After a while, I suppose one gets used to Crazy D and his schedule. He’s sort of like good weather here in the UK: you’ll get sun, warm temperatures, and no rain for a week, even a fortnight and then just when you were getting used to it, you wake up to gales, hail and a week of rain.
The thing is, The Mom has never been a fan of managed chaos, which begs of course the question of how she managed to raise the lot of us, who are basically managed chaos embodied.
She believes Crazy D is like this because his job now requires him to go to far flung places in the world, and that somehow this has seeped into the lad’s brain and somehow made him unable to live according to a schedule.
To which I would say: bollocks.
Crazy D thrives on managed chaos. Honestly, he’s really in his element. Even during the cycle trip he took last summer, down the Rockies and into Colorado or Wyoming or similar, though he’d planned his route meticulously, his is a natural at just free styling. He goes where the moment takes him. On his latest canoe trip adventure, I can only assume that at some point during this last month of work, the idea struck him that he would like to go canoeing. And so, thank you email, he is now canoeing.
I think The Mom also forgets that when he gets back from one of these work jaunts – which see him working 18 to 21 hour days for six weeks at a stretch – that he needs to go and be near not people. And The Mom, though she is dearly loved, is not really the best person to hang out with after one has been enduring super human feats of socialisation.
My siblings and I are quite fond of our quiet time. When I was in residence at The Mom’s, I refused to chat with her for large parts of the day. This is not because I am mean and horrible, but rather to retain some semblance of my own sanity. The Mom, for reasons that are unclear, loves to be around people, chatting away, 24/7. The rest of us find this exhausting. And it drives us around the bend. Dark thoughts cloud in and one cannot be held accountable for the sharpness of one’s tone, the vast quantities of alcohol required to cope and so on and so forth.
I know for a fact that when Crazy D comes home, he needs to not be near people. When he lived in his apartment in Toronto, that meant a quick trip to the beer store, for supplies, and then he would lock himself in his apartment, draw the curtains and do a box-set binge. The convenience store on the ground floor of his building (which was never convenient and never had anything you wanted beyond toilet paper and potato chips) served any other unmet needs. He would retire to his apartment and not speak to anyone for at least three days.
This is eminently sensible if you ask me. I refuse to go into my office any more than three days a week, enjoying being holed up in my own flat four days out of seven. True, I do have some friends in town now, but still vast quantities of my days are spent on my own. No questions. No talking. No banter. It keeps me from outbursts of rage.
I assume that the purpose of the canoe trip is along these lines. Though there are people going, I assume they’re the sort of people with whom he can sit and not speak to around a fire.
My old flatmates down in Cornwall taught me the beauty of this level of friendship. I would natter on, trying to fill the silence until Mr Mr lost his patience with me and say I ought only to speak if I had something worth saying. Admittedly, I was a bit put out at first, but I got the swing of it very quickly. So the three of us would sit in the lounge, not talking, drinking beer, or doing much the same at the beach, for hours. It was wonderful. It was not awkward, it was a deeper level of friendship and one that I now crave.
To be able to sit with the people you love, and say nothing is one of life’s greatest joys. The Mom, though, believes that sharing is caring, and so sometimes, the rest of us go out for beer and sit in a bar not talking to one another. Much as we love her, the silence is nice.