Tuesday, December 8


IT MAY BE said, and with some justification, that I am an emotional cripple. I put my words down here, in the comfort of my own company and with nobody else around, but where is my voice in the world of winds and coffeeshop queues? I cannot confide in a single soul. I do not confide in a single soul! Beyond the rubbish I type, not much else escapes me. Thirty is an age in the sense that I am evaluating myself a lot more, berating and condemning myself. Why, only today in the lift, I put my skin right up to the mirror in the elevator and said aloud—‘No wonder she doesn’t fancy you. Look at the fuckin state of you!’ Immediately I recoiled from my own face and my own words.
My long-term girlfriend broke up with me ten days after my grandmother died. I have never processed either to any great extent: I still do not truly believe my grandmother is dead, and I try to believe that my ex-girlfriend died long ago. When I see those sentences there in black on white, I am taken back. Am I a horror? I do not know what I am doing. I have never written properly about L—a leaving me. It’s probably the toughest thing to ever befall me in that never has something ruined me so much and so quickly. Why deal with it when I can try to imagine she is dead – and then when she texts me out of nowhere, I am caught between sickness, shock and joy. What of my grandmother who is now ash and memory? What I wouldn’t give to sit opposite her, not speaking but listening to the wheezing of her throat as she fingers a scrabble tile over the board? I would love very much to see her again but that is impossible, and it is the way things are.
Whenever my mother cries she sees it as a sign of weakness. She hates crying. If she begins to cry, she gets angry and leaves the room. I could not tell you how many times I have seen my father cry, so rarely has it happened. He does not believe in crying, I suppose you could say. The last time I remember him crying was about ten years ago: we were watching old home movies and his dead father was shuffling across the screen with a one-year-old version of me and I started to cry but did my best to hold it in. I saw that he was crying, too, but holding it in. Neither of us wanted to acknowledge the other’s tears; they were soon put away.
Nowadays I find myself lacking in emotion. When I think of seven, eight years ago so small were the things that stirred me to inspiration! I was in love with the world; everyday I would always see or experience something that made me stop. I was gaining something from living that had a value to me, enrichment, nourishment, call it what you will. These days I am struck only by how one dull day rolls in to the next. I find nothing worthwhile. Sitting here writing, I struggle to conjure up a single thing to convey, because I have nothing to say – and what beauty I find in my day to day is lost, for some reason or other, and I am speechless.
The only thing to invoke true, huge, insurmountable emotion in me is my niece.
(Off camera; relayed to me recently:) I am holding my niece and talking to her in the distance and my friend and mother are looking on. ‘He was an hard bastard until she came along,’ my mother said. My friend smiled and nodded.

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