|Day 12: The perils of staying in all day.
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I spend the entire day drawing. Well, first I cook Marco a hot breakfast and build a model city out of Pixel blocks. I am pleased with the way it turns out, experiment with lighting it from several angles and draw using pastel. I don't have any stumps, and I nearly go out and buy some when I remember that a stump is essentially a rolled-up piece of paper. I make several using some thin notepaper and tape. They work just fine. The first two experiments look all right, but don't exactly achieve what I was aiming for. The last attempt, during which I first drew a painstaking rough sketch with a pencil and then switched to pastels, makes me more and more angry. By 6 pm, I'm scarcely half done. My drawing has gotten tighter and less appealing. I know I should stop and go do something else, but it's frustrating to leave off on such a bad note.|
Marco calls and tells me he's going to work out. I opt to join him, although I don't want to, I want to stay home and do a good drawing. I also know I don't have one in me right now. As I say to the people who admiringly remark on our dedication to working out, I don't want to work out about three quarters of the time. I go anyway, because almost invariably, I feel much better afterwards. This time proves to be no exception.
We go to the Camden community gym. All you have to do to use it cheaply is to demonstrate residency, such as a statement that you've paid your council tax – more on council tax later - and pay a small fee. It's not, by any means, a luxurious facility. The weight and exercise machines are all fairly new and well maintained, which is what really matters. The locker rooms smell like a combination of toilet and dirty sock, and you couldn't pay me to use the showers, one of which is taped shut anyway. However, it's all of three blocks from our flat and it's cheap. I don't see a problem with walking that distance to rinse off in our clean shower with the good water pressure.
Then we go to the chippie near Marco's work (the Rock and Sole Plaice). Marco teaches me that I should order mushy peas with my fish and chips. We dine with barbaric relish, having both cleverly forgotten to eat lunch. Marco expresses doubt about the upcoming baseball game. I tell him, nonsense, of course the Red Sox will win, and not just that! It will be12 to 2 or some such. I don't believe it myself. Clearly so much contact with belladonna_ has imparted some Cassandran qualities to my exaggerated assurances.
We go home and hook up the new modem. Ah, sweet internet. I do not touch it, though, because I know I will not go to bed that night if I do. Instead, I sleepily log Marco into my laptop so that he can watch the Red Sox vs. the Yankees, starting at 1 am our time. Being a baseball fan in England is a pain in the ass. I wake up once because of the roaring in the kitchen when Johnny Damon hits a grand slam. With a curious prescience, I awaken at 4:54 am. I concentrate briefly on the announcer's voice filtering in from the other room. "It's the bottom of the ninth, and if they can make this last out, the Red Sox will be in the World Series." I swing my legs over the edge of the bed and shuffle into the kitchen in time to be caught in a bear hug and danced around the room. Even viewing it through bloodshot eyes on a tiny RealPlayer stream in the wee hours of the morning couldn't make the greatest comeback in baseball history lose its potency for a bred-in-the-bone fan.