I am in the grips of the first stages of the menopause. I have felt it very prominently over the last three months. Most notably because it’s created a huge creative block (actually not just creative, but everyday life administration too). My mind is so constantly consumed by anxiety; I can’t think of anything else except getting to my home safely, as quickly as possible after work and locking myself inside to worry endlessly and lose sleep over the unsavoury sorts on my doorstep, on the street below. And whether or not I’ve upset anybody, if I’m bad at my job and if I should be more responsible and grown up.
Despite Paris being wonderful, my initial feeling before departing was, “I just want to stay home and lock myself in”. I’m glad I made the effort to engage and caught up with some lovely friends, who momentarily helped distract me.
At first it was a funny joke, the street-beer sellers until the wee small hours, the gitano musicians fighting after a couple of jars at the end of the day, the muffled voices and dull thuds and pained yelps of strangers in the shadows at 6am. Yeah, so dark, so Gothic, so bohemian; so not funny anymore.
A couple of weeks ago I arrived home after the wedding party, and decided to argue with the beer sellers to move on somewhere else. Not a smart move, I know, and very uncharacteristic of me. I had reached exasperation point.
There was a strange young man, loitering silently on the corner, who I’ve seen loitering silently a lot around the small group of Asian owned shops on my corner, quietly observing at all hours of the night and day.
Two weeks later, he approached me in the laundrette, and jokingly asked me if I was calmer now. I shrugged it off as a bit of silliness after a couple of wines too many and hoped that would suffice.
He makes me nervous. Since I’ve noticed him and before beer-gate, he’s made me nervous. And with my heightened anxiety at the moment, he terrifies me. There is a very dark, menacing vibe about him, that sent my witchy senses spinning. And engaging with me has made this worse.
After the brief exchange, he rang my doorbell persistently until I hung over the balcony to ask what he wanted. He apologised like it was an error, but it most definitely wasn’t. And he followed me and stared as I popped to the shop and internet cafe to print, later.
I want to move, and have decided most definitely to do this at the end of my contract in January.
I just hope I can both shake this crippling anxiety, and his attention until then. I know the former is making the latter seem probably one hundred times worse, but better to engage my logical, intelligent brain for a change, and do the right thing.
And the sooner this rabid, hormonal period of my life has passed, the better.