40 days. My morning is shattered. Mid meditation the door bangs. I’m expecting a film crew, and they’re early, I think. But no it’s a guy who wants to cut the electricity off for the whole day in order to adjust the solar panels on the roof. My first thought is that he is selling something. He feels incredibly needy. I tell him I can’t make decisions on the electricity as it’s not my house, and close the door. He knocks again. “My dad… I mean Mike from the company cleared it with the owner, he left a message.” There’s a film crew coming to the house. I suspect they’ll be a little nonplussed if the power is cut off and tell him so. “I would certainly have heard something if I was to expect you.” His voice goes up about an octave. “But my dad … we left a message.” “Do you know if the owner of the house listened to your message? He’s in Mexico.” He phones his dad, who confirms that there was a message. He then comes back to me as if I can’t hear phone conversations and says “That was Mike from the office. There was definitely a message.” The message is not a lie. He looks at me with little puppy dog eyes. “There must be some mistake.” I say. “You’re going to have to make a new appointment”. I ring Jake in Mexico. He’s probably chilling by the pool with a paella and 12 glasses of morning gin. He answers, and I put him on to Solarpuppyman.
Rather than make a new appointment the guy is immediately back to pleadingly insisting to Jake that a message was left. He’s here and he needs to do the work because… because he’s here. I guiltily pity the guy. He’s hapless. Jake speaks to him and confirms what I’ve said. “I heard no message. You can’t work today. I have gin to drink.” As soon as the call is done puppyman is back to looking at me expectantly. Having been dogsitting for a few days, I know that look too well. He wants me to say “Ahh what the hell, you’ve come all this way. Let’s bypass common sense and the owner of the property. Let’s run a suicide cable and cut off the power. The film crew can rig all their kit to the cable. It’ll be fine. Nothing will explode. Have a cookie. Good boy.” I could ignore endless “What the hell are you doing” calls from my friend. I could ignore the line producer going nuts about logistics, calling looking for a different location on spec, treating me like I’m a total nutjob. Hell, I could just leave the house, go and get a milkshake and let solar guy’s dad deal with it!
I don’t do any of these things, of course, nor do they cross my mind. I close the door on his poor wee begging face. As it’s closing he tries one more thing. “Do YOU want to talk to my dad?” I don’t respond.
Do I want to talk to your dad? Christ no. Seriously, no. Never. I never ever want to talk to your dad ever. I will flee your dad. Your dad is a monster. He’s clearly saying “Go on son, if you can’t get in there you’re not trying hard enough. I could get in there easy. If I was there there’d be no problem. What’s wrong with you?” The guy is panicking because he doesn’t want to let this godawful dadcreature down because he’s been trained to think that that means letting himself down or some bollocks. But the way he is letting himself down is in his pleading manner, in his lack of impetus, in his need to run everything by the dadmonster before making a decision. He needs someone else to fix this problem. He tries his dad, me, Jake, time. He doesn’t try himself. It’s fixable to an extent even if he can’t do the work today. He can at least come back with a new appointment made. He even speaks to the homeowner on the phone which is ample opportunity. But he can’t see beyond the expectation he has, which is to do the job now. And his father is infallible in his eyes.
It’s nice for us for our children to be obedient and submissive while they are young so that we can have an easy life. But obedient submissive kids make obedient submissive adults if we aren’t careful. We frequently see adults looking to other people to fix problems they could fix themselves. From the minor “oh my god there’s a spider in the room get it out” to the mid “He’s not making any effort to fix this relationship.” to the major “I don’t know how to exercise for my heart, when they tell me I should exercise why don’t they tell me how?”
I let my own inherited problems accumulate over years until recently because on some level or other I expected super dad, who died before I was an adult, to appear out of nowhere and fix that shit. He won’t because I have to be super dad to myself and I didn’t properly know it. I only recently did. Now I am gradually wading through a sea of accumulated crap that would’ve been a lot easier 15 years ago. But I know it has to be me. So now with the vigour of a recently reformed smoker I find it frustrating when I see people still waiting for someone else to fix it. We are that someone else.
Once I let the film crew in I drove to a load of rocks and sat on them for a few hours in the sun writing and trying to make a plan of attack for the next few weeks here and before coming back to the uk. I just blew all my money on bills in London. Two people sent me links to gofundme pages for “spiritual journeys” this morning. One of them is getting relentlessly trolled in the comments. But I can see the motivation. It’s all the same. “Daddy help me”.
40 days and 40 nights. I’m not eating locusts and honey yet. I can stretch what I have left to the end of this journey and learn something about making halfarsed trips to the other side of the world in order to sort my shit out. And I can find ways of making money through my writing, perhaps, while I’m here. People say they enjoy reading it, and I enjoy writing it, even if it sometimes devolves into a rant about daddy issues and determinism through the prism of an unfortunate solar panel guy.
Meanwhile it’s gorgeous over here again.