1) A pen.
2) A sewing machine.
3) A cat.
I have a favourite type of pen. Let me rephrase: I cannot work unless I have a drawer full of my babies, along with yellow lined A4 pads. The pen was scratchy. I said "You're a bit rubbish today, aren't you?" Then I apologised, out-loud, for wearing it out. The sewing machine was holding hostage the needle I was trying to replace. I was so engrossed in negotiations that I didn't hear the doorbell. Fortunately, my visitor helped me fix it, though I noted he didn't talk to it, or make any concession to its demands. As for the cat, she miaowed at me as I made a cup of tea, her chocolate button eyes begging for food. "Hungry girl?" I said. My cat died in the Spring.
Could it be that as a writer I spend so much time in a world of my own creation that when I re-enter the earth's atmosphere, my imagination takes time to acclimatise? Almost certainly. However, I have another theory. Neither the pen, the sewing machine or the deceased cat do any of the following:
1) Play the opening bars of the same song eighteen times whilst working out a dance routine.
2) Scream "I hate you" to the other person you made.
3) Declare "But every single one of my friends is allowed" (only to admit later that just two are).
4) Leave a trail of Shreddies, butter and orange juice from the kitchen to the sofa every morning, without fail.
5) Talk to me at the same time, about different subjects, in a rising pitch until my brain is vibrating, then roll their eyes and flounce off when I ask them to speak slowly and in turn.
Is it any wonder I take refuge in one sided conversations with inanimate or ghostly objects? It's tough being a single parent. The other parent isn't around for a daily download and back up, to throw a different perspective on something, to share the listening. Not that I would swap my girls for anything. In fact, when they are with their dad, I miss them horribly. Fortunately, their presence is still in the house, even when they are not.
And I'll know I'm in real trouble when I start chatting to these.