Skin Deep Part Two

Still not happy with what’s been happening in the familial situations, and I don’t want to spew forth negatives.

PLUS, getting my PhD paperwork sorted (Yay!) So not really in the mental space to do thinking things…

Here is the next part of last week’s to be worked on story… I’ll publish the final part the following week.


Another day. Another battle. Another night of exhausted tossing and turning. Toing and froing. Endless rounds of questions and answers. Wondering what I could do to help. Wondering how I could ever help fix something that I couldn’t understand. If you can’t see the cracks, how can you tape it back together?

Weeks of frustration lent my hand to a different pursuit… gauche just no longer entrapped my imagination. Looking at my fingers after yet another long day with my family I noticed that my new medium had become ingrained into my skin. Its lingering presence a reminder of all that had changed in such a short time. Years of the same relationships, the idea that one man could be invincible had come crashing own about my ears.

After all of the painful discussions and emotions of the day, I had decided that tonight was the night that I would pull down all of my old paintings. There was something about flowing willows and the peace that felt wrong. Their very presence had become painful and aggravating. They mocked me with their very presence. Already my fingers were twitching to pick up my charcoal stick and try my new creation. Luckily I wasn’t in a rental, this project would definitely lose me my bond if I was.

Rosco was a little perplexed by my new method of art – the dust got in his nose, and I was a lot more active in this pursuit than I ever had been in landscape painting. That didn’t stop him from creating his own sketch across the floor of my living room though. There’s still the faint marks across the beige carpets to remind me of his help. It just takes looking at them to bring a smile to my face, even now, after everything happened, after the end – there has to be some kind of light in every moment of darkness.

I actually don’t remember much of these days… it was months and months of confusion and rage. Pain and anger. Days when none of us knew who we were anymore, or what the future would hold. But there is one moment in the middle of all of this that I remember the most. I still don’t know what instigated the problem, and honestly, I don’t really care – it’s not important. What’s important is that it happened. That it was yet another moment that hinted at what was to become. Another second in time when I really should have realised that there was more wrong than a simple sickness.

There are moments in your life when you walk through the door and realise that something is just wrong. It might be an unusual silence, a lingering feeling or the absence of a joyous Labrador greeting you by the door. But there is a hint, a reminder that not everything is as it should be. Dad was at the vegetable patch, Mum was in her bedroom, and my sister, as was usual of late, was nowhere to be found. Everything seemed normal. But it wasn’t.

Hours after arriving, I left, my heart heavy, the pain of my family weighing heavily on my soul. Dad raged and Mum cried – that’s how they’d always been. Just not like this. Never like this.

I was used to Dad being pissy and moody – unable to communicate, but willing to tolerate my presence. Mine alone. He would potter and pout until he’d worked whatever it was out of his system. I’d incessantly chatter about my artwork, Rosco, the latest outrageous human stupidity that I had come across…. But not then. He swore. He ranted. He raved. And then, when all had been said and done, he just walked away, shoulders slumped in dejection. He even apologised for speaking that way about my Grandfather. My Dad never apologises.

Normally I would understand why my sister was constantly gone – her relationship with our Grandfather had never been great. He had become a little more senile by the time she was old enough to create that bond that had so effortlessly been formed for me. But today, today it was frustrating. I never knew what to do with Mum’s tears. I’d always been great at creating them, but not so much at alleviating them. Unsettled by Dad’s unusual attitude, I wasn’t nearly prepared for the hours of salty water that I then had to endure. Every time we began to make progress, a small sound, a small word would set her off again. I longed again and again for my sister’s counsel, my faithful Rosco, tying me back to the world of the living. Not this strange twilight that we had all been existing in – there was no living here.

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