Category: Book 5 - Return To Carolyn's House
Sarah experienced work
Thursday, February 19th 2009
So Sarah's week ran out on Sunday. I didn't write about it as it was happening because she was on the computer most of the time and when she left at night I had to spend the whole time till bed catching up with all my website. It's kind of exhausting being with someone all day, every day. Whenever you laugh at something you've read or even just thought about, they want to know what's funny. Whenever you sigh or groan or make any kind of sound like that, they want to know what's wrong or whether you want some tea. But no, those are just the sounds I make.
It went like this: Sarah would be on Facebook, checking her messages while I watched TV or thought about my sitcom or working on my statue. I'm nearly done on the other foot now. Sometimes, @groombridge would show up and want to chat or I'd have something I wanted to check or look up and Sarah would get up and go make some tea or lunch or just a snack. One or two times, she would pretend to be me when @groombridge came to chat and then she'd play little jokes on him. She'd say that I was just about to move to America or that I was just about to go on TV. She doesn't know that one day I really will move to America. @groombridge didn't get the jokes at first so I had to start typing and explain it to him.
She made me a lot of snacks – more than I'd usually make for myself on a normal day. We used up almost all the food she'd bought on Monday and brought it all down to sauces and rice. I don't eat rice because I don't know how to make it and Sarah left before she could do it. I'm pretty sure that the landlord can do it though. I will ask him when the time is right.
This week she's been staying with her great uncle and his wife for some more work experience. They're really old, like over eighty old, and there's two of them so it will probably be a lot harder. Next week she's housesitting for a friend of her mother's. It's like doing caring but it's just the house you have to look after. It's a good way to get used to all the housework and cleaning, says Sarah. You get lists of things that have to be done every day. She has to water plants and she has to feed two dogs. I don't think I'm cool with dogs. The grocery kid has a few of them. I don't let him bring them around here.
So Sarah's on her career path now. Soon she'll be in England and caring for people and making them snacks and asking them if they want some tea. I won't be in England but that's okay. I'm a shark, we're made to be alone. It keeps happening to us but we can just keeping getting on with our thing.
I finished that game with the robot. The end wasn't anything special. There was a big guy I had to fight but by then my towers were so great that it really wasn't very hard to deal with. After that it just told me to look out for more games from the people who made that game. Yeah, thanks. Why can't the game I played just go on for longer?
Even the sandwich girl got a computer console.
Monday, February 23rd 2009
“Morning your wife,”
“Morning Sarah. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, fine thank you,” said Sarah. She'd slept in the spare room with the dogs but she didn't mind the dogs. These ones were calm and understood what you said and behaved like people – good people – not like the dogs that the grocery kid uses. David poked his head around the door. Late as usual!
“Morning Sarah!” he said and he looked like such a little prince. But in a bad way.
“David!” said Sarah. She's shocked by his being there. It isn't usual. “Where did you come from?”
“Oh, just the attic. I've been living up there the whole time.”
“That's why you haven't been answering Sharky's e-mails,” said Sarah.
“Well you should you know. He's so worried. Shame, David – you shouldn't do that to him.”
“Okay I will. Now what's for breakfast? I'm starving!” So Sarah went to go make pancakes, leaving David to take his place at the dining table next to her Great-Uncle, who was using most of the table to work on the statue he was making out of cold steel.
“David, I'm old and past it. All I have left is this statue I'm making.” said Sarah's Great-Uncle as he shaped the metal with his hands.
“No you aren't, Great-Uncle,” said David. “Don't talk like that to me, I'm young.”
“I am, it's my truth. I'm just a human and that's why I can't be alone. That's why I married my wife,” he said. His wife nodded.
“I was the lady who made the sandwiches at NASA,” she said to David. “There were just twelve of us then. When the astronauts went up, you'd see their faces everywhere. Every day of the week would belong to one of them. Monday was for Buzz Aldrin, Tuesday was for Alan Shepard and so on. We had photos of the hands and chests taped to our consoles so that we would know them intimately.”
“Please go on,” said David politely. She did.
“When they came back, we never got to see them again. They were bundled in and out of the building through NASA's back entrance, away from our sight. Their faces were a lie we never allowed to tell. They took all the posters down, and the wall-clocks and desk calenders. When we saw them on TV, we knew that they had hired actors. It's obvious to me now that they came back different and we were being spared the horror of their transformation. I'm glad -you- never went up there, Great-Uncle.”
“I was much safer down here, wife. You can't lose yourself here on the ground. People will always remind you who you are. You just need to look at them and they'll tell you.”
“Would you like some tea, Great-Uncle?” said Sarah. She had brought in some tea on a tray. Yes, she had heard everything.
“How many cups of tea do I have left before I die?” he said. Sarah sat down at the wife's old NASA computer console and did some sums. After a while, a little slip of paper came out of the slot and Sarah read it.
“Ten,” she said.
“Let me think about it.”
The way it is for sharks
Tuesday, February 24th 2009
Sarah will be all alone in her house-sitting house now. Well, not alone. There'll be the chores to do. And the dogs.
She'd better be careful, really. Dogs are good at knowing the score. They know that the people who are usually on top are away and that they are now the leaders of the house. They are going to try and get in all the best rooms and sleep in the best beds. They are going to try and put the TV in their room and tie up the phone for ninety percent of the evening to show their dominance. And if they win, if you let them jump up at you to lick your face or let them lean weird against you even once, they will win forever and they will not let you forget.
Whenever you see the grocery kid's dogs they will tell you how they won their battle against him. They practically scream it at you in dance. They can't just be cool with this one victory they scored over this one guy who happened to live in their house, which probably happened years ago. No, they have to then try to take over everyone that he knows too. People do this all the time. Whenever I see the grocery kid's dogs (which hasn't actually been in years, but still,) I think of Clar and how she tries to dominate you as soon as she meets you. Only she doesn't jump up at you and try to lick your face – people don't do that, obviously – she uses sarcasm and this voice and she points out obvious things you said in front of the group, and she'll refuse to laugh when you say something funny.
People don't like to think of people behaving like this, but that's the way it is. That's why people and dogs get along so well, because they use the same tricks to get ahead and can't be cool with defeating just the people they needed to defeat when they were young. Sharks aren't like that at all. A shark could go one hundred, two hundred years without talking to anyone and still be fine, so long as there is food.
When I got married to Celene or to the landlord's mother, I don't think I was thinking much like a shark in those particular stages of my life. I was going along with the dog way of doing things. I don't think it was natural of me to do that and I think that might have a lot to do with why the marriages didn't last too long, relatively. I wouldn't try and do it again. I wouldn't marry Sarah or even Nikky if it came right down to it. I'm not like the grocery kid's dogs or like Clar. I won't try to control you then tell all your friends how I won against you whenever they came round. I'll love you, and it will be real, but I'll know the whole time that it won't be long before I'm alone again. Only it will hurt you more than it will hurt me. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is for sharks.
The things people need to see.
Thursday, February 26th 2009
The second episode of my sitcom is going to introduce all of the lesser characters. We don't get to meet them in the first episode because people need to focus on Ric and his family before they start taking on all these other people and their situations. People can only feel so much at a time.
David will get introduced properly. He'll be in the first episode as the narrator but he'll only be in the background. He's the neighbour's kid in the show, just like he is in real life, and also just like in real life he sees everything and takes notice. He also thinks about what he's seen, through meditation. Every episode starts and ends with David meditating on what's been going on with Ric, which will make the show a lot more spiritual than most other shows. David's parents in the show are actually Sarah's Great-Uncle and his wife. David's parents in real life weren't nearly as old as Sarah's Great-Uncle and they were a lot louder. I heard David's dad shouting quite a lot back when he lived here. Once he shouted at the landlord and the landlord didn't know what to do. It turned out okay though. David's dad apologised. I heard the whole thing from my room.
So the Great-Uncle is Ric's neighbour, and they make a good team because the Great-Uncle was an astronaut too, only he never went into space. He didn't want to take the risk. He helps Ric adjust back into life on Earth. They talk over the garden fence in almost every episode. He's often the one who distracts Ric from his roll-up at the start of the episode. It would go like this:
RIC lies on his folding-back lawn chair. He has a tall glass of guava juice on the little table next to him. A ROLL-UP is in his hand. He is just about to light it when up pops GREAT-UNCLE from behind the fence.
UNCLE: Heya Ric!
RIC: Oh! Great-Uncle! You scared me there.
UNCLE: Sorry about that, but it's an emergency.
RIC: An emergency?
UNCLE: Yeah, I've just gotta know one thing.
RIC: What's that?
UNCLE: Why does nobody ever look good on their driver's license?
There's a pause for a laugh because everyone will realise that it wasn't really an emergency and that the Great-Uncle was just teasing. They'll go on like that for a while across the garden fence, swapping jokes and fake-worries, and then the Great-Uncle will call Ric over to see his latest creation. Great-Uncle's been working on a statue, you see, but the joke is that the statue is completely different in every episode. Great-Uncle can't make up his mind about what the statue is going to be! Sometimes his statues will feature into the plot a little bit, like he'll make a naked lady statue and then leaves it out in the garden (but you only see the back of it) and everyone sees it and some people get upset and then some of David's friends come and spraypaint his door. Great-Uncle's wife will be in it too. She's quite wise because she's got the NASA console that answers questions. She's always solving problems and helping people out, but she's not afraid to be sassy and point out people's faults in a funny way.
The landlord says that when he leaves forever with Celene and the grocery kid to Greyton, he's going to send me a little bit of money each month so I can get by. I'm going to ask him to instead give it all to me at once so I can start my television company. Sarah says she has a friend who is really into photography. I could hire her to do the cameras. Some of the local kids could be the actors. You can make people look old with make-up.
I think it's going to be a pretty good sitcom.
I used to be able to hear further. There is more traffic outside now.
Sunday, March 1st 2009
When the grocery kid came round today he didn't just bring the shopping. He also brought words. They were all typed out and spiral-bound together. They were old and yellow and he'd made them on a typewriter.
“What's that?” I said.
“You asked about my friend. Well, this is everything you need to know.” He waved the words around in front of me. “He never finished it before he died. I finished it. It's about me and him.” He thrust it at me to make sure that I was touching it. Touching shows commitment.
“I don't really have time to read these days,” I said, but he was too quick.
“Yes you do. Read it.” He let go of it and it fell into my lap.
“I can't read it with you right here watching,” he stared at me.
“You can read it when I'm gone. I'm going now. I'll be back next week. Same time, same place. See you there,” he said.
“Wait, hang on,” I said before he could go.
“What is it?” he said, getting ready for a fight. But I didn't want to fight him.
“Do you still keep your dogs?” I asked.
“Of course I do. They're waiting outside for me because you won't let them on the premises.”
“Are they okay?” I said. He moved his body up and around and changed his voice.
“Barney got sick last year and the vet had to put him down, poor thing. I found a new Staffie a few months ago. Not a puppy, but a mature dog whose owner passed away, leaving him and another dog, a Weimaraner – Sam – who'd known him all his life. So I took both. I couldn't split them up.” He cocked his head and looked at me differently. He got defensive. “Why are you so interesed all of a sudden? Do you want me to bring them up here?”
“No, it's okay. I've just been thinking about dogs a lot lately.” I said. He folded his arms.
“Oh? That's odd, you're not really much of a dog person, are you?” I waited a while, then said,
“Did you get the dogs because you never got married?”
“Or did you not need to get married because you were using the dogs?”
“Oh come on now.”
“I was just wondering what order it came in. Are the dogs enough?”
“You're – I'm going. Goodbye.”
“I was just wondering.” He didn't hang around. He left and then I heard him walk heavily all the way down the stairs and then heard him talk in a high, loud voice to his dogs as he went out the gate. I couldn't hear what he was saying exactly but I'm sure it was supposed to be about me.
Later on I saw a moving truck move some things. The things belonged to someone who lived here. Whoever it was had a long talk with the landlord out in the driveway before he got into his car and left forever. I didn't hear what they said either but I'm ninety percent sure this one wasn't about me.