THIS IS WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, DARLNG....
Apparently, we all need vitamin D. Oh yeah. We are afflicted with twitchy, introspective anxiety in the Irish winter's dark because of it. "Yes, Vitamin D" my sister announced yesterday, staring at my palid twitchy face. "You probably need a megadose, like 5000mgs?" she went on sagely. Not! Vitamin smitamin! I tell you this. It isn't vitamin D I need, rather a KGB trained security guard on tap, for hire, available, whenever I choose to go away and leave my house behind me. Why, now that Mr Trump is elected and bewitched with Putin, I understand the KGB are back! (And maybe even over here in Ireland for hire? For a six pack? For Vodka and a tidy sum? For practice? )
I mean I figured I had the vitamin D, dopamine deprivation thing nailed, when I went to Spain for Christmas. Yes! to Alcalali in the mountains, to spend the Christmas days with my very dear friends who have given their lives over to sitting, drinking and talking in the sun, essentially.
On Christmas day we sat in the house, looking out at the day, the warm sun kissing not burning the cobbled street, eating turkey, stuffing, brussels sprouts, roast potatoes. Nostalgic and philosophical in perfect measure. Getting happily tipsy in the lengthening shadows, deep and black in contrast to the glorious ball of Spanish sun outside. On Christmas morning I had gone for a meandering walk in the orange groves behind the village, because I could, returning through deserted ribbon streets, the villagers disappeared in their houses, sleeping off the Christmas Eve festivities. In Spain, they know how to party...
Day turned to night too quickly for me on that day anyway. The wine, the conversation, banter quickening to hilarity, carried us to midnight at a breakneck pace.
At home, dog, teenagers, house, were all farmed out, secured, taken care of. Apart from Christmas morning phone calls, they never crossed my blissed out mind till late on Stephen's day (night).
YOU ALWAYS HAVTA PAY THE PRICE BABY(as well as the airfare)
I smelled the party walking into my cold dark house on my return, disorientated by the passage back from the light, to blurry damp greyness.
"There was...was... people here! There's been a... been a... goddamn party" I hissed, snapping on the light by the front door. My sister, tasked with minding the house, looking in on it, switching on the heating and that kind of thing, blinked confusedly.
"Ah no. Sure it's... fairly tidy. Intact. I'd say now, if there was anything, it wasn't much. Sure look, it's grand and tidy, nothing on the walls, or anything like that."
The walls? The walls? I wondered briefly what had happened to her house, that time she went to Italy. She had only hinted, darkly.
"I was going to tell you" the beautiful one wailed distractedly on the phone. "It wasn't, I mean, me!"
"Left you in charge!" I snap. "And they promised!"
They did. They did promise. It was just one night, I explained hopefully, before I left. I had to go a day before they left for Christmas with the Father. It was a matter of flight schedules.
"Promise me now, no, promise me, swear to me, tell me you wont throw a party".
"Yeah, I mean no, like I mean didn't I say, no" the boy looking at me squarely in the eye, swore manfully.
"Course not! I wouldn't" the boss added, duplicitously.
"There will be repercussions!"
"Yeah, we know, we won't, we said"
"So what went on exactly " I ask Beauty now, "I mean what, exactly, transpired?"
"I don't know what went on. Exactly. There were all the boy's boys there, all the boss's girls there. Thats all I know!"
"You were...I left you... in charge" I shout. "Were they, I mean, drinking, in an...I mean unsafe way, or...or, like, clustering in the bathroom rolling anything. I mean, the boy's boys, were they mixing with the boss's girls, I mean...Jesus!"
"I don't know! I don't know I tell you! I locked myself in your bedroom at 4.00am because I couldn't bear it anymore, if you want to know. And I mean, feel asleep?"
BLEACH WON'T TAKE AWAY THE STAIN, NO...
My lovely sister called on New Years eve, as I poured a bucket of pitch black water down the kitchen sink. The house reeked of bleach. I turned to face her. I think my left eye was twitching, derailed as I was by my house cleaning, by discoveries, evidence. Pieces of broken glass on a book shelf, a smudged lipstick abandoned inside a glass vase in my bedroom, shot glasses spilling out from under a cushion, cigarette papers on the side of the bath. Sections of the floor inexpertly mopped, so that you wondered grimly what had gone on just there. And strange smelling tea towels stuffed into the washing machine, a single shoe on the landing. Not ours. Stains on the stairs, only evident to the naked eye in strong daylight. Evidence.
"It's too late for vitamin D" I told her, "for me and for them. You need to be taking it from the beginning of the winter anyway. And actually what I need is a security guard. I mean what about an internet start up, supplying them to sit in your living room grimly (arms folded), against teenage shenanigans. when you take a rare trip out into the world?"
And now the boss's friends are sending her snapchats, from legend New year's parties she's missed (repercussions). The boy, a home loving boy, is exiled in his college apartment, sending sad texts home asking how to operate his oven, and whether you should spin-dry runners after a cool wash (repercussions).
WHAT THE HELL, TWAS WORTH IT, SO IT WAS....
And I might never have gone to Spain at all. And still.. and yet... I walked in the orange and lemon groves on Christmas Day, and ate and drank and cried cathartic anarchic laughter with English and German friends, about living and dying and all the War(s). Small glowing pearls for stringing on the long chain of memory. And you might say this at least about my children, boy and boss, they absolutely know how to throw a party!
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