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Thursday, December 30, 2010

A room with a view

This afternoon while I waited for one child to take a nap and held my hand up to the other child to silence her while I was on the phone conducting an interview, I decided to take a night off. The father of my children is visiting and that gives me two more reasons to get out of the house: 1 I have a built in babysitter and 2 I can't stand to watch his ineptness with the children.

I took the shortest route to freedom I could find and walked across the road to The DesBarres Manor Inn. The manor house is huge and I am the only occupant; neither guests or staff are around. It seems like this might be an unsettling Shining-esque situation but it reminds me more of the nights I spent as the sole occupant of our small hospital when I was a kid. Then there were nurses but I still felt like a singular event in the house/hospital.

My intention has been to read and write without an ear listening for cries or the cessation of breathe. I have gone out for snacks and returned home for my camera only to find the kids sitting at my computer watching a DVD with their father no where in sight. I assumed he might call out when he heard the door close again but I heard nothing. Perhaps I should be worried. I am confident that my 5-year-old can keep things on track. Plus I can see the house from my room at the Inn.

I am on the 3rd floor of the Manor, my windows look out towards Guysborough Harbour and also across the road to my house. My house was built as an office for the lawyer that lived in this fine manor house circa 1837. My room here has a lovely big bed with a white comforter embellished with musical notes. There's a leather arm chair, a brocade armchair, bureau, writing desk, seaman's chest, and some other furniture including a TV which rather ruins the look of the room but most guests, other than me, prefer to have the infernal thing around.

When I walked in, what most took my attention was the bathroom. I love a good bathroom; the one I have at home would certainly not qualify. I took a shower and then a bath admiring how the upper most tiles had a nice motif. I noticed my reflection in the tubs enamel and pondered it. When I got out of the tub I saw myself in the oversized mirror and when I looked over my shoulder I was surprised to see how freckled my butt was. When did it last possibly see the sun? Overall, the mirror looked good to me. I've never been too fussy about that sort of thing but I have wondered recently if this almost 40 year old body is one I would willingly expose to the scrutiny of a young man.

Recently, there has been a young man that I feel might have been showing some interest in me. I stayed awake most of last night wondering if I was right in this assumption, if I would dare to ask him if he was interested, and if he said yes would I follow through? And then I wondered why I had to wonder about such things. He is single, I am single so why should I feel bothered about how much older I am than him? This has yet to be resolved but will be one way or another in the next few weeks.

And then there is Big Daddy. Hannah has desperately been waiting for her father's visit with great anticipation. She was more excited about daddy than about Santa. I was happy, and not in a generous way, when Hannah told me that Daddy was boring. I have been staying away from home as much as possible while he is here to both minimalise my annoyance with him and to help Hannah appreciate her mother more; both very selfish aims but it seems to be working. I have always represented him in an indifferent and often cheery light to the children knowing that given the proper amount of time and lack of care he would tarnish his own image in their hearts and minds. I am just surprised it has happened so soon.

While Big Daddy is here, I have been tooling around town, out and about more. This has provided some good blog fodder.

On Boxing Day I went to a dance at the Erinville Firehall. When I arrived with my recently reaquainted friend, a man who had I had dated 20 years before when we were both still in High School, we were two in a crowd of four. I was driving so I couldn't even drink to take the edge off the boredom and it looked like a long night.

After about ½ an hour and old friend of my friend showed up. He sat with us and the men took a walk down memory lane while my head swivelled whenever anyone entered the room. I searched the faces imploring them to be someone I might know or someone I might want to know.

Close to 11 pm the room started to fill. Mostly collegd aged kids home for Christmas. We sat and watched them. We sat and talked about them. The new old friend commented that he was once like them 15 years ago-now married with three kids ranging in age from 13 to 9. I said we looked like some movie detailing middle aged life. I wasn't ready to start singing 'Glory Days' just yet.

Eventually, I got out on the dance floor with the friend I had come to the dance with. I saw a few people I knew and danced with a young guy who I had recently put in the paper. While dancing with him I wondered if I would ever be the one looking back on the Glory Days or would I just keep living them. I hope it's the latter.

The following night I went out to the local performance center to see a band I had recently interviewed over the phone. I saw a few people I knew but had come alone and sat alone. At first I felt a little selfconscious about being by myself but after the music started it didn't bother me anymore. I talked to someone about some paper related stuff and fell back into the happy little niche I had made for myself in this town.

Yesterday, my vacationing friend and I went for a morning walk at TorBay beach. It was brisk and beautiful, a truly inspiring place. From the beach we went to visit a little waterfall near New Harbour; a small secret place. The roar of the water was devine and the smell of the trees is the best unbottled fragarance.

My friend and I have not seen each other in the 20 years before this past week and I think we have made a friendship that we certainly never had before in our hormonally charged teens. It's great to make old friends new. I wonder who I'll get reaquainted with next.

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