Saturday, May 21, 2011


In Auckland I had a job, some good friends, some non-scary social groups and an exercise machine. I’d built up a structure of sorts. It wasn’t perfect – it was draughty and it sprung the odd leak occasionally, but at least it held up. Then I packed up and left, effectively taking a wrecking ball to the whole damn thing.

What would happen next was anybody’s guess. All bets were off. Five weeks later all bets are still off. At times life has been manageable, even pleasant; at others I’ve been in the depths of despair.

I’ve always been sensitive to dust and fumes; since I moved into this flat last weekend something has been getting up my nose, blocking it and giving me sinus troubles. I knew I’d never find the ideal flat in the short time I had, and for the amount I was prepared to pay, but I thought I’d at least avoid one that makes me ill.

The movers did a brilliant job on Tuesday. I was amazed at what they did squeeze into that tiny lift. Only the base of my bed had to be hauled up the stairs. As well as being very efficient they were a pleasure to deal with.

At work they have a social club. It only cost a few dollars to sign up so I did. Last night after work they went bowling, at a much swankier establishment than the one in Newmarket I went to with the Asperger's group at the end of March. There were bright lights, big screens showing Super 15 (or however many it is now) matches, table-inset scoreboards and (as is always dangerous) an unlimited bar tab. I went along relatively fearlessly (how scary can bowling be exactly?) but I should have been more wary. The bowling was secondary to the booze, the high-fives (the number of times I’ve had to tell tennis partners that I don’t do high-fives) and the banter. I can never let myself go in those situations, no matter how much I’ve had to drink, and as I’m now on 300 mg of Efexor I should hardly be drinking at all. When people talk to me I never know how to respond – they might as well be speaking Swahili. For the record I did hit three figures in all three games. I left at around nine, but it felt much later.

My boss recently broached the subject of exams, giving me the amazingly wonderful news that I don’t have to do them. Great! The only reason for doing them would be to give the illusion to my colleagues of participating in this whole big career thing. At 31 I’m too old for that sort of subterfuge. Seriously.

On Thursday night I saw Paul at the Reading cinema on Courtenay Place. I kind of like comedy sci-fi, especially British-made comedy sci-fi about three tits and spaceman balls. I didn't think it was amazing, but being able to relate to some of the protagonists helped, and anything that gets a few laughs out of me must be worth seeing.

This afternoon I’ll go to an art gallery and give them one of Dad’s business cards (“there’s this watercolour painter I know from the South Island who’s really good…”). Paintings aren’t selling like they used to and that’s been getting him down. In Wellington people tend to care about art more than the rest of the country; I think this could be a good market for Dad to tap into.

Speaking of Dad, if he had the chance he’d be out of Geraldine like a shot. Of course Mum is happy as Larry there with her golf, gossip, church, golf, golf, and more gossip. And why shouldn’t she be? She’s worked hard all her life. But having been born in Geraldine she’s unaware, or chooses to ignore, that Dad lacks stimulation there.

That’s all until next time, as long as the arsenic in the paint in my flat doesn’t get me first.

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