Sleepwalking my way through life: March 2007



This devils workday

Friday, March 30, 2007
The evening was slow, and I languidly clicked from page to page in an attempt to find something. Jules stepped into the room, floating about aimlessly before falling back into the couch opposite me. She picked up a magazine from the coffee table between us – some how to spice up you sex in three days gig – and leafed through it lazily.

‘So how have you been spending these unprofitable hours?’ She asked me, her eyes not rising from the glossy pages.

‘Talking with Elisabeth on writing things,’ I replied. ‘We had a long one sided discussion about vengeance.’

She laughed slightly. ‘How'd that one go?’

‘She failed to understand the beautiful power behind it.’

‘I’m afraid I'll have to agree with her.’ She turned a page.

I sighed ‘I won't try to convince you to my side of it then.’

She tossed the magazine on to the table, leaning forward to look at me more directly.

‘No no, go on. It will amuse me.’

I smirked at her and placed my Lapdancer to the side. I had a challenge upon me. ‘Okay, since you asked for it.’

I paused for a moment, gathering my thoughts.

‘The thing with vengeance is that it's so... good. It holds an entire spectrum of emotion under one very focused canopy. Love, hate, joy, sorrow, animalistic rage, human calculation; it’s such a contradiction of feelings and emotions.’ I counted each point off with my fingers as if listing the number of things I needed for food shopping. ‘It results in murder, but the murder is insanely cold and calculated yet filled with insurmountable passion.’

‘It doesn't have to be cold and calculated though; it can easily be done in a blind fury.’

‘True, but if it’s done right then it’s cold and calculated. And if you want the perfect vengeance, you have to do it just right. You have to wait and wait and let your rage and anger cool off until it resembles a cold shining knife. That’s when you strike and achieve your perfect revenge.’

Jules shifted in her chair, her eyes focused on the table in deep thought. ‘So… vengeance is a good thing,’ she looked up at me, ‘for everyone involved?’

I smiled broadly. ‘Of course not, vengeance is horrible. The whole idea of vengeance is pointless.’

‘Ah, but now you’re contradicting yourself. You just started off with vengeance is good.’

‘I did, and I stand by it. Though, what I’m trying to say is that the emotion, and the act of vengeance itself is intense and amazing, but vengeance is not good for anyone. The reason you even took the vengeance in the first place isn’t going to change – whatever spurned you into abandoning everything else for this goal is not going to fix itself.’

I raised my arm and moved my fingers into a gun position, my forefinger and middle finger acting as the barrel and my thumb mimicking the hammer. With my left hand I loaded six imaginary bullets into the chamber of my gun before snapping the chamber closed with a quick motion. I aimed my fingers straight at Jules who laughed with amusement.

‘You kill the guy,’ I say, and fire off a three bullets into Jules’ shoulder, neck and gut, ‘and he’s dead. And then what?’ I flipped out the chamber and reloaded the three shots I fired. ‘You’re left with all this hatred and sorrow inside you, with no one to aim at.’

Jules nods along slowly, looking me up and down. ‘Okay, so it’s the passion behind it that you’re satisfied by, not the act itself.’

‘Yes and no.’ I reply. Jules groaned and I smiled again. ‘Yes because the passion is indescribable, and no because I am still deeply fascinated in the act. I’m fascinated at what makes a fair vengeance, what is better; a ruined life or a horrible death? I’m fascinated at how, even after you take your vengeance, you aren’t satisfied. You shed all your humanity to wreak your vengeance and the feelings are still there – pumping through your body like an untameable snake.’

‘That's interesting, even though it may appear to be the best most satisfying idea at the time; it turns out to be hollow.’

‘Yes. Exactly.’

‘That's actually really interesting.’

‘It's become a little obsession of mine.’

'So it's not so much the act itself, but the expression I’m finding interesting. It's such a basic instinct, an eye for an eye, a death for a death, but ultimately dissatisfying. So what does that say? Is the animalistic side of mankind ultimately disappointing? Or is it just man's struggle to appear civilised, better than animals?’ She laughed suddenly, sitting back into the cushion of the couch. ‘See Joe, don't get me started, I'll bore you to death with it.’

‘Don’t worry; I’ll get my own back eventually.’


I wonder what I would do if I found myself in that situation; to have my perfect revenge on someone who has wronged me so intensely. I have often had daydreams about it, little fantasies that invade my thoughts and leave me with my heart thumping and my tongue crooning for blood. Would I fulfil these fantasies? Would I look into his eyes with stern determination before bringing a clenched fist down on his greasy face? Would I smile my most genuine condescending smile and make her feel like nothing more than a piece of shit on the bottom of my shoe? Would I put her to shame with cutting remarks and the quickest of tongues? Would I smile as sweetly as possible, shaking his hand before sinking my knee into his solar plexus? Or would I do the most hateful thing I can do and forget all about you – your name, your face, your phone number, your post code, your everything.

Would I? Could I?

Eye for an eye, watch me go blind.

Bit by bit

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
As I sat in dismay on my bedroom floor, surrounded by a mountain of junk and several boxes, my mind flitted deliriously back to my birthday when I was having dinner with my family. We were discussing the intricacies of moving house, and I think my cousin put it most eloquently when he said to me;

“You never know how much shit you have until you have to move it all.”

And indeed I did not. I spent many hours rifling through my wardrobe, transferring books and DVDs into large cardboard boxes. Everything sat snugly together, and soon I had three boxes – weighing a ton and filled to the brim – with books, DVDs, CDs, notebooks and sketchbooks. Now came the hard part; the random tat that filled my wardrobe.

It is suffice to say that I’m a little bit of a hoarder. I keep the strangest of objects from the strangest of times. An example of this would be a small quartz rock which I picked up in Wales after I climbed Mount Snowdon. Another example would be the Lego race car I received after completing my week’s worth of work experience. I have accumulated a large amount of knick knacks and (as Phillip K Dick refers to as) kipple over the years – and I have felt the need to store them in the deep dark recesses of my wardrobe.

And so came the agonising decisions. Do I keep my old PlayStation and my library of games? I’ll probably never play the thing again, and all it’ll do is take up space.

But it’s our PlayStation. We used to spend hours on this thing levelling up in Final Fantasy. Remember when we got the golden chocobo?I want to keep it.

But when will I play it?

When you find it again. Come on, it’s good for nostalgia. You know how we like nostalgia.


No. Bin.

Aww man.


This to and fro continued for over two dozen items, including my old school notes and my small collection of Oor Wullie comic books. I was relentless with some items – the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book of Records was dropped into the bin without a second thought – but some sentimental took a great amount of time to mull over.

In the end I found it much too stressful to sort through my old memories, one by one discarding them. So I left my room in a tip. I move in under two weeks, and my room is still entirely unpacked.

Oh dear.

From now on, no more cheese before bed

Sunday, March 25, 2007
-Ok Joe, you can see first

What?

-You can see it first. I trust that you’d understand it

Oh. That’s nice of you. Where is it?

-Over here, behind this door. She would’ve wanted you to see it

Is this where she…

-Yes

Oh.

There was this fantastic emotion welling up inside me. It was as if a waterfall was crashing down into a small glass, filling it up with such speed and intensity, and my chest felt as if it were about to burst, but I tried to remain as emotionless as possible. She led me down a small corridor which ended in a single white door. She leant over and reached for the golden shining handle – my stoic reflection warped by the curve of the handle.


-Are you ready?

Does it matter?

I felt something snap inside me. Some deep down muscle or sinew or something just gave in. She opened the door.


-Well?

Yes?

-Well?

-I’m sorry, what is it?

The door slammed shut and she stormed off down the corridor, a fierce animal scream erupting from her chest. I stared at the reflection of the door handle as my body twitched and writhed out of shape, yet my face remained impassive. I could feel the glass tumbler inside me shatter under the pressure of the waterfall, and the raging river flowed off into nothing.

And I woke up.

Innuendo!

Friday, March 23, 2007
"This is why I hate musicians, it's always easier for you guys to get laid."

"What?"

"Think about it. A girl comes up to you and asks 'What do you do?', you tell her you're a musician and then bring out your guitar. She'll be all over you in seconds. Musicians are so much hotter than writers, you and your bloody instruments. What do I have?"

"You have a pen."

"Oh, that's rich. I tell her I'm a writer and I bring out a pen. She'll stare at me for a few seconds before wandering off and finding a musician to talk to."

Pause.

"I think you have a very nice pen."

Lost in the moment

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Happy Birthday Chris, you old git.

---

She continued to stare. Then she said, ‘Do not doubt your turn shall come, Compé Anansi’s child.’

‘Why do you want him?’

‘I don’t want him,’ she told him. The she said, ‘Why would I want him? I have an obligation to another. Now I shall deliver him, and then my obligation shall be done.’

The newspaper fluttered, and Fat Charlie was alone.
[Extract from Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman]


Startled, I looked up from my book. The barista hadn’t noticed my sudden distress and continued cleaning up the table beside me, unaware of my anxiety. I closed my book and slipped it into my bag. I pulled on my jacket and watched the barista wipe down the table, his black apron flapping in the breeze. I left the shop as fast as I could and drank in the frozen air of Glasgow, shuddering – not from the cold, but from the haunting vision that passed through my head; the black flapping of feathers and the shining twitch of a raving eye.

I walk down the road and take a left to avoid the flock of pigeons in front of me, their eyes watching me as they stabbed their beaks at pieces of bread. I rounded the corner – checking down that alley way – and froze. Perched on a bench in front of me was a solitary black crow.

It cocked its head and shot a look straight at me, those beady eyes blasting through my skin. The oil black feathers ruffled with electricity and the rock hard talons scratched into the wooden bench. The face was impassive – the beak closed in a shining, stoic blade – but it was those eyes that pinned me to the spot with terror; those mad eyes that showed the only intent behind the night black body.

As I stood, paralysed on the spot, it spread its wings wide and took a few steps to balance itself. The crow remained still for a moment, its wings open like a demonic angel – welcoming the pitch black that dripped off every tingling feather. It sprung into the air and flew towards me, the eyes gleaming with malice.

---

And it flew over me. It cawed slightly as it went by, the wings beating a wind that sifted my already messy hair. It landed behind me and scoured an empty crisp packet for the remnants of food. I laughed, shaking off the chill I had felt moments before, and walked on.

I sometimes forget that I need to give myself a break after reading books or seeing films. I find that after I’ve become absorbed in a story, I lose myself in it. I become so wrapped up in the characters, the plot and the imagery that when it’s time to pull out, to return to real life, I become tangled. I tear parts of the story out with me and, for a while, incorporate them into real life.

This why after seeing Mission Impossible when I was a child, I skulked from doorway to doorway hunched over in cautious paranoia. This is why after I watched Fight Club I was relishing my feelings of violent anger and resentment. This is why after I read Do Androids dream…? I felt the crushing hopelessness of meaningless existence. This is why I am sometimes subjected to funny looks when walking down the street.

I’m weird like that.

Emotionally Unavailable Anonymous

Sunday, March 18, 2007
So I broke up with Jane yesterday. Again.

This time it was mostly on mutual terms, with only a few upsets on either side. Apparently I’m more of a bastard than I give myself credit (note: am working on that). Well, it was definitely a memorable break-up to say the least.

So yes, I think I’ll stay away from relationships for a while until I’ve figured out what makes me tick. That’s right ladies; I’m still off the market. Don’t worry, It’ll be ok. It’s all right to cry.

I’ll be normal again, eventually. Maybe. Eventually.

Inspiration? Dry as a bone

Saturday, March 17, 2007
Goals in life:


Write a cult novel(s).

Perform the Ok Go video for Here it Goes.

Own a bookshop.

Write a screenplay/direct a film.

Learn how to read a book/watch a film without analysing the crap out of it.

Speak with such conviction and fluency as the characters from Clerks.

Find a suitable hairdo.

Write better blogs.

When in doubt, blog about blogging

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
A word! I have written a word! Oh, there are more words now. This is good. This is very good. This blogging nonsense is easy as pie! I don’t have bloggers block at all. Yes yes, this is going swimmingly.

Oh.

Crap. I’ve lost it.


And so I bring my fist down on my knee with blazing frustration and I cast aside my Lapdancer with a resenting shove. I sit on my bed, fuming at my inability to write, before I think better of myself and retrieve my beloved computer. The rest of the night is spent scanning page after page of useless junk while the Word document is hidden away out of vision.

I hate it when this happens. When I sit at a computer and all I can feel is the pointlessness of writing another post. Why bother talking about my day at university, do people really care so much about my mundane life? And besides, there’s no point in writing it if I don’t have a clear cut conclusion, or at least a witty remark to finish off with. I should just forget about it and try another night. But I ignore my own advice and try anyway. I slip on my earphones and close my eyes as my fingers hover over the keyboard, swishing to the beat of the music that’s immersing my brain with ideas and my hands with thoughts. I type the first few words, the song building up and the beat quickening, before I find myself a standstill. The music continues to flow into my mind, but seems to leak out through my eyes as I stare hopelessly at the empty screen.

I blame my recent spurt in creativity. Finishing two stories and starting half a dozen more seems to be taking its toll on my blogging ability. An over abundance of energy is being poured into my pen and notebook; energy that, I bet, is being redirected from the chunk of my brain devoted to blogging. Soon the balance will be restored and I will write and blog as regularly as I always have. Or maybe, God forbid, the scales may swing in the other direction and I’ll be stuck with no creative drive but my feed will flood with the amount of posts I’ll be updating.

Going out and getting drunk. The crushingly abundant horrors of university. The warmth of rekindled friendships. Pages upon pages of books. The astounding amount of new ideas forming behind my darting eyes. Insomnia. Relationships. Bad backs. Birthday gifts. Passports. Gut numbing countdowns. There are so many things that I should be able to sit back and pour my heart out about, so many ideas that scream out and wish to drown me in their topical goodness. But (despite this immensely successful breakthrough) I am still suffering from the block.

And until I fix it, I guess that you will have to put up with my sporadic updates and constant whining about university. Hopefully, I won’t be too long.


And since I don’t think my text sent properly – Happy Belated Birthday Dad.

Ink splurge

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Two new stories and a random brain fart now up on my DeviantArt page.

The Fall of Arda

The Incident

Brain fart

The Fall of Arda may be a tad long (weighing in at almost five thousand words) but I think it's one of my best pieces of writings, character wise. The Incident is my entry for a short story competition in Uni, and I really really like it. And the brain fart is just something I came up with in the throes of non-sleep.

The first two will only be kept up for a period of two to three weeks before I take them down and add them to my private collection. So, if you can spare ten minutes or so, I'd very much appreciate it if you read them and gave as much feedback as possible (don't be afraid to be harsh).

More will probably follow in the coming weeks. I seem to be having wave after wave of decent stories to write about. Stay tuned for dancing junkies and hearts that beat people to death.

Edit: Due to an error at DeviantArt, The Fall of Arda didn't show right. However, you can find it at my wonderful FictionPress account, here.

Bankruptcy, here I come

Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Finally, it’s within sight. After months of planning and gut numbing anticipation, it is finally here. We have a flat.

We had wandered around about a dozen flats, examining the properties with a meticulous eye. How big were the bedrooms, could we fit a freezer in the kitchen, where was that smell coming from? Each carpet was subtly pressed with the toe of my shoe, searching for creaks or unevenness. Each wall was scanned for cracks or damp. Each defect in the laminate flooring was tsked at.

But we have one. Four floors up, four minutes from the supermarket and four seconds from a bus stop (which is a forty minute ride into Glasgow). We have one.

I feel like stepping outside into the cold, icy night and yelling. I feel like tilting my head back, letting my hair fall from my eyes as I fix the moon with a steely gaze, and erupting in a long animalistic roar. My fists would be clenched, my veins throbbing with excitement, as I bellow one singular word.

Freedom.

You spin me right round baby, right round

Sunday, March 04, 2007
You know, for a second there, I almost forgot about all about it.

Damn.

Drumroll, please

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blast from the past

A few technical details before we begin. First off, due to technical difficulties beyond my meek understanding, my feed has been down for the past couple of weeks. That has been finally resolved due to the good people at Feedburner, and if you want to re-subscribe then you can do it here (or the RSS icon on my sidebar).

Secondly, I have managed to buy myself a domain name. Two in fact, but due to a mess up in the technical process (it’s always technical errors, isn’t it?) I am only using one. www.littleresearchmonkeyboy.co.uk is the address now. Please update all address books and whatnot.


Have you ever had moments of true nostalgia? Walking through Glasgow on a summers day usually does it for me, or wandering aimlessly up a certain road to look for a certain coffee shop. I love the feeling of nostalgia; the slow fluttering rise in the chest, the satisfying sigh accompanied with the smallest of smiles. My eyes widen as I remember another detail and he skip in my step increases. The detail that was recalled was slight, and it barely meant anything to the bulk of the memory, but it carried such a powerful weight.

Sometimes, though, playing a videogame does all that for me.

One of the greatest features of the Wii is the ability to download games from previous consoles, from the Nes, Snes, N64 and even Sega. I pounced on this feature immediately and downloaded the available classics that stirred my memory banks to its very core. Donkey Kong was the first one to enter my white box of joy – fond memories of playing in the kitchen alongside my brother as we leapt from one mine kart to another. Super Mario World came next, not only filling me with childhood memories of struggling with the first few castles, but reminding me of the time I spent the night at Marie’s house – staying up the entire night in an attempt to complete it in one go. And don’t even get me started on Zelda.

But there’s something, almost as good as nostalgia, that I find brewing within myself at times. It’s a feeling I have when I realise that this night, this moment, is going to fall into a lapse in my memory, only to be reminded of at a later date as a warm, sweet feeling of nostalgia; that someday I will look back on this moment and laugh to myself with a knowing smile.

And so, in the far distant future, I will flip on my – by then, good old – Wii and select Mario Kart 64 to play, and as the song hits the title screen and Mario utters the strangely erotic “Let’s go!” I will smile and laugh and think back, to this night, when I thrashed Jane at racing.

Oh yes.

(Also, this made me laugh until I died. The afterlife isn’t too bad to be honest – just a bit of a slow connection).