There is a marked difference between the previous two posts. Not in terms of the emotional megaphone confession of soiled laundry and public displays of melodrama, but where they came from. One typed, one dictated. The dictated is the shorter by far. Perfunctory. Concise. Not even attempting to furbish the reader with details or texture because the Dragon is not my voice. It is a translator, and even the best translators lose some ethereal poetry of being when taking meaning and filtering it from one language into another.
In terms of pure logistics, the Dragon cannot keep up. It mishears so many of my words, and so every sentence is broken midstream as I correct and correct and correct. Perhaps the Dragon could keep up with a train of though; it can only fail miserably and watch this crashing satellite flash by.
This is my voice. This, unheard and sometimes unseen. Chewing the inside of my cheek as I hammer furiously on the keys and burn up in the atmosphere - is there nothing so exhilarating as choosing your own destruction, brilliant and slashing the twilight sky caught only in the periphery of a stranger's eye, knowing that your end will be to disintegrate without ever touching a soul or crush all those present at your termination - because I am sitting here typing this, this small act this small slight act, and my stomach quivers with old excitement that runs too deep to ignore, and my wrists ache, my neck aches, my shoulders ache, and in doing this I will amplify that pain and the consequences will stretch languidly across the week ahead.
The choice is always one pain over another. I'm tired.
Last night I took myself to the Butterfly Club and saw Tom Dickin's one-man one-hour cabaret show "Fuck Plan B". Despite the fact that I adore simply sitting in and being surrounded by the curios and sweet lights of the place, arrived at the perfect empty time to have the bartender spend 10 minutes making me the perfect ridiculously extravagant red wine/chambord Bloody Mary, I walked out containing ground zero of a nuclear detonation within my rib cage, and watching the shock waves flatten everything and nothing.
Plan A is being a successful artist, travel the world, inspire others, and follow your dreams.
Plan B is the necessities of reality. Rent. Food. Cocktails and socks.
You don't have to follow many blogs of artists to know that it is a constant struggle to maintain balance between A and B, and the odds are stacked against A. It isn't as though writers even have much in the way over overhead; our tools are minimal and not specialist, physical logistics are rarely an issue and there is no use by date in terms of getting too old to write. All we need is time, and it is the one thing in which we are poor.
It is a privilege to pursue Plan A at all. Art is a luxury of the middle class and up, and yet, and yet.
For so many artists, the pursuit of their art is not a decision they get to make.
They are artists because they must be. They can be and do nothing else.
My dayjob was only ever to support a life that would let me do what I want. It was there to pay for the necessities; food and a roof over my head, and exploration and travel, for these too are necessities for me. My jobs have all been proof of this: they do not and cannot follow me home, they do not and I will not sacrifice extra hours to them, and they do not and I will not let them take up any more space in my mind that what is required between signing in and signing off. Some of these jobs have been shit boring, others exciting and interesting, and all of them have only ever been jobs. I am not career orientated in any traditional sense and am not even making eyes at the corporate ladder. Higher paying jobs I've left unpursued because they would ask more of me than I'm willing to give.
But we all know how that ended out. My dayjob was there to support the writing, and the dayjob required the same physical tools as the writing, and the dayjob destroyed those tools, and I had constructed my life in such a way that no amount of small alterations would be enough to correct this balance. Everything is over-balanced. These past months have been the topple. It is all too late. There is nothing to do but watch the fall, that moment between losing contact with the cliff and making contact with the ground.
Tom said he'd taken out a sizable loan and traveled the world to allegedly study theatre, and instead wound up writing song after song and performing them to strangers in strange places, and that was...right is not the world. True, perhaps. There are so many trees that we forget to be the whole forest.
I've been looking at this 'scuttle your life move to another hemisphere make no plans and see what happens' caper and feeling nothing but dread and nausea, because I'm at the centre of that plan, I cannot escape myself, and where ever I go these aching bones come with me. Nothing is left behind.
I'm tired. Much as my friends feel shut out because I do not speak of these things, I've leaned on them so much, my feet are on the ground and my knees are hanging low. The only reason I'm not face down and blank on a city sidewalk is because they're holding me up. What resilience. What determination. What illusions have I that I will weather the stress and fear of being alone in unknown and survive without them.
More strangers last night. More strangers the night before.
None of these people are known to me. None of these people know me. I could be anyone.
I could be someone who is not afraid of strangers. I could be someone who listens to you for a drunken half hour and takes your stories and antics and uses them to attempt to conceal the void I am but a vessel for, and then I could use them again, somewhere and somewhen else, with my voice, instead of throwing them away as useless, as worthless, as having helped me not at all.
If no one around me knows I'm a nothingness, then, I can and will buy into that illusion.
What's that. Determination. Obstinate pig-headedness. The conqueror and king rolled over in her sleep and opened her eyes a moment, she who would view this as only a challenge to be accepted in order to prove herself victorious again, over all things, and would meet that challenge with teeth-bared and eyes-wild and welcoming all the damage that would come from the battle ahead. She who in conquering the world so conquers herself, over and over.
Excitement. Anticipation. Lick your lips and fantasize about the messes you will make for yourself.
It's hope. It's hope. It's hope. Hanging out with all the shit in Pandora's Box because there is nothing so agonising as hope, and my fears cannot decide which is the greater threat; depression or hope.
Spectacular failure, quiet lie. Tedious failure, thin-worn lie. The fish aren't a school.
But. It was Plan B that got me here.
I'm so tired, and this hurts like this and like that, and I can't remember what point I was trying to make. Pointless. There are no points, on masses of fear and indecision that change shape and colour like so many metaphors you fail to capture because you have strangled your voice enough that nothing it says is worth listening to, but it must be said, it must be said, let it out out out out out.
I was considering not going. I was considering committing myself and spending all my hours staring at wall and waiting for my heart to stop beating as I can't find it within me to do anything else.
I'm tired. So much has died. Death is a cessation that is not wholly encapsulated in medical definitions. Wastelands and deserts. No fish in the open ocean.
Some perverse sense of curiosity is still twitching. The smell of all the stupidity of the past few weeks is coiling thick in the air and it wants to see what other messes we can make.
Some perverse sense of fury will not stop breathing. It will not let the consequences of Plan B be the victor.
There are no winners in this. But fuck it, I'm going to lose on my own terms.