Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 280

If I just creep in here quietly, no one will notice my lack of attendance in the past months’ classes.

As I tentatively tiptoe into the room I make eye contact with no one. I shrug my enormous satchel off my shoulder and onto my lap and pull the cinema-style seat down, sliding onto it in one deft, well practiced movement – I’ve made it. Smoothing my fringe out of my now perspiration-beaded brow, I let out a single, slow, uneven breath. I hurry to concentrate on the subject in hand, desperate to look casual in my furtiveness to look focused and like I belong. Carelessly, and slightly smugly, I dare to think that I haven’t been spotted, until I hear the dull boom of a voice and my name resonating off all walls. And then begin the demands: Why do I think it is OK to re-appear when it suits me, why haven’t I attended in so long, why haven’t I submitted my evaluations and writings in, on time, as agreed?

I have no answers. Apart from one excuse, which in the dull light of the room and within the company that I sit seems a little pathetic - “I’ve been sick?”

I am told to wait behind. Crap.

For the duration of the session I spend my time gathering my thoughts for the dressing down I am expecting later. “Why haven’t I been here?” “What has been wrong over the past month?” I’ll be damned if I know, time has literally escaped me.

Aside from ‘silly’ excuses like “…still no Internet connection” I am at a loss to fathom what has gone on in the last month to stop me writing. “I’m bored, I’m fed up and I’ve been trying to keep up with the Joneses?”

I’ve been in my new flat for nearly two months and I’ve unpacked most of the boxes – apart from the ones filled with writing and old art stuff. It still doesn’t feel like “mine”, but with nowhere else to go, we have become flatmates of circumstance, this flat and I.

Geographically, my flat sits on the outskirts of a group of flats belonging to friends. Emotionally, this placement is an ideal, clichéd simile of how I am feeling about my life in general. I spend my days, sitting on the outskirts, looking in at all the career driven people, beavering away on the inside. Happy in their couples, contented by themselves or having so much sex, they have no time to think about being alone. Working through the days in jobs with weight and clout that enable their existence. They might be miserable, but I can’t see that, and if I do, it just makes me feel guiltier. They work hard for what they have. I once, worked hard, and many would argue that I still do, but I didn’t expect the outcome to be this – sitting on my couch, with the remnants of bedding sliding off it from when my sister stayed last week, blinds closed, in the dark, feeling terrified that the phone will ring or someone will knock at the door. “Why can’t I make it work?” “Why can’t I get off this Goddamn couch?”

The highs have been high and the lows low during my hiatus. One could argue some form of mania has set in, in the last month. I am still inexplicably unable to let anyone see me on a low and people see me, more often than not since the move. So, the make up gets slapped on, the clothes are clean (if more than a little crumpled), the smile, cemented in front of tired eyes fluffed up with dubious coats of mascara and pills swallowed. They all must wonder what all the fuss is about. Why don’t I have a job? I’m totally fine. Obviously.

These days I have a whipping stick the size of a bus constantly with me and when those daily failures (I haven’t paid my phone bill. I haven’t set up my Broadband yet. I need to pay the rent. I need to write my blog. I need to get a job. I need to get better…) show up, I am the first to beat myself with it. As you can imagine I have welts the size of the ocean across my back, therefore the only place for me to be is in bed, having nightmares. Either that or self-harming and wailing. Behind closed and bolted doors, of course.

Our time is up for today; way before I have time to think about everything I want to say and I struggle out of my seat to walk down the steps to the front of the room where I prepare from my ear bashing.

I mumble: “All I can say is, I’m sorry for not being here and I will try harder in the future.”

“Not good enough”. Comes back the reply.

She can obviously see right through my lie. I’m not sorry, I don’t know if I can try harder and the future? Do I even have one of those? Fuck you Ms Blog. You just don’t get it do you? I just needed to hide, pretend everything was OK, not think and not do anything that keeps me sane. Just for a little while, but I’m back now. Regretfully.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Day 252

Apparently, when I was small, I got sent home from a party for biting the hostess (she was equally as small) on the stomach.

No such thing happened on my 30th. I had two naps, lots of presents, got sunburn and finished up the day eating fish and chips, looking out at the North Sea at sunset with my family. Not a bad way to spend your 30th. Retirement Village or not.

Mum and I are packing up all my wares to head down to the city this morning. I hate this part - the extraction from holiday land, back to reality and all those bloody boxes...and forms.

I wonder what delights await me there; I wonder if there is a letter from Housing and my deposit from the old flat. "Please let there be some good news at least?"

I looked up Broadband packages and doctors surgeries in my area on the Internet last night, so hopefully I will be up an running shortly. Until then, Adieu.