Care

15th Feb, On Love 7/7 is here, Ending: What are your thoughts on caring for someone(not just principally, but with responsibility)?

by Cai Zhang (www.cai.gallery)

I have not cared for someone before with full responsibility, but I have always shown I was open. I think it also takes the other person to voice their need for care as well. Otherwise, there is no way to respond.

The partner I was with last year this time could not sleep because of stress. He never said though, only made fleeting comments about how it is a lot easier for him to sleep when I am there. If I knew the full extent of the problem, I would have stayed there every night. Or talked to him on the phone before bed. But I never knew, because I was not told, and we did not meet often enough that I would notice by myself. I only found out about it recently, towards the end of the year, when he mentioned how he is much better now, that he is done studying.

Right now I am saying I am open to the responsibility of caring, but I obviously do not know. I cannot say with 100% certainty, until I actually end up in the situation. I believe this is one of those. In many other cases you can say you can predict your reaction and you are probably right. But this, just like losing a limb, for example, is not one of those.

How far would you be open to go for a person?

I am not sure I understand the question. So I am going to tell you a little story.

Driving down the dirt track behind my friend Anne’s Stepdad’s house, our car jilted so violently, I knocked my head on the ceiling of the car. Anne gave me a look that panicked me immediately. She looked at me then peering behind the car. I swallowed quickly and said “Did we kill something or something is about to kill us?”

She folded into her arms holding the steering wheel. I got out of the car and my feet sank into the road. I saw nothing of note. Blue sky, countryside, dirt road. Maybe it is just a really big hole.

The sky was broody and grumbled threatening more rain. I heeved myself back in the Land Rover.

Anne was sobbing at this point. I am completly at lost with the storm inside my car. I waited and patted her gently. Shortly she peeled herself back up and wiped her face and murmured “we should get going now…”. Red nose, wet cheeks.

We moved all her Dad’s stuff out with us in his Land Rover. On the way to the estate agent, Anna stopped at the service station to refuel. Anna’s dad was a warm guy with hefty laughs and broad shoulders. Even in our 20’s, he would pick us up if we disagreed with him. He had an owl as a pet and his Land Rover carried us up and down the country.

When we finally got back to her flat in Islington and unloaded a collection of books and albums, two copper pans and an old house sweater of his. Anne asked if I needed a lift back to Marylebone. I declined and opted for a walk.

I ordered her a sushi platter after I left and texted her around the time of delivery. Before I left, I cleaned up her bathroom and made her favourite pancake mix and left it in the fridge. My calendar says in two days, she will receive two dozen white roses from me. I already got three solicitor in her price range on standby waiting for the inevitable time she will give up on doing all the paperwork alone.

You can open to ideas of many things, but caring is a muscle you need to flex often to grow.

They never ask. It is not your fault you didn’t see, but it is your duty to see.

I locked myself out again. I am really tired… shall I start tomorrow for 7 days? or you are happy to continue?