There was a pressure, as well, or I felt there to be a pressure, to assuage the anxiety of others. A slight measure of sadness was fine, but it was better to leaven it a bit with laughter or reassurance, or by changing the subject.
Kay Reid Jameson – Nothing Was The Same

(Bob Dylan – Desolation Row)

On Monday, when I saw my psychiatrist, I said, “and by the way, fuck mindfulness,” and she laughed. I’ve always been too present, too much in the now, too much in my head. I’ve been consciously ignoring self help gurus etc who preach it for many years now. She said, “it might sound like a strange thing to say, but you actually need something superficial.” Totally. Last year I learned how to get out of my head in healthier ways, I ain’t giving that up. I probably think half as much as I did before that. Hectic.


(Bill and Ted, the hipster version of Wayne and Garth.)

The conversation stalls. I nibble my caramelized vermicelli . He advises me to find God again, or go into psychoanalysis; I give a start at the comparison. He’s interested in my case, he explains; he seems to think I’m in a bad way. I’m alone, much too alone; it isn’t natural, according to him. Michel Houellebecq – Whatever

When I was 14, I sloped off to the school library whenever I could. Despite my truly vile childhood, I managed to be pretentious and intellectually arrogant and so I started reading Dostoevsky. The first one I read was The Idiot. To be honest, I don’t think I liked it much, I think I was just impressed with myself for ignoring the sunshine (literally and figuratively) and getting into it. A while after that I was claiming Gogol and Turgenev as my favourite authors.


It’s difficult to be a moody goth nihilist under the blazing African sun, and ultimately downright ludicrous.

Until I was 13, I wrote hate and help stuff on wooden things (furniture, mostly), as if my message would reach someone who would save me. I did it in symbols before I learned to write.

When I was 12, I heard Depeche Mode’s Blasphemous Rumours and couldn’t believe my thrilled and fearful ex-catholic ears. It took me a while to convince myself I that I wouldn’t go to hell for liking it.

When I was 11, I pretended to be a Roman Briton – I blame thank Rosemary Sutcliffe and my mother for that. I’ve been a daydreamer forever.

I very rarely write (or even think) about my childhood. I don’t intend to do much of it in future either. One of the sweetest defining moments of my life was my psychiatrist telling me to ditch the past. But now that I don’t dream anymore and writing is harder, I need to claim/reclaim shards of myself.

Oh ffs, I’m not merely mawkish, I’m the whole freaking mawk. And I feel rather peeled. I’m going to publish this post before I get the mutters and delete it.


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