When I first moved in I was determined to get the house clean so whenever the Goldfish had a nap I’d get to work. I bought a huge array of cleaning products with which to tackle the bathroom. The shower has panels, none of which had ever been cleaned since it was installed – other than when the Step-monster went on holiday to her sister and I had a go at them. In those days, though, my energies were directed towards the loo itself and trying to dispel the stink caused by the bits of urine saturated cloth she left round the toilet bowl.
I scrubbed and rubbed and sprayed and scrubbed some more. It only looked slightly better. Tackling the windowsill, covered with bits of cloth (what is it with that woman and her bits of cloth everywhere?) was more rewarding and it came up gleaming. I bagged up rubbish from cupboards. I cleaned the living room. There was something satisfying about cleaning up the house but at the same time something strangely unreal about it – like playing house as a child. I still hadn’t fully absorbed that this was my life for the foreseeable future.
I ran out of energy before tackling the study. With little sleep each night, it became increasingly difficult to keep up my energy levels. The only way this was going to work was for me to give up all notions of work. If I didn’t have any writing projects I’d be able to catnap during the day when the Goldfish did instead of trying to focus on writing. I’d have no income, though the loss of my sense of self and what I am would be more difficult to deal with. On the other hand, there would be a lot more enjoyment in caring for the Goldfish if I wasn’t so knackered.