Dedicated to the abusive neighbour

She picked up her pen and silence leaked out. She looked around for the loss of her voice. She looked at the open raving mouth of the man opposite. She weakly apologised and he took her pen. Her self disappeared along with the ink on the page. 


Learning the language

I’m scared. Into the second month of a plan-making-reality and another imaginary hurdle presents itself. 

The fear of failure is a constant, repetitive, malign and abusive relationship. Most people seem to recover from the feelings they had when they were fifteen years old. But like some spiteful Lileth, that anxious former self still stalks me. 

With absolutely no need. I have proven I can do anything, cope with whatever stupid situations into which I stroll unthinkingly. Perhaps that’s part of my problem. Whenever I spontaneously contrive to make the moment now, it’s fine and I am forced to deal with matters. 

When I deliberately plan it all ends in thought tatters. Because the cruel little madam within fills me with so much doubt. 

I’m here at the tailend of a masters degree. I’d love to say it has been hard work, but aside from the annual leave sacrifice, the sheer number of hours spent writing, it has been an enjoyably lazy effort. I’ve walked through the knowledge, sniffing a rose of thought and idly producing a half arsed bouquet of ideas. All of which will lead nowhere because my singular lack of ambition. 

I must be the most well qualified idle person there is. It’s quite frightening. By hiding in degrees and essays, it’s easy to avoid pretty much everything. 

So to contemplate doing a language to help me acclimatise to my country of future writing, is requiring me to pause and confront my laziness. A language is bloody hard to learn and no easy art historical blather will cover the fact I haven’t done my homework. 

I’m pausing before commiting to a language course because I’m scared that my plan will fail. If I fail in the learning of the language, I’m scared that  my plan will fail. Let’s face it. I’m scared that this plan still fail.

Summer Sun

A man in crocs sits in the sun
Mothers with shady prams take a stroll

A small child in pink scampers
Dogs emerge from the undergrowth

A cyclist ambles slowly past
Birds, butterflies, all, enjoy the sun

Moving On

There is nothing like being in transit to make you think about moves.

Moves make shudder. There is the obvious planning and logistical angle, but the sheer physicality of having to pack belongings and dissemble furniture makes me weep with tiredness. The mental aspect looms over waiting to pounce when it sees me sleep. The nightmares attach themselves to me with parcel tape.

I’m aware that there are services which do it all for you but ‘my stuff’ is precisely that. I don’t have much, and I aim for even less after a clear out, but a part of me needs to handle each item to check it is real. And that objects are present and correct.

Such is the effect of too many moves, carried out at times when I was vulnerable. Those upheavals were mostly my fault and generally the result of relationships ending, or the untimely closure of a settled period of my life. Some moves just seem like a good idea at the time.

The one event that was not my fault was the Divorce. My father had left a couple of weeks before and I was bereft. After a massive physical fight with mother, I fled, with just the ripped clothes on my back whilst blood poured from my nose. At this point books, clothing and whatevers didn’t matter; all I needed was the relative comfort and security of my father.

The following week, when my mother was out, my father and my good friend broke into the house to gather my shattered childhood. My father did not come in because he was weeping too hard. I had to decide what was important quickly, because the police – or my mother’s violent family – could have arrived at any time. As we threw portable essentials into bin bags, duvet covers, the emotional ties ripped. I left, never to return.

So every move since has an essence of bloodied nose and hurried get away about it, even when it’s a necessary and exciting opportunity. I’m not saying that such an experience has been the cause of all moving anxiety, after all, moves are stressful. But I don’t think it’s been helpful.

Essentially I’ve learnt that all places are transitory, and it’s what you do and think and learn whilst you are briefly in them that matters. It’s not what you collect that’s important, because ultimately you’re going to leave that stuff behind when you move on.