lunedì, settembre 05, 2011

Moral panic

Walking back toward Luke Duke's house tonight from dinner, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the consciousness of how fucking awful it will be to leave Canada again, and saw the path straight down into a panic attack. But you're not panicking, I explained to myself, you're just sad. There's no reason to panic. And in any case you're still here. You can save being sad for later, when you're not.

All of this is probably getting an extra psychological dimension at the moment because - yesterday, I believe, or the day before, I heard a friend of mine from L---, a Quebecoise with whom I spent a great deal of time discussing how much better Canada is than Australia, rather predictably absconded from returning to Australia after "visiting" Canada. In doing so she left her husband with a lot of debt and she has taken their two-year-old son with her, who's probably gonna forget him now. It is harsh, and I fucking feel for the father losing his kid like that, and what's more I'm filled with this sort of awful foreboding premonition for the kid - an utterly unhelpful feeling.

And yet, and of course, I'm gonna miss my friend, and I can't condemn her with my whole heart. I understand what she did amounts to a sort of kidnapping, but goddamn it, I understand exactly why she did it, and if she had told me beforehand she was going to do it, I don't think I would have busted her, which is causing me to question my own morality in all sorts of ways. In early August, when we were both still in L---, I asked her directly if she was planning on "jumping bail" like this, and she said no, but in retrospect I believe I asked her more out of curiousity than anything; it certainly didn't enter my mind to even think about busting her if she would have said yes.

But in retrospect, I'm glad she didn't tell me. Now that she's actually done it. Because of course it's so awful to the father. But I wouldn't have busted her and even if I could have gone back in time I wouldn't bust her. Even though it's wrong, it just seems trashy and wrong, but I can't condemn her with my whole heart. I can hardly condemn her at all, if I'm utterly honest with myself.

The thing is, I love the F-word, and I make a lot of money at a great job that I can realistically only hold down in Australia, and I can afford to come back here for a visit every year - three big differences in her situation in Australia and my own - and I still felt myself sliding into a fucking great engulfing panic when I thought about leaving my lovely family here and going back there, so fucking far away, SO fucking far away from the people you love, and all to be in some dumb fucking country that's like a dirty stupid hot version of Canada . . . I see that child growing up without his father, or even without memories of his father, and I feel so raw for him and for his father, and I can't blame her. I just can't.

Because another thing is, I know another Canadian girl in L---, not a friend, a sort of brittle girl, who's living there now because her daughter's daddy, who she isn't with anymore, is also there. She hasn't been back here or seen her family for five years. I saw her just before I left, and I think she almost hated me, the way I was about to just hop on a plane and sashay back for a visit . . .

It's times like this it's a pleasure to be a theist, so I can thank Jeebus for the fact the F-word is gagging to leave Australia too. This trip to Canada has taught me that there IS a too-far-away, and it's Oceania.

2 commenti:

Chris ha detto...

That's rough! On the other hand things couldn't have been that great between the two if she just took off on him. I feel bad for the dad though. People do what they have to do I guess.

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

Well, yeah. I've been thinking about their situation in terms of how useless the legal system is for them. The guy's a bit of a bastard, but not a violent one. He wouldn't have consented to their leaving, so she would have needed to lawyer up to go home with their son if she hadn't snuck off as he did. Now he would need to lawyer up to get the kid back. Meanwhile, he works in a grocery store, and since she ditched the business she was running here she's unemployed. What are people like that meant to do when communication breaks down?