I have been looking forward to tonight not just because Saturday is Dylan’s night but because I need to rest. I have been out every night for the last three days: Wednesday was 45 Years (poor film, good company); Thursday was Curious Incident and last night was Blithe Spirit. I enjoyed each evening but I must avoid consecutive nights in future, at least until I am used to going out again. I watched people at intervals and wondered how they do it. The years of looking after Dylan must have altered my energy field; I had great stamina as a carer but going out at night feels like climbing a mountain. I cannot believe I managed three in a row.
During the last three days, when I felt really tired, I visualised being home with Dylan tonight. On Saturday, I told myself, I will be able to rest. As I type that it seems strange; only a few months ago I was worn out by caring. The difference, I suppose, is that it’s not full time anymore; it was the relentlessness of caring without a break which was hard. Some days I feel as if I’m carrying the exhaustion of two decades in my body. I know tiredness doesn’t work this way really; I once heard an athlete claim that we can run a marathon on no sleep at all. Equally, we can’t ‘bank’ sleep; I laughed at the friend who spent the week in bed prior to the birth of his first child. He was, he told me, building sleep credits for later. It’s like Vitamin C, I’d told him; you can’t store it.
Nor, of course, can we predict it; I might have been looking forward to a rest but I suspect it’s not in tonight’s script. I realised I could be in for an interesting Saturday while out with Dylan this afternoon. Dylan has a particular interest in waterfalls but he can get so immersed in them (in heart, of course, not body) that he becomes distressed. The weir at the Hepworth Gallery is dramatic and just the sort of water to entrance Dylan. Today, as soon as we arrived at the Gallery, he headed for his favourite vantage point.
Dylan seemed calm enough so I moved a short distance away to look at heads and torsos. Contrapposto, I read in an exhibition note, is the term used to describe a figure where the weight is on one leg, with the other bent, and the head at an angle. A development from the straight limbs of Greek statuary, contrapposto ‘explored the possibility that a carved body could also express different states of mind’. As I glanced up at Dylan leaning against the glass, leg crooked, I thought I saw him tremble. Should I encourage him to move on, I wondered, or leave him at the window? What could I read from his contrapposto body about his state of mind?