A Cup of Tea and An “Are you OK?” In Our Dreams.
February 11, 2012 § 162 Comments
Spoke to a plankton friend yesterday, long chat on the telephone, comparing notes. She is completely alone with her teenage children and no money, working her arse off to make ends meet, no ex-husband or parental support, just a few kindly old mates.
She is very attractive and fiesty and forthright and said, “Married people just do not match-make because they just don’t care.” I am not sure I’d go quite that far, but I certainly know where she is coming from. I think some married people don’t care or, perhaps, more, they don’t think (or can’t bear to), but I feel many of them do think, but not far enough as to actually act upon it; others do think far enough, but don’t know any available men so cannot act upon it. Anyway, this plankton friend feels very strongly about this and repeated several times that people not in our position themselves, don’t give a shit.
“Janey,” she said, “is the only exception in the whole wide world and that is because she is so intelligent and imaginative and empathetic, and perhaps this is because, even though she is so happily married herself to a real diamond, she saw her own mother on her own after her parent’s divorce, so she properly gets it in a way so few do.”
I agreed with every word of that.
“Do you just ever wish there was someone to bring you a cup of tea?” this plankton friend went on. “I do everything for my children and for myself and there is no one, and the thing I most long for in the world is for someone, just occasionally, to bring me a cup of tea. It’s not much to ask, is it?”
I’ve had this thought myself and though I know it’s a bit of a cliched plankton plaintive, I don’t know why, it got me when she said that, right in the guts.
“I went up for a big audition this morning,” she said, “and there wasn’t anybody to say, ‘Are you feeling OK? Best of luck with it.'”
I didn’t say, How about your children? Because they are teenage boys, and as I know, not very many children or teenagers think like that; not many children, much though we love them, think beyond the end of their own button mushroom noses.
A cup of tea and an “Are you OK?”
The sum of a seasoned plankton’s aspirations.
I’d say that was pretty modest.