Dave is in England this week. jolly, charming England, with all those trains just waiting to take you to spots you’ve been reading about in literature and history for years. and the cute accents. and Marks & Spencer snacks.

i, on the other hand, am in PEI. where the train tracks were all torn up fifteen years ago and the local accents sound like English people forgot to put their teeth in. plus, erm, MacDonald’s? certainly no Marks & Sparks and its organic smorgasboard of savoury delights.

but i’m not jealous. and not just because i am practicing mudita so hard it hurts. nope. the reason i am not eaten up with envy is that i have apparently reverted on the evolutionary chain to being a single-celled organism.

i dodged one deadly sin, but invited sloth and gluttony over for a five-day sleepover instead.

by day, i appear to be regular old me, up with Oscar, off to work…bustling about making sure diapers are clean and blocks are stacked and the boy is fed and my body is washed and clothed and dentifriced and made presentable (not easy with twenty-five pounds hanging off my leg, i will note…Dave’s contribution to household routines is blatantly obvious in his absence) and my job performed with reasonable diligence and enthusiasm.

when work is over, though, the charade begins to peel.

not immediately. Oscar seems a little bewildered by the mysterious disappearance of his father, peering behind all the doors in the house with a questioning little litany of “Dada? Dada?” on his lips. oof, dear heart. and he’s been giving the hairy eyeball too, mouth twisted in a peevish suspicion, as if he’s angry that someone is so clearly missing while the rest of the world has the affrontery to go on as normal. Sin pointed out earlier this week that at this age we really have no clue what their internal life is, these wee kids…they look babyish yet, still shedding their roundness and softness, yet they almost indubitably understand far more than they are able to say, or share, or even make sense of. they are more complicated than we know how to credit. thus in a hopeless bid to stave off some deep crisis in O’s consciousness, i’ve been morphing into more-attentive-than-usual-Mummy when we get home, all snuggles and eye contact and shape sorting and security-giving, oh yeh. with long blathering narratives about “you remember when we were in England in the spring, blah blah blah, well Daddy’s there now and he will be home in four or three or however many sleeps” and at the mention of the name the Oscar boy is suddenly exuberant again, shouting “Dada! Dada!” and leaping up to look around expectantly.

but inside, while externally i am failing miserably at trying to support and comfort my offspring through whatever existential angst his father’s absence may be triggering…inside, i’m abdicating, melting. into a puddle. a happy, globby puddle that at 7:30pm, when O is laid down in his crib with kisses and a “bedtime, Boo,” slithers itself up to its own bed and deposits itself for the night.

by night, i am a slug.

i have spent the past three evenings truly whiling them away, a passive pile of ooze surfing mindless brain rot on teh internets. whilst eating half a leftover donair from before Dave left, plus a whole lot of chocolate. and tonight, some prepackaged crap i shall not even dignify with a name. i am having the time of my life.

last night, for almost three hours, i did absolutely nothing of any usefulness to anybody. no writing, no commenting, no working…i read a few blogs but mostly floated about the ether of the net, high on sugar and the vast pleasure of doing nothing of consequence. i did not leave my bed except to replenish my snack supply, and even then…i resented it. i think i was near catatonic by the end. it felt like a honeymoon.

i used to be pretty damn comfortable with my own company. i grew up as an only child, a reflective kid used to spending time alone, entertaining herself. as the obligations of being partnered gradually became second-nature to me, through my long history of serial monogamy, i lost some of that. when Dave and i first got together, even its vestiges went out the window. because he is my favourite (adult) person in the world. and demanding. and funny. and my friend and my Other and an occasional empath and we’ve always spent chunks of time away from each other, every year of the past six, big chunks, but it’s always been a strain, a lovely painful strain, an ache.

this time, i may have dragged his tshirt from the laundry to bury my face in, happily, blissfully, but mostly i was using it as a napkin. because i have not fully shut down, nor shut off, in longer than i can remember – taken the “open for business” sign well and truly from my window and stopped communicating.

it is luxurious, to be a puddle, now and then. so if you see a slimy, Cheeto-encrusted trail meandering pointlessly across your blog in the next 72 hours or so…know that was me. i’m around. i’m just…not entirely myself. :)