Dear Diary/Good Evening WordPress

Lyfe

First published Oct 4th, 2014

This post is here because no-one else wants to listen to me (anymore). And yeah, that’s a bad start to a post. Look: people listen to politics, philosophy, read poetry, fashion, see photos… serious shit sometimes…and can do it endlessly. If that’s their thing. Even though it repeats. But this, this is just personal stuff. No-one wants to hear that for too long, except the person whose stuff it is.

I’ve been working this over for almost a year now, so understandably most other folk have given up on it as a bad job. I haven’t brought it up for proper conversation in months. It’s just been brewing away, maturing inside me, since the day it happened.

I even did a post about it on here some time ago.

But now, this is remixed, recovered, reloaded and understood.

Last December my girlfriend of the time, quickly becoming ex-girlfriend, left for home. Another country, somewhere I couldn’t really follow. We hadn’t been together that long. We’d just had a big argument. Probably a series of big arguments. The way the relationship was going wouldn’t work, it was clear. I think we were just starting to do a tiny bit of working out how it might actually work, when I snapped. I say I snapped anyway. And not because of my ex, no, and that’s the point. It was just me.

Big changes had been occurring in my life. Now, you have to understand, I’m quite a moral creature. I might not always seem like it, but I have quite a strong sense of good and bad, and a need to follow the good and condemn the bad. That’s built up in me as an underlying theme to my life. Like I say, might not always appear so. I might do stupid things on occasion. But, at base, it’s important to me that I feel like I’m doing the right thing.

The two great goods in my life December last year were love and learning. They probably still are, actually. But December last year the ideals of love and learning had become horribly entwined with two physical institutions: love, the relationship with the girlfriend becoming steady; learning, with the college I was at, a good and innovative place, maybe the best the phenomenon of “college” had to offer someone like me. And here’s the problem, that my rational mind was pushing ahead of these solid, physical institutions which I had so lovingly invested with emotional care. I was running forward, somewhere, and leaving myself behind.

Let me explain a little: I now no longer believe that college or education by institution is right for me. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge and joy from it, but now I have to move on to what people who aren’t students call “real” experiences. I was beginning to decide this December last year. Beginning my decision to leave college before graduating. You understand how big this can turn out to be? Still getting decent enough grades, everyone expecting you to go on and get a graduate job sharpish, and you don’t? Abandon friends and family…and abandon the college which in my case I love and in a sense probably loved me? Harsh times.

Harsher still with the other thing. Namely, I don’t believe in marriage. This is a post for another time, but basically, I believe in mutual respect between partners and them agreeing between themselves to behave however they are happy to behave. The point of true love being that they can empathise with eachother enough to understand and accept one another’s needs. They should not force themselves into something they call love, because if they are forced, they will not like it. They will resist it. And the relationship will probably break. But I’d been used to old-style romance and loved the idea of being a real gent to a lady. Flowers, candle-lit dinners, loyalty, happiness in fidelity maybe. And then I decide (what I view as) rationally that all of that can be wrong, can be misleading, is often misleading, is often destructive. Not the flowers and dinners so much but that thing of internalising anguish, of condemning eachother for not doing what lovers are supposed to do. Since when are there rules as to what lovers can and can’t do?

So, yes, these two factors in play, facing a mountain of work I – in despair – had left unfinished, and girlfriend leaving the land so we can’t really discuss and sort out our uncertain future…I snapped myself. In two. Almost schizophrenic-like. Not in a way that people would think of as schizo (I’m guessing a lot of people, like me, have or hadn’t read the NHS definition). Just in a way that people would think of as me being stupid, not being able to make up my own mind, me being a wreck. Which wasn’t all that untrue. But wasn’t especially true either. I had two forces in me tearing me apart (and this was all my own choosing, of course). So how do I deal with the coming storm? I develop a hate for what college stands for, and I start to worship the image of who I want my girlfriend to be. I try to preserve one of the two major “goods” at least. And yeah, actually, quite a few times I decided I wanted to stay at college too, then changed my mind again. And again. And again again.

People don’t get how that can work. Schizo stuff. It’s simple really. I had two different concepts in my head which shared the same name. There was my girlfriend the person, and my girlfriend the solution to everything who was nonetheless deliberately refusing to help me, and instead growing to hate me. There was my college the actual place, and my college everything that’s wrong with institutionalised education. And variations on those themes. Sometimes I would try to hate the woman I worshipped, blame her for all my problems, but no that wouldn’t really work. Didn’t fit in any of my schemes, rational or emotional. There was going back to college, pretending nothing had happened, going on to graduation – again didn’t really fit. If I was going to go back there was failing to pay for. Disloyalty someone had to punish. I believed in that place, how could I have betrayed it like that?

Anyway, multiple concepts attached to the same word. Confusing if you’re not in the person’s head, in this case: my head. For me it’s perfectly fine unless I try and explain it to someone. Well, it can still confuse me too, but it’s much easier to de-confuse when you have several different, coherent pictures to look at, ready in mind, and notice that yes – they’re not all the same thing.

Understanding now how all this went on is important because when I didn’t know what was happening to me I became quite depressed. My life has, to be honest, been going down the drain. It’s been quite a fun and useful ride, now that it’s over and done with, but I don’t want to be down some drain, bleary-eyed, washed-up, smelling of shit. Time to move on.

The college issue I maybe have wrapped-up in so far as I can walk into a job or two and see how different sorts of working life suit. That’s a beginning. And I can still keep vague and flexible enough links with college people to prevent me from firstly being in the thick of it and secondly lamenting its loss. I seem to have a pleasant enough sort of balance.

Now the other. My ex-girlfriend, I still worship. I use the word worship because I don’t think love is appropriate, though that’s what I like to call it in my more worshipful moments. But trying to put the worship to one side and apply some neutralish judgement, I could love her again if she would decide to give me another chance and love me too (love being a two person thing). Which she now has very little reason to do. My feeling is that getting to know her for who she is again will stop the unreasonable worship, and yes hopefully bring back at least a little mutual love. It’s something I want to do but have no right to do. And I’m not over worshipping her yet. I’m so much better than I was when it was hitting an early peak in January, but I haven’t stopped. Fuck no. I still have nights that start off with tears bordering on my eyes as I convince myself I ought to cry until I sleep for the horrible loss I’m suffering. No wonder she won’t talk to me. Depressed, confused, over-emotional wreck I have been for almost a year. Nothing like the man she started off with and was originally interested-in. In fact, I’m damn near exact opposite of that guy on the surface. I’ve rejected education, rejected traditional love, I walk around broken and drink too much whenever I convince myself it’s just about socially acceptable to do so. Dead weight. Falling anvil looking for a target. Time bomb waiting to go off. These are the signs I give to her and people at college.

Not new folk though, with new folk I’m just worldy-wizened and have a strong liver. Still interesting and harmless enough.

This is why I have to go over what has happened, accept it, tell whoever I can about it: so I can maybe, just maybe, properly move on. Make things good again, I suppose. Or not again, just make things good.

And fuck me, of course I’m not a shellshock victim, I’ve never been tortured by terrorists, raped, faced starvation. I’m not pretending I’ve gone through horrible shit like that. But I have seen me make myself insane. I’ve watched me do it until I’ve gone snowblind. Watched until it all goes to static and the old analogue TV has lost reception. I’ve watched that until now, now that I’m starting to bring things back. And wow does it give some perspective on the everyday sufferings of our world.

I’m going off to sort myself out, but I want to do something for you too. I want to do anything I can to help you. That’s why I started this blog in the first place, so that through little things, little words and little worries I could bring some message of happiness, liberty and self-determination to you. You INDIVIDUALS. Never mind countries, important though they be. They’re made up of you people and it is you people who determine your own lives. There’s a massive world outside of you that influences you endlessly, but at the end of the day that would be nothing if you were not there to receive, process and decide, and act. You will never make a mistake, folks, but you will understand that you have made mistakes. At the time, you only do something because you believe in it enough to make it worth doing. Afterwards, everything changes and what you did back then can be wrong now for all sorts of reasons. My message is: it’s all you, you create your own life, you – however difficult it may be at times – can decide sooner or later what you’re going to be happy or sad over. If you’re going to be happy or sad.

There’s a world out there, waiting for you to get involved, to respond, to carve your unique piece in it alongside all the others and make the damnable whole the brilliant and organic beauty that it is.

Oh dear WordPress diary, this is the lyfe.

Homeless And Others: The People We Forget

Lyfe

You don’t understand. Not yet. But you can.

You will understand.

You won’t believe me at the moment, you won’t believe us.

No-one is evil. Most people just don’t get that. I met two ex-homeless people this evening, living in a hostel. This isn’t a once in a lifetime thing. This happens to me pretty regularly and I’m happy with it. I love meeting people.

These guys, one of them was a self-confessed alcoholic. He told me he was and then downed the remnants of a black can of cider and searched in vain for a lighter, to resurrect the stub of a roll-up between his fingers. This man was very drunk. His hand/wrist was bleeding from where he’d slammed it in a door. He had a scar on his chest from a stab wound. He wore old Armani Jeans and a Ralph Lauren polo top. And around his neck was a cross that looked like it was on a rosary. I don’t know whether he was Catholic.

This man was starting to tell me about his life as his friend Jeff walked out from the hostel. As he told me about the tag on his leg, his friend Jeff put a piece of rolled up newspaper on his bleeding wrist and said they should go to UCH. University College Hospital, right? The blood did look a bit serious.

As a side note I walked past a boarded-up building the other day which said it was part of UCH. Reminded me of walking past the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and seeing large bits of it boarded-up too. I had my teeth done near there as a kid. It felt strangely disconcerting to see a hospital, any hospital, closing.

Anyway, this man had been to prison twice. He explained how he managed as a painter and decorator for a while. Getting just enough money for the basics and his bird. But when he comes out of prison, he explains how his bird was suddenly with someone else. Explains how he wanted to take a hammer to this guy. Keep in mind he is very drunk at this point, swaying left to right. I think understand this, I empathise, having both been an adulterer myself, and having had a girlfriend go off with someone else. I had times wanting to hunt the other guy down too, and I had times when people really didn’t like me.

His friend Jeff stands there, attentive, helpful, maybe only three teeth. Grey hair. His friend Jeff asks what I had studied (wearing a waistcoat means you studied) and he listens to me when I say I’m short on money now. His friend Jeff tells him I’m skint when he drunkenly asks for money – the standard, oh please mate, go on. His friend Jeff protects him and the hostel community more than you would expect any member of that community to do. He treats the situation like we’re just three humans trying to get along, nothing more complicated. Nothing like me owing them all I have because inequality.

If you stand there, having this man waver in front of you whilst tearing his own heart out, hear his friend Jeff help and try to tend the wound, and pass a lighter, you would feel so much more for humanity, I think. I felt unworthy. I felt like I had to go away and do so much more with what I have, which might not be much in terms of money, but is so much more than what these guys have to cope with every day.

I implore you all, don’t get scared of your fellow people. Don’t forget that they’re people too. It’s easily done, and you will do it and I will do it whether I try to avoid it or not. But in trying, we get scared less and we forget less, and we remember that these people and us are one and the same, just under very different circumstances.

Peace and love and all that hippie shit, yo x

 

Us: Creative Freaks

Lyfe

Some people would call us hipsters, some poets, some rakehells, hippies, scroungers. But no, there are people out there who are just creative freaks. Whatever people want us to be, we find a way of falling into our own thing.

We want to communicate to the world with stories and conversations and magic things like pictures of the sunset over a warzone, or a video of a plastic bag floating in the autumn wind (if you’ve seen American Beauty). We understand but we’re often intimidated by the harsh and defined world of graphs and forumlas. It doesn’t feel foreign to us, it feels like chains or orders. We’re people who really don’t like that.

If we want to communicate something to you, we will try to tailor a story to you, as best as we can, on the spot. It won’t always turn out that well, we won’t always tell it like we want to. But that doesn’t matter.

A story can be interpreted in many ways by many people. It is open and it is only threatening if you make it so. With most stories, the reader has this control of interpretation, and so this freedom. This is why one of my favourite stories is the Great Gatsby: there’s so much to that book you can fill in yourself. Is Nick gay? Is Gatsby bumped-off by Wolfsheim? Is Daisy an innocent little girl? Opposite of each of those? You decide.

This is why we want to communicate in tailored stories. We want to get to know you, so we know how you will interpret our story, and then we tell you the story that you will interpret into what we’re trying to say.

It’s a bit like Inception.

And this is why we’re creative freaks. We really don’t like the folk who want to tell you how to live your lives, even though we used to be among them. We want to help you reach your own answers, not the ones we set out before you. We want to pass on ideas, little germs of seeds, some small building blocks, so that you can grow them into tall trees of your own design. Heck, they could be purple, breathe methane and produce pineapples, we don’t mind. As long as it makes sense to you.

This is who we are. This is what we live for. We are magicians, story-tellers and fools. And the people who deal in their version of things and nothing else absolutely hate us, because we accept what they have to say but refuse to believe it.

We want to be free and we think you might want some freedom like that too. We hope.

But we’ll keep spinning our stories either way, for your fun, if for nothing else.

Stay happy x