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Saturday, December 01, 2007 

Imagined Happiness

“One day, eventually, will you marry me?”

He gave me that look, the one where they’re not upset or worried, just questioning. “Are you proposing to me?”

I giggled, “No, that’s your job.”

He smiled, “Then yes.”


My mom’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia. At last. In my early childhood she was forever in and out of clinics, psychiatrists, therapists, etc. Dad took her to everyone he could think of but Mom’s always been good with people, and totally convinced there’s nothing wrong with her. She’d go in, and an hour later Dad would pick her up and the therapist would look at him like he was scum, like the problem wasn’t with Mom, it was with him.

We knew the bouts of manic happiness and extreme anger weren’t normal; the promiscuity while spouting values on abstinence and no-sex-before-marriage. But we were the only ones who saw it; everyone else just saw an attractive vivacious woman and a jealous angry husband. They didn’t see the children scared, or the man being pushed to the edges of sanity by a woman so far over them that at times couldn’t tell you what year it was or how old her own children were.

She would accuse my brother of stealing her jewellery, or have screaming fits about our selfishness when she made food for herself and we’d ask if there was anything for us to eat. Three months before my grandfather- her own father- died of cancer she refused to see him anymore because she’d convinced herself he was looking at her lustfully. The man had Alzheimer’s and cancer of the liver, he was so drugged up on morphine he probably couldn’t tell when she walked into the room, never mind who she was or what she looked like.

When I look back on my mum and dad’s marriage I don’t have anything good to look back on. I try to, but it always seems to be the bad memories that stick in your head, the good ones just seem to fade away. I never expected anything good from my relationships and found them satisfyingly unfulfilling as I’d always thought they would be. And then I met someone else.

I got a shock, and I’m still in shock. I think he’s perfect, and for some reason he seems to think something similar about me. My mom’s going to get treated now, my dad has been put off women for life, and I’m going to just try and pass my exams without getting too distracted by men who make me happier than I ever imagined.

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About me

  • An albatross can fly for thousands of miles without getting tired. I've always thought that love is similar to flying, therefore we should aspire to be like the albatross.

    I don't know if I can do that. So far I haven't been so lucky. But one day I'll test my wings with someone, and flying won't be so hard after all. Or so painful.
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    * In 2001 one New Zealand fishing boat killed over 300 seabirds in just one trip, while fishing for ling.
    * Each year over 300,000 seabirds are killed by longline fishing.
    * Over the past 60 years some albatross populations have declined by 90%.
    * Annually around 10,000 albatross and petrels are caught in New Zealand waters alone.
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