Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Last night I had my first decent night’s sleep in a week, uninterrupted by blocked noses, sinus pain, acute stomach cramps, headaches, nose bleeds, gurgling radiators, murderous nightmares, cats or parents.

This morning I feel perkier than I have in ages, although I suspect it will wear off if this cold takes a tighter hold as the day progresses. But last night was packed full of dreams. Not just your usual single scenes, but long, complicated dreams.

I can’t remember all the details, but some highlights included sunbathing in the grounds of a huge house that I owned and getting a sunburnt face except for the patches round my eyes protected by the enormous sunglasses I’d been wearing; playing a strange version of hide and seek; a promise to go to yoga made to my friend Svetlana; finding myself back in a band I’d been chucked out of long before as bassist; catching the bus home seamlessly from Acton to Reading but getting off at the wrong stop, having to walk part of the way; seeing a bunch of hooligans, all with similar spiral tattoos, setting fire to a minibus in a carpark; cycling past my road without realising it, and suddenly noticing that the buildings were all different – big Art Deco jobbies; and meeting Eminem’s (black) sister who was head of the bread and pastries factory, very intelligent and showed me a brand new type of bread which had writing through it.

I found myself then, after Eminem’s sister had left to go back to work, on Shad Thames, a road in the Butlers Wharf area of London, near Tower Bridge. That area has always been a favourite of mine. When I lived at Rotherhithe and worked in town I would walk for half an hour to Butlers Wharf, and particularly down Shad Thames if I wasn’t late, just so I could catch the tube at Tower Hill, thus crossing a zone boundary and saving myself 70p.

So here I am, outside of this Art Deco factory (which isn’t really there) on Shad Thames, with a barbeque. I set the barbeque up on its stand, and light it. Trouble is, I’m not really very happy with my location because people from the factory can watch me, and I want a little privacy. So I pack down the barbeque again, and carry it along Shad Thames towards Butlers Wharf looking for somewhere suitable.

There is nowhere. I walk along Shad Thames, then cut through one of the archways to the river terrace, but still nowhere. I walk past all these tables and chairs that fill the space up – the place is packed solid with cafes and restaurants. There’s no space for me at all. I cut back through, across Shad Thames and into a square. Same deal. Nowhere at all to set up my barbeque. And by now, it’s gone cold anyway and I’m really no longer hungry.

I woke up around then, perplexed, trying to figure out what it meant. Fed the cat. Got back into bed. Fell asleep again.

I’m sitting in a room with my friend and ex, Andy. We’re talking about how I’m back in a band now, and how well it’s doing. He clears a space amongst the junk on the floor, and produces a barbeque, which is identical to the one I’d been carrying up and down Shad Thames. He sets it up, lights it. And again I wake up.

Lately, I’ve been looking for some answers. I’ve been totally unable to find them. I’ve been looking for clues, for signs, to explain something. I’ve asked oblique questions of friends and strangers alike, trying to ferret out a little nugget of truth which I could then use to help me understand what’s happening. Or rather, why what’s not happening is not happening.

Yesterday I started to come to the conclusion that in order to get the answers I want, I’d have to take what feels like it would be a very big risk and at the moment, that’s something I feel unwilling to do. At least, not with things as they stand now, anyway.

I’ve been looking for a place to put my barbeque, but maybe I just have to accept that there isn’t anywhere free at the moment. Other people may be able to find space, but maybe I should just leave barbequing up to them.

The world is as it is. People are who they are. Maybe I don’t need answers. Maybe I just need to accept reality for what it is.

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Reinhold and Yeti

by Suw on January 21, 2004

Via V: “Entertainment? Frustratement more like!”

Update: My highest score so far is 321.1. Apparently the record is 323.5, so I'm not doing too badly.
Later: 322.9.

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