I cannot sleep. As soon as my head hits the pillow I think of what I need to do, what I haven’t done, and all the associated complications and fears and regrets associated with these past and future failures. It’s hard to convince yourself that tomorrow’s going to be different when you still find unsuccessful to-do lists from the mid-noughties whenever you move house.
The things I’ve done this evening and early morning aren’t, I confidently imagine, to be found in handy How To Sleep listicles. Why not play video games where strangers on the internet try to shoot you until 1am, then scroll social media being stimulated by a near-random selection of memes, confessions, and strident political opinions, said no lifestyle magazine ever. Again, I confidently imagine. It is easier to confidently imagine what is not so than what is so, and requires considerably less research.
Some scattered thoughts and memories from the past few days then, while I wait for sleep or dawn, whichever intrudes first.
A Korean film from the eighties, called The Ticket. A realist portrayal of a brothel / escort agency in a dreary fishing town, with strong female acting and performances, interspersed with the occasional, jarring soft porn sex scene with excitable synth music.
A sweaty pub in Kings Cross, filled with leftist and liberal journalists. The question of what on earth I have been up to since I left my last job batted away with humour and delusion. A nice chat with one of England’s only prominent leftie media presences. The desire to drink, ignored.
Dreams of walking at night, vocalised. I will take the last train to the hills, walk until dawn, then get a train back in the morning. Enjoy the primal excitement of woodland in darkness.
“This is the kind of thing white middle class people do because they experience no actual danger in their lives”. A paraphrased response. A very accurate paraphrased response.
Learnings: in the early nineties the Barbie Liberation Front caused a stir by swapping the voice boxes of speaking Barbie and GI Joe dolls. Barbie would shout, “vengeance is mine!” GI Joe would big up shopping.
Learnings: gut bacteria is very important, and can be synchronised with those you share a regular bed with. Move in with someone: your movements may improve. Else, there’s always a trans-poo-sion, which is a real thing and something not to google while having dinner.
Learnings: it’s hard when your parents become increasingly nationalistic and reactionary, and send you conspiracy theories.
Learnings: adulthood is when the mind and the body become separate, making it easy to forget the joy of play. I must climb all the trees I can where I am still able.
Learnings: dancing while sat on a chair hurts your neck.
Learnings: there is a lot of etiquette about what happens to one’s social media presences when one dies. I want my various blog posts from various dead blogs found on the wayback machine, tidied up, made funnier, put into a hardback book, and made a best seller. Consider this my last will and testament. Also, I leave my board games to Euan and my two copies of Japan by Rail to Ash. I also decree these two people marry, for my own posthumous amusement. Plus Geoff must write me a postcard, addressed to hell, every week from now until the end. I confirm I am of sound mind.
Learnings: there is a diaspora Asian culture podcast called Rice to Meet You.
I’ve been trying to write more sketches. I need to be better at abandoning ideas when they are clearly not working. Otherwise you write and rewrite and write and rewrite until they are dead.
I’ve been trying to write a sketch about JK Rowling insisting on rewrites to a script for a new Harry Potter film. They start fairly reasonable but by the end she wants Harry Potter to be renamed Hazza Pazza, wizards to “wizzas” and wands to be “wizzas”. Hazza, Razza and Hermazza are on a quest to find a wazza with an ancient and powerful wizza.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
I think my mouth just did a yawn so to sleep with me. Hopefully.