of underpants and all my bras. I couldn't find any laundry powder so I used wool wash instead. I don't think this washed my laundry very efficiently. I'm worried that it isn't properly clean.

My stupid cat has been catching up on his vaccinations, at considerable expense to me. Like, I have been to the vet four times in the last couple of months. The vet fat-shamed him by saying he was too fat to groom himself. He weighed nearly 7kg.

This means I have been trying to find ways to make him lose weight. I have cut down his portions of dry food – I actually measure them out individually into old dip containers rather than free-pouring blearily at 5am, as I used to. Most recently, and farcically, I bought a treat ball from the vet – it cost fifteen fucking dollars! – hoping that Graham's abject greed would mean he'd get incidental exercise batting the food out of the ball.

But no. Of course not. Graham has watched me fill the ball with the dry food he loves, and then he just looks at it dully. I bat it around so a few cat biscuits come out, and he still stares stupidly. I point to the biscuits with a finger, and only then does he eat them. I even wiggle the ball around temptingly like a mouse (it has a fluffy red tail, which I also thought he would be into), and he just isn't interested. He eats the few biscuits that fall out, and then he goes and sits expectantly in front of his empty food bowl.

Aphids and caterpillars have almost completely destroyed the mint I have painstakingly propagated from some sprigs I took home from Elanor's aunt's house. I thought I did all the right things. I constantly surveill the mint on my kitchen windowsill for signs of renewal. I spray it with a 'pest oil' that I now fret was the wrong sort to buy. I think the window box of mint that the caterpillars chewed through is completely dead.

What a boring, boring life I lead.

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