Saturday, 3 September 2011

Split Like A Banana

Following on in the same vein as the last, just as the degree of practical flight up and down the country has lessened the lunatic urge for flight from the head over the last eighteen months, so also having a horribly split life has perversely lessened the slippage, spillage, splittage in my own mind: there is a grain of truth in the fact that a 'difficult existence' in the world can push out the luxury of madness: I simply have no time to go mad.

I am familiar with the sensation. I managed to hold it together with varying degrees of success from 2000 to 2007 by dint of sheer franticness and refusing to ever stop and breathe. When I had that bad year that began around the Big Floods in 2007, the end result was that I was cast adrift, made to be still, and that was perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to me. It protracted the madness long beyond the months it probably should have taken to self-immolate into harmless smoke.

But I know I am storing up the shit, condensing it, making it denser until it becomes the plutonium of excrement, and it will explode at some point if I cannot find a way to sew the wound of my life up. I don't want things to get that far. I don't want to hurt everyone around me, yet again.

You see, my life is split in half, and I cannot see a way out of it. My lover lives three hour's drive from my children. There is no going back to my wife: that pair of decades has finished. I have children, my lover does too. It will be at least fifteen years before my youngest finishes school, perhaps five or six for her. I am not going to become an absent father, even if I can just live with myself being a fifty-percent father.

Leaving alone the fact that my personal circumstances could change at any point and render this strange and painful state of grace impossible: the luxury of being able to divide my weeks north and south is a most delicate and poised thing that would crash in impracticalities as soon as I try to work again... leaving alone that fact that there is an avalance frozen above our heads, and that when it starts to crash down, I must make decisions that I CANNOT make... leaving all that to one side, even this bizarre and strange no-man's-land I currently inhabit is often impossible to square with the desires of my heart, and the love of my progeny.

I continue for want of an alternative that is better. I live the least-worst outcome, at present, precariously. It is keeping me sane because it sends me mad and I understand why, so I keep finding more endurance. I love her unreservedly. I love my children unreservedly. They cannot be weighed against each other.

Put frankly, this least of evils is only sustainable because giving up either side is insupportable. But the clock is ticking and I am frightened.

On the Nature of the Night Flight

I used to, once upon a time, et cetera, suffer from that common (or should that be uncommon?) urge that seizes us in the night, that as soon as it takes possession of our faculties sketches a diminishing and unendurable prison around us, until we are impelled to fly out into the night, full of the mindless energy of bats that have forgotten how to eat flies and moths.

Sometimes, the impulse is a magical sense of seduction: the air stirring in strange phantom whorls of potentiality: we fling ourselves into the dark, trusting on randomness or benevolent chaos to protect us. Other times it is as if we are caught in a semi-frozen slush of black ice, being ground and squeezed without volition or the ability to act on our inner, protesting self.

Personal circumstances exacerbate or ameliorate the condition: being trapped in an unhappy or intolerable situation; conversely, I find myself in a regularly imposed weekly flight, whether I desire it or not, which has unpricked that thorn quite completely. One could say I have a bellyful of flying from one half of my life to the other.

But when the whirlwind sends us spinning out into the dark, what else is there to do but trust to good luck and the tolerant smile of whatever angels or devils look down upon the dangerously, all-too-free? There are things we can do to help, foremost of which is listening to the small, crushed voices of conscience and common-sense; to remember our responsibilities and loved ones, to laugh at our idiocy and pause, and most importantly to remember how meaningless our sillinesses always prove to be in hindsight, be it running naked across snowy fields or daring the nighttime unsalubrious corners of the city. We can also identify what personal prisons are spun around us, spurring us to idiocy, and take steps to make our lives more bearable, more free.

Take care all