I was going to fill in an application to Future Leaders, which is a charity that supports school leaders to become Head Teachers. Then I thought I’d write a blog post instead, about work and poetry, being a poet who works full time, how you manage the pressure on time, how each tugs at you constantly.
But as I waited for my laptop to boot up, I started rubbing at flecks on the screen.
My dad insists on using the little plastic stylus which came with his tablet (computer). He cant abide flecks and smears on that beautiful, iridescent screen. When I watched a colleague rub and push at information on her Ipad, at the angle I was to her, all I could see was the oily clouds where she had tapped her decisions previous.
Leaving our mark on shiny surfaces. My daughters have dabbed at everything, everything has been touched to bits. The grease of us has penetrated our home to the cavity insulation.
Often, I don’t even see the marks and leftovers. My glasses cloud with sweat or touching and I compensate. The windows spent a year obfuscating our view of the world: it looked indistinct out there. The window into the cooker-furnace is spattered with all-sorts and caked hard.
But what about the alternative? The misery of polishing forever, the Sisyphus-myth of it. The OCD-ness of attempting, the quivering anger as blame inflates unknown organs of payback.
Each Saturday we’d be at it. Under instructions, laying gibbering mousses of furniture polish on wood-effect veneer. Swiping away algae that time and time again emerged from the putty like invading hoards charted on maps.
You try to tidy properly. There’s no reward in that.