Today was…Quiet…Oh so. Got up about 8.30 as it’s considered a weekend day in here and we can lie in for that bit longer. After my obligations to the house/institution, I sat in bed reading for the whole day practically. This book I’m reading, Riven Rock, is as slow as death by being beaten with feather pillows but the writing is sheer sublime. He writes sentence after sentence where you’re left cooing with appreciation. Literally a page of sentences, where you’d be happy for one of them sentences for every few pages you wrote.
I spoke with Siyana three times. The first time I called, she was working. We didn’t speak for long. She was unhappy about My sister Julie deleting her off Facebook. Siyana tried to send her a message, a happy St. Patrick’s Day message, but realised that Julie had blocked her. Julie’s a bit funny I told her. She’s not even friends with me on facebook, I said, if that makes you feel better. Julie’s essentially a nice person, if you just don’t get too involved with her, I told her, not wanting to hurt my brain thinking about our relative positions in respect of Julie. I’m one hundred percent sure Julie wasn’t thinking of this triumvirate and how it felt about eachother etc. Don’t worry about it. She had to go back to work, so I said I’d call back about six.I went back to my room and read until dinner.Dinner was sausages, beans and chips, not the most satisfying meal health or taste-wise but I was starving so I lapped it up like a dog makes short work of it’s dinner which has arrived late, like a bowl of pedigree chum dog food. A whole dining hall of alcoholic pedigree chummers lapping away at their industrial issue plates.
I rang Siyana again that evening. She told me she was on her way into town. There was a bad leak in her bedroom ceiling. She wants to move out of the flat as soon as possible. The place is a kip. Without thinking, I said we could move in together, into a nice one bedroom apartment, after I got out of here. I was too fast again though. Then there was a mutual hesitancy in the conversation.
“I was talking to one of the girl’s in work who told me her brother was in and out of the rehab six times,” she said.
“Did he complete the twelve weeks though?”
“Yes he did.”
“Well if I do this and go to the meetings as much as I can, I don’t see myself drinking again. He probably did’t go to the meetings, did he?”
“I don’t know,” she said.
“Well that’s the difference. Guys in here are back a second and third time. They stopped going to the meetings and soon they were back drinking.”
She was walking into town with a few friends from work, they were about to go to some pub – it was Paddy’s day after all. I said I’d ring her later.
I called her again at 9. She was in a rock bar in Parnell St. There was a loud sound of partying and drunken lunacy going on in the background. She told me that last Sunday when they were coming down in the car, my sister Julie screamed angrily at her “Can you stop talking for five minutes!”
Julie is very hot headed. But when she turned around and said this, my ma or da never said anything. Nobody dared to say anything. This really upset her. Julie is a kind of bully I thought. Siyana started to cry down the phone and my heart really went out to her.
“Nobody likes me in your family because I am poor girl from Eastern Europe with bad English…I’m not Irish like you…” she sobbed. Her voice was renting my heart-strings, and there was nothing I could do for her here at the other end of a payphone in the corridor of a rehab centre a few hundred miles away.
“Listen,” I said. “They do like you. And if my sister doesn’t like you so what? I like you! I Love you! That’s what matters! I don’t care if my sister or the man in the moon doesn’t like you.”
“Ok,” she said.
“Enjoy your night,” I said. “You’re my sweet thing.”
“Thank you. I love you,” she said, her voice that bit higher pitched, sounding beautiful and vulnerable at the same time.