Friday, 27 August 2010

Hell, Winge, Tedium

I can't seem to write. Been having a few mild downs. Been trying to write myself out of them. Not working very well. Need a good kick up the hole. Warning, what follows needs a big self-pity and drivel alert. I know it's all a pile of shit, meaningless rubbish, and if I could break out of it I would, but I can't at the moment, or if so, only temporarily. At least I'm upright and moving. And I haven't cried like a big girl's blouse today. So, in lieu of substance and real fight in my belly, have a fortnight's worth of winge and too many uses of the word 'hell'.

Mon. Wales. Tidied, farewells, drove. Quiet evening. Must get my head straight.

Tue. I feel dead. It is not so much some form of anxiety but dread and foreboding. I am hoping it is just the post-holiday blues but it feels rather worse than that. Missing the boys. Later. Bleak. Wept. Feel like a corpse. Want to die so it doesn't hurt. Coward.

Wed. I've been locked out of my own head. I'm in a blank room. I can't see or hear my own thoughts. The walls are completely blank. My heart is in another room. I can sense it is there because it hurts but I don't know anymore than that. It is just a bland and broken-hearted emptiness today. I have no power to open a door, or a non-existent window, or to kick one of these blank walls down. All my thoughts and feelings are on the other side of the walls. The best I can do is write these words and hope they will act like a conduit or lightning conductor to short-circuit me or innundate me with the rest of me. I cannot find anything funny - my sense of humour exists somewhere because it hints to me I should grimace signals of amusement when appropriate. I list things to do and I do not do them. I try to think of good things, bad things, practical things, but all that sticks is the empty cloud of desolate things. Desolate. A strange word. I assumed it means 'of wastelands or deserts' but it may as well be a bad pun on 'without sun' - de - sol - ate: the light has been taken from me; and in fact it actually means to be abandoned - 'de-solus' - to make alone. Well, I feel separated from me let alone everything else, so the word fits well. It is no good. I hoped writing some words might cause enough friction to ignite some spark, kindle some warmth, burn down this blank room, at least put interesting charred-smoke patterns on the walls, but no, nothing, except, wait, at least my face is more mobile again, it has been frozen into a puppet face but now my eyes are roving the room in which I lie here scribbling. I have no urge to think or feel but there is the tiniest chink of light coming from somewhere - if I look harder I might find it is a keyhole, and if so, then it should be a simple matter to conjure a key from my ear or arsehole: if I sniff the air outside the door for long enough I'll gain enough sustanance for that feat. I must stop writing and find that keyhole before the walls crush me dead.

Later. I found the keyhole and produced a key. Once out in the light I could then pull my socks up and the day has gone from horrible to reasonable. What is it about writing or forcing the self to be, to expand, to multiply, to promulgate its tendrils in some chain reaction of bifurcation that can burst these bizarre and banal prisons of complete nullity? How does it work? It's like going for a run when all you want to do is face the wall in bed and simply expire on a released breath: it is impossible at first then gets easier. I suppose it would be impossible if past experience had never shown one it can work. Oh well, out of the vacuum again. I've been missing my boys, horribly. It is worse than having one's legs sawn off. The blank room is no answer nor escape.

Thur. The problem with history is that it only documents the horrible things.

Fri. What is the matter with me? I am horrible. My head is exploding and I need to stick it together. I can't stop thinking about suicide. It started driving back from Wales on Monday and is getting worse. It isn't an answer. But it would make it all go away. I could do anything instead. You could do anything instead. Coward. Fucking coward. They need me alive good strong and healthy. Alive I should be able to manage. The rest can take care of themselves. I am already dead. Keep shambling. Pretend. Mask. Keep being. Head will sort out glue.

NO WAY OUT. It is me who is hell. Not circumstances. Not people. Just me. Enough is enough.

Sun. All these visions of hell vouchsafed to so many so often are of only slight interest in their details: the grim chaos, the mocking juxtaposition of the homely and infernal, the accumulated detail of pain, despair, and black humour; no, all this is incidental: what is of interest is what all these visions have in common, why they work as palliative or solace, why despite their inherent clichedness they still insist on their depiction or description.

Mon. The wind blows hot, the wind blows cold. It takes a special talent to fuck up one's life so spectacularly at my age. Contributory factors? Escape from insanity? Lack of fortitude? Enough is enough? I don't know... Destitute, homeless, broken marriage, broken family... what's left to screw up? No, things aren't too bad if suicide seems like a false solace. What am I to do with my last years? Oh, listen to you, you self-pitying humourless maudlin turd. Where's your courage? Squashed by the side of the road. And it's a dead end. Boring.

Wed. How many thousand miles? About eight. And eight addresses. All in four months. What have I learned? How have I changed, if at all? How am I coping? What will become of me? Where will it all end? Will I create good, or be cast down into dissolute degradation and failure? Am I a corrupt fruit, rotting, fly-blown, fallen from the bough, stinking amid the dogshit and mouldering leaves? Boring.

Thur. How do these straightforward simple people do it? How do they switch from one path to another with comparative ease? How do they live as if they only have one self, one set of tracks, a unity, a consonance? All life and choice entails murdering aspects of the self. Sometimes events mean that a desirable and an undesirable asect of self get machine-gunned together. Perhaps the root of my problem is that I find even my nightmares fascinating to the point that I feel disappointed to wake up. A terminal vacillation. If the self is slow and loth to discard aspects of itself, then eventually it becomes a horrible knot of contradictions. I envy the coherent. Sometimes. Why do some people see their bad manifest as outside? Evil is inherent.

Fri. Why can't I accept sacrifices? Fear? I am like the farmer in the boat with the fox, hen and grain, but with no solution. Idealistic questing for a perfect impossible solution that cannot exist. Pompous prig, with a warm-heart that spreads bile and canker wherever it tries to do good. Having your cake and eating it, you selfish git. Fear of closing off potential fates. Stasis, for fear of praxis. But of course it is all an illusion - all our possible futures are closed off and have already always been so forever, just as all our possible pasts were not possible save the one we had.

Stand up straight, pull your socks up, square your shoulders, accept responsibility for your actions for good and ill, and face hell directly. But perhaps I may be permitted to squint it into vision in small doses, so it doesn't blast my reason.

Life is simultaneously wonderful and awful. Just accept it.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Bored On Holiday

When on holiday, there are always moments of slackness, moments of desultory ambivalence, where all that can be done is to get the pencils and crayons out. I can't remember what the proper name for the drawing game is when one person draws the head, another the body, etc, but whatever it's called, that's what we played.



This first was the hotel proprietor.



This was the woman in the Spar shop.



This was the advertising hoarding in the local village.



And this was the lady at immigration coming back to England.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Opposites Attract ("fookin' 'ell, mate")

"Fookin' ell! Fookin ell! 'Ang on!"

We smiled at the three-hundred pounds of raw mince in the white t-shirt as we walked back from the pub through the city.

"Fookin' ell! They say opposites attract. No disrespect, mate! But, fookin' 'ell! Don't take it wrong way mate, but fookin' 'ell! Fair play, I gotta say mate, fookin' 'ell!"

What on earth did he mean? I happened to be wearing a tweed jacket, and my hair was passably tidy. I may have been carrying a violin. She was dressed smartly and elegantly, and her hair was somewhat outré. Either of us could be taken for the other's carer, or accompaniment, for guidance, support and supervision in strange and unfamiliar places.

The thing is, we see the visual equivalent of our friend's complimentary utterances over and over again. Eyes flick from one to the other, then back again, then faster, and a faint tinge of consternation colours the onlooker's glance. A frown, a nod, a smile, and sometimes a sparkle of laughter in the eyes. There must be something that affronts - or perhaps astounds - the eye. Under the surface the similarities outnumber the stylistic differences ten-fold.

But his glee and delight was heart-warming, to say the least, and he was the first person to actually have the balls to shout it.

(Other news, we're just about to head off for four days of alleged sunshine in the south of france - we were desperately searching the weather sites for the uk looking for something that wasn't various intensities of rain, and ended up looking further afield, and before we knew it, cheap flights and a fleapit had been booked - in fact we're not entirely sure the fleapit still exists in reality, so fingers crossed. Also we have discovered that the pleasant and lonely looking sands happen to be a blooming nudist beach. It should make for an amusing trip. Back anon.)