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  • Third Culture Matters
  • Chapter one: full MoOn

    It’s full moon, Brye thought, I shouldn’t have to be doing anything for anyone. I should be lying in bed watching a film all afternoon. And then another. And maybe later, another.
    It’s cold outside, too cold for walking the dog, too cold for bringing Ruby to her riding class and collecting Skylar from her basketball training. And it’s grey. Definitely not the sort of weather to do anything strenuous like lugging a bag full of groceries home from the corner shop and chopping up vegetables. A yoghurt will have to do them and a carrot, for my conscience.
    This seemed to be turning into a mantra and Bryony found herself listing all the should’s and shouldn’ts of that day. That one day in November.
    It’s not like all these chores had popped up out of the blue and taken her by surprise, not at all. They had somehow crawled up on her silently after the weeks of falling in love, like mud clinging to the hems of her bell bottoms on a dog walk over puddly fields. Then she’d fast forwarded through to the girls’ school years as though she’d mistaken the vacuum cleaner for a time machine. And now here she was in this bizarre state of hitherto unknown existence, which appeared to be accumulating like fungus on a pack lunch left wrapped in aluminium foil at the bottom of a school bag for five weeks.
    That too would not have happened, had Brye gotten herself and the girls organised.
    ‘What’s the first thing you should do when you get home?’ That was the question she should be repeating with the girls, every. single. day. until they got it.
    ‘Check my schoolbag and do my homework.’ Would be the correct answer.
    That would never leave room for sandwiches that were green and covered in creepy bioshpheres of their own left lying squashed to a fifth of their size in the darkest corner of the schoolbag, for her to scratch out.
    It’s full moon though. No time for organising now. Another month gone by when things could have been seen through. But now the moon was full. A moon that was full generally brought Brye vague memories of full moon parties, a time for raving get-togethers – watching a film, as there was not much dancing going on here anymore.
    ‘Mummy, where are my new striped jeans? I put them in the wash weeks ago.’
    It’s full moon, dear, I’m watching a film, is what first came to Brye’s mind. ‘You could learn to wash your clothes yourselves,’ is what she said.
    ‘Yuk,’ they’d said in a chorus, those beautiful little creatures, ‘I’m not touching anyone’s dirty jeans,’ their smooth baby skin glowing with innocence. Brye wondered for the spark of a moment whether now was a good time to break it to them, the news that there was more than just trousers – their dirty socks, even their dirty underwear to consider.. I’ll keep that thought for a rainy day, she thought and pulled the duvet a little higher.
    The full moon is also a time for howling, Brye thought. Didn’t wolves howl at the moon when it was large and round and full? Could it have looked to them like a delicious giant wolf equivalent of a marshmallow? The poor buggers couldn’t get to it so they just howled?
    Maybe there was a man on the moon and they were howling at him. A funny, charming man. Brye looked out of her bedroom window over to the full moon balancing between the trees – like a lantern tied to a stick, she thought. Like the one Ruby had made for school with the wobbly candle, ‘Oh, that’ll be fine darling, just hold it straight,’ Brye had said but it ended up discarded like a funeral pyre with Ruby in tears.
    I should weep, she thought and pulled the duvet over her head.
    Of course she’d remembered to bring a box of her favourite Belgian pralinés, the assorted sea shell ones, the ones that reminded her of her life when she actually had a life. It’s easy organising for one, she thought, popping the first one in her mouth, who needs the man in the moon anyway?
    ‘Can I have one too?’ First one then another little face popped up under either side of her duvet, giggling. The two of them.
    ‘Aw, get out of here,’ Brye groaned, but she was smiling, ‘Alright then, come back you two, lets do cuddles.’ This, she thought is the fun part if only it could always be like this.
    But she knew quite well and better than anybody that tomorrow, well, tomorrow – tomorrow would be another day.

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