Saturday, April 28, 2012

We had organised a special dinner to celebrate one of our daughters’ success.  I had trouble choosing a dress from three I had put aside.  All three were white and suitably  dressy.  It was hard to choose between them.  I was concerned that I had already worn two of them often and decided the least well worn one would be best.

‘You can’t wear that,’ one of my daughters said when she saw me hold the dress against me.
‘What then?’  I asked.

Somehow we all managed to get ready, my three older daughters, all young adults, and my youngest in the dream still a baby.  I selected several bottles of champagne in honour of the celebration but worried about whether it was too much or too little.

We bundled into the car,  My husband drove.  I looked behind to see that the baby in her high seat had a smear on her cheek that needed wiping.  We were running late. We came to a bluestone pier that jutted out into the sea.  I was in front, while my husband drove the car from behind.  It was as though we needed to travel in single file as if on a tandem bicycle along this narrow pier, so narrow that I worried it was not even wide enough for a single car.

My husband insisted we continue but I panicked as we moved along.

I worried that the car and children and all of us would plunge into the water.  I wanted to go back but my husband pushed me forward.  I dared not turn back even to look at the others.  I held every muscle taut for fear of slipping over the edge.  I was terrified and furious at once.

I wanted to yell at my husband to go back, to let us off this pier, but he continued to push me forward.  I wondered that he could not see my rage.  That he should persevere with this insistence on going forward.

It had become a joke for him.  He was not serious about us going ahead.  The journey was impossible but he wanted to stir me up by goading me along.

I felt my rage buckle inside and stopped abruptly when we came to a point on the pier where it had broken off to a sheer drop.  I fell to the ground  looking over the edge and refused to go any further.  I woke up looking at the waves lapping the blue stone below.

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