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Today a wasp came into the lighting shop. Jenny and I both dashed out from behind the counter, making jerky movements every time it got too close. She couldn't move too well, being heavily pregnant. And Jackie was stung just yesterday. I hate wasps. As soon as I'm aware that there might be one anywhere near me, I can't breathe through my panic. If they come near my ears, I have to put my hands over my ears so I can't hear the awful noise, and sit, shoulders hunched up, frozen. Today it went out the back, then just disappeared.
What song describes me, at the moment, most perfectly? 'Tender', by Blur. Totally. I could have written it, if I was as talented as Damon Albarn. Maybe we're soul mates. I went out with a guy who looked just like him once, but skinnier, and called Bush. We ended after I went to see him, a few weeks into our relationship, a little drunk (well actually very drunk), and put my chewing gum in what I thought was his bin (since our bins are bulging black sacks, strewn around the house). It was his laundry bag. I never saw him again.
I'm a hoarder, and always have been. I can't help it, I'm just obsessed with creating strong, bright memories. It's the best way to do it - save something simple, that brings all the sights and sounds and smells back in a quick gust. I've got a huge plastic treasure chest in my room that's completely full of memories. Letters from my friends at twelve, about boys. The invitation to my dad's wedding. A tape Andy gave me before he left Deal. The ballet shoes I wore as a bridesmaid when I was four, lightly stained from mud outside the church.
Today Mum went into hospital, for her operation. Mum hates hospitals. There was a thing by the bed which I first thought was a piece of medical equipment, then realised it was a phone, tv and radio all in one. It was on arms so it could come over the bed, like the moveable light over a dentist's chair. I felt so bad, just seeing her face and thinking of how she might be after we'd gone. She looked scared, pure scared, like a little child. I swallowed a fit of tears and kept it down for about two hours.
I've spent quite a lot of today thinking about, and marvelling at, the things that can make me happy. Travelling by train and looking out the window, and being privy to small, intimate moments that you share with a stranger without them even knowing. Getting an email from someone you've been waiting to hear from - even though you heard from them a few days ago, you've been waiting ever since, and the bottom of your stomach fills with excitement bubbles. I often feel happiest alone, either somehow in nature or in a pub with a book or pen and paper.
What do you when you think you love someone, but you don't know, because your mind has habits of playing these kind of tricks on you? What would you do? If you think you're in love with a friend? I suppose I'd wait, hide it, like I used to do with crushes when I was twelve. Can be hard though. One crush at that age lasted two and a half years - of endless crying, obsessive fantasising, saving empty coke cans of his. Of course, grown up love is so much more mature, easy, less clumsy than that kind of thing...
Today not been such a good day. Not in good mood. I just wanna get the fuck out this house, away from James, who is inarguably the most selfish, horible person I've ever met. I'm no goddamn angel. I've got my negatives - I'm vain, neurotic, egotistical, and I can be selfish too - but he is just way taking the piss at the moment. I wish this family could come together properly. Once. It's not as if it's not serious, there's not a reason. I'm sure I'll regret writing this, but hey, it's s'posed to be about capturing the moment, right?
I'm obsessed by the thought of you today. We're the characters in Dawson's Creek, we're the man and woman in that Joan Armatrading song I can't stop playing, we're the loved up hippies in the memoirs I'm reading. Dammit dammit dammit. I remember this. From my 'first love'. This undercurrent, that's what it is. It never goes away. Every time I slow down a little, there you are. Like you're constantly in my brain, lying down, and keep standing up, keep popping your head up. I want this to be real, not a mirage, like everything else seems to be.
Why is clutter so important to me? With doing this every day I've started to question myself, question little habits or foibles of mine. Clutter is very, very important. I seriously don't think I could function properly in a minimalistic environment. Colours have to be everywhere, varied, and clashing. I fill every surface with ornaments, pictures, candles or pebbles. And I absolutely love tack. Maybe it's cos I grew up in such a messy household - a comfort thing. Maybe I'm just weird. Mess calms me down in a way, and gives me always something to do. I'm a frantic person.
We need another Rocky Horror Picture Show. This generation's equivalent. I'd write one myself, only I can't write music. I could write just a script though. And send it to Richard O'Brien, who'd have the showbiz sway, musical talent and financial pizazz to make it happen. But I need an idea first. Ever get the feeling that all the ideas are running out? They're in a dispenser, stacked in a long long tube, in an imaginary cave somewhere, and so many have been done already. I hope there's one suitable for my musical. And that no-one gets there before me.
I've never seen a dead body. Thankfully. Although I've always had what my mum calls a 'morbid fascination' with death, it totally scares me, way more than wasps. My best friend has seen several dead bodies, and a couple of deaths, including her best friend run over by a huge lorry when she was about seven. She'd stopped to tie her shoelace, and when she looked up again, there was the little girl, and there was the lorry. She had no time. I often think about how this would have affected me, but I guess I've no way of knowing.
I need to look more widely, in bigger circles, more often. There's just so much sadness out there. I find it very hard not to be affected by things that happen to others, especially the awful things. My teacher at sixth form told me he knew a girl just like me at university, with a very similar personality apparently, and she killed herself by jumping off a cliff. Took too much on board, he said, and told me to be careful. Make of that what you will. I don't know what to make of it. Don't wanna think about it.
I'm sitting here doing this as a five minute time out from doing stuff, and having to get ready for work, and for only the second time since Mum went into hospital, I actually feel relaxed. I'm eating a pannacotta caramel thing for brunch and drinking elderflower and apple juice. The window's open and I can hear people mowing their lawns. It's nice, this bubble of time before I go to work. And it's only one night as well. This time tomorrow it'll be over for another few days. And soon I can stop working and go back to Norwich.
I'm gonna be nineteen in just six days. I feel slightly uneasy about this, and I'm not entirely sure why. My birthday has totally crept up on me this year. In all previous years it's been something to look forward to, to count down to. A really special, really good day. I'm not saying it won't be this year, it's just the fact that suddenly here it is in my lap with no warning. It's gonna be a groovy, low key thing - a meal with family, and a day trip to France with Dave and Hannah - booze run for uni!
I have a highly selective memory. I remember no arguments between my mum and dad when they got separated and then divorced, even though there must've been. But I do remember seeing a sad woman atop the water tower from my pushchair, even though there's never been any way to get to the top. And I remember vividly, at the age of about three, pressing the balls of my palms into my eyes, and when I took them away I wasn't sitting at the top of the stairs, I was at the bottom. Without moving at all. Funny, ain't it?
Last year my friend Iain got me the most fantastic present for my eighteenth birthday. We'd been talking one time about what sort of things might be pickled - I suggested things like hair and snow. It was amazing. He gave me a plastic bag, and inside it was four small jamjars. In each of the jamjars was something pickled in vinegar, beginning with 'p'. A plum from his garden, some peas, a confectionary pizza and a prawn. I couldn't believe he'd actually done it. It was the best present he could have given me, way better than spending loadsa money.
I don't wanna grow up and grow into new ways of approaching life. Take my dad - he's great, he's cool, I love him lots, but when I look at the pictures of him at my age in the 70's, I see something there in him that he has since lost. Now he's pretty much a regular guy. I see the same ideas as me in his eyes in those pictures. A future that could have been alike. Am I desiring to be a Peter (Petra?) Pan? Maybe it's that changing that is the growing up. Help. I am confused now.
Today I'm sleepy. Only just got up. I've got a couple hours before I have to leave for work, to get ready and blah blah blah. Today should be okay, not too hardcore. I don't really care if it runs into overtime, I need the money! Probably won't get back until at least 3am though. Not doing anything tomorrow so I can just rest. Which is nice. Today I'm feeling boring too. Two weeks today I go back to uni though. Two weeks! It will be wicked to move into the new wonderful house.
I've got an hour and a half left of being eighteen. Ever. In my whole life. That really fuckin scares me. What if nothing in my whole life is ever as good as being eighteen? The minutes keep falling through my hands and there's nothing I can do to stop my life ticking on. An hour and twenty five now. I'm sure I should be embracing the future but I just can't think like that. I gotta accept that there are many things in life I have no possible control over. I should just tip my head back and ride.
Well, I'm nineteen. I didn't get warts on the stroke of midnight, my hair didn't go green. Nineteen is fine. It's...new...and...interesting. Am listening to my new Bright Eyes album and it's fantabbydozy. Got an amazing present through the post from Joel in Edinburgh, who just rocks like a big fucking rocking chair. A Battletops set, a Fargo video and a book of Salinger short stories. To Joel: thank you very much, you wonderful wonderful person. And now I'm gonna go see Beckie at work for secret drinks, yay! Dammit, it's raining and I haven't got an umberella...
I watched a kite adrift holding its own in the air currents above the English Channel Caught in some wind it fell its tail crumpling and vulnerable of a sudden Then swam up through the sky like a happy sea eel In the net of the straight rigid rays that came down from the sun through a storm cloud As I leant back against the side of the boat the pink and orange sunset caught me in its teeth Shaking me about stroking my neck and eyelids gentle heat And I thought of your smile And my thirst was quenched
Went with my sister today to pick up her gcse results. Nervy morning. It was very strange, waiting at Grammar and watching all that emotion from those teenage girls. Girls I'd view as young, with a lot to learn. I realised then I was patronising myself, what I used to be. I did it, I got old. I thought I was so grown up, fuckin cool too, getting pissed, goin out with a guy four years older than me. In four years time will I look at nineteen year olds as 'so young' when I feel I have some knowledge?
Tonight I went to a barbeque at Alan, Pauline and Cayti's. It was really nice, sitting in the gazebo in their back garden. I haven't hardly seen any of them all summer, I've been working so much. Had a good chat with Pauline about tarot cards, as Suzy has said she'll buy me some as a late birthday pressie when I get back to Norwich. Pauline was telling me about how to charge them with energy, not to let anyone else touch them, stuff like that. That was the last time I'll see Cayti til the Christmas holidas, so long.
I think I'm very much stuck in dreams today. My dreams last night were a mishmash of stories and characters jumpcutting from each to each. They hung over my day today. I also kept bumping into things and just losing my balance completely, even when I was standing still. Perhaps I'm sleeping still, somewhere? Or have I merely drifted away from awake? Hard to tell in this snoozy evening light. S'posed to be going to a party tonight. I just want to curl up and feel different. Do a sleeping beauty? Wait for warm fuzzy lips/feelings to wake me.
Today I started making lists - back to Narch in a week. Lists of books, videos, clothes, cds, misc. - lists of lists. What I need to do in my first week there. What I need to do in my last week here. Who I need to see (invisible between the lines - who I need not to see!) before I go. I love this, this whirl, that keeps me constantly focused on that date. Between the lists is reading - on an average of a book a day at the mo - and the usual housewifery. Soon - reading, essays, lectures, drinking, and - more writing...
Dear Ramona, is it late where you are? As you read this, is the evening breeze teasing to snatch this letter out of your hand? And are the lights from the riverside cafes bobbing in the water, isolated in the darkness? It is cold here now you have gone. The windows frost up so I can't see anything. I float on a cloud trying to find you, but every girl is with a laughing dark haired boy. You? It rains and rains. The house is filling up with water. It has turned on me. I cannot talk it round again.
Today I went over to Canterbury, to meet Simon and take my motorcycle theory test. Did a few bits in the town, then met Simon and we went to the Cherry Tree. Was feelin very nervous about the test, especially in the hour before it as we sat on the grass in the park. When I got there I realised I'd forgotten my license counterpart like the big fool I am. Luckily I was still able to take the test. Got a hundred percent though. Early night tonight - stocktaking in Milton Keynes all day and night tomorrow! Yay yay yay.
5am is a strange time to be awake, you muse, as your eyes snap open and the minibus shudders. Stretching out sore necks and backs, and yawning, you follow the others out into the car park. You think you might be still lost in a dream, even though the wind's touch thrills your cheeks. The air hangs a mist in it, and here and there in the fog dim amber lights blaze. Someone behind you hums a low quiet tune, repetitive, comforting. You have to pull your jacket close around you, and tell yourself it's because of the dawn chill.
Today was great. Got in from work 6am, so slept til two, then bummed around for a bit. Had lovely dinner at Uncle Pat and Carola's, then went round to pay Pauline and Al a goodbye visit. Sat and chatted for a bit and then Pauline read my cards for me, once as a general forecast for the next six months, and then with specific regard to writing. A lot of stuff came out which I was semi-aware of, but now realise needs to be dealt with. Eventually, I gotta do the whole writing thing in truly my own way.
It drops into my lap, trailing glistening thick white webs. I sit. Frozen. Terrified. It snaps its head round, craning to look up at me and delight in my absolute fear. It is sitting partly on my left hand, weighing it down so I cannot even make a paltry attempt at flicking it away, being the strength, triumphing. It grins, a dirty revolting sickening great grin, revealing furry yellow teeth from giant jaws. I know it will keep me here. Make a home around me in this chair, spin me in disgusting dead clouds forever, a sickly perverse candy floss.
I feel special when I'm there. Even just walking down the road I feel part of something. Can't pin it down - independant? Adult? Free? All good, no matter what. This is a new beginning, a birth in the form of a new day. The thing to remember this time is that anxiety can turn itself into a nightmare that otherwise may not have manifested itself. Can't let it take hold of me. And think of the ace and queen of wands. Make the space, fan the flames, watch the money. God, but it's gonna be good though. Goodbye, miss you...
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