I feel bereft, but I'm not sure precisely why.
I find myself standing in the centre of the room — the lounge room, the bedroom, the bathroom; my cubicle at work — and casting about me. As if, whatever it is I've lost, I must have dropped it somewhere nearby. But there's only the usual detritus of a time-poor monkey: a broken thread from a random sleeve; a hairband; two south korean coins, each worth one hundred won; the carcass of a clicky pen, done to death by too many commutes. There are notes to myself, on post-it notes and on torn scraps of paper; CDs pulled from their shelves; and a bemusing range of highlighters, including various shades of pink (or is one supposed to be purple?).
None of this looks like equanimity.
But what does equanimity look like? Maybe it's there, and I simply don't know to recognise it. I could ask Mr Balloons — I spotted him the other day, hanging over the edge of his balcony in his familiar glitter-eyed slump, smoking something sweet-smelling and chatting with great verve to, um, nobody visible. But his particular brand of calm is a little too brittle for my taste.
No, the equanimity I want is rooted in confidence, and is a far more robust thing. Not necessarily brawny, but at least resilient. A whippet might have the right form, all sleek and full of coiled power, but it has a gaze and gait too cautious, too unsettled. A snake, then, all elongate and elastic.
Wait. I know what equanimity rooted in confidence looks like. Or what it used to look like, when last I saw it.
It's small, too young to be made ugly by the fur-ification of adulthood, and black, and it has fangs that can pierce a human toenail. Should it sense your presence, it will turn to face you, and rear up to present those fangs and — despite the alarming disparity in size between you, the time-poor monkey, and it — it will charge. Because you and it both know one irrefutable fact: its venom puts it above you on the food chain.
It's a baby funnel web spider.
And it's not native to my flat, or my cubicle at work, or any of my new haunts.
No wonder I haven't been able to find it.
This is new territory. Everything has a new shape now. Even me. Especially me.