HEAR YE, HEAR YE…

Well, that was impressive. I’ve pushed the button. Restarted, picked up from where I left off, as if nothing had ever happened.

Today’s morning shower reminded me of how I’ve let myself go. I suppose I’m still reasonably slim for a guy, but for me, I feel like a balloon. And today I snapped. Or well… popped.

No more, I decided.

No more anxiety about my flabby abs. No more waiting around for the opportune moment to pick up a workout again.

Admittedly, it was my hair that started it all. This probably sounds ridiculous and quite vain, but hey, this is my blog, and I can celebrate. I was trying to figure out a new hairstyle for myself, and decided to try it, then realised it ought to be wet for me to try it. Before the shower, I stared at myself, at all the parts of me I thought didn’t matter.

If it was the inside that mattered, why did looking at the flabby outside feel so lousy?

It didn’t take long to figure it out. I knew what I had to do; it was within my power to change the way I live, in order to be healthier, fitter, and everything that comes with exercise.

Eventually, I discovered my hair is too short for the style I required, but once dressed, I sat at my computer to hunt through various fitness workouts and lifestyles. After all, all my effort would be impeded if I didn’t change some other things along the way too – such as my diet, and my sleeping habits. I am aware that the latter is quite screwed up, but can probably be fixed after I start some exercise.

While perusing various workouts in the celebrity fitness section of Men’s Health, I discovered Taylor Kitsch mentioned that writing down how you feel as well as your training programme could help you stay motivated. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about my health before – at least, not about my physical health. Looking back on my blog posts, most of them are about anger, frustration, and feelings of inadequacy. Maybe if I try to improve my health and general well being, I will be able to get other things done more efficiently. For example, I have a mental pile of things I wish to write about, but don’t seem to get round to it because I feel rather uninspired and unmotivated. Maybe this is just what I need?

Anyhow, at the end of this flick through men’s fitness programmes, I’ve realised I don’t really like the gym – partly because my chosen form of exercise for years has been cycling or playing tennis or some other thing that required me being outdoors. Either way, I have found various programmes that will allow me to build up to going to the gym – hopefully for as little time as possible. I don’t mind working out – I daresay the endorphins make me thoroughly enjoy it – but I do have issues with spending too much time at the gym. At some point in the past, when I was in really good shape, I remember thinking that two hours at the gym is a very long time. It isn’t if you’re doing things there and getting a proper workout, but it can feel like a waste when you need those two hours to write an essay, or something.

I don’t know where this is going, but I suppose I’m trying to mark out the precise moment it happened, so that I don’t forget. So that I stay true to myself, and fuel my motivation accordingly.

In that case…

HEAR YE, HEAR YE, I’M MAKING A CHANGE IN MY LIFE!

Cold

Cold… so cold.

My room’s heating is not working at all, and so I have resorted to sitting in my bed, with my duvet wrapped around me. I am wearing gloves in order to type, as my hands are exposed.

Admittedly, I am heating up as we speak, but if I try to move to the desk, or get something to drink, I will have to expose myself to the cold again. Apparently outside it is approximately 1 degree. It was snowing a few days ago. While the snowing has stopped, it hasn’t melted, because it is so so cold.

Anyhow, I managed to acquire food and drink; I just have to find the courage to get to the bag they are in. I don’t know why that is an accomplishment in this day and age, but it has to count for something, right? Yesterday I managed to eat a bagel in Starbucks, which was quite tasty; kept me full for the whole day. I was in there to meet up with some friends and steal the heat of the cafe for awhile.

From where I sit, I can see through the curtains. It’s sunny outside, but as I discovered earlier, it is freezing and windy. It usually is alright if you’re walking around, especially when the wind ceases, but there is no mercy when it begins to blow.

It feels as though I will never be warm again. Glaswegian chill goes straight to the bone, much like a knife. I think I now know what the writer from Moulin Rouge and Rent felt. (Trust me to make cultural references at a time like this!)

Also, I can tell it is cold because my hairgel – well, putty – has gone stone-hard. Not sure I’d want to put that in my hair any time soon.

There is an advantage to this situation, I suppose. I get to stay in bed all day and doze off whenever I so desire.

Speaking of sleep, the cherry-lipped maiden from my dream has not returned. I waited excitedly (well, as excitedly as possible when asleep) but she never came. I’ve seen her in my daydreams, but not my dreams. I imagine at times how I would hold her close, for us to be able to share body heat and the duvet. Of course, that is, if she would have me. I don’t really see why she would; it is highly unlikely she will return to my dreams anyhow. What further caresses and kisses would be shared, I don’t know.

Part of me wonders whether that is Erik’s dream, not mine. Erik (with a ‘k’) is the Phantom of the Opera. While I have not met him, or hope to meet him anytime soon, I am aware that he was in love with one Christine Daae. She was pale as snow, with brown eyes and luscious brown curls. And when she sang, birds would go silent to hear her tune. She certainly fits the description. I don’t think I’ve met anyone like that as of yet, and, aside from my name, I have always felt I shared something with Erik. But is it possible to share a brain, or a subconscious? Is it possible to plant thoughts and dreams into another’s mind without actually knowing them?

Perhaps. Perhaps not. I am a writer, and that does tend to make it very difficult to separate imaginings from dreams and the realities of my fictions from my own reality. After all, if art reflects life, then it is most true, but only to its creator. It is some form of the truth as perceived by the artist. I suppose writers face the greatest challenge with this because it is rare that they will be known beyond their work. While a painter or sculptor might be remembered for their style or ‘school of thought’, the writer will be judged on content,and entertainment value (that is, if we are talking about a professional writer, who gets paid for creating fiction). I suppose due to the nature of other artforms, like painting, sculpture, drawing, film, and such, it is not easy to get into them. For one thing, you’d need some sort of technical training or background, as well as a budget to make whatever it is you are making. Writing, on the other hand, merely involves pen and paper, or a laptop, or typewriter. There is not always a great requirement to be able to write something fascinating and perfect, but it must be able to sell; sell, like a car, or a phone. While sculptures and paintings are at the higher price range, a book is cheap, and is expected to give something to the reader, some sort of experience.

Dreamgirl

Last night, I was Peter Pan. I was also myself, but man, could I fly. I flew around and around, to my heart’s content, flushing away anyone who was so negative their thoughts would ground me.

There was no one to stop me, until, suddenly there were too many negatives, and I couldn’t fly anymore. It wasn’t so much the fact that I was being negative, but rather my cockiness, my smarminess that tied me down. Either way, I couldn’t lift off at all.

The dream shifted, as dreams tend to do, and took me to a black couch; it was a familiar couch, like the ones my mother used to have in our living room.

It was summer, based on the chirping of the birds outside.

But the couch was already taken. Its occupier was about my height – judging by the fact that her feet didn’t reach the other side of the couch when she stretched out. She was pale, with luscious brown curls. She didn’t notice me at the end of the couch, as she was reading.

I shuffled around a little trying to get comfortable, and the book came down to rest on her chest. A pair of round brown eyes looked at me with delighted curiosity. Her cherry red lips looked ever so tender, I was instantly distracted.

“Hello!” she exclaimed, sitting up, putting the book down on the floor. Something in her smile told me she recognised me.

I smiled. She offered no name, but it felt as though we were well acquainted. Maybe we weren’t, maybe we were. It’s hard to tell in dreams.

“What are you reading?” I gestured to the book.

She held it up for me to read the title.

“Interesting choice.”

She made a face in an attempt to pretend to look offended, poking at my shoulder playfully.

“Well, I write better than that,” I pointed out in mock arrogance.

Her raised eyebrow said it all.

“Oh you do?” She nudged my shoulder again, this time slightly harder – not hard enough to hurt, but enough to throw me off balance. She chuckled as I ended up in a heap on the floor.

“Oh yeah? Two can play that game!” I got to my feet, a mischievous grin on my face. I launched myself at her, pushing her backwards, such that we started from the couch and ended up rolling off it, onto the hard floor. Somehow, I’d broken her fall, but then we rolled again, and again, and again, and eventually, when we stopped, I collapsed on top of her. Neither of us could breathe as we were laughing so hard.

“Gerroff! You’re squashing meeeeeeeeeeee!” she said, after getting her breath back. I proceeded to become as heavy as possible. “Get off!” She pounded a fist on my back, and tried pushing me off her, but I wasn’t having it. I would not budge… not yet, anyway. She gave up a few moments later, glaring at me.

“Please get off me?”

“What do I get in return?”

She thought for a moment, then said:
“My eternal gratitude.” She paused, as she saw I did not react. “And a mars bar, for being such a good boy. Good boy!” She began to talk to me as though I were a dog, patting my head and scratching behind my ears and under my chin. I stuck out my tongue and panted, much like an excitable canine. Moments later, we both dropped the act.

“Sounds good to me.” I propped myself up onto my arms, to let her breathe.

“Thank you.” She pretended to gulp down copious amounts of air, then she giggled at her own joke. Her arms wrapped themselves around my neck, pulling me closer. Her big brown eyes gazed up at me, drawing me in further. Our lips met. Her lips were soft and warm. And they tasted like cherries. Anything I had been thinking of before just disappeared.

Footsteps echoed down the hall, and we both froze.

“What if they see us?” she whispered, much like a child about to get caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Both stiff with fear, we listened to the footsteps fading into the distance, then heard the slam of a door.

“What if I kissed you again?” And I did. I felt her respond. I wanted to kiss her again and again, until the sun’s light went out. I wanted to lie there beside her and just be – for the summer, for the autumn, for the winter, for the spring. There was nothing I wanted more than that.

But of course, it was a dream.

I woke up, and I could still taste her, whoever she was. While I said nothing, as there was no one here to hear it, I felt my soul crumble, like an animal torn apart violently by a hungry wolf’s teeth.

Her lips were soft and warm. And tasted like cherries. But she wasn’t real.

Just another headache.

Well, here I am again, writing at the late night hour. I can’t sleep cause I snoozed for an hour or two earlier, and the guilt of knowing I’ve got stuff to do has begun to creep up on me.

Time. Always feels like I’m running out of Time, but I keep getting told I still have plenty. Maybe it’s not Time chasing me; maybe I’m not running out of Time, just running from it. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. Apparently, I’m having fun, and living the life; because being a student is a great thing to be. I agree, but when I try to think ahead, I don’t really see anything. Having fun now is all very well, but what happens after academia? I’m told I’ll figure it out, I’ll find a way, but what if I don’t? I’m not exactly known for being street smart or efficient. I suppose I’m not an optimist either, so I just let things slip away.

There’s this big internship I want to apply for, and the deadline’s this Friday, and I’ve not fixed my CV yet. I’ve got articles to write; articles that could probably be done in under 15 minutes if I knew what I had to write, or if I had the quotes necessary. But then what? What if I get the articles done? I still have to come up with more articles, and do more, and churn out more bullshit like I’m some machine. Well, world, guess what. I’m not a journalistic machine. I can type at speed but I refuse to write faster and write more, just to be able to get a job at a local newspaper. I don’t want to be the guy who went from a masters into a job he doesn’t really enjoy. I enjoy the writing part of it; I just battle with the methods used to acquire information.

I don’t want to be stuck in a career I’m not particularly fond of. Sure, I can do it; I can be a journalist, but it’s not me. I don’t want to have a job just to survive, just to pay the bills. I don’t know what I want. The list of things I don’t want is much longer, and easier to define.

But I know I want to make time to have conversations. Have conversations about things that matter. Have laughs. Laugh about being stupid. Be stupid about things that matter, so I can be at ease.

The anger has eaten away at the laughter; I can go out and have fun all night, and then let the entire evening be soured by one bad, sick joke. Maybe I’m too tolerant of being other people’s jester, other people’s entertainment. Maybe I’m too keen to be funny. Funny is what I do, I guess. Especially when I’m angry. When my insides churn and burn and flame up with fury; that’s when I’m funny, because I’m so careful about my words. I try to be careful so as to not hurt anyone because of my anger, but it often seeps in, like poison in water.

But the darkness, it feels good. It feels strong; I want to be strong like that darkness. I want the speed, and the stealth, and I want to be a human being. I guess anger is part of that, as it is part of the emotive spectrum of human beings, but I don’t think I remember what it’s like to feel anything else. I don’t see why anyone else would try to ‘get with’ such an inflamed being. I don’t see myself writing any romantic poetry any time soon. I don’t see a future with anyone. With anything. Anywhere.

I don’t see my future, and so I throw it away. I throw it away, push it to the side, and yet the seed of doubt is there, growing slowly into an amorphous black hole, that will suck everything into it. I don’t see myself in academia; I’ve had enough of people telling me what they think I should think about things. I’ve had enough of being told what’s best for me. And yet, the very thought of breaking out of the ‘asylum’ is terrifying.

The unknown has scared human beings for centuries, so I don’t see why I would be any exception. Yet surely there’s some way of understanding how to handle a situation like this. Oh sure, ‘make informed choices’; where the hell did that ever get any of us? Decisions are best taken quickly, because Time is money.

Maybe I’m just tired. Too negative for my own good.

Well then, let’s look at the positive side… I know I have some good points. I can write, for starters. Where does that leave me?

Oh, fuck off. I’m going to bed.