Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Silences

Recently I have been finding that whenever I sit down to write a post on here, nothing comes. My brain as blank as the screen, I sit and wait for some words to find me. Many times in the last few days I have started to write something then impulsively closed the window rather than publish anything. Perhaps this is because I watch too much television and my attention span is diminishing by the hour, or more likely it can be put down to the fact that I simply do not know how to write about the things I want to write about.

Whenever I think of something to write about I suddenly am hit with a wave of reasons not to even start.

Today I was sitting on the pavement at in Angel staring out at the traffic. I had stayed at Paul and Lidija's house after the party the night before, had drunk my bodyweight in wine and vodka and woken up to be hit by a painful regret and an even worse hangover. I left the house and walked up and down the high street, trying to decide which café to sit in and contemplate my mistakes. As I passed each one I looked in. All of them were teeming with people in their Sunday clothes, reading papers and drinking coffee, laughing with each other over shared brownies and frothy cappuccinos. The image of myself, last night's make up slithering down my face, hair unbrushed and clutching a tattered plastic bag full of clothes, staggering through the door to ask for caffiene in husky tones was too much for me to bear. Instead I sat on the steps above the kerb, next to a car with an "I Love Whitstable" sticker in the window, and started writing in my notepad. I wrote six sides of scribbled words, tears making tracks through the smeared make-up. I won't re-write the whole lot here because it goes around in circles and doesn't really move off the one central theme, but I thought perhaps I would share an extract.

"I remember this feeling. Everybody else has somewhere to go, something to do, someone to see. I sit here and put off going home because there I feel even more isolated than I do here. At least here, on this kerb, I could be anyone. I could be about to go somewhere and see someone. It is only me who knows that I am not, that this is where I am because I have nowhere else to be. I am writing to do something, to say something, but I would give anything to be able to speak this feeling instead. I watch other people. Clean, busy. Better than me.
A man sits down about five a few metres from me. He looks out over the traffic as I do, and for a moment I imagine that he'll talk to me, that he'll ask me why I'm crying. I wonder what I would say if he did. Of course, I romanticize my own image, and have to quickly remind myself that I am not an intruiging, crying girl but just some ordinary girl, crying for no reason.
He gets up and walks off, joining the throngs of other people, who live their lives while I sit and imagine things that aren't there."

It carries on in this vein for six pages. My alternate self-pity and self-flaggellation, scrawled in blue biro, keeps going after I move inside into a café and sit opposite a woman I don't know. I see her watching me as I take an unenthusiastic bite of a humous and vegetable wrap. I stop myself crying because I don't want her to feel the need to comfort me, as I would if a stranger was crying two feet away from me.

I wrote for a while, before picked up a discarded paper and scanning it for something distracting. Then I called my sister in Paris. She was at a flea market with her friend (not buying fleas) (I asked) but nevertheless she listened to me and told me it was all going to be alright, and that I am not, as I attempted to assure her "completely fucking insane". Which I am, obviously.

I wandered home at some point after that. Trying and failing to keep my thoughts out of the shadows and think positively, something that I have never been very adept at. I think I am insane and narcissistic, but for some reason I cannot make the insnaity or narcissism go away. I do not want more therapy, and I don't want drugs. This state of mind, although increasingly common, is certainly a response to certain events in my life recently. People, other people, cope with things that are far more intimidating and scary than anything my life throws at me, and they don't all end up sobbing on kerbs on sunny Sunday afternoons.

My brain slips into these thought patterns without me even noticing it. All of a sudden I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to be my friend, why anyone would want to date me, why people, other people, would put up with me at all. I don't know what's wrong with me, and I don't know how to fix it. I don't want a magical solution, I want to know why I'm like this, why I can seem normal but actually be completely fucking insane.

When I lived in Paris I went for days without speaking to anyone. Not out of choice but just out of having nobody to speak to. Often I would sit places and cry, like I did this afternoon. Perhaps there is some sort of catharsis in it, in a big city I can find somewhere to wallow in my own woes, safe in the knowledge that nobody passing by will care enough to make me talk about it.

Maybe this is what I have been wanting to post about. Maybe it isn't, I'm not sure. I'm not sure about anything.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Kieran said...

I think the guy who sat down near you on the curb wanted to talk to you, fancied you, thought you needed comforting - then got stuck in the paradox of "She'll think I'm a weirdo/rapist/won't fancy me/think I'm trying to take advantage/or all of the above."
It's a common problem with I've found myself in once or twice before.
How does a guy confidently, approach an attractive yet vulnerable women in the street, and appear safe?

8:33 am

 
Anonymous AFC 30K said...

try not to berate yourself for how you deal with situations.

In my experience as a bi-polar depressive I have been incredibly stressed and depressed about small things, but the really huge things I have just sailed through. No one can predict how they'll react to a given situation.

I really can empathise, I have been where you have been (Includinding sitting on some steps outside a cafe near Angel...) Sometimes London, in fact any city, is the loneliest place on earth.

Things do change. Soon the sun will be out and something positive, no mater how small, will make you think that things are going to be OK again. Until then, take care :-)

9:42 am

 
Blogger Huw said...

Sharing brownies is over rated. I mean, you have to share them. Take care sweetiepie.

11:02 am

 
Blogger Betty said...

Just a hug.

12:08 pm

 
Blogger number1hypocrite said...

Sometimes a good cry and wondering where one's place really is in this world is needed to go on with life. Its hard to continue when you don't know where you're going, or if you should keep going on from where you've been.

I deal with this too, and writing something about it helps me. Check out my blog (click on my name, I'm on Blogger now!), maybe I can sympathize with you with what I wrote recently.

12:45 pm

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

I know I have experience just what you are writing about. One thing is for sure, you have a way of expressing yourself with words. Whether it is your music or on your blog. That is why I keep reading. And kieran is right, it is difficult to approach someone on the street to ask what is the matter. Hang in there and keep writing.

3:12 pm

 
Blogger Curly said...

At least you can write something on the paper.

I just stare at it blankly, draw some wavy lines, perhaps a question mark or two - then get more upset because I don't even know what I'm supposed to be writing.

I'd recommend the pavement near Archway as a good one to sit on.

6:26 pm

 
Anonymous andre said...

Beautiful

10:55 pm

 
Anonymous sooz said...

You are SOOO human!!

6:30 am

 
Blogger Leigh said...

I totally understand the feelings you are trying (and succeeding)to express here.

I havent stopped by your blog in some time now, and Im sorry to see that once in a while you still slip into those kinds of thoughts. But it is natural, and no matter how much therapy you put yourself through, Im sure there will still be many times scattered throughout the years where you will feel just like you did the day you sat on that pavement and cried.

From what I've read, it sounds like you have tons of friends. Don't be afraid to reach out to them once in a while when you really need to. Most times that is when you will sort the real friends from the fair wheather friends.

1:51 pm

 
Blogger Miss Devylish said...

Oh sweet girl.. I get that feeling once in a while and it's good to let yourself feel that way. I agree w/ the last commenter that I know you have good friends and sometimes you should let them support you once in a while. I can imagine how hard that feeling is to shake tho.. and I'm sorry you were feeling that way. You write beautifully tho and I hope some , if not all, of that feeling has been relieved by now.. sending so many hugs. xoxo

12:32 am

 

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