Sauntering into a shoe shop to punch in my pin number less than a minute later for the first expensive pair tried on would not be considered the wisest move. My working hours have been chopped by 30 per cent; my wages taking a nosedive with it. But for all my reckless spending that fuelled a spontaneous past, it’s a sign my internal compass needle is attempting to get back on its axis.
For a woman with too much say, the stuff left unsaid is only so because it refuses to wear any kind of sentence; or to find a word with a zip that closes. It reached a point where the thought of another changing room encounter led me to avoid them altogether. So while I can’t articulate being at war with my mind, I’m beginning to recognise vital signs of emerging victorious from one vicious battle.
So it would seem that shopping is no longer an activity in which I’m a passive participant channelling my compulsive spending through the children’s section. My underwear drawer might still be a museum of an epoch fashion forgot, but I defiantly choose a shoe shop instead of Mother Care. Actually, I wasn’t defiant at all. My feet just kind of took me that way. There was no cross-roads, no conscious determination to turn right instead of left.
That it was trainers I purchased might not signal full sartorial rehabilitation but it’s a start. To returning to the road I pounded up yesterday after ditching the car after feeling the sunlight on my face and a giddy childhood yearning to engineer the crunch of leaves under my feet. Climbing the steep incline in the glare of weary workers inching home, the only part of me that felt exposed was my ears. I mentally scanned our kitchen trying to remember where I left my Walkman for next time, unconcerned that my glowing face was fast becoming visible from space.
Half-read books are rescued. A full head of hair resuscitated. A burning desire to tear down every set of curtains that have stayed up long past their expiry date ushers a drift towards other interiors in need of revival. Phone-calls and door-knocks no longer go unanswered. Mostly. Unless it’s the pizza delivery guy. Not really, I haven’t gone all born again. But it’s grand again, instead of grand; the grand half an octave too high that strains to mask the reality of the grand two octaves lower, and slower. My daily dose of exclamation marks has been reduced to 20 mg. And I expect to be completely off ducking and diving by the end of the month with the first of a few road-trips. First we take Manorhamilton then we take Elphin. Via the underwear shop.