The word, and the song.
I’ll be honest: it never once occurred to me to be honest. Everything around me has always seemed a bit bleak. I was constantly looking elsewhere, and I didn’t want to admit how bad my reality really was. I am an escapism artist.
Looking back, though, it wasn’t that bad. It was a life. It was frequently lonely, sometimes terrifying, occasionally astonishing and mostly dull. And it still is. (Was?)
When I wrote, I didn’t outright lie. I just didn’t admit to anything about my actual life. I was writing two or three times a day at some points. Sometimes I added illustrations or photographs that had the same kind of style; they gave you intimacy with one thing but obscured everything else.
And I guess I still do that. But I’m trying to shift the focus on to so much more now. Before, I would only pick out things that had obvious beauty, or some kind of poetic inspiration attached to them. And it’s not right to do that. I can’t write about my grandad if I do that because there simply weren’t many moments of poetry and beauty.
One night we walked across the field in front of where we lived and watched a meteor shower go over through an insanely clear sky. We just watched in silence, as the sky turned into an animation and rocks hurled through space between us and Ursa Minor.
I was 15 and he’d come to walk me home from Grays train station because I’d got on the last train from Fenchurch St absolutely off my fucking face on Special Brew or some such and I needed a hand to stumble back. He used to do that. Why he let me go to London knowing damn well I was going to get drunk and end up on the last train home or sleeping rough at Heathrow is a very good question that I don’t know the answer to. But he came to collect me every time. And he always brought a plastic bag with him in case I threw up because only trashy people puked in the road. And you know what? He would have carried my puke bag home for me. He was a gentleman.
The first snapshot is way more aesthetically pleasing. But when you widen the shot and take in the full picture… that’s a much better story, isn’t it?
I’ve been going about things the wrong way for quite a long time. I just didn’t think anyone would be interested in this. Most people journal their actions, not their thoughts. I thought my thoughts were only interesting to me.
It’s a pretty wretched state of affairs when the life in your head is more exciting than the one you live could ever be. But… sometimes the life in your head spills over into the one you live and the boundaries get all fucked up and things get a bit exciting. At least, that’s how it feels to me.
Maybe if you trap a genie with her own thoughts for long enough, then she appears in other people’s wishes.