grief, or, everything is relative
Tuesday November 30th 2004, 8:38 am
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Accelerating the grieving process is, inherently, a flawed proposition. There has been, of late, an overly conspicuous, one might say performative, consumption of pints of ice cream, of cigarettes (contrary to the rather mutable ‘fact’ of having quit a month ago), of large quantities of alcohol, and the viewing of soppy sappy tear-jerking movies (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, High Fidelity, Titanic, for fuck’s sake. there are no depths to which i will not sink in the pursuit of my lived art, if not necessarily artful life). And all of this a rather striking counterpoint to the perspective of last weekend, ‘lost lonely and alone and regretting/lamenting it’, as opposed to this week’s ‘lost lonely and alone and leaving for new york in less than three weeks’. And it’s performativity is, I suspect, a return to more innocent days where going through the motions, as it were, was sufficient to go through the emotions. This is more like going through the motions of the motions. There are, for once, bigger fish to fry. Or at least a profoundly convenient and imminent escape accompanied by a largely blank and unwritten future, which comes, ultimately, to the same thing. So yes, there’s grief. But having ignored, quite intentionally, the stricture to ‘love carefully’, and having made at least a passing go of sticking my head in the oven of a relationship (before chickening the fuck out and dumping her instead, but hell, it ain’t the agony and the ecstasy and I ain’t van gogh. and never was. ouch.) i’m tending to the last of the overtly loose ends left in this country. After that, it’s just unfinished life, a wholly separate proposition. So though I suspect I’ve actually managed to put on a few pounds (well, you fucking eat a pint of ice cream a night for a week. plus all the empty calories of abundant booze.), I also suspect I’m ready to get done what needs to get done. That there’s a burgeoning curiosity for what life is going to look like on the other side, what I’m going to make it look like.

Saturday November 27th 2004, 11:35 am
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A train (wreck) of thought, complicated, leading from an invitation to a christmas party next weekend that, as it came from a friend’s roommate, might have been premature and therefore required verification and re-issuing, leading to the friend’s friends, who include Blondie, as it was his last party at which we met, and at which I met she-who-kinda-sorta-shouldn’t-be-named, leading to the realisation it was said friend’s 30th birthday party, leading, in turn, to the realisation that it’s gonna be MY 30th birthday next. And then the rather grim realisation that it’s likely I ain’t gonna be having a party. Or, certainly not much of one. 3 and some months I’ll have been in NY by then, and, to model on the great London re-move (which relied on previous years’ residency to weigh things in my favour), there ain’t gonna be a particularly rich social circle from which to choose. Hmm. Perhaps y’all should start buying your airfare now. Or perhaps I’ll come to the Big Zim for tax day. Or maybe I’ll change clothes, out of this cheap suit into something a bit more stylish, and have an improbable (oh shit. not again) flock of friends. 30. gack.

The next morning: man this shit makes for a grim read. More coffee….

the dark
Thursday November 25th 2004, 7:29 am
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The Beeb told me last night that sunset today falls at 15:59. There should be fucking laws about this sort of thing. Do I actually give a fuck if Scottish farmers get depressed because it’s so dark in the morning that they need the rest of us to set the clocks back an hour so they can see the fucking cows they’re fucking milking? Err, no. I think all areas north of a certain line – that line where the sun potentially sets before 4 in the fucking afternoon – should be daylight-savings-zone-free. It’s not human. No matter how ‘wintery’ and ‘charming’ it is to see the High Street all lit up MID FUCKING AFTERNOON. Bring back the light…

time passing
Wednesday November 24th 2004, 8:10 am
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Just a quick reminder that time passes. Spent the evening at a talk by, and then at the pub with, an artist who combines come fascinating ideas on typography, surface, and meaning with some interesting technical abilities. He may well be the only laymen I’ve met whose worked with manuscripts for wholly aesthetic and typographical and personal reasons. But some of his remarks dovetailed interestingly with something I’ve been writing (gasp! wheeze!) and ideas I’m banging on about on time and pictures and surfaces and whatnot. God that sounds pretentious. Hmm. No surprise there. 3 weeks 3 days, and I’m off….

sick of it
Friday November 19th 2004, 6:57 pm
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Speed rant time. Abandon attention all ye who don’t give a fuck. I’m sick of posting all this shit up here and ever so rarely hearing back from folks, cuz they know all about my life and somehow subliminally decide I know all about what’s on in their lives. I’m sick of it getting dark at 4:30, and that’s only been happening for a few weeks. I’m sick of the UTTERLY contingent aspect of my life. Which places are gonna get back in touch? Will the Home Office EVER return my passport. I’m sick of waiting for closure on things that clearly don’t have closure. I’m sick of living a life that fails to resemble the one I think I want, and discovering that, when I take steps action motion movement to make it different that the fucking goalposts have been moved and a third party is permitted to tie one or both of my hands behind my back, blindfold me, tie my shoelaces together, and change the rules without notice. I’m sick of it hurting all the time, to the point it almost always doesn’t actually hurt – that can’t be a good sign. I’m sick of only having perspective on how lonely I can be coming in and out of moments when I’m not this lonely – again, not a good sign. I’m sick of living with other people, being poor, massively in debt, having my belongings split amongst 2 continents and 5 distinct locations, and working shite jobs for shite money. I’m sick of staring at a blank future and feeling no excitement about it. I’m sick of getting older and showing absolutely no signs of becoming the slightest bit “wiser”, or even smarter about the basic shit in this world. I’m sick of not smoking. I’m sick of being an undiagnosed ADD, manic depressive, depressive. I’m sick of not giving a shit. I’m sick of the echoing past I’ve created for myself, that always was going to look better on paper. Living the life I cannot write, i suppose, but it’s fucking a DREADFUL consolation. In fact, it’s a double insult. You fucker, Curro. On the one hand I’d love to meet up and get shit-faced drunk and catch up on 7 years of silence. I was convinced I’d see you in Bilbao that Christmas all those years ago, standing in the queue for the Guggenheim when it just opened. But the ultimate craigslist missed connection, I suppose. Is there a craigslist madrid? Korea? Who the fuck knows. On the other hand, I ought to kill the fucker for helping me along to this ludicrous place and space I’ve constructed for myself over all these years. I’m sick of my flatmates. I’m sick of repeating myself. And I’m sick, right now, of being sober and warm. So it’s off to be not drunk and cold.

Heard this one before
Friday November 19th 2004, 5:38 pm
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Yeah, yeah. So although it’s been quiet around tpt of late, I can still find time for the good old-fashioned whinge. Where’s JD when you need him, to remind me to stop whinging? Or as my Brazilian-Italiano flatmate texted me on Wednesday evening, “You knew from the beginning how it would be…”. Perhaps I ought to give more people more credit. Hmmm. Anyway, although flirting with the edges of flirting, with turning the off into an on-again-until-it’s-off, free of definitions sort of thing, well, it’s me. And as another friend pointed out, can you actually imagine having breakfast the next day and just being friends? Not really. Yet I seem to be trying for something like that.

A familiar space, then. A beautiful beautiful crisp cold day and night, although too many hours spent in a climate controlled office. And the other flatmate left the heating on all farking day, so it’s way too warm in the house. But that permeating sadness is, well, permeating me. Saying goodbye to London, fucking ‘ell, to England, begins. Less than a month by date, now, until the 6 year experiment comes to a close. And though the enthusiasm remains muted for the NY move, I suspect it’s more of the general malaise (i.e., is this actually my life?) than a lack of enthusiasm for NY. Lovers and friends and degrees and family and all. This is it, I guess, where I am now. And an unexpected email arriving, literally just now, reminding me that the lines of how far I can emotionally bounce of ceiling and floor in an alarmingly short time are disturbingly far apart. Flatmate home now, solitude compromised, writing ending.

trickle down decisions
Tuesday November 16th 2004, 9:46 pm
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It’s funny. I think I made these decisions, to go to NY, to leave here, to end this and that and the other thing. But one (Read: I) always seem to forget all the other aspects impacted by these high level choices. Meaning this whole “I’m leaving” thing has well, err, consequences. I’m working on them. A few boxes of stuff, a suitcase, my intentionally monastic existence enabled me to finish, and will enable me to pack up and move on fairly lightly, although the pain or painlessly aspect remains to be determined. So the reality of a departure in just over a month (haven’t I done this before) beginning to overwrite the sense of “I’ll always be here”. Sigh. Shit to do. Mailings to mail. etc. ad infinitum. Or rather, emphatically finitum, but hell…

the political is personal
Sunday November 14th 2004, 11:22 am
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Remembrance Sunday, and virgin radio (yeah yeah) has decided to lead up to the 2 minute silence, and follow it, with remembrance tunes. Stand By Me, It’s a Wonderful World before 11, and now Sting’s Fields of Gold, Peter Gabriel with Don’t Give Up. Love songs, essentially. And songs, like words, though written “for” others, are always written, ultimately, for the writer, and only “to” or “towards” or “connected to” the dedicatee, explicit or implicit. Yet I find myself still susceptible, annoyingly enough, to the cloying programme of chain-jerking music being impersonally distributed over the airwaves, indiscriminately intersecting with bodies and radio antennae and ears, leaving only the decoding into music up to a chance and freakish coincidence. (Cue Rod Stewart, Handbags and Gladrags. Shameless fuckers).

Yet it’s working. I tried to spend the two minutes of the broadcast “silence” from the Cenotaph remembrancing things other than just my life, but the assigned topic, as it were, of those who gave their lives for their country. Such an outmoded, crazy idea, yet one that undoubtedly went on earlier today for somebody. The thing about WWI and WWII is, admittedly with hindsight but presumably to some extent then as well, the moral aspect of things was a bit clearer. How do you get moral about having invaded someone else’s country in order to protect yourself from a minority of people who were passing through that country in order to fuck with your own? And then get weepy when the guys in the uniforms start dying “on my behalf”. Infinite shades of tragically fucked up gray, but not really a 2-minute question. Much easier to sit back and think about my life, my memories, my pauses.

Which I’m going to spare you right now. A year ago today I left where I was and flew to New York, on my way back to England. In just over a month I’ll be reversing half of that journey, and heading to NY. Six years of this coming to an end, a few letters after my name to show for it (well, 5+5+2 bonus letters is 12 pompous letters precisely equivalent to the 3 awarded in the States. But who’s counting?). But the goodbye process has begun. To the me of this and here and now and then, as much as to the here and there of then and this. (Don’t Speak? Damn. Shameless)

Friday November 12th 2004, 5:29 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Derivative Tags:

Well, it’s not often I get to both laugh and agree with something, but hell, seems to have the basics pretty sorted. It’s a touch Dennis Leary and ‘I’m an Asshole’ to be, I think, a link of total genius, but the simple combination of history lesson and divorce statistics with a blue-state agenda, well, I feel a bit better about heading over. Or back.

Thursday November 11th 2004, 11:44 pm
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What is it with the ‘we prefer bitter you to happy you’ consensus? People – and I include strangers and the recently met, along with friends of long and medium standing, here – find me funnier, more entertaining, and all around more interesting when barbed me appears, rather than blunted, rather more tame me. Which perhaps goes more hand in hand with ‘whipped’ than necessarily ‘happy’, and in the ‘delusional’ sub-category of whipped, wherein major changes seem minor and selling out character aspects comes cheap. But sheeit. ‘I could hear it in the answering machine message that you were back’. Back? From the land of the terminally dull and mildly happy in a temporarily uncomplicated life with a full-time employee of a reasonably sized corporation and ambitions largely limited to being happy, enjoying herself, surrounding herself with nice and pretty things, succeeding in her designated career, and traveling occasionally? Hmmm. Drama-boy seems to win out every time over contented boy (not that he appears all that often), yet the lessons I was looking for out of this last one all concerned the quiet happiness of happiness as, in fact, a happiness worth having. Weren’t you people reading? Bloody hell. But keep your eyes open for my ‘Straight Eye for the Straight Girl’ column, coming to a nationally syndicated Blue State newspaper near you….