thou shall not make in thy flesh a scratch over the soul

{16 months of depression, 1 of a mixed state, 3 days of depression and counting.}


6pm – guinea fowl and coucal calls, heavy grey clouds. An abyss behind my ribs and I’m considering drawing the curtains and taking a sleeping pill. Got through the day somehow, it felt like struggling through a pea souper (fog, not actual soup…) and as this shitty day ends, I feel as though all of my bones are about to shatter. And I rather wish they would.


Meloncholia, he writes, “the quintessence of the nervous breakdown, reaches deep into the endocrine system, which governs the thyroid and adrenal glands among other organs.”  (Edward Shorter)

{Do you hoard any of your pills?}
{Have you drawn up your will?}

No psychosis for some weeks now. I can’t remember whether I’ve already blogged about the last time, so I’ll just carry on. You know psychosis happens with extreeeme stress, right. It was so quick … I was in my garden (picking up dog crap) and one of the neighbours came out and began to whinge about my dogs barking. I listened quietly – I really don’t want my dogs to be a pain in the ass. I asked her if it was happening every day and was about to ask whether she’d noticed it was worse at any particular time of the day, but she kept on and on and on and on and raised her voice and whined like a mosquito. I said ok, I’ve heard you and I can promise you I will do something about it. The whining continued and she attempted sarcasm at a level you really shouldn’t near someone British. Well I’m SORRY if my husband wants to watch TV and I’m SORRY if … pffft, novice. I said alright, please stop bitching now. All four foot fuckall of her puffed up (that was the moment she earned herself the name – the poison pygmy) and she said bitch?! Bitch! That is NOT the right word, you better be careful. And she said it as she was walking away. I don’t like that and I don’t like being spoken to in capital letters either. Anyway, she scurried off and I growled what exactly are you threatening me with? I’m a total wuss about conflict, most of the time and she was freaking me right out. I stayed calm, because that’s what I do when push comes to shove, the chips are down and the shit hits the fan. Sometime during her relentless whining though, everything else faded and I watched my own garden take shape, with incredibly oversaturated colours and a kind of a deep cracking sound. Then I pulled out a cowboyish revolver, stared at her and shot myself – blood sprayed from my skull. That’s what a fuckwit I am. My own brain manufactured suicide, rather than simply leaving, or gagging her or something. Postscript: she was actually talking total cobblers about the dogs barking like that, but I did some extra training and now they bark even less. And I’m working on a little jingle that goes the pygmy don’t dig me … I did my best to weave some flippancy there, but the truth is that when I got into my own house, I bellowed once and then cried violently for ages. Psychotic and crapped on and so damn sad and nobody there to lighten it and deflect me from taking it on so hard. Anyway, I can do it and in the end I did. Bleurgh.


The tattoos that most disturb people are the ones on my face. There’s no way of getting around them. There’s no way of asking me, “Ma’am, you think the Yankees will take the pennant?” or “Mrs. Ehrenreich, do you believe that Bauhaus furniture is coming back into fashion?” without the tattoos turning the cordial exchange into a mockery of chitchat.
That is the point. That’s the reason for their existence.
The Tattoo Artist – Jill Ciment

What a cool book, you should definitely read it.

7.25pm – I have that thing where you suddenly sigh, (heavier than heaven) because without being particularly conscious of it, your breathing is slow and audible. Well, mine is anyway. Perhaps it’s the sleeping pill. Heaven knows I’m miserable now.

I’ve been back in SA for just over two years now.

No lights on here tonight (as usual). I only switch them on if I’m cooking or something, otherwise I let the sky (and the f u c k i n g streetlight) do their thing. If I didn’t go outside every day I’d end up resembling Gollum. It’s quiet (just the rain), there are times when I’m scared somebody will speak to me, or need me to speak. My throat feels rusty. I have a kind of tightness from my throat, in a line that ends at my navel. Oh to hell with rumination. Ruination. To hell with clang associations too. I stay occupied/distracted as much as possible, the thought of the alternative freezes my veins. When it happens, it just hurts far too much. I don’t even deal with it when I write, I just squint into the sun and circle it, all the while whistling the intro to Gunsmoke.

The result is that I talk a lot of crap.


“Death! Write, write to ruin and the world’s ending!”

Of course that’s just a tweak of this:

“Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world’s ending!”

I hope you recognised it but if not, it was Éomer, at the Battle of Pellenor Fields (RoTK, LoTR). The book, not the film. And some more just because I love it.

“Out of doubt, out of dark to the day’s rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope’s end I rode and to heart’s breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!”

{Have you read Lord of the Rings?}

9pm – why the fruitbat am I still awake? Moar pill needed. Despair, despair, despair. Oh sod it all. I couldn’t wring out a tear right now if you paid me.


(The post’s title is the Jewish law forbidding tattoos.)

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