girlsdontcry's Diaryland Diary


Saviour, save thyself

I think I might have to put money on Zoe Heller to win the Booker Prize, because then if she wins, I'll be happy and if she doesn't win, I'll be happy -- because I wish that I was a journalist for a national newspaper sent to New York to write a column who had published two novels.

Speaking of books, someone sent me the entire shortlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction. I know it's a few months late, but I'm happy to have a whole load of novels land on my desk, for no apparent reason. Even if I won't read most, or maybe any, of them.

Speaking of journalists, I went to my friend's house to see her new baby this week. Could seeing a new baby make your period last for longer, I wonder? This one won't go away.

The baby was a baby, I can't hold a baby and feel anything but sort of curious. Like I was looking at an experiment. My friend is all over the moon with the joys of motherhood. She said: "I can't believe that we made him, that we made this life!" And I wanted to give the baby back immediately, I was suddenly looking at something that had been inside my friend a few days before. Later I felt weird, she was telling me how another friend of hers really loved the baby, and I thought how I would be judged on the way I reacted. I did my best though, but I just can't do that whole effusive thing, it's not in me.

I was relieved that she didn't start breastfeeding in front of me, because I know that it's all beautiful and natural, but you know, two weeks ago it wasn't acceptable for me to see her tits, and ... it just makes me uncomfortable. I don't know where to look! It's bad, I know, and it's also bad feeling that as a woman you have no instinct for that kind of thing. At least I should be more sympathetic than some conservative person complaining about breatsfeeding, but I don't know how to be. It doesn't offend me, I just don't know where to look, that's all.

I should just relax, right?

So they have a baby. I didn't know who was the alien, too, when I saw them cooing over his potbelly while I drank wine. No, but I was clearly the alien, beamed into their perfect universe from the Outside World, an interloper. Their world was complete without my being there.

Yesterday I went to the park, I suddenly feel like soaking up as much warmth as I can before winter comes. And I was OK lying there, slipping between half-asleep and not-asleep. When the sun moved, then I moved and suddenly, sitting on a bench, I was stricken. I don't know what overcame me, this tiredness I guess. I became convinced, then, that someone was going to come and sit on the bench and save me. I was looking at everyone who walked by, wondering who it would be. I knew just what to say to them: "I need six grand to pay off my debts and six months hiding from my life and my family, and a new identity and a passport." And then I was thinking that I ought to get them to give me a couple of months rent too, I don't want to leave my flatmates in the lurch.

But no one came.

Well, someone did come. The mother of Alessandro, and she had another child. She sat next to me while Alessandro ran around. I don't know, I was thinking then that maybe she would be my new mother. I could've asked: "Will you be my mother now? The last two haven't really worked out so well for me." But she said nothing and I just smiled my most ungenerous I'm-only-smiling-at-you-because-you're-a-child-and-I'll-be-thought-a-bad-person-if-I-don't-smile-at-you smile at Alessandro.

The mother said something funny though, she said: "Do you want to see the house tree? I mean the tree house?" Not to me, of course.

And then I guess I didn't need to be saved because I just went home and went to bed and all that.

10:26 a.m. - 2003-09-17


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