Sleepwalking my way through life: October 2006



Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
First sleep and now food; I seem to be sacrificing one thing after another to keep this place up to date with my mad cap adventures. I am sitting in the two hour gap between classes, filling my spare time with chatting, organising and the occasional glimpse of Family Guy sitting nicely in my DVD player. I should really be writing essays at the moment, but due to my habits of procrastination I find myself writing this instead. Over the next four weeks I will have five essays to write and hand in, I will be attempting Nano, I will be trying to keep the Strathclyde Writers Society up and running (more on that in another post), and I will be trying to keep this blog full of sporadic updates. Not to mention my daily job and the possibility of moving out (the mid November deadline is becoming less and less likely as I type this). Also add the need to go out and become horribly drunk, watch DVDs, read books, have regular meals and manage a good nights sleep to the list, and you can see why this is coming together in one solid paragraph. This is called a structural technique where I mirror the overwhelming amount of work I have with the constant stream of text. No new lines, no breaks. The only way to top that would be to write one really really long sentence with no sign of commas or full stops in sight to resemble the ranting and rambling that my mind is racing through as I fail to comprehend the amount of work that needs to be done in the short amount of time that it needs to be done in. This is good practice for my novel which, despite all odds, is progressing with each new event I think up for it. Yet Nano begins tomorrow, and I feel apprehension before the race begins, the kind that makes you feel as if you’ll buckle under your own weight and collapse half way through. So many fucking essays, so many fucking things to do in one month. Not to mention relationships with friends, enemies, burning bridges and possible dates. One fucking month.

I’m late for class.

Salivating dogs haunt my dreams

Monday, October 30, 2006
I am incredibly tired right now, and I know that the entire day will be spent in calamitous yawning which will result in me taking a snooze in the History lecture. I will be groggy and have slow movements and my mind will wander from my books as I guzzle down another cup of coffee (with two shots of espresso this time).

But, despite all that, it feels almost good to stay up until two in the morning, shaving off the last few words to sit inside the word limit. It’s almost like nostalgia.

A final decision

Saturday, October 28, 2006
Nano is inching ever closer, with only a mere three days of preparation left before November rolls around and I take pen in hand. Until now I had thought of it frivolously, regarding it lightly as I thought of how far away November was. But now it isn’t far away; it’s three days away.

I have a few notes scribbled down – hidden in the notebook kept in the recess of my bag – but none of them significant. They merely reflect my lack of imagination as I write and rewrite ideas over and over, each scribble and side note as exaggerated as the last. No plot twists, no story arcs, not even any other characters – only the same five things written over and over.

It’s then that I stop and think. Will I be able to do this? Will I be able to churn out an entire book in a month? I think of the goal to achieve and I let my head fall in defeat. Fifty thousand words seem impossible to do, having to average just fewer than two thousand words a day. It is a hopeless endeavour, and I actually feel quite foolish that I even thought of undertaking it. My hand moves to close my notebook and slip it back into my-

The pen is poised, my hand tensing up as a quick thought runs through my head. My mouth hangs open ever so slightly, my eyes glazing over for a mere moment before returning to life with a flicker of urgency. I scribble notes into the notebook, licking my lip unconsciously as I scan the words I write. I write faster and faster; my hand cramping up in time for me to finish the notes and close the book. I slip it into my bag without checking it, letting ideas dance around my thoughts without hindrance.

It will be hard. With all my essays and assignments for university – not to mention my five day a week job – it will be very hard. But I will do it, and in thirty three days I can promise that I will have a finished novel sitting in front of me. You can damn well quote me on that.

Sweet dreams are made of these...

Thursday, October 26, 2006
The squeaking is so loud, and each box shudders violently as the contents try to fight their way free. There are a few dozen of them, boxes piled on boxes sitting on top of a huge hill that overlooked the city. The wind blows hard and rain begins to fall from the grey sky. Far below, cars slip In between buildings with their lights leaving red trails behind them. The squeaking becomes louder and the boxes rattle loudly, drowning out the noises of the city below.

I shift around and grimace slightly, my eyes squeezing shut.

A man walks up the hill and places a foot on one of the boxes, resting his arm on a tattered knee and surveying the city from under the brim of his top hat. The wind lifted the hat off his head and carried it away from him, but he stuck out his weathered cane and caught it before it flew too far. Long wavy hair spilled out onto his shoulders, the colour as black as night.


I huddled into a small ball. My hand reached out and pulled the blanket around my shoulder, as if it served as protection from what was to come.

His coat was a deep purple, the colour as dark as his eyes. They looked over the rooftops and scanned the buildings that scraped the bottom of the clouds. They were so dark, but there was the smallest glimmer within them, a hint of intent behind the placidness. He twirled the cane between his fingers – the gold tip shining despite the light from the squall – before bringing it down heavily on the box beneath his foot. He smiled.


I smiled.

The front of the box fell open and a swarm of rats flooded out. They stuck together in a large brown mass and ran as fast as they could down the hill. Every other box opened simultaneously and rats poured out of all of them. The hillside was no longer there, it was replaced with a river that flowed mercilessly down into the city below; ready to run through the streets to cause havoc and mayhem everywhere they ran. The squeaks ran together and created a calamitous noise, drowning out even the loudest thoughts.

Soon the last rat was gone, and the man stared lovingly at the city. He took the old top hat and placed it carefully on his head before tucking the cane under his arm. He swivelled on his heel and walked down the other side of the hill, away from the city. He smiled broadly, and the twinkle in his eye grew brighter.


“It will always be the dream.” I murmured, and fell asleep again.

Wish you were here

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
After almost a week of searching and scrounging - musing through aisles and flipping from one book to another - I finally find myself in possession of the first Postsecret book.

It was just there. Peacefully sitting between two Andy Warhol books, hidden away like all the secrets it contains. I picked it up carefully and felt the solidity of the book and the smoothness of the cover. It opened easily, and I took a deep breath to capture the scent that wafted from the pages. My eyes ran over the opened page in front of me, and I stifled a gasp. There was something more real in these secrets than on the website. They weren't an image on a website, there was weight and texture behind them; they were real.

And for the first time in a while, I find myself speechless.

XXX

Thursday, October 19, 2006
On a side note, this post is probably not safe for work or for children.

“So… What one do you want?”

The DVDs were lined up in neat little rows in front of us, shining diligently in the light. I was standing with a Certain Friend, looking at each DVD case in turn and trying to pick out a good birthday present. “I’m not too sure…” she replied, her head cocked to one side.

I picked up one and looked at the front cover, examining the display of a man and a woman in doggy style over another man and women – all of them astoundingly naked. “Look, I’ll get you one. Honestly, I will. Just, tell me which one you want.”

“Well, you can’t go wrong with Anal.” A shop assistant chimed in.

The Certain Friend had pulled me into Ann Summers so I could buy her underwear for her up-and-coming eighteenth birthday. We walked up and down the aisles, looking at the various corsets, suspenders and the teeny tiny g-strings (my imagination running wild at each new undergarment I witnessed) before we decided to wander into the back row and take a gander at the ‘unmentionables’.

And thus we stood, amongst Rampant Rabbits and a few dozen kinds of lubricant, trying to figure out what porn DVD to buy. From “Real life Dogging” to “Extreme Wife Swap” and a few dozen in between, including a rather appealing cover involving two topless women. We were spoilt for choice, and one of the assistants roaming around decided to help us out.

“Personally, I’m not one for porn,” she confided, “it just gets boring after a while. I’m for a more… hands on approach.” She waved a buzzing vibrator happily in front of us. The Certain Friend giggled as her eyes followed the penis shaped ornament through the air. I laughed nervously as the assistant waved it under my nose. “Are you wearing an under-wired bra?” She asked the certain friend.

“Uhh… Yeah.”

The assistant pressed it against the under-wired and the Certain Friend laughed with pleasure. “It’s great isn’t it? Really gets to your nipples. It probably won’t work on him though.” She said, pushing the vibrator against my chest.

“I won’t say that it’s not unpleasurable…” I admitted, smirking a little.

For the next half an hour we were taken on a tour round the sex-toy department, hearing the pros and cons of some of their top model; especially the newest of the, famous, Rampant Rabbits.

“Now, see these little buds round the heads?” she indicated the bumps on the (what I can only call) head of the vibrator. “These are amazing. By the time you get this all the way in there and the rabbit meets your clitoris, you’re already in multi-orgasmic territory.” The Certain Friend and I gazed in awe at the pleasure inducing dots. “Though,” the assistant continued, “I’m not allowed to sell you that. We’re only allowed to sell this one to more… experienced vibrator users. It’s kind of embarrassing though, asking people how many vibrators they’ve had.”

“You know, I’m actually quite jealous.” I said. “You girls get all this stuff to play with, and the only variant I get is righty or lefty…”

“Well, most of these items can be used bi-sexually.” The assistant told me, with what I could swear was a wink.

After much discussion, we decided that the “Clit Travel Kit” was the best option for an eighteenth birthday present. It is very easy to use for beginners, and with its five interchangeable heads it guarantees hours of fun. I held it discreetly at my side as the assistant excitedly ushered us over to another section, this one filled with bottles of various potions.

“Hold out your hand.” She ordered me. I held it out and she took a bottle of shining gold gel and squeezed some onto the back of my hand. “Lick it.” She told me, biting her lip slightly as she said it. I tentatively licked some of the sparkling glob before quickly lapping it up. It was delicious. It seemed like the kind of thing you’d use to cover ice cream. The Certain Friend had some too, and her eyes lit up at the taste.

“Oh oh oh!” The assistant exclaimed. “This is also a personal favourite of mine.” She held up a small bottle filled with pink liquid, the label showing “Strawberry and Champagne Dick Lick”. “Don’t blame me for the name, but trust me, it’s delicious.” She made a sideward glance at me, “And if you use it with him along with that travel kit against your cheek, you’ll both have one hell of a time.”

We laughed, and the Certain Friend clung on to my arm, neither of us wanting to correct the nice assistant who was introducing us to a variety of fantasy-worthy things. We decided on the Strawberries and Champagne Dick Lick and bought it along with the travel kit. I slipped the bright red Ann Summers bag into my own bag, hidden amongst my notebooks and various pens. I sat in my lecture with a secret smile at the contents of my bag.

I think that the Certain Friend will have a very happy birthday indeed…

Change of scenery

Monday, October 16, 2006
The fog hung low and thick, obscuring the scenery so barely a few feet were visible. Everything seemed subdued in the cold grey; even the main road was eerily silent, and that was only a short distance away. My footsteps were dull and lonely, and my hands took refuge in my pockets before the cold could creep up my sleeve. I moved my shoulders around, trying to shift the weight of my heavy bag so it didn’t dig into the muscle so much. I was bringing my Lapdancer to university today, a way to wile down the hours between classes, and I never realised how heavy the damn thing was.

The field behind my primary school was completely enveloped in the grey shroud, with even the large building of the school being hidden by the fog. I walked along the path, gazing as the school slowly came into view; first the ghostly outline, followed by slight details before revealing the shadowy school. It was as if someone had menacingly sketched the school, with darkness penetrating the insides and twisting a once normal building into a horrific mutation. The sun was in the background, but it was so dull and dirty that it looked like the head of an old drawing pin – holding the sketch in place for the world to see. Crows cawed ominously somewhere in the fog, and I quickened my pace.

Central station was packed full of happy families making their way to the airport for the October break. Kids ran to and fro, knocking into old ladies and tipping over suitcases as the squealed with laughter. The parents stood around uncaringly, shivering in the cold and gazing up at the train time table while taking another long drag from their cigarettes. I take my coffee from the vendor and guzzle it down greedily. It was freezing today, and I had foolishly worn my suede jacket which helps nothing against the cold. The coffee ran along my insides and warmed me to my soul. I gulped it down and walked happily into the street, blowing thick clouds of condensed breath in front of me.

The lecture theatres were warm too, and so is the library. I’m having trouble to not drop off while I’m sitting here, typing this. The winter weather is closing in, and I think I’ve found a safe refuge in the halls of the university; where jackets mean nothing compared to the glorious central heating and never ending supply of coffee. Not to mention the fast as lightening connection.

Anyway; I think it’s almost time for class…

Writing to the x-treme

Saturday, October 14, 2006
It is midway through October already. The month seems to be flying by at quite a pace – and for once I am so absolutely desperate to slow it down. In seventeen days it will be November, and with November comes my first ever NaNoWriMo. This began many many months ago, with Angelique and Elisabeth telling me how amazing it was, and how it would be an experience to remember. At the time I happily signed up to their mailing list, joyously letting them know my email address so they could notify me when it was time to sign up. I bubbled with excitement as I thought of what I could write about, how I would do it and how incredible it would be to not only finish a novel, but to start one.

And I forgot about it. Weeks went by and it slipped from my mind completely. That is, until I received a reminder email two weeks ago.

And so, after many minutes of convincing, I have signed up – officially – with NaNoWriMo. I have a few story ideas lined up already, with plot developments and sudden twists in the making, but fifty thousands words worth of it?? Ever since my English dissertation of four thousand words I’ve turned my nose up at essays (“Seven hundred words? I can do that in my sleep.”), but faced with the prospect of fifty thousand words I have a sensation that must mimic how an ant feels against a building.

Along with me; Jules, Elisabeth and Kiwi are having a go at it too.

I think that this will be a lot like the Blogathon, except hardcore.

Wasting away

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It’s so strange; I’m in a computing class, I’m sitting in front of a decent computer, I have unlimited access to high speed internet, and I want to kill myself.

IT101 they call it, but to many it’s known as the slow trip through Hell. We sit for the best part of two hours, learning the complex details of attaching a file to an email, learning what the tab button does, and the oh so confusing process of saving an image to your hard drive. The class is compulsory, so we are forced through seven weeks of this torture in order to pass our first year. But things are becoming more exciting as the class progresses and we learn how to attach clipart to a word document… Oh! And next week, if we’re lucky, we’ll be taught all about spreadsheets!

Hand me my gun please.

Sleep deprived musings

Lecture, tutorial, lunch, tutorial, lecture, run for train, work, sleep, lecture, tutorial, lunch, tutorial, lecture…

And it goes on; in a sudden and unexpected twist, it seems that this university student is becoming a tad overwhelmed. Although university is turning into the experience I had always imagined it to be, I find myself with little or no time to do anything. If I’m not in lectures, I’m in a compulsory tutorial. If I’m not in tutorials, I’m usually eating or trying my hardest to finish another chapter before another lecture rolls around. And if I’m not eating, reading, or running between buildings, I’m at work; whiling the hours away in front of a task that is so boring that it actually boggles the mind.

Not to mention, between all these busy and exciting activities, I have very little time to blog – which I am beginning to resent. It pains me to see that I have not updated in more than three days; I can almost see the cobwebs forming in the corners and weaving their way round my words (if you see any spelling mistakes, you can rest assured that it is not me but it is the thick cobwebs that are fooling your eyes).

And so I sacrifice sleep to write this. Sleep is a very valuable commodity, seeing how I have to wake at half past seven in the morning, and I usually spend it very wisely. Ten minutes for a shower, five minutes to read up on politics, maybe fifteen on psychology (it is much more interesting and therefore deserved of the extra ten minutes), and this is the first time I have splurged half an hour on one topic.

I met up with Marie today. It was the first we had talked properly in a month, and I actually felt surprised that we didn’t argue. We sat in Starbucks and I wolfed down a sandwich while we caught up on the basic things. We talked and laughed and sat in thoughtful silence, all the while my head was trying to make sense of very confusing things.

I am unsure of my feelings towards the situation at hand. I could pin it down to being a teenager and blame it on the blatant mood swings I experience – but there’s a part of me that’s nagging away and saying it’s not. To say I miss her is an understatement, but it’s how I’m missing her that confuses me. Do I miss her as a girlfriend, or a friend? When we sat and talked, I had no urge to kiss her or hold her hand – and I couldn’t feel anything especially sexual about it, but when I hugged her goodbye and when she smiled that smile at me I felt this pang of regret of a thing that is now lost. And that was it. I thoroughly enjoyed her company, and everything else was mostly said on good terms.

I feel slightly restricted right now; as if revealing my emotions will show me as weak and (god forbid) a pussy. I miss her, and that’s not even the half of it, but I’m trying my very best to move on. It’s hard.

But now, thanks to the repaid seventy pounds that Marie owed me, I can go out with Jack and drown my thoughts in his whiskey goodness.

From red roses to white rabbits

Saturday, October 07, 2006
Check out my new story; From red roses to white rabbits.

This story is dedicated to Laura, as two very belated birthday presents.

This story first began last year when I shamefully missed Laura’s seventeenth birthday. I told her I would write a story for her, and commanded her to give me three words to base the story around.

“Bunnies, red, and roses.”

I set off writing right away, scribbling notes on the train to and fro work. I watched people commute to work all around me, and I picked up ideas from as many of them as I could. Notes were made, but as soon as school started up again I forgot about it; the notebook lost amongst the dozens of leafs of papers that littered under my bed.

Her birthday rolled round again, and I was compelled to begin writing on it some more. I had no spark of inspiration though. I have a few stories going down on paper, but none of them seemed to fit the description she gave me.

And then on the way home from university, as I watched three girls talk on the train, I had a glint of inspiration – one that had nothing to do with my muse – and began writing immediately. A week later, my work was done.

Enjoy.

And it was all in one day...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006
You know you’re a geek when you;

- Laugh when your lecturer uses an example of the Starship Enterprise going to “Warp factor twelve”.

- Give a detailed explanation at how Pippin wasn’t actually at the battle of the Black Gate, as he was recovering in Minas Tirith.

- Laugh when the date “1337” is used in history.

- Are unable to hide your look of disgust when someone tells you they’re programming with Java.

- Name your MP3 player (James).

Eventually

Sunday, October 01, 2006
I glance at my watch to check the time and I see the date shining diligently at the side. I pause for a brief moment – jaw hanging slightly open in abandon – before shaking the thought off and returning to whatever menial task I was doing. I keep wondering when I’ll stop doing that to myself; the silent torture from fading memories.

I know it will eventually stop, just as I also know that certain feelings will one day come to a grinding halt. I know that one day the sun will shine, just as it did the day before, and I will smile with no knowledge that anything has changed. The air will be just as cold, the buildings just as tall, the hills just as steep, but that cute looking girl in the third row would become a hell of a lot more attractive.

But until that happens, I can always raise a glass to the memories gone by. I can smile nostalgically at weekend activities, and drink merrily at the irreplaceable memories they gave me. It’s a good thing I’m not one for toasts.