I love the word thing. I use it all the time, far too much, because I am so fond of it. I especially like the expression ‘I did not even know that was a thing’. I think the young people use it, or perhaps it came from America. I’ve almost certainly heard it on the Rachel Maddow Show.
Anyway, today the thing rather overwhelmed me, in a most idiotic way.
There was a thing that someone else was going to do and then he did not do it so I had to do it. It’s a boring thing and normally I do it myself but because I had expectations that the thing would be done I felt a lunatic resentment. I rang the person who was going to do the thing and he laughed and said he hadn’t really done the thing and then he smiled, not in a ‘yeah, whatever’ way but in a ‘the sun is shining and what can it matter way?’ Clearly, to him, it was not a thing. In all senses of the word.
There is a third party who was also expecting the sanguine fellow to do the thing and I was so cross that I nearly rang up The Third Man to tell this stupid story. I asked my friend Sophie, who is five, what she thought. ‘Never tell tales,’ she said, solemnly.
Bugger, I thought. I’m going to have to be the decent person and suck it up. At this stage, I started feeling quite saintly. I am going to do the right thing and get on and not tell. A faint gleam glimmered off my halo.
And then I stopped. The thing is so small it can hardly be seen by the naked eye. In the world, North Korea is rattling its sabres and the Trumpsters are doing unspeakable things with random Russian lawyers and Brexit is going off the rails. My thing is not a heart thing or even a head thing. It’s not a family thing or a love thing or a grief thing. It’s one of those tiny daily pinpricks that live in the pincushion of life.
I thought: what is wrong with me? I’ve dropped my perspective down the back of the sofa and I’m so proud of my perspective. I have Perspective Police and everything. I loathe to blame hormones, but I am going through the menopause and however much red clover I take I do feel very peculiar at the moment. Is that a thing? Or is it just the middle of life and the dark wood and all those roads less travelled? I’m all Robert Frost just now; he is my consolation and my guide and my balm. The woods are lovely dark and deep and I have miles to go before I sleep.