The absence of sleep makes the brain ponder

It is better to sleep. Tossing and turning does nobody any good.  What’s more,  staying awake means dealing with my new friends: the cough and cold. Staying awake means freezing on the floor of a friend’s house. Surrendering to sleep lets me travel a little.

Unfortunately I am awake after some abbreviated sleep,  my mind travelling just round the corner. I keep replaying the scene in my memory;  how it went, how I had hoped it would go,  and what ensued.  I knew as soon as the words illuminated my phone screen: “we need to have a chat”. I expected it would happen;  I was wondering when it would slither in and was prepared for it. I didn’t think I had anything to lose;  wasn’t in love,  was just having fun really. It was probably my pride that was left tainted anyhow, because I knew that regardless of how much fun we had, we were just passing the time till you returned to him.  Even if you said you didn’t trust him. Even if you said you didn’t see yourself in love with him. It doesn’t hurt but I guess in spite of my preparation, some small part of me hoped that you wouldn’t choose. Some small part that wondered if it was possible you would want anything to do with me in the first place. I guess I hoped we could have fun for a little longer. But hey, we can still have fun. Just not the same kind we had between the sheets. After all, we are just friends and friends don’t sleep together. Friends don’t want to kiss each other.

It’s always the chat that destroys things; things that were already broken but just need to be untangled and revealed,  like bright daylight bouncing off the pieces of a smashed clock.

Even avoiding having “the chat” as I tried with a previous partner,  it just doesn’t work. Why do we call it the chat anyhow? It’s not actually a chat but rather an ultimatum, much like bringing an enemy the terms of a treaty. One party makes demands, the other has to accept them or walk away. Sometimes it is smarter to walk away.

For the record,  it was fun. It only existed in the darkness of your bedroom and now the recesses of my mind, but it was fun.

Thanks for the ride and the lesson. Back to the floor it is! And no, that’s not a guilt trip,  it’s the truth. Truth is i am writing this on my mobile phone, under cover of a sleeping bag. Does the truth matter?  Probably not. After all,  we create our own truths and write our own narrative. It’s just some truths are more inconvenient than others and the reality of using people to our own ends doesn’t really stop.

Like you said,  he became jealous and seemed upset when you mentioned me. On my side of things, I guess I had a chance to see if I had charm or whatever you want to call it (not like that means anything) and I got a chance to sleep with someone who actually didn’t mind my gender status or the absence of putting effort behind romantic behaviour. Of course, that didn’t last long; I am back where I started.

Glad to have been of service,  ma’am. I would say if you need me, you know where to find me, but I don’t think you will require my company any time soon. Stay safe. Time for me to bow out graciously before I trick myself into thinking I’ve become rather attached to your lips in any way. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to kiss you anymore, but what are either of us supposed to do with that? It’s not exactly a basis for scrapping the potential of happiness with the other guy just to hop back into bed with someone like myself: unstable, fickle and generally what you could call emotionally inept. Not worth it. Not for a few kisses more. Not for wolf boy, anyhow.

The slaughter begins…

Changing the landscape, ransacking memories, forcing me into roles and “boxes”… and all for what? So that you may roam the plain and tundra, kill off any chance of sanity and plunder my humanity?

Listen here, you lecherous addiction.

I will fight back. With growl, bite, bile, and snarl, I will fight back.

There will be no more mercy, no room for regretting a kiss or a caress, no more restraint from lust or bloodlust. No mercy. No quarter shall be given.

This world will sweat, cry, and bleed.

As the Inspector says, if they “will not learn that lesson, they will be taught it through fire, blood and anguish.”

 

Rainy night in Glasgow

There is little to be said about the leaves on trees gradually fading to brown and falling off. We all know this, and it is a fact of life that we somehow lose an excitement for. Seasons and their changes are taken for granted, and Scottish rain eternally labelled as “miserable weather”, when in fact in a different country, rain could be seen as the joyous rejuvenation of the earth after drought. On the other hand, snow seems one of the few phenomena humans don’t seem to despise with a passion. Hating what we do not control seems a logical response, at times, but it happens every year, every month. So why rebuild or even waste energy hating the weather?

While being cold drenched in rain can seem to be an utterly miserable way to spend the time, it seems to elicit a certain type of serenity within. Perhaps it is just me, but there something quite peaceful about plodding about in puddles, completely soaked.

Surrendering to a force greater than any of us seems something generations of humans have tried to do, perhaps to no avail. For centuries, people pursued religious beliefs, with the idea that something greater exists, beyond humans and the daily gruelling routine. That sort of overlaps with the idea of purpose, of needing something “to live for” or to at least justify certain actions. In the case of religion, it can be quite prescriptive. Yet having rules to follow makes it quite easy, like assembling IKEA furniture. That’s not to say anyone with religious or other prescriptive driving factors is lazy, but there is a certain complicity we like to forget. We forget that we have a choice to reexamine, analyse, and then agree with those rules or not.

Raymond Queneau – a French writer and philosopher of the 20th century – once said that he applies constraints to his writing to free up its potential. He was a member of the OuLiPo movement; these guys were hardcore lovers of creative literature, trying to come up with other ways of creating original work. This included rewriting the same story through applying various constraints to its form. The most famous example, perhaps, is writing an entire story without ‘e’s in it, since ‘e’ was found to be one of the most widely-used letters in the French language.

Anyhow, that’s just me showing off what I learnt about 20th century literature.

Of course, in the case of a work environment, the idea of analysis and agreement or disagreement with rules falls apart very quickly. It may vary from job to job, but if your boss tells you to do something, you do it. It seems as soon as money is involved, the prescriptive is superior to the human. But why? I mean… the transaction is considered more ‘legitimate’ because you are being paid to do something, and so, in theory, profit from the complicity. So why not try saying ‘no’ next time your boss, or colleague, asks for something?

Admittedly, recognising something can be a greater power than you is quite self-evident, and not always useful. And taking orders from your boss, just because it can be ‘liberating’, doesn’t remove your responsibility in the matter. On the hand, an earthquake is not something under human control. Neither is rain.

What the hell am I talking about? I run from responsibility. I am writing this blog because I am looking to return to the fictions in my mind, the fictions that I can write about and be rid of when they are on the page. The fictions that seduce me away from the reality of staring in a mirror and wanting to slam my head into it.

Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight

I enjoy the darkness. I have often revelled in it. It’s a safe space for me, I guess. Brightly lit spaces instantly elicit a harsh reaction; this is probably why I like Scotland – sunlight is simply not the dominant weather pattern.

As a child, I was ever obedient. I did what I was told. I don’t know when it was that I made the switch.I clung to the dark, took a back seat, watching the others go off and do their thing. It was very easy to become the person everyone knows of but nobody actually knows. Oh, there were and are plenty of theories, but perhaps I cultivated that outer shell so much that the inside has begun to rot with negligence, much like the portrait of Dorian Gray.

Maybe that’s why I don’t look as inward as I could. Even this blog – that could appear to be an externalised exploration of internal thoughts and feelings – is reasonably superficial, filled to the brink with passing, fleeting emotions and ideas I become temporarily obsessed with.

The question remains then. Who am I? What lies within the empty shell I am so keen to fill with something? I might react to certain stimuli, but reaction isn’t enough to get you through life – stimuli change or even disappear. Also, as quite a few ideological movements have shown, reactive practice could be quite deadly if not handled appropriately. Reacting on an “let’s see what happens” basis doesn’t take into account people’s desire for consistency. Then again, even the word ” consistency” depends on its context; it could be consistency in someone’s action or thought-process or it could be (in Chemistry) the consistency of a solution.

Of course, using words as a golden standard is ridiculous. But I am a writer. I don’t think that gives me licence to do whatever I want, but it does mean words become important.

And what does all this mean? Fuck knows. Right now, it means I am tiptapping away on my phone, with frozen fingertips and wrapped in two blankets. But then would you believe a writer for saying that? Would you know? Would it even matter?

Fashion notes

I tend to not buy t-shirts or jumpers with naked ladies on them; it’s just too weird to walk around with that on my clothing.

This also usually extends to t-shirts with the names and pictures of cities I’ve never been to. You know the type; it’s the grey/dark-coloured jumper with LA or NYC or TOKYO or some other famous location written all over it. I had made a promise to myself never to buy into that.

Of course, it was a matter of time before this was challenged. At the moment, as you might’ve noticed, I am quite in love with wolves. I can’t quite justify it – there are many amazing creatures out there, but the wolf is particularly close to my heart. Maybe it’s the howling, or the growling, or the hunting. I don’t know, I just know I like ’em a lot, ok?

And so, here I sit, in shame, writing this post while sitting in my newest piece of clothing: a baseball sports jacket with “B.Wolves” on it. To combat my hipsterish impulse, I rushed to the internet to find out if this was actually based on a real team or not.

Findings:

1. It could be a reference to the 1908 FA Cup Finalists Wolverhampton Wanderers . I say this because the hoody version of this jacket has MXMVIII (or MXMVII… it’s hard to tell) on the side, which could be a really badly transcribed Roman numeral version of 1908. Of course, it is equally likely the designer just decided the numerals “look cool” and threw in a bunch of ’em.

The transcription of 1908 to Roman numerals would actually be MCMVIII.

M = 1000

CM = 1000 -100, since when a number precedes a much larger one, you subtract, like… er… XL would be 40, seeing as X is 10 and L is 50, and you probably wouldn’t put more than 3 X’s in a row – cause the Romans were practical like that.

VIII = 5 (V) + 3 (III) = 8

As for MXMVIII, that could probably transcribe to 1998, since you’d take X away from M. The arithmetic would be 1000 – 10 = 990, but you would most likely write 1998 as MCMXCVIII (1000 + (1000 – 100) + (100 – 10) + 8).

Anyway, enough of Roman numerals! It could be the Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the colours don’t match up: the jacket is black and white, whereas the team’s colours would be black and yellow.

2. It could be a reference to the Wolves’ baseball team in Florida. Still, it’s a youth team, and the colours don’t really match.

3. I don’t know… All this hypothesising won’t really help unless someone actually asks the designer what they had in mind. Either way I am wearing it, I guess.

4. I have too much free time, don’t I?

 

The trouble with love is…

[Disclaimer: I am not a relationship guru of any sort. Anyone who says they are is full of shit. I find treating people with respect is often harder than we think it is.]

To quote Diane Torr (whose name I have been spelling wrong for some reason, for which I apologise sincerely!) : “pornography is our sexual culture. If you say ‘no’ to it, you have to offer an alternative.”

She has a point. Meeting people while inebriated in a semi-dark room with music thumping is not a very helpful or useful model for making informed choices. Of course, the level of inebriation does depend on individual drinking habits, yet it can be quite an inhibitor regardless.

That’s not to say it isn’t fun; I love dancing as much as the next fellow. After all, if you think about it statistically, meeting someone in the masses that inhabit the fast, frenzied environment of a club would mean you have a 50-50 shot of finding someone equally as bizarre as you; or someone who is drunk enough to think they are and is put under pressure by society to find “their other half”. It is the mating dance at the end of the day.

But does “the other half” even exist? Or is it just our own imposition of our values onto a fictional person, some Prince or Princess Charming who will turn up and magically fulfil our deepest needs? Is it not just a fictional gap that we feel relieved to match to real human beings? We all say relationships are hard, and take a lot of effort, but somehow make it even harder for ourselves to get out of unhealthy ones. If you are not happy being the second half of that relationship, why stay in it? What’s with this insane pressure to be “in love” or even just to be in a relationship?

I dunno what love is, and I think it’s quite difficult to explore that in one blog post anyway. But isn’t it possible love is just a comfortable compromise for both (or more) parties? Call me cynical, but people know when they are in love. And so any action thereafter is assumed to be an act of love – credited to the “folly” of falling in love – which somehow removes responsibility from either of the two (or more) people in the relationship.

Of course, it’s easy to be cynical when I’m not interested in something like that right now.

One of my dearest friends has most recently got into a relationship, and somehow seems bent on infecting me with the relationship fever by fixing me up with people. It’s quite frustrating, really.

It’s possible to say that love is quite an abusive thing, isn’t it? If reduced down to a power-play, then it can be quite manipulative. So where does that leave us? Maybe we all chase our ideal love-fantasy shit to the death, and some of us just find someone who “fits the profile”. If that’s the case, it’s quite depressing, to be honest, and I can see why people in the club drink until they can’t see who they are talking to, and then make a move on someone. Desire and lust seem much more justifiable (although by no means any less complex).

Love. Pah. As sentient, ‘logical’ beings, we really do throw that phrase around a lot. I guess you wouldn’t believe I can be quite the romantic.