Another visit from the crisis team. An innumerable visit but the first my flatmate has been present for. I think being present calms her, brings her inside the circle of care. And she is indeed classed as my “carer”, by proximity alone — a responsibility I do not want her to have, but she lives with me all the same.
I feel difficult to live with, always have, always feeling like a guest, never really at home, just a stray, poorly house-trained when not on my own, more at home in meandering.
I buy a framed print of Matisse’s The Open Window that I most certainly can’t afford. It shows the interior of his flat and the sails of boats in the port of Collioure outside, all rendered flat in the fauvist style, the delineation between inside and out feeling like nothing more than a trick or habit of the eye.
Having visited the port on two or three occasions, and having found it endlessly inspiring and relaxing, it has become my “happy place”. I would love to live there, sitting in the cafe now just below that window, writing. Last summer, it felt like a true idyll during the day. And the nights, the late bars, the sleepy streets, the lights at sea, the dark shadow of the mountains whipped by the mistral, swimming in the port at night like spies and touching the bows of luxury yachts, those minor submersible transgressions.
I wrote nothing on that holiday. I even struggled to read. I felt so present. I wrote nothing of the days, nothing of the nights. I will one day, when I return again.
In the meantime, it is no longer a place to imagine. A representation now hangs in the room where I almost hanged myself. It makes my flatmate happy. It makes me happy. I now look at it all the time.
Collioure, September 2021:
What strikes me most about the meeting with the crisis team is that, in explaining their role to my flatmate, the nurse affirms that they treat people as regularly as me as an alternative to hospital admission. It makes me feel acutely like a patient, for the first time in a while, less a subject than an object of care. No wonder I am desperate to flee the flat after every visit, as if on day release from my own home.
I’m glad I bought the painting.