Ran into St Pancras, hit the barriers out of breath. Asked the staff if I was too late, ‘just missed it’, they’d said. 30 seconds. Bastards.
So I’m going to be a writer.
This is something decided for me, because I’m both lazy and ill, unwilling to think of anything original and unable to get a proper job. Apparently I’m good at writing, or at least so I’m told by people who follow me on twitter and friends once they’re a few drinks in, and who am I to argue?
I’m rushing and it’s beautiful.
Beautiful like fire and lashing rain and thunder and howling howling wind, I’m rushing and it’s beautiful and it’s taking my breath away.
Thank Christ at last I’m rushing and it’s beautiful, rather than hell.
Ideas whip into my head and hardly settle before being picked up spun around, turned about; impatient with myself and the world, plans that come to half a page of scribbled lines. And it feels good it feels good, you have no idea.
I want to just stay dancing in this whirlwind and laugh, and enjoy the storm.
“It always seems to be spring, with you”
Dad had stopped slicing potatoes for dinner and looked at me, old eyes wary and full of care. We don’t often talk like this – about this – but today it’s inescapable. Sent home from work, nearly to A&E. Out of a job, again. Bedraggled in trousers and a creased blue shirt, work lanyard still hanging from my collar. It had all been going so well.
I’d been thinking the same. Past few years, it’s hit or accelerated in spring.
“Ever since you were 14”
Jesus. I’d not thought back that far.
God I was bored.
If you’ve got some idea of where you are and what’s going on, psychiatric wards are incredibly boring. An old timetable stuck to a wall told me that on Mondays there was a cycling group (organised by Alyssa), later on in the week we had yoga (headed by Alyssa), and depending on interest an art group (see Alyssa). I never saw any of this, or any sign of Alyssa.
What I did see was daytime TV through a scratched plastic protective screen, dog eared books no one in their right mind would want to read (make your own joke), and a selection of board games with all choking hazards removed, featuring such slogans as The great family game that’ll drive you mad!
I was bored and I wanted to go out, and as I wasn’t under section I was entitled to leave. Hell, I was entitled to discharge myself if I wanted.
“We’d rather you didn’t”
The nurses looked at me sympathetically but firmly. Naturally they appreciated that being stuck pacing a few rooms for days was frustrating. And of course, they explained, I was allowed to leave. Should I want to go for a walk then they certainly wouldn’t dream of stopping me. But still. “We’d rather you didn’t”.
I gave up in the end, sat down in the peeling-paint communal area and gazed through that scratched plastic screen at Location Location Location. Kirsty and Phil were helping Sue and Jeremy find a weekend retreat in Hertfordshire. Sue worked in hospitality and Jeremy in marketing. I was still wearing the jeans I’d been dragged in on, and hadn’t showered or shaved for days; there’s no point when you’re stuck on ward.
Besides, they take your razor.
If I could do it all again I would; I mean without the comedowns or crash or waking up stinking of bleach and cigarette ash, but if I could do it all again I would. I’d pull the lever on the slot machine and we’d always hit a win, I’d fuck you senseless bruised and blind and never have to think about the ticking clock in the waiting room and all the pills we ever swallowed
would be good.
I would, if I could do it all again I’d still stumble tripping from cubicle 3 we’d still have all the laughs I’m sure we had and good times I’m told we had and none of us none of this would ever go bad, we’d dance and forget we get old, we get sad. I’d still let ourselves lose ourselves in weekends and mornings and closed-curtain dawns, and one shot, two shot, three shot, floor. I’d still talk shit and you’d still nod and the bass would still beat our words out but I’d see you laughing and laugh, and we’d dance and I’d forget I was sad.
If I could do it all again I would all the freezing queues and skanky lines and dirty looks from beautiful boys, googly eyes and laughs about that time in A&E, and that other time
And we’d never have been to A&E. If I could do it all again I would. Pull the lever and always win and always mean my manic grin, we’d all trip and none of us fall and we’d fuck and sweat and all would be like it was if I could do it all over again, I would, if I could.
Costa do good business from me at the moment.
After a stretch of unemployment and life on benefits, you appreciate the luxury of being able to go out for a coffee.
“You do have a job”, said the clinical psych the other day. “I know that right now that doesn’t seem to count for much, but it does.
Just having a job means you’re doing well”