KOOL-AID: taking a stroll

Things are companionable between Landlord and I. And quiet. Like a magnet, am drawn to the house every day, sitting down to lunch in silence, returning home, and then back to the main house for dinner.

Am enjoying cooking. Is the freedom of it, I think. But also, feel as though am doing a proper good thing in cooking. Have been doing a lot of research on what’s best to eat when you have Parkinson’s, and have been incorporating these foods into the meals I cook.

On Monday I got my stitches out. Landlord’s doctor visited the house. Ruddy old man. Knows Landlord well. We talked a lot. Checking to see if am okay. If am doing well on the lithium. Told him I felt like living under water. He said that yes, it can feel a little bit like that. But is probably better under water than living on a tight rope. Yes. Quite.

Bought Landlord on electric razor online. Even with his tremors he can use it safely and keep his clean shaven appearance. Though he does admit to being warmer with the beard.

Every afternoon, before the light fades, Landlord takes a walk around the property. Even if it’s raining. Exercise is important for his condition. Yet by Landlord’s physique you can tell exercise has always been important to him.

Today I joined Landlord on his stroll. Had stayed in the house after lunch, helping Landlord with some of his work, when he asked if I wanted to join him.

Being around Landlord is no longer a concern. It isn’t awkward. It’s not really pleasant; it just is what it is. We hardly talk or converse, we’re just together. Think it’s all that has happened. Personal emotional stuff we’re both witnessed in the other. No longer a need to be embarrassed or uncomfortable — it’s all been laid bare.

Landlord took me to the west side of the property, a side I have not been before. Now when I say west, it probably isn’t west. Have no idea what actual direction it is. Just feel good saying ‘west’ as if know what I’m talking about. I don’t. Clearly. Any way, is the left side of the property.

A lot more trees on the west side. Almost like a full-on forrest. The air is thick with the scent of sodden leaves; musty and sweet. Landlord took me along the edge of the property, bordered by a tall stone fence. You can hear the sounds of traffic coming from the other side. Enough cars for it to be an A road.

We saw a lot of wildlife on our walk. Dozens of squirrels. Rabbits. A deer. Several pheasant-type birds. Not sure if are actual pheasants but are large and not chickens and therefore fall into the ‘pheasant-type’ family.

So we’re walking and it registers with me that this might be my life now. I might very well be spending the rest of my days walking around this vast estate, eating meals with a man I’m quietly comfortable with and not returning to the life I once lived in London. I would never have a career. I wouldn’t marry and have children. And I’ve had to ask myself if I’m okay with that. If this is it, if this is what my life will consist of, will that make me happy?

It’s a difficult thing to answer, yet the response has to be yes. I have to be content with this life because this time last year I was stuck in a life which was so terrible, so destructive, I thought the only way out of it was to not live at all. This time last year I was facing yet another dismal Christmas. It was celebrated in my church, yes. But when you lived on base, there wasn’t much of a celebration.

Not that I imagine I’ll have much of a celebration this Christmas, either. I expect Landlord and I will have a meal of some sort together — we do every other day. But then, might he want to be alone Christmas day? Leaving me, therefore, alone? It is a possibility. Maybe I should think about ordering a turkey roll for myself. And one lone Christmas cracker. Cripes, that’s sad.

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