Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Week in the Second-to-Last House in Greenock (According to the Girl Who Lives There)

My eyes flutter open, groggily. The morning light is peaking through the Venetian blinds. Mmm. Wha...?

HOLY CRAP, IT'S HALF SIX!* "Crap, crap, Scott get up! We're late, we're late!" I jump out of bed. (Scott and I, in our sleep, have managed to switch sides. I'm confused. I jump out of the wrong side of the bed, trip on his shoes.) In a miserable panic, I assess myself in the mirror. Showered the night before but sporting pillow-dried coiffure. It's school picture day. "Of all the bloody days..." I murmer. My train leaves the station as I shove Scott off my side of the bed and plug in the straightener. I text Lynne. "Hey lynne, my alarm didnt in off, i just woke up. i'll be late. hopefully in by 9. sorry. lori."

In record time, I'm looking School-Picture-licious and Scott is dressed and ready for work, and we head off to catch the 7:30 train.


School Picture Day. I join my fellow staff members as we head down to the library in a huddle to get our pictures taken. My make-up is freshly applied, my hair freshly brushed. I sit on the stool sideways, face the camera and smile. Tilt my chin up, straighten my back, smile for too long. The only difference from my childhood is I get to heckle the teachers before and after me. I didn't get to do that as a kid. I save one guy's picture. He is tight-lip smiling and I cheer him on, telling him to "show us some teeth". He breaks into a laugh and the picture is snapped. He'll thank me.


Same day, my work computer sputters and dies. I try to back up my files to no avail. What feels like a lifetime of work flickers and cackles and threatens to jump. I can't even talk about it. My head hurts, and I go home.

I wake up every minute starting at 3:00am, terrified of over-sleeping again. I decide to curl my hair and go to work looking like Madonna or Gwen Stefani. I open the door in the pitch black this country calls morning and am greeted with torrents of rain splashing into my porch. I run to the car. We drive to the station. I get on the train. My hair is straight as a board, straighter than when I straighten it. My shoes are soaked and ruined.


Lunchtimes are to be treasured and impatiently anticipated here. Our resident chef makes lunch like nobody's busines. What will today have in store? I hope lamb tikka masala with naan bread and poppadoms. Oooh, or maybe a rib-eye steak with potatoes and veggies. Monkfish, perhaps?

Not today. Broth for the soup; haggis for the main meal.

Lynne and Jamie tell me haggis is lovely. They are excited. I shouldn't listen to them, as they both think black pudding is lovely, too, but I do. Three scoops of tatties, three scoops of neeps and two scoops of haggis. I enjoy the neeps and tatties. I enjoy the haggis less; it is okay, as long as I am not thinking about it. But I'm not bouncing off the walls waiting to have my next haggis dinner, either.


Scott unlocks the door to the house, and we enter. Per usual, we race each other to the toilet. Passing the guest room, I skid to a halt. All of our linens are piled on the ironing board. After a few pons connect in my brain, I realise. "New shower, Scott!" I cheer. We look in the bathroom. Sure enough, our new shower has been installed. And the wonderful maintenance man has been so kind to also leave his crap all over the place. The bathroom looks like it had been ransacked. The tub is full of dirt, plaster, copper wire clippings, plastic bags and a footprint. The floor is covered in the same. "What happened to our lamp?" Scott calls from the bedroom which he has wondered into. His bedside lamp is lying on the neatly made bed (neatly made by ourselves, that is) completely taken apart. I trip on my shower caddie which is lying by the door.

I actually wake up to my alarm. My subconscious has regained its faith in the old machine. I curl my hair because once again, I look like Tina Turner. The curling job turns out to be a disaster. Unfortunately, the morning is incredibly nice and the curls remain all day.

Mid-morning, my computer is taken away from me for repairs. I am given a laptop in the meantime which will hover precariously on the edge of my desk all day, given it's too-short cord. Without PageMaker or PhotoShop, I spend my morning surfing for articles on Jessica Simpson and her scandalous video. I wait impatiently for lunch.


The cafeteria is yet another disappointment. Mushroom soup or pork dijonaise. Not keen on pork, I choose the mushroom soup, which I top with shredded cheese to make more pallatable. Then I head off to the cafe with Jamie. Over Irn Brus we have a most in-depth conversation about politics, abortion and evolution. All in one hour. He knows and respects my beliefs as a Christian, making these conversations possible. I am a moderate, pro-life six-day creationist. He is a slightly left-wing, cautiously pro-choice God-believing evolutionist. It is interesting and fruitful. I use words like "fatalism" and "Newton's law" and "inerrant in it's original form". I feel smart.


It is now. I have an hour before I finish work. I shall meet Scott at his parent's house later tonight. I miss him. I always miss him when we are apart. I shall make curry for dinner, unless the in-laws feed me first. I love Scott.

To be continued....

*Just for the record, how crap is it that waking up at 6:30am is considered over-sleeping?

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