Monday, December 8
I spent the morning filling in my Nobanet expenses, having looked online to discover what my receipts in kroner amounted to in euros, and doing similar tasks. I made a bunch of backups, and pre-ordered Pete Sounds. I discovered last week that Pete Wylie is crowd-sourcing his long-awaited (by a dwindling few) new album and thought that I and he deserved that I should hear it. I ordered the download because I thought it would be quicker and simpler, although I will probably miss the album notes.
At 13:15 I went to a departmental meeting which ended just in time for me to race out of the building and onto a tram. Now I am looking up at the bridge carrying the trams and cars from Sörnäinen to Arabia. It is pouring with rain, cold and unnaturally dark. I am on my way to Pasila for my final appointment of the year with Arja, my therapist.
She will ask me repeatedly to explain how I would like to spend this Christmas, stressing that she doesn’t want to know how Irma wants to spend Christmas, or how Naa wants to: she wants to know how I want to spend Christmas, and what I am doing to make sure that me needs are factored into our family plans. In the end I explain how, in my view, the process of being alive is social and therefore the question makes no sense in the way she is framing it. How I want to spend Christmas is having the kind of time that all three of us, in our own ways, find pleasurable or at least bearable. The time to insist on roasting a turkey or watching Star Wars is not now, and that time will come once we have all agreed that it has.
None of this will surprise her. I will suspect that, as on previous occasions, she has asked a question, and asked it repeatedly, to see where it leads. Its a technique that seems to work, on me at least.