He’s sitting down to write at a desk. It’s the weekend and gazing at himself a year ago, quite a lot has changed. He has written yards and yards of more and less worthy text but looking at the desk is all you need to know about where he’s at. It’s clean. It’s 5pm and he’s not wearing a dressing gown. A picture of his friends back home sits on his desk a pile of book he’s beginning to type out for the long-waited-for collection he’s been promising to get done.
He’s drinking a glass of vitamin juice – the fizzy kind you dissolve in glass. He works eight or nine hours a day as a coach, urging people to get fit. He spends evenings exhausted reviving himself with TV and the occasional cigarette. He has a garden and lives by the countryside. His apartment, all to himself, is large enough to house a few of his past others. He is just beginning to get used to being alone.
He takes walks in the forest, is less alienated by housework. Finds the company of a few friends is enough. His colleagues don’t exhaust him as much as they used to. His manager finds him a little less frustrating but still can’t work him out.
He reads the Guardian online every day. He surrounded by stories of substandard writers and is amazed that something as important as the news is frequently conveyed by entertainment journalists, although it keeps him reading all the same. He turns to Dostoyevsky from time to time, delights in a few passages but finds its length a dirge. He’ll have loved it by the end and grins that it is so juxtaposed to blogging and quick fix stimulation of an internetted life. Though it gives brief happiness from the other dirge of his working day.
In that he’s finding more. Learning to shrug pressure and still engage with daily tasks. He asking himself if he needs to think about the future quite as much, or will it all happen for him. He thinks it’s somewhere in between.
He misses friends and dearly-loved ones but is frightened on seeing them that they are remote from what he values – or perpetuate the same valued things ad infinitum and without variety. He is told that this is what constitutes living, and guiltily concedes that his own life is the same and berates himself this is the case.
He likes to ponder. Loves to write but kills himself that inspiration doesn’t come on demand. He cannot figure out how to construct a life that is useful while still receives the pearls when they come. He’s even more confounded as to how to make it sell.
He loves God, he never knew he did so much until one day he found himself talking like a Jehovah’s witness to a scared wide-eyed friend. He is touched by the infinite and can’t use words to describe how each day is relieved, blessed and inspired by the knowledge that his is a discontented drop in a wide ocean of bliss, and that the latter will sometimes provide a glimpse.
His head sometimes feels like a glass jar with a rubber seal around the edge and experiencing the moments of the glorious let go – when the lid pops and breath surges into the lungs is almost worth the pain of being confined.
He would rather write than go to church.
He would rather cry than laugh along.
Cruel jokes seem funnier in the end.
Simple things perplex him mostly.
Long days frighten him so much that he cannot find anything to do.
He is paranoid of living in a trench though berates himself for not jumping in.
His favourite day is a breakfast and meditation and sitting to write at his latop where inspiration flows like waves and focus does not waver for a second. He hopes to touch the hearts of many as he writes, and could not bear to think that this is a tapestry of his own self-indulgence. He tells himself he must illuminate himself before the world gets his rays.
He’s disappearing down a deep and desperate hole.
He knows it’s the best thing for him and happily…
He is taken by a wisdom that the least control is the way to get ones way. It’s merely a matter of knowing that getting one’s way is not at all what you think and should rather be surprised by instead of determining the next steps. The organised ones live in a pit of non-surprise, rationalise in terms of their own responsibility and therefore sink or float of seas of guilt, provided for them by those that hope they can be controlled.
There is no control. The tall ones just sit and let the other conrol themselves, then sip on the fine juices of guilt and money spent on its relief. It’s a sick game really and we’re all so blind to the fact that even those that pull its strings believe that they do it for the best of all. Puppets, puppeteer, puppet-maker all locked in a swirling embrace and no one can see that it’s just a play.
He wishes he didn’t take himself so seriously, or that others did not try to do the same to him.
He hates to be treated as a joke.
He loves that he can laugh as others wince and laughs that others can love through so much pain.
Love presents to him enough pain on its own, without the need for a face.
His scars are perjuries to the tomorrow he would like to carve. He needs to feel its pain before he can open into clear blue skies of flying. Otherwise he’ll have trouble leaving the ground.
He skims across the lives of others, cannot bear to feel them as deeply as his own.
Arrogance is a defence against despair at other’s lost-ness. Mirroring his own, his preference is to keep quiet and not be impinged upon or fall over so he may impinge.
He can talk and a whole room can fall silent, until he realises he’s being listened to and stumbles on his words. Amazing that such a thing should be so feared.
He’s a slave to an unspoken past but in speaking makes him feel like a spoiled brat.
It was too much and never enough. Congestion of social intercourse gives him pain in his chest.
He grants that not many see him as illumined as he sees himself though he feels that this is because they do nit listen and in not listening to them, he only ignores himself the more. He is both cursed and bathed in social company.
He would like to be seen as non-complex.
He is preferring to get used to not wanting to be seen. It’s like an itch that he must not scratch.
He would like to write a novel and can see it is being written. He wonders if he’s lazy in not having written more. It’s set in Amsterdam and lasts for twelve hours. It is about him, and friends and fantastical scenes that slip into the sides of every day. He has a feeling he has seen some things because he sat around long enough as others moved on, though realises that others saw as much in moving, or would do in their time.
He finds that wisdom is breathed. Talking about it also gives him pain.
Many people find him five years older than he is.
Others five years the other way.
He has wrinkles under the eyes fro too many computer screens stared at for too much of each day. When he’s at home he feels relaxed and without need to do anything.
Except housework, which he is less alienated by.
He is confused that he writes in an American accent.
He withers in self-pity and rises in joy.
He has stepped in dog shit too often in the same place for a young man
He is only now beginning to smell his shoes.
He will enjoy your company but please leave as you sense his mood begin to change. He will not ask you but merely roll his eyes inwardly at everything you say and cut himself with mental taunts that he doesn’t like you just for now.
When he’s vague he’s thinking. If he’s thinking he’s avoiding and if it’s self-disgust it’s better you were not around.
Writing this is giving him pain throughout his body.
He wonders if a life lived for any reason is enough. Even experience lost its shine the last time he was in France drinking wine and walking in the sun, cooled by the breeze. Dark clouds in his writing could be easily obscured when you talk to him. That’s when he’s being vague.
He’ll be light and forget himself. In times with you and serried others. He’ll embrace you in smiles and steer conversations to benefit all assembled at risk to his own pride. He wonders if it’s possible to make these occasions happen or if we should accept them like gifts.
He wonders and ponders and still the thing’s not done. He’s alone at his desk, in mercy he’ll be found…
Found away and remorsed in himself. Remorse given a place in long fields and covered by the insights he’s seen fit to place aside. Warm sun on his face he’s realised what they said in great works was true.
There is nothing but love
And nothing but you.
And in this you he likes to type and tell a story that he hopes will touch another’s heart. For this comes deeply from his own.
He is only just beginning to trust.
Trust in the power of words to turn a being this way and this. Trust not that it is OK, but that it is deeply wonderful, in ways he can’t allow himself to see.
This writing around the outsides of himself is helping a little bit.
He feels it’s like a slope down which you must keep dead-centre as you ski. The slope is always moving and it’s not clear how to stay on your feet. But you do as long as you keep moving down and don’ look back or you’ll tumble into nonsensicality which may be entertaining for you but it frustratingly obscure.
Still, Beckett got away with it, though that kind of jealousness will keep him at the desk and miss what Beckett held and allowed to flow through him, in spite of any inch of himself.
Sacrifice, he’s finding, is a good way to stumble through the haze.