Monday, 23 November 2009

T Dancing

I'm thinking again about whether there is a story in the tea dance 'circuit', as she put it. My (old) mate Jeff the other day was talking about how it was a shame that no-one is into it these days, I didn't spoil the idea by saying how Going Out now is just a euphemism for getting trashed. It wasn't even like he was trying to romanticise it; I asked him which was his favourite dance, he replied nonchalently, and I don't think it was to compensate for his bad knee. I think he probably just honestly thought 'dances' were a good way to meet women, have a feel about innocently and decide which one to go for. And forget your self in the war.

So potentially I could zip around London and go to around 4 different venues a week, appearing as The Serial Young One. I felt increasingly suspicious at the Opera House last Friday, like a gold digger. What must they think of me, there especially, amongst the sequined beehives and backless dresses, party attire unashamedly clinging-or-not to rolls of loose skin. I'm here for the dancing, with no hint of irony or postmodern trend, I'm here for me. I wonder grandly as the spins pass before me, pairs of feet making new pairs, whether this world could be reignited. A world when a double Scotch is naughty, tea is special, and biscuits are just a treat. I like your shoes, she said, I like your trousers, another. Hobbs and a jumble last Saturday, I replied, feeling fake even though I was so so true.

I balanced my cup and saucer awkwardly, feeling under my chair for something I didn't need. Clockwatching and waiting. Jeff seemed tense. We had a dance and he smiled. He seemed to buy the Scotch in celebration, I couldn't try it as I had lipstick on, but it smelled so good. James Bond's drink, he told me, try it! It carried on smelling amazing, creamy and warm, as I swigged tincture from my Sigg bottle. You were born in the wrong era, he informed me, I disappeared into the middle distance in agreement. I often wonder how I would be if I was born in the first half of the century. Getting on and being happy, I imagine, truth within my means, married to a local boy and living by good rules and healthy limitations. Little possessions and real passions.

A man asked me to dance that I wasn't expecting, it turned out to be the partner of trousers lady, I expected they had talked about me. Let's Face the Music and Dance, and we gossiped about the bouffant he'd nicknamed The Duchess, and I'd secretly plumped for Sequined Glamazon. The Cobalt Silver Foxes were missing from the quickstep, unable to do their sick jive to this beat. I span with lightness I didn't expect, pleased to hold conversation and keep up at the same time. My 33p trousers did me proud. I don't want it to be spoiled, I like being an undercover tea dancer...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Day off/ffo yaD

Woke up heavy with memories. God knows what was in that eight hours, but on the tipping point I was thinking about the newsagents on Hardman Street? I traced it back to the last time I was at his house, the last time I rode away at 7am on Monday the Second of March, en route to my class In London. I remembered sitting in that workshop feeling WOOSH, these worlds do not match. What the fuck is going to happen here. I glanced her nails, watched them play with a pen, idly and consciously at once. No word for that feeling then.

Facebook suggested a group headed up by his photo. Falling. There I was thinking I'd chaptered it off, and there's fb telling me we're linked on twenty eight accounts. No wonder the memories keep flashing up. Ever since I started the autogenic training actually. These flashes of, excuse me, why am I thinking about reading the Saturday paper in a pub in Parkgate, right now? Er? Is this really being productive? Or, oh, there's another one from the car boot sale at the Women's Hospital, deckchairs, five pounds for the two, he'll carry them home and I'm so glad. They'll rip and rot over the next three years. Then flashes flashes flashes of the kitchen in our house, the oven, me spending an inordinate amount of time in that fricking room, trying to create an income, a belief, something.

The mind is so interesting. So so interesting. We can try and aid it, but really we only have a hold of a minute of a percent of the show that it's running. I wonder about the section that holds these paused pictures, ready to be played if I put my pen to paper, fingers to keys, hands round a glass of something alcoholic. What truths are ready to be replayed, and for what reason, or any at all. I started a new, ish, book last week. I now have a red book, a blue book, a black (Mac)Book, and various on-the-go Asixers. Slightly multipolar you might think. Slightly Golden. I should read that book. I just don't particularly like the topic, only the concept.

I am reading two books! TWO! I can't possibly expect my writing to move unless I am an involved reader, and since the course I've given up the papers. I am not even pretending to read the books, I am actually doing it. I am picky about everything, I really don't like a lot of what is available, so why should I have expected to find all writers amazing? I like her language. I like the way she doesn't put in speech marks, flattening the characters and writer and reader into one. It's all words, only. I like his topics. I like reading a short book that has been somehow pre-approved by Penguin for it's successful brevity. I will think of cafe au lait whenever I remember it, memories of reading about memory.

He asked me what I wanted to write about. Again, I felt a falling and panic, again. Some days I'm just not set up with an answer. Some times I just want to stop on the street and scream I DON"T KNOW. I did better at his birthday meal, chatting with them, somehow finding formulas and ideas in strangers. The only difference was my confidence. I pictured a website of offerings, a fiction section, a non-fiction section, perhaps a new blog of kind-of reviews, critiques. I applied for 3 a-n writing bursaries, thinking they're not going to pick me, they don't want crafted writing, they want regurgitated second-hand opinion, trite-art style. Maybe I'm cynical. Maybe I'm not ready to take on reviewing, my writing stuck between lyrical and processed information.

I started trying to write something fictional after the jumble sale. I felt that I should start an index card box of emotional situations, things to tap into, tools for removed realities. It started off ok, but just didn't feel fiery. Perhaps the blog is a really extreme version of expression. It was interesting the way he thought something typed was open to change and adjustment, over and above the handwritten. And to me, it is something so ridiculously final, these fingers dancing over these letters, the process of thought out onto a keyboard. It is the handwritten, to me, that is fragile. A process that is now only a beginning, a style kept for journals, love letters, Post-it reminders, passive-aggressive tirades, humorous intervention. I don't know what I'm planning, but it's nice to have flickers of light.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Not Christmas cakes

I peeled off my shirt constrictingly, "Roaccutane" he snapped within seconds. Great. I watched him spell out my names in doctor capitals and made him evil, playing into the science hand. I mentioned something unconvincing about herbal remedies and he told me someone out there must say cornflakes cure it. I hated him. I fucking hated him. I tried not to cry, what's your name, I scolded, as though I wanted to report him to the hippy medicine council, don't you know it's not only your way, you know, don't you...?

So it started badly. I queued next to the pregnant women and changed my mind about the scan as I was about to take a ticket. I went to the pharmacy for more information and a dishy kind pharmacist gave me some, who knows if I'd have said yes if he was sharp. I felt lighter. All I wanted was the information, not some cynical snappy fuck who thinks the world revolves around them and their truths. Come on. I left with four boxes of remedy, maybe.

I have wanted to go to Le Pain Quotidien for ages, and I wasn't disappointed if a little ripped off. Expensive, that Daily Bread. Nice though, nice crunchy barley flakes on a raisin loaf, covered in praline spread, and a bowl of cafe au lait, completely indulgent and lovely. And a good book. I felt peaceful. I'm glad I decided to find the Heath. When I feel shit, birds make me happy. When I feel happy, birds make me ridiculous. I love kicking autumn leaves. An indulgent view of town, excited by the train station, geek.

Hampstead is Britflick perfect, Dalston at a distance now, felt like Berlin. I saw the edge for what it was, the loveliness too. I'm glad I don't live there anymore. I nearly passed out in Sainsbury's but my tendencies made me put all my shopping back, in reverse, before I escaped crazy. I was taken aback by how messy and exhausted I was, dropping bags and bits all over the place, scrambling for my travel card, a drycleaning ticket, a cheque. I ate soup on a bench and felt on stage. I don't know what to do with my weekend. A birthday here and there. An art thing here and there. People here and there. I want to dance till 4am but I can't see the energy happening. I will see how work goes tomorrow. I am my own expert, listen.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Wondering wondering whether he's remembering remembering the fifth of November?

A cloud. A sad cloud coming round, hovering all day, as a marker that swallows itself up from projection to reality, and I'm going to wake up in the morning and still be alive, and probably not even dreaming about it at all. Ah heaviness in my chest! Literal and not. Non-iversary, in minus years and imaginary. Weird marker.

I'm tired. Today was hard but I didn't get a chest infection which is excellent news! I am getting stronger. I toyed with the idea of getting a prescription all day, but preferred to try and become resistant and not dependent on drugs, and if all else fails there might be a cute paramedic this time, and no passed-out oaf.

I didn't go speed record dating. Instead I made a lentil and apricot soup and pittas from scratch. Yeast is amazing. I do have yeast burps and hope the old block of smelly stuff didn't nurture any unwanted friends. Maybe I will wake up in a rash that I have to call in sick for! I had two good food days, lunch was a put together chicken watercress salad, and I super enjoyed the dinner last night. I put almonds and molasses sugar in the crumble and it worked a treat. I also went a bit off piste with my soup, adding whole cumin seeds and potatoes and tinned tomatoes. I love it when stuff fits.

Hmmm. Heaviness. Again a diary filling with dancing days and train trips, but as for ambitions and someone to share them with, hmmm. It all looks so black and white right now. We're in the same world, but it slipped and he fell and I'm still here and he's not there, and oh, who is going to be there? Is there a replacement? Did I fail my one chance, kind of by mistake, without even trying? How hard can things be, should they be? I guess I'm saying that I'm taking the whole day with a lightness I didn't foresee, truely seeing the fragility and hilarity in the whole game of being.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Maybe I submit to Winter now

I just got super upset because I'm not committed enough to be satisfied and I'm not free enough to do what I absolutely want. I am in limbo. You are free, you are not committed, you have this lifestyle which is so coffee but when it comes to spontaneously booking a £4 opera ticket on Saturday, you can't do it because you are closing the shop till half 7. That's that. The end of it. Responsibility. Consequence. Result. Tough.

I had to call in sick for work at 5am on Monday. It made me so upset I cried after I put the phone down. It's not normal to call your boss at 5am and apologise for being ill and unslept and have them be nice to you. It made me upset because I didn't want to to be doing it, but I didn't have a choice, I was helpless. Similarly, I didn't have a choice with a closing shift on Saturday. I can be a version of spontaneous, free of the nine to five, days here and there, earlies and lates there and here, but ultimately we are all bound by our means. There has to be a line somewhere which says STOP. You can't afford this in time or money.

I was just doing my accounts. It made me so depressed. I got so carried away on Friday after the celebrity dancer spotting and makeup and Champagne and Quality Street that I spent £42 in Space NK that I really cannot Afford. Means. I am questioning mine. I am running this show to the penny and whilst that is admirable it's also scary. What are my true needs? If I always spend exactly what I have, with a buffer of three thousand pounds, what the hell does it say about me? Is the want grown from the means, or do the means wrap around the want, squeeze and meld it to size? If I ever earn a 'decent' wage, what sort of person will I be? Would I go to pilates and have massages and wear Isabel Marant and not finish my breakfast at Ottolenghi?

I am just waffling sadness because I am ill. I am limbo ill though. Fine enough in the body, but my lungs are just having this huge fight I can't help them with. I can't go into the fresh air as my throat will be attacked by shards and the lungs will weep. My back is aching. It's about this time I start to feel hugely sorry for myself, not well enough to enjoy being off work, not ill enough to forget myself. I was hugely interested in the two side of the brain thing. They are dealing with different parts of being me. I would like to find out more about it. How much do I control this now-yearly chest attack, bring it on myself, and how much is just the turning of the seasons.