better in a glass
Monday January 31st 2005, 11:00 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

In an attempt to return to the small scraps of wisdom, as against learning, that I’ve acquired over the years, I’m accompanied this evening by guinness in a bottle: always better in a glass. Similarly, I think I intuitively respect wisdom as much, if not more, as I do intellect. Personally, of course, it’s a bit of a weak point, a neglected faculty, certainly in comparison with book learning, even world learning. I’m not so sure where this semi-detached tone came from; it wasn’t here as I was about to start writing this. This was intended to be a sincere thank you to those of you providing shoulders, words, advice, and wisdom. I never imagined my life would arrive here, would resemble this, and I feel not a little sorry for myself. I’m aware, yes, that with 18 months or so on my hands it would be inexcusable not to accomplish something, particularly the things that will change things up next time around. But I’m so fucking tired. Tired of living a 20k a year existence, tired of being betwixt and between in almost every aspect of my life, tired of working so hard to accomplish what feels like so little. I dunno. More decisions, not that I regret, but that I question. But perhaps that’s just the nature of decisions. The leadenness that accompanies my morning trudge to work, my evening trudge home, borderline tears and an inability to concentrate, seems to have lifted for the evening. Which, as I’ll probably sleep soon, is only a small comfort. But a reminder of transience that’s on my side, for once, rather than my mobile cross to bear. Perhaps my tattoos were an attempt to inscribe the cross on the outside, bear it that way, so I wouldn’t have to climb the Golgotha of life with the real thing on my back. But, to quote a man I wronged grievously, “Lazy man works hardest.” And, much as after 6 weeks in this town I’m still playing the ‘just off the boat’ card, after only 4 days of confronting my failure, I’ll continue to play the ‘alcohol is an important part of your daily breakfast’ card. Metaphorically speaking.

Monday January 31st 2005, 8:11 am
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

I’m not sure I can describe yesterday’s hangover in such a way as to convey the ways in which it far exceeded abject misery, physical suffering, and existential torpor. Somewhat alarmingly, today doesn’t feel like too much of an improvement yet, but whether that’s because the illness of last week(s) has returned, or my liver’s not quite done un-pickle-ing itself remains unclear. Yet amidst it all, and despite the pause in the snowstorm of thin envelopes, well, yeah. Monday. Check. Lobotomy? Check. Penury? Check. Despair? Check. Yeah. It’s gonna be a good week…

stop short
Thursday January 27th 2005, 10:18 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Infinite regress, stop short. They didn’t even have the dignity to read the email concerning ‘updated contact information’ and mail it to the correct address. So my lack of future winged its way across the pond and back again (bless the Royal Mail for being reasonably timely about such things), from Jan. 12 to Jan. 27, 16 days of hell that could have been 3. And no place open to buy wine or hard alcohol in this silly state; at least in England when they say ‘liquor until 11’ they mean it. And next? Fuck you. I don’t know. So fuck you.

Thursday January 27th 2005, 8:24 am
Filed under: TPT the First Derivative Tags:

Wow. I really am writing this crap again. Oh well. Anyways, check out the all too genius Hieronymous Bosch action figures. Truly. Now if only they’d do the crazy inter-species sex ones, too, and then give one away free with Happy Meals ™, I feel the world might be a better place…

sound byte
Thursday January 27th 2005, 2:03 am
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Reminded by a friend today of an old phrase of mine, ‘trivial trivialities’, oft found alongside ‘banal banalities’ and ‘consistently inconsistent’. Just finished (re)watching Before Sunrise, waiting for Before Sunset to finish downloading (bring it, RIAA), and it struck such different chords. A friend who taught herself not to leave the house with any hope for the magical. Something I’ve never quite succeeded at, that total intentional suppression of hope. Yet it was all about the moment after the goodbye that resounded. Somehow it captures my life now – the moment after the magic is over, when the perfect has ended and recedes with alarming quickness into memory, into past, and the all-filling joy is filled itself by the knowledge of its loss, its absence, its pastness. The knowledge that something magical, irrevocable, precious has transpired, and is gone. Not that my past, the last 6 years, whatever, were magical (there were moments, of course, if fewer unpredictable and more conventionally narrated ones). But this void of blankness, of shuffling along without a future and without a past, somehow makes more sense as if the unimaginable had happened, and is now lost.

And, to quote yet another friend, “Interests: myself”. I’ve been reading critical theory blogs, book blogs, review newspapers, essayists, yet I can’t actually sustain the interest to begin such a thing, let alone write and conclude such a thing. Whingeing about myself, and writing with semi-colons, are about as far as I can reach. Perhaps time to confront that limitation? Things I’ll die without being: a poet, a prophet, an essayist, a writer of any note. And I find myself distracted, even from this, craving a drink (typical), and something, anything to happen to me (somehow more typical). Not urgently, not with the desperate ‘get out and go’ frenzy I’m still occasionally capable of whipping myself into. But perhaps enough to manage four flights of stairs and a cold night. As against staying in, sober, and reading Proust. The spirit is weak but the flesh is always willing….

bad sign
Wednesday January 26th 2005, 1:04 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

I’ve been awake for 24 minutes, and am in the process of nursing my first pot of coffee. And already, I’m bored. This day holds nothing of interest for me. Not the coffee I’m drinking, the fag I just lit, the remainder of the stack of cheap Chinese knock-off import ‘MccVittie’s’ digestive biscuits (although they almost contribute to a sense of meaning in my life at $1.85 for many rather than 4.75 for few. How expensive can it be to put cookies on a boat, really?), or the gaping banality of my inbox, outbox, brain. The feeling at 8:15 this morning, now, that even were I to inadvertently consume massive doses of hallucinogens (yahweh forbid) that I’d be bored, sulky, sullen, and black and white. Perhaps too many thoughtful books recently, if ‘many’ can be used to describe the pathetic few titles I’ve read of late. Hmm. Perhaps time to ‘hop, hop, hop’ on the paperback train for real this time.

Wednesday January 26th 2005, 4:15 am
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

It echoes and echoes, soul-consuming in its appalling vastness, emptiness. Contingency is all I ask and all i ever wanted, to mis-quote myself, and misrepresent my only desire in this world: to be free of the contingency, of the silence. Of course I want to hear yesses from the handful of places who still haven’t spoken. Not, of course, that any of those would actually be ‘yes’, but rather the beginning of a frantic and frenzied process to the next step. But then, briefly, and only temporarily, the ball would literally be in my court, even if the game is played on their field, if I can (and will) butcher a few metaphors. But the nothing. How to hang a hat on the silence? On the going lack of rejection? I can and I must but I can’t. And so I trudge ever more aimlessly on through my ever more pointless days ever more unable to look to next week, let alone next fall. A process stretching back a few months, yet representing too many years of desire, and of effort, to be borne through the silence. ‘Early days yet’ an acquaintance in similar straits wrote today. Which, as these fuckers said ‘We’ll call you in two weeks’ a month ago goes waaaaaaaaaay the fuck past irony and officially has reached unacceptable. No other industry has this calculated a disregard for its ‘human capital’, to borrow a rather horrid HR phrase. To update an old bumper sticker, ‘Academics eat their young’. But I’m not so young anymore. And yet still living day to day and week to week, suitcases close to hand, belongings far away, permanence a fantasy in both senses. ‘Scuse me while i have a quick wank imagining I know where I’m going to be living in 8 months time. Just let me fucking act. Passive, forced inaction not a strong suit. Give me something to do to continue the game, or give me the pieces of my existence and let me invent a broom and find a way to stumble forward through the grief and the hell and pull something put something together. But this horrific game of inverted musical chairs goes on, as I wait for music to start, eyeing the chairs, eyeing the others lurking purposefully near them.

Sunday January 16th 2005, 4:44 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

3 coffee grinders on two different electrical systems. Belongings consolidated (!) in 4 locations. 40 boxes of books not with me; 24 books with me. 3 sets of sheets, for 3 different sizes of mattress, in 2 locations. 2 and a half sets of kitchen goods, plus a single wooden spoon. 2 bathmats. 2 different towel sets, also divided. 4 pillows. 2 duvets, probably soon to be complemented by a new blanket. And no idea where I’ll be next week, next month, next year, 18 months from now. You cannot begin to imagine how tired I am…

Sunday January 16th 2005, 3:34 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Out to dinner with a friend last night, came back to mine for drinks, and I apologised as I turned on my computer to check my email.

Monday January 03rd 2005, 5:26 am
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

My crusade to not think continues. Therefore no writing. Reading largely restricted (in theory) to trade paperbacks; at the moment i’m working with what was left around the house by the Estonian hitman subletting the place to me, but like all Eastern Europeans, the fucker’s overeducated and over-literary: Auster, Pasolini poems in a City Lights edition, Bashevis Singer, Mishima, and – I’m saving this for last – Tarkovski in Russian. Job first. Life was in hands, life now out of hands, waiting to hear if life returns back into hands. Otherwise, I refuse to vamp until ready, to think myself into an inescapable corner, and am therefore very busy fighting the impulse to contemplate, filling the silence with noise, the stillness with movement.