A weekend of contrasts

18 Feb

Sharing equal custody of the Seagull creates a somewhat Jekyll and Hyde existence.

When she’s with me: we’re a unit of two and shut out the world. Phone calls and emails are rarely returned in favour of running around the city (this weekend to Chinatown for Chinese New Year), adopting silly voices, long-running jokes, and resorting to hand figures in a never-ending search for an authority figure she’ll listen to (and at the moment, it’s a French-accented Lothario by the name of Monsieur Tickle Monster. Seriously, she will listen to my hand if it says “Zeeeeeeeegoll, hold Meester Tickle Monsterre and waaayt for the superfantastic Green Man before we cwoss. I loff you! What you wear, eh? It’s super fantastique, non?” Sure, Monsieur Tickle Monster makes Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Largerfeld look like butch bikers but he holds more sway than me.)

But the nights when she is with her father are alternately insular or soaked in debauchery. It is like stepping back in time before the anchoring of long-term relationships and children when all you sought were the comfort of friends and the next diversion around the corner (quite literally as I went on a nine hour pub crawl through Fitzroy on Friday night with 50 of my closest friends).

Actually, here’s a point about binge drinking en masse: it’s fucking fantastic. Sorry. Nothing else to add there. The glee of drunkenly and stupidly embracing your kindred fills the heart and empties the wallet.

As fun as it was, it is a strange land I’m navigating. There’s a delightfully bohemian and carefree roaming existence five days a week where I prefer my friendships stained with nicotine, vodka and laughter and the next five days where my biggest concerns are preparing organic vegetarian dishes for the Seagull and getting through enough work during the day to pick her up from Childcare before another bliss-filled bathtub sesh soundtracked by Ella Fitzgerald. Thankfully, the ‘gull is innured to such difficulties and sees only a stable pattern (whether that’s because she’s a Gemini or will grow to be as unpredictably batshit insane as her mother remains to be seen).

Fortunate or not, the dichotomy will be blunted. With Japan looming and the reality of a potential move and need to save money for the Sisyphean task of trying to afford a downpayment for an apartment no fewer than 2kms out from the CBD, my days of carousing and rollicking are coming to an abrupt end. So, I’m trying to merge the two banshees that form my personality and find the even keel that still eludes.

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