Monday, March 10, 2008

"Who She? Sat There On The Chair - Delete Her, I Think..."

Still Sunday.

I’m curled up in my big armchair by the window, which is jammed open with a roll of newspaper. The blinds are closed and the rain has just stopped. It’s about five past three in the afternoon; the sun is trying to blink through a layer of cloud and intermittently shining off the droplets left on the windowpane. There is a, now familiar, almost comforting smell of hops on the freezing cold air that comes in underneath the propped open pane. I can hear cars travel through puddles and the low rumble of souped up Escorts from the roads that surround me.

The last time I sat here on this chair, like this, I thought something awful had happened to TRD. We were mid relationship and he hadn’t been in touch for the whole day – maybe longer; time has apparently confused memories made. By then I had become used to his text-a-minute ways, so I knew something was wrong. So, I sat in the dark, listening to melancholic songs, calling his phone intermittently. I remember having this overwhelming and excruciating feeling, somewhere inside me – something I can only compare to the scenes in films when tragedy befalls a husband or child and the camera swoops in on the lover/mother at the same exact moment when they simultaneously feel the atrocity that has occurred. When he eventually called much, much later, he said he had been out all day and forgotten to take his phone with him. He was greeted by a torrent of frustrated anger from me – not I didn’t think, uncalled for. I was worried and had no way of finding out if he was OK. I can’t remember the specifics now, but sitting here today, on his birthday, that memory springs to mind. Funny what you remember - isn’t it, out of all the possible remnants to choose from? Today’s tune of choice is Space Dementia by Muse. If you are familiar with it, you will know a crashing song with lyrics pertaining to the destructive powers of love and loving someone. It plays on repeat as I struggle with many a confusing feeling, and not just those posed by the fact that it is TRD’s birthday and that I remembered.

Whilst struggling away in my chair, I remembered a time while I was at college in London, flailing to complete my Masters Degree. I needed some Take-Away boxes for my final piece and couldn’t get them for love or money. It was close to the end of the course – we were all wired and tired and desperately trying not to give up. I got a call from my Mum saying she had found some boxes up in Scotland and was couriering them down to me. Joy. The day they were due to arrive, she called again to say that the courier was having difficulty getting into the Art School and could I go to the front desk? I swore, irritated by the disruption, left my printing desk, and walked down the corridor to reception. At the end of the long entrance hall was my Mum, grinning at me with the Take-Away boxes tucked under her arm. She had flown down from Scotland to London with the boxes, herself. She stayed with me for a few hours and then went home again. She just wanted me to see a friendly face and to give me a hug and make sure I was OK. I am as speechless today as I was that day. I can’t find the words to say anything about that memory, but I can tell you that it completely overwhelms me, every time I think about it.

Another jump and I am thinking about the significance of my ‘profile’ on the now infamous dating website. It seems appropriately confusing that I do not see myself when I look at the pictures I have chosen to post, or the text that is supposed to give others reasons to approach me via email. It is certainly not insignificant that I have trouble associating with the person looking back at me from their glossy kingdom as I still have no idea who I am. This unsettling reality is one that seems to return most days, especially when I look in the mirror. Especially when I look in the mirror and see myself getting older. In my current state of emergence from my Depression, I often feel a great sense of grief for what I consider my Lost Years. The last time I remember seeing myself momentarily, was after I had walked out on my (now) thrice removed, ex boyfriend. I was skinny and sexy and in control. At that time I would often marvel at the reclamation of bony hips in the mirror. I had ballooned to gigantic proportions when we were at our worst and my life was falling about around my ears. The protective sleeping bag of skin and wadding that I had worn off and on for those destructive years had been unzipped and stepped out of – more of an emergent butterfly I could not have been. The current restrictions of disease and medication make it impossible for me to get back there, with those beautiful hips. Until such times as I am no longer medicated and am a little brighter in mood, I have to try and make my peace with the woman looking back at me and work out who she is.

Somewhere in those Lost Years, I became that woman in the mirror. I missed that particular transition and still feel as lost as the kid that fell into the depressive coma all those years ago. I would imagine this current state being something akin to the stories one hears of people being aware of their surroundings, hearing voices and feeling procedures that were done on them, while in a hospitalised and catatonic state. Unable to move or make others aware that they were trapped inside and finally waking up to find that life had indeed carried on without them.

I this stream of (un?)consciousness I am drawn into thinking about the Internet Men and the combat I feel I have become entrenched in with them. Dundee Bloke, who writes (he thinks hilariously) like he is a Ned/Weegie; albeit a 39-year-old Ned/Weegie. Army Boy, who has an an ego the size of a porn star that thinks he can make women ejaculate by looking at them and I, are currently fighting a battle of wills (our latest squabble) about a project we are/were considering collaborating on; and the rest – well they’re frankly, just unsuitable. I suppose having these drifters and shape shifters drop in and out of my inbox whenever the fancy takes them, only highlights the lack of something bigger. The big fat lack. It allows snippets of my (as I then thought idyllic) relationship with The (not so) Recently Departed to pop into my head as She helpfully reminds me of all the things I thought I had with him, that I don’t or never will have, with my current bag of mishaps waiting to happen. My fingers swither over the “Delete This Profile” button so frequently that I begin to think that the word I hate with a viciousness I cannot replicate through words: ‘fickle’, might be true.

On that thought and that thought alone, I set down my laptop and go to pace my hall and shake off the enormity of the immediate decent of hideous, violent rejection and simultaneous contradiction of belief/disbelief that such thinking instigates.

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