Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A new plan, again: Day 17

More late night blogging, clacking away on my keyboard against the clock, home from a day with Jake because we've not seen each other properly in months and he wanted us to have time together just hanging out for his birthday. Missy and Bobby J as well, of course, playing catch in the garden, barbecuing, watching films, playing X-Box.

Tired, as always, waking up. One of my two staff on the close last night called in sick, no one would cover, so Sanders stayed as long as he could and then Mike and I had to slog through the closedown together. Such is life.

Wrecked this morning, sat yawning and editing photos over coffee, then dressed and walked the hour down through Crookes, Broomhill, across the Porter Brook, through leafy muted Nether Edge, along Abbeydale Road and up Woodseats to Jake and Missy's. Stopped to see Grace at the Bloomery on the way. Snapped pictures of sunlight filtering through flowers as I went.

In Jake's garden lay in the sun and drank juice, felt nice. Chatted. The impossibility of beer or spliffs meant I just had to live my bloody life, getting my heartrate up throwing the American football around, taking portraits of Missy in the shadow beneath the tree, joking with Bobby about this and that. We walked to the shops and I felt alive, played with the toys in Sainsbury's, goofed around down the condiments aisle making the others laugh.

It was like having a weight lifted that has been on your chest so long you forgot the pressure wasn't part of you. Normally I would have planned to stay sober, to go home afterwards to write, but then that voice that wants instant gratification would have started slobbering over gorgeous gluggable lager in the fridge, cold to the touch, condensation forming on the can, just one maybe because I'd had a hard night, because how can you ignore that voice in you that roars so constantly... and next I'd know it would have been three in the morning and I'd be asking to sleep in the spare room because I was too smashed to stagger out unwanted into that lonesome night.

And I had those urges today, often, but I had no choice but to ignore them, which made the voice sad it couldn't have what it wanted, but within only a few seconds the urges would have passed and I'd be back in the world. Back in the sun, back feeling the dimensions of my body and its movement through space throwing the ball, finding photography options, feeling closeness with my friends, knowing I was fine to leave at the end to go write.

And, yeah, I felt really shitty a couple of times, that I was annoying everyone with jokes taken too far, that it mattered too much to me that I was liked, that I was selfish and stupid and dumb and repulsive. But during these moments I was also able to recognise how tired I was, that the low mood might not necessarily be the truth of reality but could instead be simply a passing state of mind, so vivid and beguiling one instant, dissolving the next.

And the sun went down and the flies came out, and we ambled inside to wash up and watch the new Jumanji film, which was funny and charming and warm-hearted, much better than it had a right to be -- and snuggled there on the sofa with a steaming cup of tea and my friends, my family around me, I realised that for 17 days now I have done nothing but be myself, and that that is enough. It really is enough.

And now this is written, thank God, and I am off to pass out. TTFN. Love love love x

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