Sleepwalking my way through life

The End

Thursday, May 03, 2007
Hello. I'm Joe, a 15 year old geek from Glasgow. Well I don't think I'm a geek but since that's the general opinion of all my friends I guess I'll go with that. What else? I guess that I can start with what I like.

That was almost three years ago, when I first logged on to Blogger and crafted my first and very badly written post. I thought it was brilliant, funny, and that any moment I would be snapped up by a publishing company. It’s amazing now to look back and see what my style was like, when I shortened words and said “itz” instead of “it’s” (I still shudder inwardly whenever I read that). And that was only in the beginning of my quest to plague the internet. Six hundred posts later and here I am, mission accomplished.

They say that one of the hardest parts to writing a story would be coming up with a good ending. To end a story you need a conclusion, or a cliff-hanger, or a resolution of some sort just to bring the arc to a close. But not always. Sometimes the story can go on forever, with infinite amounts of plot twists and revelations, but the narrative has to end – otherwise what’s really important will be bogged down with too much text. In the sea of words the reader will miss the development, the growth of character. All the metaphors, imagery, word choice will be lost in the never-ending story.

When the narrative runs its course, it doesn’t mean the end of the story. The characters will continue to live their lives. They’ll continue to smile, laugh, cry, hate, live and die – they just don’t need a narrative to tell it anymore.

Hello. I’m Joe, an 18 year old writer from Glasgow. Well, I don’t consider myself a writer just yet, but it seems to be the general opinion of a lot of my friends so I’ll go with it anyway. What else? I guess I can write whatever I like really.

And write I will.

The soft whispers of the night

Monday, April 30, 2007
There was the soft rustle of bed sheets and the mattress uttered a welcoming groan as I made myself comfortable. The room was dark with the scratching of strange creatures and reverberating thuds from downstairs, but the bed was reassuringly warm. She moved beside me, stretching her arm against my chest and lifting her head to welcome my arm under it. Her head rested in the crook of my shoulder, and I breathed in her bubblegum hair with deep risings of my chest. Socks had been kicked off, and pyjamas hung loosely from our bodies. I breathe in and out and feel her head rise and fall with my breath, and I crack a smile I can’t stop smiling. I slip round behind her, wrapping my arms round her shoulder and kissing the nape of her neck, hearing her let out quick gasps of excited breath as I work my way down to her bare shoulder and back up again. Her skin is velvet smooth and seems to shine despite the lack of light, and as I run a hand from her knee up to her flat stomach (over a pair of stylish girl-boxers) it seems to shine more intensely. She twists round and smiles at me – that smile – and I can see teeth nibbling at her lip as long black hair tumbles over her face. She leans over and kisses me lightly on the cheek, the skin on my chest tingling as it touches the skin of her arm, her hand softly caressing my other cheek with fingers dipping slightly into my hair. I can feel her heartbeat through my skin as our legs intertwine and my heart is soon audible, thumping with excitement and lust as she kisses my chest. Her beautifully shining eyes look up at me with a feline twinkle, and the shadow of a devious smile on her lips.

When I wake up I’m back in my own bed, a patch of sun streaming from the unclosed blinds and warming my face. I sit there, unmoving in the blindingly comfortable sun, and take stock of the previous night’s events. Did it happen? Did I imagine it? Was it all pretend? It doesn’t really matter, I thought languidly, not in the end.

I picked up my phone and dialled a long number, waiting patiently for it to be picked up, and when it was I laughed and I smiled.

‘You were right you bastard.’ I said, hanging up.

I put the phone back on my bedside table and let my head become engulfed by the pillow before falling back asleep.

A parting to remember

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
“Now,” he said, his upmarket English accent shining through with every syllable, “in English, it’s possible to analyse any text. Whether it be a book, a script for a film, or this…”

He switched on the overhead projector, making the wall behind him light up and a few lines of silhouetted text float in mid air. We read the words slowly before recognition dawned and muffled giggles ran up and down the lecture hall. The lecturer, looking smart in his suit jacket and pinstriped trousers, pulled out a red marker and set to work.

“As always, when it comes to poetry, we mark out how many syllables are in each line; in this one it comes to ten, nine, seven and eight – so we can rule it out as being a sonnet of any kind. However, due to the rhythm we cannot rule out it being a ballad. Now, can anyone well me what we do next?”

The hall was thick with a stunned silence.

“We look at stresses. Starting with the polysyllabic words we can easily determine if there is an organised rhythm. So the only polysyllabic words here are here, here and here,” he said, circling ‘milkshake’ and the two instances of ‘better’. “It’s easy to see that the stress is on the ‘milk’ here, because your wouldn’t get milkshake, and the same for 'better'… but what about this line here?”

He indicated to the third line.

“Would you say it was ‘Damn right’ or ‘Damn right’?” His English accent blatantly obvious at this point “If we follow the pattern, we can see that the poem does follow the pattern of a ballad, as the third line demonstrates: ‘Damn right, it’s better than yours.’”

A few muffled laughs.

“Also, when we’re inferring like this – that’s right, we’re inferring – we can speculate on the meaning behind this poem. It seems to be that this girl makes very good milkshakes, milkshakes that attract a lot of men. And, it seems to be, that she makes milkshakes better than this other girl, who she offers to teach for a charge.”

We all laugh; the lecturer’s naiveté seemingly genuine as he looked at us with his innocently bald head. For a moment I actually thought he believed that the song was only about some girl’s milkshake making abilities, until he started speculating what was meant by milkshake. His gleam of innocence was quickly lost after he gave numerous examples (including felching) as the definition behind it.

Best. English lecture. Ever.

The science of sleep

Monday, April 23, 2007
I have a Psychology test coming up within the next hour. But, instead of studying diligently, I am being forced to Blog.

I'm having the strangest dreams these days. Little situations and scenes that invade my subconscious and make my eyes dance under their lids. I experience them in complete reality, not knowing their dreams until the sun filters through my blinds and put to light the farce of my late night experiences.

There was an occasion where my brother and I were relaxing on a couch watching Pulp Fiction when we were recruited to find a missing cat. Grudgingly we searched the mansion and found a secret attic full of stuffed cats, when we confronted the owner she pulled out a sleek silver 9mm and popped a cap in Chris' ass, so to speak.

Before I knew it I was on the run, stumbling down Bergen main street in an attempt to flee my pursuer. I lifted an iron bar from the gutter and began hammering at glass door, yelling at them to let me in now. But too late, for when the doors finally creaked open an inch a bullet flew past my head and I shot off at a run.

Suddenly I was in the countryside, running down a long main road. I tried to wave down any and all buses, but they just sped off without giving me a second glance. With hope running out and my gun wielding pursuer closing the gap between us, I stuck out my thumb in the futile attempt to hitch-hike. A blue car, almost magically, skidded to a stop and opened its door. I clambered in, sparks flying from the door as a bullet hit it, and landed amongst a set of antique furniture.

The car drove off and the driver began conversing with me in Spanish. I explained I couldn't speak Spanish and he gave me the dirtiest of looks. That's when I woke up.

Can anyone analyse that for me? Please? Although the late night imaginings provide some form of entertainment, I am beginning to be plagued with their meanings. And they linger for hours, even days, on end in my head, with you fucking pathetic little cunt ringing in my ears as I sit on my couch and try to pierce their meaning.

Yes, Freud specialists are needed.

The settling

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Phone line in the flat is now up and running, now all we have to do is have the internet installed. Ha! I kid. The guy should be around soon enough to set everything up, meaning I no longer have to steal the internet from Uni and mum’s house.

I realise that it’s a bit strange that, after harping on about it for over a month, I haven’t written anything about my new flat. Well the simple answer to that is that I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted everything to be perfectly up and running before I ramble on and on about the freedom and the balcony and the room-so-big-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-it. But I’ve decided not to bother with that anymore – if I wanted things to be perfect then I would never be able to write about it.

To begin with; my room. This is what it looked like after my first two days sleeping there.

But after many hours of skilled carpentry and hefty rearranging (finally, all those episodes of Changing Rooms have come in handy!) I am left with this;

(click on any image to enlarge to full size)

Beautiful is it not? I only assembled the desk last night (finishing at the wonderful time of 1am). The desk used to house the old desktop all those years ago, but after that blew up we dismantled the desk and shoved it in the garage, where it sat for a year and a half. Now, when something is out of use for a year and a half, something usually goes very wrong with it. And when I set out all the parts in my room for inspection, I realised there was something very wrong with the desk. There were no screws. The desk top, legs and brace were all there, but not a sign of a screw in sight. I asked Mum if she could search out the necessary parts, and she gave me a small bag with about a dozen different nuts, bolts and screws. So me, with my infinite knowledge of desk making (!), set to work and assembled the desk that my Lapdancer is now resting on. And I achieved this by using five – that’s right five – different types of screws. I’m expecting the poor thing to fall apart any second.

The rest of the flat is really nice too. Since all the stuff was moved in when I was in Norway, Chris had to manage and arrange. He did a good job of it too, with the place not resembling a rubbish tip when I arrived home (my room, as you can see, being the only exception). Bit by bit we’ve been tidying things up, moving this and that here and there, and generally making it home.

The whole experience of living in a flat is very exciting indeed. It’s a whole new breed of freedom that I had never experienced before. There’s no adult supervision (yes, Chris and I are 20 and 18 respectively, but we don’t count as adult) and we have complete run of the house. We can have people round without asking, we can stay out all night if we want to, we can have people fall asleep on our couch and play videogames with the next morning. At the risk of sounding too childish here, it’s just so cool.

I had some friends round at some point in the weekend for a pseudo house party, and we sat back on the couches listening to music and chatting about freckled arses. One of them sat on the couch and periodically gazed around the living room before whispering in awe “my mate has a flat”.

And it’s true. I have a flat. Hell yes.

Simplicity of a sunny day

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The sky was a colour I had never seen before, which is a bold claim for a former art student. Never in my life could I mix enough paint to concoct such a brilliant display of azure, purple, blue, indigo, and sparkling sapphire. Clouds that look as though they had been made from a bizarre hybrid of silk and cotton drifted by, their ice cream shapes floating in a cerulean sea. I could easily become lost in that sky. I’d be happy to let myself drown in that vast expanse of infinite.

The sun tumbled from the sky and landed on a hill of verdant grass and sleeping students, each person languidly laid out in the relaxed sun. Usually Glasgow is a cold place, with the towering buildings casting a shadow over the streets, but not here. In this clearing, this little hill of grass and trees, there was warmth that shone through to the bone.

We were taking full advantage of it. We flocked to the dried up water fountain, to the hardly used wooden benches and even to the precarious ledge that overlooked it all. We sat and we talked and we ate cocktail sausages – for these are things we do when it’s sunny. We smile. We smile more than we smile at any other time in the year, because when the weather is this perfect, even for a singular afternoon, we cannot help but smile. For a fraction of a moment, life’s problems, big and small, seem to flutter away in the breeze – the suns rays filtering through the black clouds hovering over people’s heads, giving them a flicker of light and happiness in a dark time.

I leaned back on the stone steps and lifted my legs off the steps below me. I gently swung them up and down in the serene air and closed my eye, letting the sun sink into my face and rest in the soft tissue around my smiling cheeks. I could feel the cold stone under my hands, little rocks working their way between my fingers, and a bush reached out a branch to stroke my ankle.

It reminded me, suddenly, of my very first day in Norway. Elisabeth and Marie took me on a tour round the village they lived and led me up a huge hill that served as a boundary to a fjord before leading me down the winding road on the other side. At the bottom, when we finally reached it, sat a large yellow hotel that fronted a very small stone beach populated by a few families with their kids waddling into the water – trousers rolled up to their knees and skirts tucked into their underwear. The beach, despite it being tiny, served as the gateway to the wide open fjord in front of us.

It was cold out, but there was no cloud in the sky and the sun shone brightly on the perfectly still water in front of us, except I don’t think I should call it water. It was as if the water had been replaced with nothing, and what I was gazing at was as solid as the tiny rocks moving between my fingers. The coast and the mountains on the far away shore, peaked with perfectly white snow, sat in the depths of the fjord, their summits balancing gracefully on another infinitely blue sky. There was no ripple or disturbance in the reflection, and I felt a small sinking feeling of vertigo.

The sounds that surrounded that beach were musical; the swish of a breeze, the pure ring of children’s laughter, the soft trickle of running water, the slow steady breaths of Marie beside me. These were the types of sounds you find on relaxation CDs, where you listen to calming birdsong or soothing waves to unwind after a stressful day. This was different. With those CDs there’s the ever present knowledge that the stress is still out there, that when you press that Stop button the noise of the cars and the TV and those screaming kids will magically come back. But not there; it was only the relaxing sounds to return to, only the crisp air to breathe, only that eye widening sight to see.

My phone vibrated in my pocket and I picked it up, the smile playing even more on my face as I answered. I took a deep breath, absorbing the summer air whilst having that same feeling in Norway; a feeling of complete awe with total relaxation.

If only life came with subtitles

Monday, April 16, 2007
Lack of updates are due to connection difficulties in my new flat (ie, the complete lack of phone line), but they’re well on their way to being fixed and we’ll have the internet up and running in no time.

-The sun shines happily down on the breezy street; the trees singing and the birds swaying in the near-summer weather. My footsteps are solid and sure as quietly ignore

[Long pause where I delete things and start again]

-Ignorance is bliss, is it not?

Out of sight, out of mind as the old proverb goes. Once upon a time the world sparkled with shining pennies and vanilla ice cream, I didn’t see the broken weeping needle on the ground, I looked away from the beggar holding his Big Issue in one hand and his dripping guts in the other, I blatantly ignored the good old buddy the pal as he dug a knife into his wrist. I was like Lily Allen in my retarded naiveté.

[Another pause. Lets start again.]

It’s like peeling off old wallpaper. Not the new kind that slides off in satisfyingly uniform strips, but the old papier-mâché wallpaper that was glued to the wall in the sixties. This wallpaper looks good to begin with, its intricate flowery patterns and little figures staring out at you – but bit by bit it begins to flake off with little suspicions of scrapes and hints of failure. Soon great gashes will score across the wall, but you ignore them. The wall is still as pretty as it always has been. But then, one day, someone comes along with a giant fucking steamer and tears the whole thing apart piece by fucking piece.