Sleepwalking my way through life: July 2006



Standing over our victory

Sunday, July 30, 2006
14:00

And so it has ended. One of the longest days of my life is drawing to a close, and I can honestly say that I am going to miss it. I loved doing this, going on and on through the threat of complete exhaustion until I came out on top. Think about it; the Blogathon has been beaten.

It is true that we all started out this event as a way of raising money for charity, getting to know people, and just having fun, but it turned into something more than that. It turned into a battle, a fight between us and the powerful Blogathon. Many of our fellow bloggers were lost along the way, but the ones that survived can hold their heads high and say proudly that they have done it; they have survived the Blogathon.

This has been intense, amazingly intense. And it is something I will not forget any time soon

I am going to close this laptop now and have a shower before I fall back into my bed. And I am going to sleep. I am going to sleep for a long time and I am not going to wake up until I am ready.

And I am not going to blog for a while. You can trust me on that.

The last leg

13:32

I find it strange how this twenty-four hour experiment (that’s right, experiment) has progressed. When it began, I was panicky; just meeting the deadline and floundering for topics to write about. It was… stressful to say the least and I could not see any way that I would be able to make it through the twenty-four hours.

Then I began to relax, I made it less about certain topics, and more about myself; just letting my persona run free on the page to describe thoughts and feelings that I was experiencing or wanted to express.

When it came closer and closer to morning, I could see the end in sight. When the sun rose it showed the idea that the end was just around the corner and that I could sleep soon. However, this almost resulted in me almost having a nervous breakdown due to the stress of writing and the need to hit the deadline.

But after a nice cup of coffee, I was on track again; posting regularly (if not a bit insanely) and having fun.

This experiment has pushed me to my very limit; my boundaries have been tried and tested in many different ways. I think I have come out of this experience knowing more about myself.

Between two bloggers

13:02

“If you ask me, your entries have become substantially more… introspective.”

I laughed, “If by ‘introspective’ you mean ‘less frequent’ then I whole heartedly agree with you.”

“That too.” She laughed, taking another gulp of water to cool down. I was relatively cool as I laid back on the couch, but the heat was almost unbearable for her. It was the first time Jules and I had had a chance to talk in a good while, and our conversation was almost hitting the two hour mark with all the catch up. “You know – Mr Joe – I was reading your blog, the old ones that is…”

“Uh oh,” I said, “This can’t be good.”

“No no, it’s quite good,” she continued, smiling, “and I must say, your use of exclamation marks have gone down dramatically.”

“That’s because I used up my lifetime allowance of them with my first posts.” I mused, thinking back on my older entries where I found many things worthy of exclamation. “But what are you doing reading back so far? My back logs should be cordoned off for psychotic research they were that disturbed. And besides, most of my old posts are painfully boring in a humiliating way; they should be avoided like the plague.”

“I have to disagree,” she said, sitting up. “Some of your greatest entries are back in your younger days.”

“Really?” I asked, and since I was in the mood for an ego boost, “Which ones?”

She smiled, “Well, there’s the one where you go in depth into time travel, I found that entertaining. Um…” she paused, trying to think of another one, “Your MSN conversations are always hilarious, so that’s a good choice. Ah, but then there’s the one that you deleted a while back; that one was really good. But I can’t choose one.”

I smiled to myself, closing my eyes almost smugly. “You know, I have a favourite post of yours.”

“Really? What one? The Scottish one?”

I laughed, “No, it’s the one where you’re going to the cinema with your mum and she ends up having no money. I laugh every time when you bring money out of your shoe.”

We both laughed at the thought of it and fell silent. Jules took another gulp from her glass of water and looked over at me, “You know, even though I think some of you older posts are better, you have definitely improved.”

“Thanks.” I said, and fell asleep.

Pen and paper

12:30

I remember when I used to think I was a good writer; back in the beginning of high school where I would write a story or two a month, churning them out like some machine. And, of course, they were all golden masterpieces that deserved awards and recognition from the best if the best. I used to love my writing, how my characters were so believable and how the plots were always so amazing.

And then I actually stopped writing stories and began reading them instead.

I read dozens of books and stories, absorbing them and analysing their style and technique – how each one is different, or the same with a slight twist in the description. I read and read and read, and realised the utter garbage that my stories were; how they were jarred, unstructured, shallow and boring.

So I threw them away; tearing them up and tossing them to the wind to be carried as far as possible so I would never see them again. And I began to read and write at the same time, copying and becoming familiar with the feel of different styles.

But then I began this blog, where my own personal style has changed and evolved over time and work. Now my writing is the way you see it now, and I have had many people tell me how amazing I write, and how it is the best they have seen.

I need to direct them to Amazon.com, because I am no where near some peoples calibre.

Noon o'clock

12:03

Noon, twelve o’clock. Oh, the end is so close I can taste it, and it tastes of delicious coffee.

Twelve hours ago I was sitting in this very same spot, commenting on how the day had rolled over. It seems like so long ago now, as if it were days instead of hours. This whole experience has been eye opening in so many ways, and it isn’t even near finished yet. I still have two hours, two singular hours to survive before I can collapse with dignity and respect. Two hours.

I’m almost there, bit by bit, I’m on the brink of the end.

[Stay tuned: In half an hour, a completely different post!]

Aaaaaand... I'm back!

11:26

And now the energy is surging through me; sweet sweet caffeine! How could I have neglected you!?

The slick, silky nectar flowed into me, filling me with a warm goodness right up to the brim. I feel like I have a new lease on blogging. I can blog about anything now. I have the power, so to speak. I can take up my sword and banish Skelo-blog to some other worldly dimension.

And now the coffee is seeping into my brain, drowning my synapses in brown, sugary goodness as it soaks and stimulates my thought patterns into something… something…

Insane.

Almost out of the game

11:04

And so I awaken. And so I am revitalised.

Kinda.

I couldn’t take it, I really couldn’t handle it anymore so I set the alarm on my mobile phone and I curled up on my couch for a five minute nap. Ten minutes later I awoke with a bacon sandwich and a cup of coffee on the table beside me, oh, did I mention the drool? No? Let’s keep it that way.

I devoured the bacon sandwich and downed the coffee in mere seconds. I think I’ll be ok for another half hour at least, and I can break into by bottles of Irn Bru if I get too tired.

Giving In

10:30

Fuck it. Fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it. I am going to make some coffee. I give in and subject myself to caffeinated goodness. I need it, I need it to stay awake and to finish this thing that I started to save the children and give them money to be saved. And if giving up my promise of non-caffeinated drinks means that I can ride out this now horrible thing, then so be it.

And I feel very stupid. It turns out that I have four hours left (three and a half now) instead of four. Goody.

Good over evil

10:01

Three hours. Just keep going, only three hours.

Three hours? Are you kidding? That’s an eternity! That’s an entire sitting of the extended version Lord of the Rings! You’ll die in three hours!

No, I can get through this. I WILL get through this. Remember the money? You need to do this for the children. You know, they need SAVING.

But but but you’re so tired! There’s a bed upstairs, just ready for you! All you have to do is go upstairs and fall asleep and it’ll be all over.

It’s for the children goddamit. You’re going to do this until it’s done. Ok?

Fine. Ok.

Discipline

09:31

I dragged myself upstairs to wash myself up, splashing my face with cold water to reanimate some blood cells and perhaps stop being a zombie. Before I went into the bathroom I pushed open my bedroom door slightly, letting it swing open the rest or the way and reveal the length of my bed in its soft and comfortable glory. It was in a patch of sunlight, and I knew it would be warm; if only could just climb in and give myself what I’m longing for.

I took hold of myself, and shoved my body unwillingly into the bathroom and dunked my head several times. I WILL get through this.

Stop counting sheep...

08:57

My mind seems drained at the moment. I sit and type the first few lines of a sentence and expect my mind to fill in the rest, to fix the gaps and rearrange the grammatical errors until a decent piece of writing appears before me. But now? No, my mind is more preoccupied with this dizzy light-headedness that threatens to send me careering over the edge and into the couch below.

The tiredness has hit me again. I feel like I’m about to drop off at any moment, and that even if I blink then there’s a chance of me going off the deep end.

I wish this was over, I really need a good sleep.

When you feel like a sunday morning

08:29

I do realise that all I am talking almost non-stop about the sun and morning (except for the previous post about necrophilia), but it truly is amazing weather. The sun is shining down on our back garden and is lighting up our conservatory, causing the sun to reflect and refract into the living room. Although that this gobbledygook means less than nothing to the average reader, for me it means that the living room is beautifully lit with the brilliant sunlight.

Couple that with the curtains billowing slightly in the wind, and you have yourself on very pretty picture of a Sunday morning.

Desperate times...

07:53

What can I do to keep myself awake for the next seven hours? I’ve kept myself awake so far… But even so, I’ve been thinking of ways to keep myself alert if I did droop too low.

I have the image of dunking my feet into a basin of ice-cold water, or giving myself the occasional slap across the face; anything really, to keep me awake. Standing up and doing jumping jacks, maybe splashing water on my face to give myself a burst of refreshment.

Or perhaps I could surf the net and watch some necrophilia porn, just to make me scared of going to sleep.

The maiden returns

07:27

Mother has woken up, and is now accompanying me as she watches television. She’s filled the fresh, crisp air with smoke; but she hasn’t had a bad night sleep so I don’t mind too much.

It seems like it has been ages since I last saw her, at least more than seven hours. It’s the same kind of feeling I have when I watch a series of 24. I find it so hard to believe that so many things can happen in one day. And my day isn’t even over yet. Chris has still to come, and the Marie. And there has yet to be kidnappings or assassination attempts.

Fingers crossed though.

Outside adventure

07:01

My feet were turning into ice, but I refused to move them from my spot. George brushed up against my leg and ventured into the garden, meandering about in seemingly random curves. Everything is so peaceful. There is the faint roar of cars in the distance, but that sound is overpowered by the birds that fly back and forth over my head. I step onto the grass and feel the dew between my toes, breathing in the fresh, crisp air and smelling the smell of… freshness, of outdoors, of morning.

George runs back through my legs and head back into the house, perhaps it’s too cold for her or something scared her. I don’t know what it was, but I followed her lead, my eyes still gazing at the brilliantly blue sky that hovered above me, just out of reach. It didn’t even matter that my feet were cold.

Let there be light

06:31

The sun has finally risen, basking the tree and rooftops with a yellow-orange glow as the day officially begins. The shadows seem to be receding every second, letting one more brick and one more leaf into the light. I find myself amazed as I watch it; by god the sun DOES move! Well I’ll be damned.

My blinds move slightly, and I notice that George is trying to climb in through the window, seeking refuge from the cold. I let her in and she nuzzles my hand, looking for a scratch behind the ear of perhaps a shin stroke, but I am still entranced by the sun as it beats down the shadows into nothingness.

What other wonders does this day appear to hold?

Waking realisations

05:59

I looked out the window at the street outside, “It’s so light out.” I said quietly.

“Yeah, it’s practically day.” Elisabeth replied, stretching out on the couch. She had been there for most of the night, staying awake as I was. I reached a hand out and opened the window, letting in a cold and refreshing draft.

“I miss the night.” She murmurs.

“I welcome the morning, and all the false promises it brings.”

“Why are you being so formal?” she asked. I could feel her eyes on my back.

“A fresh day with fresh thoughts and fresh actions,” I say, ignoring her while I run my hand in and out of the cold air.

“And daisies.” She added.

“This day has never occurred before in the history of time.”

“And it will never occur again.” She was mocking my tone, but I was too tired to care.

“But this day shall never occur for us. It is merely and extension of yesterday.” I was staring into space again.

“Ah, the nostalgia!” she exclaims.

“No, the lonliness.”

“Not for me.”

I turn round and smile at her, “Then it really is lonely isn’t it?”

She giggled and mumbled, “My god, how emo are you?”

I laughed and threw a pillow at her, the cold of the morning already forgotten.

Sleepwalking

05:28

It is practically daylight now. And my tiredness has taken a step further, I seem to be staring into space more and more, meaning I become infinitely distracted by the course of a piece of string, but I’m going to ruin the ending for myself;

IT DOESN’T FUCKING MOVE.

Now that that is out of the way I can get back to more important things, like that piece of lint that is on the floor that also does not move.

I could really do with a cold shower right now, to jolt me awake along with the lights outside, but unfortunately my brother and mother are all still in bed and I would not like to incur their wrath.

Hmm, I wrote this in a mere three minutes… I need to concentrate more.

Day break

04:51

I can hear it now. The light peaking over the horizon is rising up and lighting the world again, and I can hear and feel every inch it moves as if my skin is the skyline and it is rubbing against me in its quest to light the world.

It has gone from a deep black lit with blaring yellow streetlights to a deep purple, to a light blue and it is growing lighter and lighter every second. Soon the lampposts will turn off and the sun will make its steady journey behind the clouds.

Soon it will properly be daylight, birds twittering and parents yawning and breakfasts being made. I feel like I’ve cheated the system by staying up all night, as if I’ve done something I shouldn’t have done at all and peaked at what the creation of a day looks like.

Second guessing

04:28

Strangely enough, I love this. The late night and early morning writing, thinking of all the different things I can write about and how I can write about them. I have even honed my writing speed, allowing me to write a decent sized entry in the small space of twenty minutes – something that usually would have taken me up to an hour to do normally. I love the rush of it all too, the fact that I have to have this done by a certain time or BLOOP, my site comes off the list (the list of registered blogs has gone from 372 to 305 since the Blogathon began).

Earlier tonight Gary came on, telling me about his escapades over the summer thus far and telling me that he is going to take Journalism next year at university.

“Why don’t you take that? You’d like it; it’s got a lot of writing in it.”

And that has me thinking now. Why not journalism? I seem to be developing a knack for this forced writing and my quality does not seem to be suffering too much for it (wait until you see it with fresh eyes, I remind myself).

Maybe journalism could be the way to go, and not creative writing?

Ode to a coffee cup

03.54

It is so sleek and… perfect. The end result of three agonising minutes of creation; filling the kettle, setting out the cup, clicking on the kettle. Each step taking mere moments, but the time it takes for the water to boil is infinitely long, so everything else can be done with care.

A teaspoon of coffee is needed, piled slightly for an extra kick, and I dropped into the cup. Next thing needed is two teaspoons of sugar, also slightly heaped, to join the coffee. Then add milk; a generous splash into the mug, mixing the bitter and sweet and bringing it to life. But now there is the wait for the water to stop boiling, an impatient foot tapping the ground as the kettle roars. Finally, after an infinite number of seconds pass, the kettle clicks and is whisked to a great height, where the water is poured into the mug to create a frothy top.

And there it is, a swirling, frothy top that begs to be drank and fill a chest with fantastic warmth and to clear the mind of any fog.

Oh god, I want one so badly.

Dip it low, lets pick it up slow

03.23

This is really taking its toll on me now. My eyes are drooping constantly and my head is beginning to feel thick and heavy. My fingers are almost like sausages, coming to a point of unresponsiveness as they are slowly worn away at the keyboard.

My ideas are running thin, even my back up ideas, and I doubt that I have the ability to write the reserves with any great fluency, nor within the strict time of half an hour. And all my muses seem to have disappeared to sleep or offer their help to other people.

I am happy that I am keeping my promise of a hundred or more words per entry, despite the crap I’ve churned out to achieve that goal.

Hmm, this is probably just a low point right now. I’m going to make myself some hot chocolate, and some biscuits and I’ll wing it from there.

What to do?

02:52

Glasgow; the city that is a stones throw (and a walk and a train) from me, and it is a place that I frequent weekly in order to have something to do at the weekends instead of hanging around the house. Marie and I wander around its central shopping area, enjoying the sun, the air, and just the general atmosphere of it all. We walk and talk, chatting about the previous week’s events or the following week’s plans, weaving in and out of the crowd. After an hour or so of following this pattern, we always end up asking each other the same question.

“What do you want to do now?”

We stop, frozen on the street as we think of somewhere, ANYWHERE, that we could go to. The same places pop up in our heads, and the same reasons against doing it.

Getting some food; where? We’ve been everywhere good.

Walk round the Botanic gardens; too far.

Go to the Kelvin grove museum; just as far!

The Cinema; again?

We could go shopping; what for?

And so we eventually decide on one of three things; I head back to Marie’s house for some food and perhaps a DVD; we head to George Square and lie on a bench and talk; or we go to the cinema to see the latest flick.

There is never anything to do in Glasgow. Well, nothing to do that requires little or not effort at all.

Trust training

02.20

I was thinking of different things I could write about, to keep myself challenged and to keep this place interesting, so I am going to include a story about my childhood; perhaps it can give you insight as in why I am the way I am.

In primary seven (when I was ten years old) we were taken on a week long trip to an adventure getaway in northern Scotland by the coast. It was a beautiful place beside a sea inlet, and if you looked across the bay you could see the sun twinkle off the water as fishing boats go by, and if you looked across to the other coastline, you could see the nuclear subs passing to and fro as they go in and out of the nuclear base. It was really beautiful though.

One of the activities at this getaway was a series of team building exercises where the kids can learn to work together to solve problems. The first in this set of exercises was a trust exercise. The gist of it is that one person stands on top of a three foot wooden pole, and falls back to be caught by his team mates; in essence, trusting his team mates to catch him.

Everyone had to participate in this activity, taking turns to fall back and be caught. I was the last in the group, and I stepped shyly up onto the pole and prepared myself. The instructor counted down from three, and I fell back on his mark.

The fall was exhilarating, the wind rushing in my ears and the world tipping away from my vision as I fell. There was a small moment of fear, what if they didn’t catch me? But the fear was absolved when I felt their arms round my back, and I enjoyed the sensation again.

Until I fell through their arms.

I landed on the ground with a painful thud, looking up with a shocked face at the half dozen that stared back. How could they? They dropped me. They fucking dropped me! Why did they betray my trust in such a blatant and painful way?

Bastards.

Halfway mark

02:00

And finally! We have hit the halfway mark.

A whole twelve hours have passed since I began, sitting in this very same comfortably sinking seat and I am finally having lots of fun. I’m catching up with all my posts, I have things to write about, and I am just generally having fun. But who knows? It could be tiredness kicking in, blocking some synapses and feelings that detect the pain in my fingertips and the numbness in my legs.

Only twelve hours (Only?) to go before I can lie back and let my eyes drop permanently. So I can be carried off to slumber-land to dream sweet dreams of sunshine and lollipops.

I find it quite an achievement that I have lasted this long, and I’ll find it an even better achievement when I finish the full twenty-four hours and collect all that money from my sponsors.

I’m almost there. Almost. I just need to keep going.

WhoreSpace

01:29

Now that I have expelled some creative juices for the time being (ooh… that sounds dirty), I am going to go ahead and rant about one of the most rehashed subjects in the history of the internet.

You guessed it right everyone; I’m going to go off my nut for MySpace.

I really do not understand it. You make an account and you fill in a profile; all fair and normal. You add some friends, upload some pictures and comment on each others sites; that’s fairly normal too. You neglect IM services to talk through MySpace, you post bulletin after bulletin asking people to comment your pictures, you configure you sites to cause epileptic fits; now you have lost me.

Yes, it is very true that I once owned a MySpace. It was a dark site with a gothic angel in the background, hardly any pictures and even fewer friends. I checked it every once in a while, letting it fall into disrepair with messy code and lack of updates. I didn’t care about it at all really, until one day that I happened to be on it and I stumbled across a bulletin.

The subject read “I just found out, I’ve got cancer” and me (being the nice guy I am) clicked on it to go to her site and give her my condolences, When I clicked on it, the message opened and read:

“Ha ha, just kidding. But can you please comment on my pictures?”

And so buh bye went MySpace. I did not want to be anywhere near anything that could associate me to someone as low as that.

Look before you leap

01:03

She was still hungry, and there was not a morsel of food in sight. For the past three days she had wandered around this barren wasteland, searching everywhere for anything to satisfy her hunger. When the sun went down and she couldn’t see, she had to dart from place to place in the vain attempt of catching the scent of something to track down and strengthen herself.

It had been three days and four nights since she became lost, chasing down her first meal in days and eating it with barely enough time to taste. She had turned round and her group was gone, they had moved off and left her to fend for herself. Each hour that passed she cursed herself for her selfishness. If she had stayed with them then they would probably be having a banquet about now, food lined up as far as the eye could see. She could even smell it…

Wait. She could smell it. Food! Beautiful life sustaining food! She turned and saw it directly in front of her, a juicy piece of meat ripe for the taking. It was alive, and it would keep her going for at least another day. She opened her mouth wide and leapt for it, forcing it down her throat and savouring the feeling of it sliding into her stomach.

She began to swim off, smug in her achievement, but her head was yanked up by a violent, unseen force and her whole body was dragged up at an alarming rate. Her eyes couldn’t stay open with the force, and before she knew it she was tugged out of her world and into another. This one was bad, she couldn’t breathe and the space around her was much too dry. She struggled and wriggled, but a force slammed her down on something hard and she still couldn’t breathe. She tried to scream out in pain as a club was brought down again and again on her skull, but she heard something snap and she fell motionless and silent.

Her eyes stared out into space, watching nothing but the slowly fading light as a knife was slid into her stomach, emptying out the prize she had just eaten. And in the small recesses of her brain, a small thought flickered once more and died. It was the same thought that had been ignored when she leapt for the food, and it flickered in mocking irony before she died.

“Watch out for the hook.”

Goodnight fair maiden

00:21

That’s it for mum; she’s retired to her bedroom for the rest of the night, kissing me on the head and wishing me luck on finding topics. She has, very kindly, let me reside downstairs for the rest of the night, enabling me full access to food, water and the TV (for more topics to talk about).

Although for now I choose to listen to music, to see if I can stir my creative juices with some jazz or funk or perhaps an old pop-song that I have for nostalgic purposes only (as I type this, Jojo’s “Get out” begins playing). There have been one or two stories of mine that have purely been music induced, where the ups and downs of the guitar compelled me churn out some fictitious goodness.

Speaking of fictitious goodness…

Milestone

00:00

And we finally hit midnight, where the big hand and the little hand join together to create a super hand of… time. Bad metaphor, I know, but at least it signifies a milestone in this epic adventure of mine. Finally, Saturday has rolled over into Sunday and I can finally relax slightly in the knowledge that I only have fourteen hours until I can lie back and rest.

I’ll be the first to admit, that another fourteen hours of non-stop writing is not the most attractive prospect, even to me, but at least it is so much better than fifteen hours, or even fourteen and a half hours.

And so far I have not touched a single drop of coffee; drinking ample amounts of water instead. You should be warned to expect many toilet posts to come.

I mean, come on...

Saturday, July 29, 2006
23:31

Why do people have to be mean for no good reason?

For example, a large thirty year old balding man shouting down a small, teenage girl because HE made a mistake. I fail to fathom how this is acceptable; how a grown man can reduce a cashier to near-tears because she told him that the transaction had to be redone due to a simple mistake on his part.

Why do people think they can treat other people like shit, just because they can? What kind of depraved childhood did they have in order to find such behaviour acceptable?

Why am I asking so many questions in my entries?

Rise and shine

22:59

It is never silent. People think that all the time, that the dead of night is exactly that; dead. That is far from true; it just as full of life as day is, except it’s softer. There are no birds twittering, there are fewer cars about and there is no one else wandering the streets. There is nothing else except for the sound of your footsteps and the hum of the night.

If you listen closely enough, and you hold your breath so you can make no other sound, it’s almost as if you can hear the sunrise as it peaks out from behind the horizon. Making its call to the world that it’s time to open your eyes and breathe deep.

Sibling banter

22:29

I was actually up quite late last night. Hanging around online, listening to “just one more song” as the horizon steadily turned orange. I know that this was a foolish thing to do since I was due to stay up all night the next night, but I just wanted to listen to one more song…

Chris was there too, asking me questions about the Blogathon and giving me ideas on what to post about.

“You could write one of your infamous conversations you know.”

“Yeah, I could.” I said, scanning another web page.

“Well,” he said, standing up and stretching, “if you're going to blog this log, I imagine I need to talk about more psychedelic topics.”

“Mhmm.”

“Such as ferrets.”

I looked at him, one eye narrowed and the other wide. “Chris, welcome to my blog.”

The all seeing eye...

21:55

Big Brother; the idea is a scary one to say the least. The government on continuous watch? All eyes peeled to examine every action for analysis.

But to actually harvest this idea, in a television program? Why? Why manufacture fear and suspicion into a profitable thing? Why would you want to stick a multitude of people in the house with some wacky furniture and some sadistic games? Why?

I don’t see the point of watching them interact. Go to a shopping centre and stalk a few people instead if you will. You get exercise and fresh air while invading their lives while you’re at it.

And why? Why why why why why WHY watch them in their sleep? That is kinda creepy.

In the begining...

21:35

I walked into the Cathouse with my sexy new attire on, wincing slightly at the thudding music and the huge congregation of punk rockers, goths and emos; a sight that I would usually turn tail and run at, but alas, this was almost a year ago. They swarmed around each other, dancing to the ear deafening music and banging their heads up and down in a pseudo-rhythmic motion.

“JOE!” Jeff bellowed over the music, “THERE’S THIS GIRL OVER THERE WHO THINK’S YOU’RE GOOD LOOKING!”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. We were barely five minutes in the place and she was already trying to set me up with someone. She grabbed my hand and dragged me to the middle of the dance floor, her neck craning over heads to find the location of this mystery girl. She eventually spotted her.

“THERE SHE IS!”

I looked to where she was pointing and prepared myself for the sight of a beastly girl with five chins an a shaved head with rolls of-

“Oh, shit.”

She was pointing to a girl with a black and red striped top, long, curly hair, and a fantastically moving body.

I spent the rest of the night looking at her out of the corner of my eye, watching her move as she danced, smiling weakly at her as she passed and trying my best to work up the courage to dance with her.

Unfortunately, I did not. I let her stand by herself for a full ten minutes while I contemplated on asking her to dance or not. The moment passed me by and I felt like a fool for it.

It was ten minutes until we left and I was sitting on the steps watching everyone dance. The random girl who was sitting beside me stood up and melded into the mass group in front of me, and sitting beside her was the stripey jumpered girl.

Now or never Joe, now or never, I thought as I typed out a text. I finished it and walked over to her, standing stiffly and uncomfortably as I tapped her on the shoulder. She looked up and smiled, her eyes twinkling in the light. I handed her my phone and she read the text before handing me her phone, the number displayed on the screen.

My friends and I walked out into the cool night air in preparation to go to my party, and I meandered over to Jeff.

“That girl that you showed me at the beginning of the night, what was her name?”

“Oh, I think it was Marie.”

“Marie? Hmm.”

Sympathy for Sir Vengeance

21:04

Vengeance.

It’s a brilliant thing. Vengeance. Ah, it even sounds like a good word. It sounds so… satisfying to say it. It rolls off your tongue with all the sinister intent and malicious thoughts packed into it. It is said with a twinkle in the eye, a lick on smirked lips, and accompanied with the sound of cracking fingers.

And, of course, the sound of a gunshot going through his skull.

But what then? What do you do now that the deed is done? He is dead. The fucker is a twitching corpse on the ground. But the rage is still pumping through you; it pumped through you into the gun and into his brains which are now all over the room. The rage is still there, it’s not going away. It’s always still there.

And that, dear readers, is the true beauty behind vengeance. No matter how passionate you may be about it, it will never be fulfilled.

Three people?

20:31

Inspiration is running dry for him. He sits, hunched over his glowing laptop and types slowly as he thinks of what else to say. Nothing comes to mind, nothing but the thought of another seventeen and a half hours of grabbing at any source of inspiration to come along just to fulfil the hundred words per post rule he set into place. The TV blares in the background, creating a dancing light show to vegetate in front of. What should be used as a relaxation device is now being used as a source, something to draw a subject out of.

He sits and types, his mind continuously working and processing new material.

If he becomes really desperate, he could always write about Batman again.

Warning: May induce hunger

19:57

Now I am refreshed and refuelled. The warm, succulent battered chicken smothered in delicious sweet and sour sauce on one side, and lemon sauce on the other with a small mountain of rice dividing them. They were like too separate countries feuding over the ownership of this mountain, eventually taking away different pieces to claim them as their own. But which one deserved the mountain more?

It was a difficult decision; whether to focus on the lemon chicken or the sweet and sour chicken, trying to figure out which taste was more worth of my love. It was a very difficult, sweet and sour being the long running favourite, but lemon chicken was such a… welcomed change; it’s zingy taste enticing my tongue.

But in the end, it did not matter. I ate them both, regardless of which one I enjoyed the most (Sweet and sour, hands down). Oh, but the meal was welcome nonetheless.

Why?

19:29

It seems now that every few posts are going to be based on whatever I happen to be watching on TV. So this little entry will be focused on Batman.

He’s a superhero; I understand that. He wears black to incur fear in the hearts of his enemies; ok, makes sense. He wears a black, rubber bodysuit; what now?

Rubber? RUBBER? What kind of super hero, in their right mind, would wear rubber? Unless of course, you were some super gimp fetishist hell bent on scaring criminals with your insane sex practices.

And Robin? His boy wonder side kick? What’s so wondrous about him? It’s a wonder he hasn’t told the commissioner about Batman’s weekend activities?

Wake up beauty

18:50

You have got to be kidding me. It is currently 18:42 (slightly later by the time I post this) and I am yawning. And I do not mean the small yawning that occurs whilst listening to your English teacher, nor the slightly larger yawn that occurs from watching another person yawn, no, this is the wide cavernous yawn that offers a deep insight into what you had for lunch.

I had a half decent sleep last night, not a good one, but one decent enough to stop me from trying to fit my own head inside itself at six in the evening. I can feel my eyes become heavier and my arms become slower.

I think that the possibility of me surviving this without coffee is slowly decreasing.

Titled

18:28

The importance of a title is a large one. Newspapers know this – as do several hundred authors – and they show it through the grabbing headlines and captions they use. If you ask me, personally, the title is just as important as the story itself.

The title is what draws the reader in; something interesting and intriguing that reveals a major (or even very minor) detail about the story, making the reader want to go deeper and discover who is the catcher in the rye, or why it’s so important to be Ernest.

Which is why it also bothers me to see people titling their blogs/poems/stories/songs as the all inspiring “Untitled”.

It’s a title in itself you poor ignorant fools!

Pit stop

17:54

“Hurry hurry hurry hurry.” I murmur to myself, typing as fast as humanly possible. I hit the enter button violently and enter the last line of text. I pause for a moment – thinking of a good title – and type some more before hammering down on the mouse button. “Come on.” I whisper impatiently.

The page loads and everything is fine; so I throw the Lapdancer to the side and make leaps and bounds up the stairs, throwing the door open and slamming it shut behind me. Hurry hurry hurry hurry…

Ahhhhh…

I step out of the bathroom and dry my hands, smiling. With the amount of water I’m drinking over this event; I’ll probably become really frustrated more than once during this time.

Oh, and the Flux Capacitor

17:25

“Great Scott!”

Two words that sparked excitement in my young mind. The contents that those two words held were adventurous, even (top a certain extent) magical. Danger was coming, something had just be discovered, or a plan had just been devised.

The Doc’s eyes went wide when he uttered them, a realisation came over him and he pauses in this sudden wash of possibility. When he said those words, my entire left side tingled up and down as it does when something incredible happens in the cinema. Marty mirrored myself; standing at his side, waiting intently for the Doc to explain his fantastic plan or the realisation of a deadly turn of events.

And then, of course, there was that kick ass Dolorian.

"If you can't walk, you crawl."

17:00

I am struggling now. That last post was coming close to going over the time limit, and as a result I had to cut it short before I could delve deeper into the scenery and feelings. I completely missed out smell.

Why does it matter so much? Why do I have to do everything in half an hour? Why the hell is it so important?

This is a big test for me. This is an exercise, to see if I can sit down and force myself to write eligibly without any inspiration and without any time to prepare. This is the life I want. I want to be sitting at a desk or on a couch and typing furiously while biting my lower lip, occasionally glancing at the clock to check that I still have five minutes left before my world crumbles.

It may be stressful, and I may struggle and worry, but, by god, it’s worth it.

Story time

16:30

It’s cold, but just bearably cold. You push yourself up, bringing yourself away from the cold, wet ground. Your hands sink in and feel like they’re covered in sludge. It’s too dark, and all you can do is hear and feel and smell and taste the room around you. Room? There are no doors, no windows; only solid walls that stretch up to God knows where.

You sit up and back into a corner, every muscle aching from punishment and your head reeling with dizzying thoughts. A painfully sharp throb comes from your stomach and you realise how long it’s been since you ate anything. You are too weak to move, too tired to sleep; you can do nothing but sit and breathe the rank, stale air.

Time passes. How long? You do not know, and neither do you care; but your attention is caught by a squeak and the sound of scuttling. A rat! Where? Where is it? Where?

You reach out and grab it, feeling it writhe in your grasp. A smile spreads across your face as you devour it, ripping the fur and skin and muscle from its scrawny figure. Your hunger lessens slightly, but you know that the world will never seem the same again.

Pitter patter of scent

16:00

The sun was out a moment ago, and now it’s pouring down. I can hear it from the open door outside, the door that was keeping us cool.

There’s that smell again. It’s a sort of warm metallic smell, yet at the same time it’s cold and earthy. It rises slowly into your nostrils, working its way into every nook that can perceive the sent. I breathe in deeply and feel refreshed, my chest rising and falling as my eyes close. My mind cannot fathom it; how can it be earthy yet metallic? Cold yet warm? It’s a mysteriously beautiful smell, a smell that I would much prefer over sniffing roses.

If only it would rain more during summer.

There's a certain Sheen to it...

15.30

Is anyone else sad that the West Wing has come to an end?

I began watching the extremely smart, quick witted show mid-way through the second series. At first I did not bother with it, watching it occasionally out of the corner of my eye whilst I read a book. To me it was just another Ally McBeal, an occasionally funny show that was too smart for my younger tastes. Besides, why waste my time with a show like that when I had plenty of Goosebumps books to read?

Ah, but then I fell in love. The show can be described as quick witted, but that does not do it justice. The wit is lightening speed, as in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it. I was entranced by how it was not only funny, it was smart and funny; and also how deep and complex the characters were (the fight between Josh and Toby in series seven literally broke my heart).

And don’t get me started on President Bartlett. If I had it my way, I’d attack Mount Rushmore with a chisel and draw a new face.

Pulling air

15:00

My my my. This Blogathon event is turning out much harder than I imagined.

“Half an hour to write a post?” I chuckled to myself as I read the website, clicking carelessly on the various links to set up my charity. “No problem. I can do that while sleeping.” I told myself smugly.

Oh how wrong I am.

It is only two posts in and I have already run out of ideas. Well, that is a lie. I have the golden idea of a post to write which I am now forming in my mind as I type, but it would only make sense in the depths of night when the sandman tightens his grip on me.

I never actually thought about how long it takes to write before. It is only a mild chore to churn out a thousand word essay the night before it is due, but then again I forget that the mild chore usually has me working from six to half four in the morning.

And now I finish this entry so I can make the futile attempt of making another. And by ‘make another’ I mean ‘pull one out of my ass’.

Jennifer Garner perhaps?

14:30

Mario Puzo, Harper Lee, Stephen King, J.D.Salinger, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemmingway, Jane Austin, Liz Jensen, Terry Pratchett, Henry James, Angela Carter, Mikhall Lermontov, J.R.R.Tolkien, CLAMP, and many more hidden in my wardrobe.

My search is ever continuing. What is so… good about them? No, not their epic masterpieces of corruption, magic, and just general fantasticness; I don’t need to question their merit. It’s the names. That’s right, what makes their names sound so good?

I have been searching for this illusive object ever since I began writing regularly. A pen name, an alias, a pseudo name; someone I can step into and write the story my imagination has been conjuring since birth.

I try rearranging random letters to make something, or using two obscure letters as initials then using ‘Vincent’ as a last name.

But I think I’ll have to come up with something a bit more creative than that…

-Q Z Vincent

Ready... Set...

14:00

And we're off!

That’s right; Blogathon ’06 has just kicked off, which means this site is headed for a post every half hour for the next twenty-four hours. Now, what can you expect? What will come forth from forty-eight posts?

Well, I don’t know. This is going to last twenty-four hours, so I’ll probably descend into the realms of madness before the day is out; rambling nonsense and preaching to some Greek God of Blogging to give me inspiration. But who knows? Anything can happen in twenty-four hours (Can I stress that enough?). Is it strange that I feel sort of like Jack Bauer?

So stay tuned for my day of writing, not-sleeping and perhaps an assassination attempt or two.

Aaaaaaaaand this is going to be fun.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

Zero days.

Eleven hours.

Fifty-four minutes.

Twenty-nine seconds.


I feel a bit like Donnie Darko.

Eighty eight miles per hour...

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Sometimes I run home from work. I clutch my bag in one hand and my phone in the other, walking calmly and unrushed down the pavement as I approach another lamppost, hiding my readiness for when I pass that final bar…

And I’m off! I spring into action, my feet pushing me faster and faster as the ground blurs beneath my feet. Trees swish by and the roar of cars is ignored. My eyes are focusing straight ahead with eager determination; I just need to reach that lamppost, then I can stop and rest.

The lamppost whizzes by, and I’m still running. My feet pound at the ground, I increase speed, the scenery is too blurred to see anything, only what’s ahead, breathe in and out, keep going.

I stop myself; leaning back and letting my feet skid to a stop. My hands are clutching my possessions tightly as I bend over to cough up a burning lung and feel the muscles in my body un-tense. The cold air is welcomed as I drink it in, a smile on my face in spite of the pain.

There’s something fantastic about running. Letting your legs work like machines until your chest erupts into flames and your muscle ache. Your feet thunder down the pavement, each leaping step threatening to destroy your shoes, and the wind blows through your hair. When you are running you have no time to think of anything but running. There’s nothing else. No laughter, no smiles, no feelings, no sadness.

It’s almost liberating, to run so fast. There’s this small, untouchable hope that thinks that when you run fast enough, you can finally take off.

Tech Support

Monday, July 24, 2006
“Stupid wireless network.”

I walked back into the room with a frustrated look on my face and fell back into the couch with a grumble. Glen sat on the couch opposite, slowly flicking through a newspaper and staring intently at each page.

“My wireless network isn't stupid,” he said, glancing at me over the pages of his paper. “Why is yours?”

“It's temperamental and decides to cut the connection every once in a while.” I told him, running my hand through my hair; I was preoccupied as it was without having to deal with my connection acting up on me again. I was finding it hard to think of anything to write about. “Oh, and it can’t work Skype.” I added.

“Do you have a router?” He asked, his eyes still scanning the news.

“Yeah. It’s a Wannado one… It was basically supplied by my internet provider.” I explained, seeing Glen’s eyebrow raise.

“Ah.” He turned the page again.

“I know. It’s far from the crème de la crème.”

He folded over his newspaper and handed it to me, the page opened on ‘shopping and sales’. “You can buy a good one for sixty dollars. I did it to replace my old one.”

I picked it up and looked over the page; wireless routers coincidentally were on sale. “I know I can buy better ones for good prices, but I wouldn’t know how to switch my service from my current router to the better one.”

Glen pulled some juggling balls from out of his pocket and began to arrange them in his hands. “You could plug it in?” he said, concentrating on the balls.

“Ha ha.” I replied sarcastically as he began to juggle. I watched him for a few moments as he tossed a ball into the air, catching it in time to throw another one, and another. I was thinking of what he said, and the slow realisation dawned on me… “Wait a second. You might be on to something there Glen.”

“Mhmm.” He replied, his eyes following the flight of his juggling balls.

“There has to be a catch.” I said, looking into space with a look of disbelief. Glen carefully stood up form the couch – while still juggling – and began to walk round the room. “The solution cannot be that easy and I just missed it.”

“It’s all I had to do.” He said, lifting his leg up and passing the balls under it. “Just have to configure it after that.”

“But… But how will the new router know to connect to my provider?”

He looked at me, wide eyed with shock, and dropped one of the balls.

“I know. I need it spelled out to me.” I said, giving up all my claim of being slightly knowledgeable at technology. Glen skilfully scooped the ball up and resumed juggling with it.

“It just… does. That’s why it’s a router.”

I sat back in amazement. “Glen, I think you have just given me something to write about. How completely idiotic I am.”

He smiled and began juggling upside down. That boy has some mad skillz.

The colour grey

Friday, July 21, 2006
I’d like to apologise for the complete lack of entries theses days. Things have been building up and I’ve had little time to do anything.

But, in apology for my lack of writing, I have written another story. And you can get it here. It’s (basically) about a writer trying to convince a publisher to put forward his story.

The colour grey.

Well, have you?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
“It’s a good moon out tonight.”

“You always say that. How can every moon be a good moon?”

“Have you ever seen a bad moon?”

Long pause.

“Touché.”

All in good time

Sunday, July 16, 2006
And now I come to the epitome of absurdity. I have reached a peak of complete insanity, trapped in an ironic paradox that never ceases to amaze and astound me to a point of frustrated madness. My fingers are consistently hovering over this damned piece of machinery as my mind tries to direct them to beat out a musical rhythm, but nothing happens. I become annoyed and bored at my complete lack of ability to write anything and abandon my blank page to read an already printed one.

Writers block? I wish it were only so simple.

I have too many stories to write. I have a good dozen adventures and musings running to and fro in my mind as I stare blankly at the equally blank page. I look around and study the things that I am doing at that moment, forming stories in m head; stories that have been planned out, rearranged, rewritten, spellchecked for Christ’s sake, and yet they falter when it comes to empty them out of my mind. They all run for the door at once and predictably become jammed in the relentless struggle for freedom.

Bloody vengeance, train station mess ups, pointless catch-ups, beautifully silent dawns, wacky houses, violently bloody vengeance; all clamouring and pushing their way through the walls of my mind and reach any output they can.

I’ll sort them out eventually. Maybe build a bigger door while I’m at it…

Come on... You know you want to.

A quick post-it

Friday, July 14, 2006
No time to write lately. No time to do anything at all. I find it great timing that this spell of not-having-any-time comes after I pledged to write every day.

And speaking of pledges...

I've registered for Blogathon '06. If you want the details, go there. If you want to sponsor me, go to my sidebar (you probably won't, but I needed to ask).

I think it'll be a good laugh either way...

Bus stop adventures

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
A long, white bus came in; replacing the double-decker that had stood there three minutes previous. It was tucked in cosily in the bus stop nook, but the other busses still had to slow to a crawl to manoeuvre by. They blasted their horns and wheezed out their fumes as they filed in and out of the busy bus station. The bus station was filled with bustling people as they tried to surge into busses as passengers flooded out; desperately trying to grab a seat by the window, a seat by themselves or – more common than not – a seat at all. So many people making their way from A to B.

I looked at the bus timetable before looking at my watch, then looking at the bus timetable again. I had a twenty minute wait ahead of me, so I sat down on one of the stainless steel chairs, flipped open A Hero of Our Time, and began reading. But I was not even three pages into the story when I was disturbed and my concentration was shaken.

There were four of them, two boys and two girls, and they were leaning against the glass of the bus shelter a little way down form me. They were all dressed in florescent track suits with the boys having freshly shaved heads while the girls sported tightly pulled pony-tails and make-up that took the style of a layer cake. They were all laughing – a startling, hyena laugh – when they caught my attention, but their laughter was interrupted when one of the girls answered her mobile phone; a shiny, pink trinket that blasted out a wonderful polyphonic rave tune.

“Heya!” she answered, making sure that everyone in a fifty foot radius could see her sparkling pink phone. Her face turned into an ugly grimace. “Am at the bus stop!” she said, and there was a pause where she tapped her foot impatiently. “Aye. Aye a wull!” she said, and snapped the phone shut violently. Her friends turned to her and looked at her pointed frown and pursed lips, “It was ma Da, hawf drunk as usual. ‘Where wis ye?’” She mimicked, rolling her eyes and sticking out her tongue.

“Hey! Whit you lookin at?”

Oh shit, they spotted me looking at them. I quickly looked back to my book and tried to focus on the story, hoping the little traffic cone wouldn’t pursue my curiosity any further. My hopes were squashed when I heard the shuffling of feet and I was blinded by the fluorescent orange clothing. I shook my head to move the hair out of my eyes and looked up at him; his beady eyes glaring down at me.

“Can I help you?” I asked. I could feel the eyes of his friends eyeing me and him up and down.

“What you reading?”

“A fucking newspaper, what does it look like?”

When I think back on it, I could have picked something better to say. But at the time, I took pleasure in watching his face turn as coloured as his jacket. His friends immediately flanked him, standing as tall as they could to try and menace me as I sat in my humble seat.

“You making fun of me?” he asked, making more of a demand than a question. He folded his arms and tried to intensify his glare by narrowing his eyes. He looked like he was having trouble with his vision. “You shouldn’t make fun of me.”

I spotted my bus pulling into the station and put my book back into my bag with a smile on my face. “Yeah, I am making fun of you.” I said as I stood up. They all took a step back from me and craned their necks up to look at me. “And I would love to get further into this,” I continued, swinging my bag over my shoulder and looking at each of them in turn, “But I am afraid that I have to get this bus. Another time?” Silence. “No? Fair enough.”

They stepped back and made way for me to climb onto the bus, their heads still pointed vertically in an effort to look at me. I sat down at a window seat and pulled out my book. Before I began reading again I looked out the window and saw them, making faces at me and giving me the finger before laughing that hyena laugh of theirs.

Yes, laugh now. Laugh while there is three inches of glass between us. Laugh while you can.

Meanwhile, I’ll just grow a tad taller shall I?

Enough about the bloody rum!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
So I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday. I handed over an extra couple of quid to the box office so we could enjoy the comfort of the luxury premier seats that had just been installed. “You want the full experience Joe” “The film is well worth it”.

The film was… decent.

If you put it by itself, and keep the film totally separate from the first, then it is a good film. It has plenty of action, a decent amount of humour and – of course – Kiera Knightly. But the fact of the matter is; it’s not a totally separate film. It was wholly designed as a sequel. It is basically ‘Hey, here’s EVERYONE from the first film put into a new set of circumstances!’

Honestly, there was a point where I literally sat back in my seat and, with a sigh, thought ‘Who else are they going to bring back form the first film?’ And my question was answered five minutes later when another person from the first film walked on screen.

It was almost as if half of this film was designed to remind the audience of the first film. For example, on of the first jokes being Captain Jack Sparrow in his room mumbling “Why is the Rum always gone?”

But despite all those flaws – and the fact that this film was only a set up for a third sequel – I enjoyed the film. To some extent. Like I said; the action was good, the adventure aspect of it was good, the humour was good (although lacking at times).

Final verdict? Four thumbs out of ten.

Passion for the job

Monday, July 10, 2006
My new story.

This is part of a new system that I'll be working on. I was thinking of writing on here either once a day, or once every two days with at least one story being churned out a week. Hopefully this routine will help me develop my ideas and get things down on paper.

And hopefully I can stick to it.

Hope you enjoy my story. (Warning though, it contains graphic content).

All a matter of timing

Saturday, July 08, 2006
The sun was sinking behind the buildings, making a shadowy orange glow that spread across the ground and rested on the treetops. The sound of rushing cars filled the air, but when there was a pause in unending traffic you could here the slight twitter of birds and – if you listened carefully enough – the sound of laughter. A slight breeze blew a few leaves over my feet as I walked through the park, heading towards a group of benches for a rest.

The place was moderately busy; a few people dotted here and there, some sitting at the fountain reading a newspaper, some were merely chatting in animated groups. But there was one person who caught my eye, and she was walking towards the same benches as I was. She was familiar; her dark, sunken eyes and sad smile automatically started off a search in my mind. The solution came faster than expected, and I looked at her in awe.

“Holy shit.”

I hadn’t seen her for a good few months now, and the manner of her disappearance had led me to believe that I would never see her again. And there she was; alive, kicking and ten feet away.

Well I’ll be damned.

I stood where I was, struck dumb by what to do next. She sat down on the bench I was aiming for and gazed round the buildings in quiet wonderment with her back to me. What could I do? I could walk over and say to her; beginning a conversation that would end pleasantly or in a train wreck. I mean, she disappeared for a reason didn’t she? What right do I have to undo her act of departure?

My legs found feeling again and I resumed my walk to the benches with a smirk on m face. If she wanted to stay hidden then she should have been more careful. She was engrossed in writing something on a notepad when I sat down on the other end of the bench. I looked at the buildings around me as she had done, drinking in the sunset and silhouetted towers. I closed my eyes and felt the cold sun on my face.

“Long time no see.”

I looked to where she was sitting, but she was gone. I looked up and saw her walking away, her hair swishing in her stride and her head bent down to avoid eye contact. She hadn’t even noticed me. I sat on the bench and watched her go, smiling at the mere moments that I had just missed her by. She was out of sight in a matter of seconds, and I was left alone on the bench.

She’ll be back. Eventually.

Everyone needs some groupies...

Friday, July 07, 2006
“So what coloured shoes are you wearing tomorrow?” she asked, looking at me with a smile that flashed with the shine of metal. I was walking at a fast pace – trying my best to lose her – but she matched my speed, her hair bouncing in the wind.

“I don’t know. And besides, you won’t even see me.”

“I’m going to the dentist tomorrow to get my braces checked up!” She exclaimed randomly, not hearing what I had said, “Maybe I could get the same colour as your shoes, and then we’d match!” She beamed at me again, attempting to blind me.

“We’re off tomorrow,” I told her, “School holiday remember?”

“Oh yeah…” She said glumly, looking at the ground. She looked at my red shoes and her head perked up again. “What colour are you going to be wearing anyway?”

I sighed and tried to telepathically tell her to go away. It had been like that for the past week; I would step off the bus and – before I had the chance to turn on my CD player – they would appear. First year girls; sometimes a dozen, maybe more, but no less than six would flood off the bus and surround me. Eagerly grinning and shouting their welcomes to me in a preteen clamour. I would jump over them and shoot down the pavement in a desperate attempt to escape.

But they always caught up with me, plaguing me with questions about my shoes, complimenting the style of my hair and quizzing me incessantly on what their names were. I had to dodge a backback or two after I mistook Robin for Abbey.

After a few days of their constant grilling and accompaniment, I finally broke my monosyllabic answers and asked them, “Do any of you girls know my name?”

A long pause followed that question, the air filled with sounds of rustling trees and furtive whispering.

“Rumplestiltskin?” One of the girls asked.

“Very funny.”

So they dispersed and left me by myself to walk home in peace. As I stepped off the bus the next day I revelled in the music of my CD player, only pausing it once to hear something other than ceaseless chattering. The day after I did the same as the day before, relaxed in my own thoughts. Another day passed and they still hadn’t come to flood me questions over these unknown black school shoes (I had worn them purposefully to confuse them). The day that followed that one still produced nothing, no girls at all to follow me home. A weekend passed, and I found myself wondering where they had gone to, whether they had found another sixth year to stalk.

Monday rolled around, and my dark thoughts were cleared when I saw them waiting for me in the spring sun, beaming ecstatically. I walked passed them, trying to hide my joy at seeing them, and continued home with the group at my heels.

“Well?” I asked them, talking over my shoulder.

“You’re name is… Joe!”

And so my fan club was born.

The villain returneth

Thursday, July 06, 2006
The door burst open and he jumped into my room, grabbing my sleeping hulk between the bed covers and shaking me awake. I poked my head out of the dark warmth and saw Chris’ bearded face beaming at me. “Hello, little brother!” He exclaimed before bounding out the door and leaving me wondering if I had just had some strange dream.

I dragged myself out of bed and pulled on my clothes, opening my door just in time to be ran into by Chris; who began punching me playfully before shouting “Whodaman? Whodamaaaannn?” As soon as I came to my senses, he had disappeared again.

Chris had just returned from his trip to Singapore and had (finally) learned that he passed his first year at university. Although I was happy to see him overjoyed at his results and his return home, I also felt a pang of regret and – almost – resentment. You see, now that Chris is home, I no longer have the house to myself. I was enjoying my solitude, where I would only have to talk to my cat and I could play my music aloud with no reprimand.

But now? I’m going to have to fight for the control when I come downstairs. I’m going to have to make dinner for two people. I’m going to have to get dressed before I go downstairs. I’m not going to have another moment of piece until I move out. And since it looks like I’m going to be moving out with my brother, I might not get any peace for a good long while.

Moop.

The slight chill of memory lane

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
“I thought you hated us?” she said, a question that was followed with three expectant stares. Despite the murmur of the busy town Centre around us, there was a stony silence at the table. I chewed my mouthful of pizza and looked from Jeniffer to Charlotte with Feeney watching from the sidelines; sitting round a pizza laden table like old times.


“We should have a reunion of sorts,” Feeney had suggested to me the week before, “I haven’t spoken to them in a while and I know it’s been almost a year since you stopped talking to them.”

I had smiled at the thought, thinking of the fun times and the laughter we had once shared round our little lunch table. My thoughts were on a high due to the fantastically warm sun combined with the spectacular view of the loch. “Yeah, that’d be good.”


And there I was, in mid chew of a cold pizza and faced with a difficult question to dodge. It had been a whole year since I took part in a real conversation with Jen and Chaz, our last exchange of words being an unpleasant one at best, and things were quite awkward. As I swallowed my mouthful I thought carefully about my answer, trying my best to come up with the right words.

“I didn’t hate you.”

Beautifully crafted response Joe, really.

The day was, in short, a complete disaster. The awkward silence between the four of us was only broken with the awkward conversation. Plastic smiles occupied our faces with glossy lips parting in painfully forced laughter, every second a physical struggle.

I had started the day with slightly nostalgic view on what was to come, but as the minutes dragged like hours I slowly realised why I had left my friends in the first place. In the past year I have changed dramatically, they had not. I have grown and matured into the person I am now with new experiences and stories to tell, they were still the same old people; still as bittersweet and bitchy as ever.

It was only after they had left me to myself, them walking away down their happy little roads, that I finally put my old life to rest. Old Joe lives in memories and archives, and there he should stay.

The truth of the matter

Monday, July 03, 2006
I have the physical sensation of sinking. No metaphors, no imagery of boats and sailors and misguided life rafts, I am actually sinking. It’s as if the couch is going to slide further in and swallow me whole, or as if I am being pulled down to the ground where gravity will keep me pinned in my unmoving hell.

This feeling almost has a ‘back-in-the-day’ quality, back to when I was younger and I would wallow in self pity for nothing in particular. And I am doing it again, drowning in my self-created pity. I don’t want to get up in the morning and I fear to go to sleep where the dark thoughts swirl around me and strike me again and again and again.

I hate this feeling. I hate wanting to fall to my knees and erupt in a soul exploding yell; I hate starving myself because it’s easier than standing up; I hate feeling almost numb to everything around me. I HATE sounding emo.

There’s this gut wrenching feeling inside me, as if a little animal is crawling round my intestines and is tugging greedily with its claws, ready to sink its teeth into my already chewed organs.

Fuck me, this sucks.