Sleepwalking my way through life: December 2006



Propaganda

Friday, December 29, 2006
This is just a test post as I slowly work my way around the Wii's Opera browser. Thus far I have checked up on forums, read a few blogs (Bekka's striking post for one), and watched some videos on YouTube. It's actually pretty cool, but my arm is wearing out and I still have the whole of Hyrule to save.

(i've just noticed that Nintendo have put Hyrule in the predictive text. It made me laugh

The before and after

After nine hours of solid cleaning – which spawned four bin bags worth of rubbish, two trips to empty the dust filled hoover, and one cut finger – my room is finally clean. And when I say clean, I mean clean.

Usually, when called upon to clean my room, I make a half arsed attempt at moving things around (I’ll move those books to that corner, and then swap those clothes with those DVDs…) before dusting and hoovering around my rearranged possessions. I would then lie back and marvel at my work, casually ignoring the inch thick dust hidden behind my unused TV. But not today, today I did what is referred to at work as a deep clean.

It started two weeks ago with the wardrobe. I had organised my vast collection of books and DVDs and I tearfully piled my prized magazine collection into the recycle bin. Over eight year’s worth of Nintendo innovation, progress and excitement; all deposited into the cold, blue wheelie bin. The lack of magazines left a large empty space in my wardrobe; the beginning of my epic clearout.

I spent nine hours clearing everything up. I was merciless in my decisions, nostalgic at my finds, and pleased with my arrangement. I was industrial. Plastic bags were rapidly filling with my unneeded junk; trinkets I had picked up at my cousins wedding, an old glass Coke bottle I had kept for nostalgia’s sake, and a small red paper drink parasol that I once saved from an Italian restaurant. I was astounded at the amount of tat that I had accumulated over the years – though I allowed myself to keep the odd few items as guilty pleasures.

At half past nine, after starting work at half past twelve, I sat back on my bed and examined my work. My room was, for lack of a better word, empty. The only things populating the floor consisted of my bag, my slippers and a book, each surrounded by a sea of red carpet. The tops of my drawers were bare, with only the bare essentials kept on their clean white surfaces. The TV has disappeared and has been replaced with empty space, and the walls – once covered in brilliantly selected posters and a selection of my old drawing – were also amazingly empty while sporting the scars of over a decade of use.

My room now looks like it belongs in a hostel; single bed, plain walls, bedside table with a lamp and deodorant resting on the drawers. It just feels so empty. I swear I can even hear an echo in my typing.

This marks the first step in moving out. My newly cleaned out room can now be redecorated, painted with neutral beiges and creams to please potential buyers. After the house is sold up, we can look for flats and – finally – move out. Projected time frame? Chris and I should be out the house and in our very own flat by March. Fingers crossed.

This room may be completely clean, bare, and wholly uninteresting, but when I think of what is to come I cannot help but squeal with excitement.

Wiiiiiiiii!

Monday, December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas folks.

Bah Humbug

Sunday, December 24, 2006
It happens everywhere. Whether it is television, radio or in films; Christmas time always spawns a seasonal special and I am no exception.

The chill outside is thick with a deep grey fog – the flashing blue lights of a neighbours barely visible – but inside I am sunken deep in the warmth of the couch with a glass of Jack in one hand (extra strong, courtesy of mum) and watching yet another film on the TV. The Christmas tree glows softly in front of the window and shelters the shimmering presents underneath.

I think that, whatever age you are, Christmas Eve is the longest day in existence. Despite it only being the Winter Equinox a few days ago, Christmas Eve undoubtedly stretches longer than any day in the year. Hours seem to pass in the space of thirty minutes, and that one Christmas film seems to go on forever; how much longer can Tim Allen stretch out this abysmal excuse of a sequel?

It’s the waiting I can’t stand – the drawn out counting down of the climactic day. I can remember agonisingly long Christmas Eves from when I was younger. I’d stare lethargically out the window trying to will time to move faster (or at least for it to snow a bit) whilst shooing off my mum; yes my presents are all wrapped, yes my bed is made, no I do not want to tidy my room. Time seems to slow to an essential stop – the seconds passing with the slow, rhythmic pulse of the Christmas lights.

And the nights are even worse. I tried to stay up as late as possible with reading and writing and even some drawing until I had convinced myself that I was tired enough to drift off to a peaceful sleep. I laid down my book, pulled the duvet over my shoulder and flicked my light off in a final sighing act; soon it will be Christmas, and all will be well. But no; the next three hours are spent tossing and turning while I nurse the excited pit in my gut.

The child in me runs laps round my head, yipping excitedly of unwrapped presents and full stockings. What did I get? Is it good? Is it big? Do I have to share it? Is it something I’ll “appreciate” but end up hiding in the recesses of my wardrobe? Only time will tell.

Ah, but tomorrow will be all worth it; the frantic – but not too frantic – tearing of gift wrap and the joyous revealing of presents, the surprise when you find something you didn’t expect, and using the well-practised face when you receive another pair of socks. Only mere hours away.

Until then? I sit and ponder if I’ve been naughty or nice this year…

Enter Mephistopheles

Saturday, December 23, 2006
I hate Bloggers block.

Happy Feet would've been better...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A couple sidled in a few rows in front of us. I could see by the light that they were the poster couple for MySpace – the hair, the clothes, hell, even the stance was posed.

“Now these two are fun.” I told her. “They’ve been going out for two weeks and are already hopelessly in love. They’ve had unprotected sex together – numerous times – just to spite their parents who just don’t understand the epic love they feel for each other. Through so much adversary and advice they stick together, because no one has ever felt a love like this before. Meanwhile, he is becoming more and more attractive to her best friend and she’s feeling stronger and stronger lesbian urges. It’ll eventually end up three months down the line with him sobbingly confessing to having slept with the best friend and the girl running off to sleep with the same best friend who turns out to be a lesbian – because they all are.”

“Wow.”

“I know. Someone should write a book on it.”

“So where are they now?”

“I’m guessing the end of month one. You can tell that the reason they’re here is the same reason we’re here. They want some…” I smiled, “privacy.”

The cinema darkened slightly and the projector whirred into life to tell us that we still had enough time to grab a snack. This event should cue the start of the adverts and usher the audience into a revered silence in preparation for the film – but not this time. I sank down in the chair as I listened to the prepubescent audience incessantly chat over the background tracks. There was the sound of childish laughter and “Pervert!” was uttered from somewhere in a mock scream.

The couple a few rows in front stood up and left, a clear look of disappointment and annoyance on their faces.

Jane and I had wanted some private time together – in the dark – and we made the ill choice of going to see The Holiday, which we hoped would be sufficiently empty for some antics yet was filled to the brim with screaming fourteen year olds. It started in with a small group joining us in the back row and bloomed into literally hundreds of them; spreading round the cinema like a plague. They were all there, and I knew every single one of them.

Not literally. I hadn’t gone up to them and learned each and every one of their names, I just knew them all.

There was the leader of the group; the loudest of the already deafening group who looked up and down the row eagerly trying to reassure themselves of their popularity by tuning in to every person who clamoured for their attention.

The first sub-group; gathered around the leader in a self superior group. They talk amongst themselves, deliberately leaving out other members of the group – but when addressed they turn slowly and smugly talk to others.

The second sub-group; pushed nearer the edges of the row and huddled in their own little clique as they plot the eventual demise of the first group and conspire to elect their own leader – who happens to be the current leader’s best friend and is currently in second command. They furtively glance at other members of the group, scouring them over with hatred whilst smiling sweetly to their faces.

And there are the neutrals; who sit sporadically around the row, chatting with anyone who happens to sit beside them. Everybody likes them – but no one too much – and they can easily mingle with any member of the group. They could very very easily form a third sub-group and redirect the current system of power. That is, if they ever felt the need to.

“How do you know all that?” Jane asked, bemused at my knowledge of the screaming children all around us.

“I was one of them, back in my glory days. I know it all.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Though, there is one thing missing…”

A darkened figure had stepped up to the group. “Hiya sunshine! Sorry I’m late, I had a bit of trouble convincing this bad boy to come. No, not in that way sweetie, I don’t need to convince him to come that way!”

I smiled. “The token gay guy.”

Ah well.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Just so you all know... All your presents are going to be a bit late.

Umm. Very late.

...

Whoops.

Another challenge

Friday, December 15, 2006
“I want you and, by extension, me to write about…”

I paused for a moment and tapped the edge of my pen on my bottom lip, looking thoughtfully into space for inspiration of a good topic.

“Flowers.”

I smirked broadly, watching as Jules’ face fell.

“Did I ever tell you about my overwhelming hate for flowers?”

“Then it should be interesting to write about.” I smiled. Jules looked at me despairingly before narrowing her eyes. She sat back in the chair and folded her legs up, resting her feet on the edge of the cushion and bringing her knees under her chin.

“We have twenty minutes to write it.” She clicked her pen open and began writing.

I, on the other hand, stared blankly into space. I was too preoccupied with my thumping headache and the looming Christmas tree to think about flowers. I could hear Jules scratching away with her pen and I was feeling a bit nervous. Tentatively I put pen to paper and thought of the most beautiful flower I had ever seen before I began scarring the paper with my words.

“Done!”

I looked up, Jules smiling evilly at me and waving her paper over her head. She laughed at my inability to write, and I threw my pen at her.

Quick round-up

Thursday, December 14, 2006
I lie back on my bed, loose springs nudging my back and a comfy pillow welcoming my head, before letting out a deep sigh. The rain pounds a grey light through my window and the trees tilt threateningly outside; a testament to the Scottish winter. I fold my arms behind my head and smirk at the ceiling.

Finally, it has finished. After numerous essays, more than a few late nights, and one class test it has finally finished. Semester One of my first year has officially ended, and I can lie back and relax for a good six weeks as Christmas and New Years roll by. People always tell me how they hate how the days are darker; that the night is taking over the day. I, however, am the opposite. I welcome the darker hours as it gives me the perfect reason to close my eyes and sleep the day away.


I close my eyes and cross my legs, propping my right leg on my left. As a result my mobile phone falls out the pocket and I pick it up languidly to cycle through old messages. The blue glow is almost blinding in the current light, and my eyes narrow to read the messages. I smile and laugh as I see the usual ones, but I stop when I see an unexpected one. My face falls and I slip the phone back in my pocket.

Sal. After the Psychology class test that signified the end of the semester, Dawn and I waited for him to compare marks and exchange Christmas plans, but he never showed up. A quick text later revealed that he was dropping out of university; it wasn’t for him and he was applying for full time jobs instead. He was a short lived friend, and one of my greatest regrets is that I didn’t hang about with him enough when I had the chance. The same is happening with most of my university friends, and I feel the makings of a New Years resolution in an attempt to change that.


I almost drift off to sleep, feeling the dizzying fall into warm darkness, before being woken by a hand resting on my chest. I peer down at it, eyebrow raised. It is close enough to my face that I can make out the lines in the skin – a criss-crossing quilt made of silk and velvet – and the deep red of the fingernails. The hands traces up to an arm which leads to a girl sleeping soundly beside me, her body rising and falling in rhythmical breathing. A strand of hair has fallen out of place, and I sweep it away with a finger. In her sleep, she smiles.

That’s Jane by the way. I feel that this is a good a time as any to introduce her, despite her being mentioned more than a few times before. We’ve been going out for about a month, stealing time together between classes and essays – occasionally during both too. She has a bad taste in music, but she makes up for it in other ways.


I shift over closer to her and slip my arm around her shoulder. She sighs slightly and pushes up against me, lifting her right leg over mine and burying her head in my chest. She has the slightest scent of perfume about her and I absentmindedly run my fingers through her hair as my eyes sleepily scan my room; my posters that have to be taken down soon, my broken clock, and my out of date calendar.

The end of the year is almost here. It’s rushing up on me quicker and quicker these days – eleven days until Christmas and then only another six before the Hogmanay festival in Glasgow. Then before I know it 2006 is gone and I’m left with a whole new year to look forward to. But what about the year that has passed? Singapore, school, breakups, exams, jobs, make-ups, summer, exam results, breakups, University, new friends, old friends, new relationships.


I sigh and shift position, Jane’s hand moving to my lower stomach.

2006. Christ, what a year.

I laugh to myself quietly, and fall asleep.

Testing 1, 2, 3

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Apologies for the sporadic posting; experiencing bloggers block.

Lit by twilight lies a simple, bare, room with a bookcase full of secrets and the comfiest bed known to man. There’s a rustle of bed sheets in the shadows, and two bodies huddle for warmth beneath thick duvets. I lie back and feel arms wrapped around me, and I sleep and I dream of someone stroking my face and I smile and I dream and there are dark swirls dancing in my eyes before being wakened by a kiss, a furtive whisper, a slight stroking of skin and hair.

I open my eyes to see two looking back at me. I smile, but I’m already smiling, so I whisper in soft tones and lowered octaves. She smiles this time, and I feel the need to smile even more than I’m smiling now. The bed sheets rustle again, and I feel a whole lot warmer. A hand absentmindedly strokes my chest and I laugh and squirm.

I smile and say inaudibly that life is good, isn’t it?

Wii will rock you

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Smooth. White. Sleek. Shining. Perfect.

I can imagine it now. It’d sit snugly in my hand, not too heavy and not too light, my fingers gently caressing the smooth corners. My arm would hold it steady, holding close to me as I stood ready and willing. There’ll be a button pressed, a blue glow, and things will begin.

Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

There’ll be Styrofoam. Oh yes, there will be lots of Styrofoam – hastily discarded and strewn about the floor along with cardboard, tissue paper and little bags of plastic. Wires will flow from the TV to the box. I will run my fingers over it. I will smell it. I will experience it.

But not for another fifteen days.

Moop.

Tis the season to be jolly

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
“So, what am I getting for Christmas then?”

“You’re getting me for Christmas.”

“You?”

“Yeah. Me wrapped up in a big bow.”

Pause.

“Do you come with a receipt?”

Congratulations

Friday, December 01, 2006
Head over to Kiwiqueen’s blog and congratulate her on completing NaNoWriMo with a whole day to spare. Go. Now.