Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Breakaways

What follows was written a couple of days ago on my way home on the train, south - north.
The images were taken over the bank holiday weekend, Friday-Saturday was spent in Bristol, Saturday-Monday was spent in Cardiff.




For the third time in a couple of months, I'm on a train bound for Rhyl on a Bank Holiday Monday.
Today it's drizzly and a little chilly.

I spend my weeks doing nothing but working, sleeping and eating (in order of most-least time consuming in a 24 hour cycle), and this has been routine day in day out in Denbigh for a two-month, except on Sundays when I don't work, eat or really leave my room.

In contrast, on these long Bank Holiday weekends I've had Friday's off, usually spent training myself away to different destinations and people (Easter was Cardiff and Soph, beginning of May was Mat and London), I've packed in a lot of moving and a lot less sleeping. I go see things, feel things, engage with other humans, drink caffeine, eat salt and fat and sugar, the four holiday food groups.

There are plentiful ups and downs contained in these away-days, that the combination of these emotive breakaways and the mandatory return to unfeeling Tuesday, work (and usually a requisite fasting day), reality, is quite literally sickening.

I came to the (slow!) realization of late, that my life is a secession of bargains made, mostly with myself, broken promises and half-hearted shallow planning. The promises and plans serve as little germs of hope in an otherwise numbed though occasionally savage garden.

Isn't that just life you ask?!

Don't think me so retarded in this respect, I at least seem to be a little quicker on the uptake and more given to harsh self-realization (rather than unrealistic/dishonest self-loathing, for it's own sake) than my father or mother. Who it appears has only outwardly admitted to recently realising that she's inherently unhappy. Though she's yet to get to the "I've gone through life wilfully attempting to conceal or distract this sad state of affairs from myself, and indeed still am" (with some success admittedly), usually in the form of consumption. Sometimes to the point of obsession.

Not that her potential probing honesty would have made life any easier, for any of us.

It seems clarity of this sort has had little effect on my coping strategems. So I know I binge because it's both a convenient scapegoat and a physical comfort, not to mention a socially acceptable form of self-harm (if I'm sad I can blame my ballooning weight, in many forms and guises, for example "my hormones are in flux because of the extra sugar (insulin) and fat (progesterone), which makes me stressed (which increases Cortisone levels), which in turn promotes weight gain in the stomach area particularly, which makes me sadder and yet more likely to comfort eat to cover the emotions of shame, because if my GTI system is overloaded with indigestibles how could my brain get the required calories to simulate worry, self-hate and anger", such a conveniently logical description of a pattern eh!). So what? Pretending to face up to this behavior hasn't scared it away as yet.

It's much harder to remove all the pseudo-science and just ask, why do I need comfort in the first place?
And answering this question, a many many answered question, doesn't make coming to terms with what reasons could come to light in the revelations any easier either.
It usually just leads to desperation and fantasies of suicide.
Until you find another obsession to remove the present crutch.
Say goodbye to binge-eating, say hello to bargain number one; "if I get the over-eating under control, everything will fall into place"... Which eventually morphs into "If I get to liking the way I look and feel I'll get to grips with a more normal reality" (the fabled one "everyone else" seems to be seized by) where, not only will I be ok with myself if asked to voice opinion on the subject, but where I'll momentarily have to think honestly and objectively about a response because I won't have a stream of acerbic vitriol at the ready, waiting to be deployed in my own pathetic direction.

I've even been temporarily convinced that achieving a state of being where other people matter more than my thoughts, one where I'll be able to eat and spend time with people in a "normal" way, is something that could happen. What a joke! "Everyone else" is just as miserable or deluded as you are Jones, for goodness sake!



The piercingly astute words of Aldous Huxley, as read in Crome Yellow, a highly recommended read I might add, throughout it's replete with spot-on observations and wonderful lucidity. Like the best writers he gives form to the things we feel but can't quite label. Since I'm struggling to dissect and label on this blog of mine, I've entrusted Aldous's aid presently.



So here we are again on a Monday afternoon train, making more bargains (or barking old instructions; "you can't eat tomorrow now pig!" and "you have to work 12 hours each remaining week day to make up for the £ you wasted on books and snacks this weekend, no more profligate bitch!").

Don't get me wrong, sometimes the bargains and obsessions aren't as nasty and negative, occasionally it's "stop wasting time on the Internet, enrol on a BA (Hons) Modern Languages course at the OU, so you can move somewhere nice, you'd never be sad again, yeah!" or "instead of thinking about food you should make a patchwork quilt!!"

Ha ha ha

Having a promise to keep only gives you something to break, and if you're inclined towards self-sabotage and almost need to feel dissatisfied because its all you know, it's stupid. It's the same as having a wagon to get on, its just an extra thing to fall off.

Despite this stupidity, here I am again on this Bank Holiday Monday, planning a whole month of caloric restriction to compensate for my painfully full stomach.
I'm already suffering. I wake with swollen-face from salt and water-retention I'm not accustomed to, bloated aggravated flesh, movements sluggish from excess blood-pressure-lowering fat, mind overworked and undernourished, stingy with sleep.

Each month this year thus far I've over indulged and restricted, each time I eat loads and feel shit (abdominal cramp, reflux), I detox and feel hellish (migraines, nausea), say "never more this low!", eat unbelievably cleanly for two weeks, then my hormones attack and my mind allows them, invites it, the bloody excuse.

That's the cycle.

That's a sad life.

I don't want children one day anymore. I'm terrified by the prospect that they could turn out like this, slowly dying and unable to concentrate on reality long enough to take part, fixated on hate of their own and other peoples wonderful potential.

How rotten, to think of all of this energy misspent, when I could be learning something worthwhile (conservation, disease prevention, renewable energy, spiritual pathways, art therapy) thinking about other people, good people, people in need of love, help, support (shelters, charities, persecuted asylum seekers, the young and homeless, the elderly without family, people who need someone to help them fill in a form, walk to the shop or boil an egg)...

But all I seem to think about is how little sleep I've had, how much food I've eaten, how selfish I am, without actually taking responsibility.

It's even beyond the guilty pleasure of self-pity now though.

I just don't feel so much.

Maybe I eat to convince myself that that's why I'm unfeeling, then eventually I can feel a little bit of the fall-out that accompanies a binge, guilt and shame and plans and blame. I distract myself with food now, not to hide uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings, but to hide their absence, their lack.

So too panic is vocalised to attest its actuality, confirm its presence in my conscience (or whatever I can call this device, but it's not quite there. I don't care enough mostly.

It all seems a bit pointless.

But there were some bits of enjoyment, lights.


Friday afternoon in Bristol brought a little sunshine. Caravan Palace, friendly B&B ladies, colourful Vegans. I briefly saw an old friend I hadn't seen in over a year (and even then it had been fleeting), we talked of the whole working and living thing, and agreed on a lot of evils. It's a slight comfort to know people share your depressing misgivings and suspicion of the whole bourgeois life, and a bigger comfort to see that such people seem to be doing quite alright.

Hell, if you can share a pint and a piece of flapjack with a friend, and say tabard more than 5 times in a sitting, all joy hasn't abandoned life just yet.
  

Thursday, not much before 6, on my way to work (because I couldn't sleep). I'd been up since 4, not for the first time that week, but for the first time figured I might as well start work 2 hours early rather than ruminating in bed... Such a tired non-sleeper of late...

Friday: Rhyl, fuzzy felts by Pat Butters (no lie)

Bleary views for my bleary eyes.


Bookshop love at the Arnolfini.

Saw this and thought of Soph, the inside was such a let-down though (I straightened the image using photoshop since iphoto no longer seems to work for me, the red-thing was an accident, but I figured I'd keep it for you S)

Is that you sun?





The week's fatigue seemed to catch up with me after wandering around Bristol for a few hours (mostly buying books!) I was sooo tired the prospect of an afternoon shower at the B&B was all that kept my feet-a-trundling.

Mixed-up arrangements, I ended up in a family room with ensuite!

The perils of the city charity shop...

AWAKE and CLEAN!

CLOTHED!
I headed into town (Queen's Square) to meet up with Joe for a cheeky pint before Caravan Palace. Really good to see that chap.








After jumping and shouting myself hoarse after the best performance I've ever been fortunate to witness (that double bass, swinging clarinet, crying violin, SWOON!), I realised I was quite hungry, fortunately I was at a Vegan festival, and they mercifully had stalls of various delicious smelling and looking food, and VEGAN PIZZA (oh my lord, the BEST pizza I've ever had)! I don't know if it was the chill drizzly air, the fact that I was tired, buzzed from the amazing musical experience or the 3 pints of Cider lowering the objectivity of my taste-buds, whatever it was, that was the tastiest slice of cheesey, chorizzoed, tomate & spiced wonder that has ever passed my lips. Another swoon I think.



4AM, too early to be up, to pretty to turn down.




Can't quite believe I woke at 4 after getting in at 12, and couldn't get back to sleep, man it was a drowsy buzzy day.




Arnolfini

Vegfest stamp :)

Big Bristol Ball Bearing.

Vegan Ice-cream, swoon.


I got on the train to Cardiff Saturday afternoon, sunny sunny sky, chilly chilly breeze. Got in to Central minutes before Soph got in from Swansea, excellent timing.

Sun, in Newport?!

We had snacks and sharpened up a little before heading down to the bay for Helen Sear's exhibition at Bay Arts. We'd met her once at an exhibition she was in at G39 in town, Jan/Feb 2009, and she'd been somewhat bowled over by our dandyish charms, (there was even a photo taken for inclusion in a thesis on Dandyism I recall, by an old professor of hers) and we'd been thoroughly impressed by her hearty-snorty laugh!

A year or so later we'd traveled over to Newport to be models in a new series she was still very much working out.



Shadows reunited.

Courtesy of Vix, Insta-Wonders.


To be quite honest I'd pretty well forgotten all about her and her work, and was so surprised when she recognised us, even more so when she said to me "you're in the show aren't you?!", to which I raised a brow and responded in the negative.

She was positive I was, "your hair is different but you had a purple bow-tie and a brilliant cane!" ...

Then she lead me to this!!!


Creepy bird-face!
How strange it seemed, that I could so easily have missed the exhibition, and not had any incling that I was a part of it.

More Instagrammed dandies!

Train Love
The whole peculiar and unique atmosphere that is a private view, semi-familiar faces, not knowing where to put yourself, rarely being all that impressed by the work on show, oddly enough was a feeling I’d missed. Specifically private views with Soph, the best dressed, sneaking off early for a cup of tea somewhere in the evening chill of the city. Saturday was a nice night, nice chatting about stuff and eating special Pot Noodle (oh my god, it had been ages!), Charlie Brown-inspired cupcakes (purchased that morning at Vegfest, vanilla and choc GF Vegan “Zebra” cakes) and tea, company and comfort, so very simple and satisfying.


Charlie Brown?
Sunday we'd planned to go Geocaching and the sun came out for us. We didn't find anything, mostly because we were lounging on the grass, laughing about whackers, snacking and drinking Strawberry Coconut "Milkshake". I really miss wandering around a city with S, living in the same city as her for sure! Having our tea on her decking, reminded me of Pell Street and our chilly sunny suppers out the back, usually in the last rays of the day (more usually it would be our first venture outside on said days!). Up here I'm Soph-less and Garden-less too, no wonder I get so down!

Park Life


Cream Soda? Pot Noodle? Soup and Salad?!

How I've missed these colourful Alfresco Wonder-grubs!


Tom-brothers!

Flaming Vegan Marshmallows!
 (This last paragraph added now)
On Monday I met my parents in Cardiff for a chat and some food before heading north and too many miles away from them. They're going through a rough patch and it was a little bit strange, I almost don't feel like their child anymore, more like a family friend or some less attached but still close relative, cousin or niece or something, I can't really explain it better than that right now. It's Wednesday (it's taken me 2 evenings of phone-tethering and spotty signal to upload these photos and this text), and despite having had more than 8 hours sleep both Monday and Tuesday I'm still knackered, my eyes are still swollen (are these just my eyes now?) and my mood swirls around desperation, absent mindedness and a weird fleeting resolute sort of feeling...

I think this is plenty for now, more of London on the weekend maybe, maybe.




I impulsively bid on a Clarinet last week, onwards to the next obsessions!