twenty-four and maybe falling

Arriving home in tears, clutching an absurdly large pizza box (full), after sitting on the bus (full) next to various Wellingtonians who all would have appreciated more elbow space than my pizza permitted. Some foodstuffs just aren’t destined for public transport. It was dark (of course, June, poorly laid plans) and the buying of this ridiculously large pizza seemed like a kind of self-flagellating binge – go buy this giant pizza, and then cry about the fact that you have to eat it buy yourself, because there is nobody to share it with. The judgement and raised eyebrow of another person would have helped, perhaps, then voluntary consumption of a slice on their behalf – save you from yourself (god knows that needs doing). But no lights and no faces, a hollow house, again.

I wrote myself out of it, almost. An evening in front of a screen, closed eyes and recollections. It’s alarming to think that the way to escape is in vegetative television or in reliving memories from the mid-nineties. My imagination runs away, building itself into towers before I can catch up, and I am no match for its solid foundations. Susceptibility to words and numbers – names making me miss things, rather than people. Having someone to cuddle as winter sets in (fiendishly strong), having nieces and nephews to snuggle and read to and fulfil of those impulses that I really ought to not be having for a few years yet. Having someone to just exist with, another presence even when silent.

Now, listening to The Magnetic Fields. Love is Like a Bottle of Gin – sure is. The night of my birthday, I had one gin and tonic, nothing special, my usual concoction / an ex persuaded me to stop drinking them for a while, claiming that gin brought me down / but in combination with life/twenty four years/food it broke me down overnight, on what felt like a cellular level. I tried to get up to get painkillers, but it was half an hour or so before I could sit up and move enough to get to the water and pills. I nearly called an ambulance on several occasions, crying. I didn’t know if I counted as an emergency or not. I have kept tramadol and ondansetron beside my pillow every night since.

So there’s something gin-love-sick related in there. The bottle of gin in my ownership at present is Gordon’s, which was cheap option exchanged for delicate memories. My grandfather’s name was Gordon, and there were Gordon’s Gin boxes used for storage in their basement, which I always giggled at, even though I didn’t really know what gin was. I don’t know who lives in that house now; I wonder what happened to the pool table. Next time I’ll try to pony up the dollars for Bombay Sapphire. Yellow flowers sit so perfectly when it has been emptied.

Back to ‘school’ tomorrow. Missing real-life publishy-stuff already, and the fact that I’m pre-emptively stressing about being stressed it not a good sign in the least.  I’m disconcerted by the fact that basically every day I find myself thinking ‘I really just wish I was at work full-time, instead of mere afternoons and Saturdays’. I keep trying to find the energy to write, but it is buried deep, which doesn’t help any of the mood situations. Maybe it will get better. Maybe it won’t. I just know that there is a sense of relief and safety and welcomeness on Willis Street that there isn’t on Dixon. I love publishers, I love wielding the red pen, I just don’t like how much trying to get there is dragging me down.

I reconfigured my room today, so now from my bed I see books rather than my desk – enjoyment rather than work. Maybe this will represent some sort of cosmic mental shift, but I fear that that’s overly optimistic.

It’s hard.

une année sans lumière?

I should be happy.

In the sun, on the street, behind and between pages, there are moments, but they come and go and I have no control over it. Every night, getting into bed, clambering back out to take the little white pill that is supposed to make everything okay. But the pill is to the body like I am to this city, and we both rattle around in this space, not quite sure what we’re doing, not quite succeeding at whatever it is we set out to do.

I feel like I exist in class, at work and at home. That’s it. I have never needed constant social interaction, but to have nothing beyond those three spheres is difficult. The time when I am ‘free’ from academic and work commitments is spent recuperating from life, trying to hold onto this fragile thread of adequate health that I’m depending on. Knowing that I can go (and have gone) weeks, months, without physical human contact is overwhelmingly soul destroying. Nobody to talk to about feeling down, nobody who I can break down in front of and not worry about being judged.

The two months (ish) that I had before I moved down here were the most painful I’ve had. November was the worst I have ever felt in my life, and I don’t say that lightly. I thought I had some certainty, at least in being loved, even if I wasn’t sure what I was working towards in any other facet of my life. Now I am alone, and I am working towards a life in an industry with an unknown future.

The worst part is, that half of it is beautiful. Wellington is wonderful, as a city, and some of the people in it are fantastic, but there are few things more difficult than establishing close friendships from the ground up. My classes are great, the projects I will be working on are brilliant, and my job is the bookstore dream. I have met people from all over the book world, and it has been thrilling – but after every class, every event, every shift, I get on the 14 bus, and go home. The internet, a book, a few notebook scribbles, and bed.

I drink too much coffee. I drink coffee, and then my insides twist and wrench and ache. But I’m tired, because I’m sick, so I need the energy. Hell of a vicious cycle. I eat fruit, because I’m sick of eating junk, and then it hurts all the more. I should be eating low-residue, because everything has fallen to pieces, but it takes a lot of self-control to do that, and when there’s a high chance I’ll be in pain anyway, why would I bother? Like right now. I haven’t eaten anything typically uncooperative, but waves of pain still come. So the tramadol comes out, as do the tears of frustration and pain.

I want to be happy. I know that I have ups and downs even when things are ‘good’, but being lonely drags the downs deeper, and keeps them there. I want someone to cuddle me and tell me my hair smells good. I want to have people to hug hello and goodbye. I want to have stories to write that don’t all peter out because the protagonists are either trapped in a room and it depresses me, or their lives are more cheerful than mine and I find myself jealous of my own creations. It’s easier to sit, watch, occasionally read. Trawl through the internet in the hopes of finding some spark of inspiration or light, or just to pass the time until sleep or the final hope of interaction for the night has been extinguished.

I write this because it is all that I can do. Words are all that I have, because I don’t want to rely on my unpredictable emotions anymore, worrying that the wrong/right Nick Cave song will come on at work and be an emotional trigger, because it represents when Things Were Good. I don’t need to have exactly what I had before, I realise that now – most of the time – but I need to have something. I need to be able to love my life, and not just the city and the books inside it.

life between the pages

Readers, I apologise for my lack of updates. It has not been intentional – as previously mentioned, This Wellingtonian Life™ has been a little bit entirely hectic, and my wordy wherewithal has been pointed in other directions.

But I’d better update you as to said directions, hadn’t I? Well.

1) I wrote an article for xoJane! That was pretty crazy.
2) I had my first full page article in NZ Musician
3) I am about to launch into Writers Week, both for work and for reviewing.

And that’s on top of all of my regular bookstore work and starting my publishing course and, you know, life in general! It’s crazy, but it’s great. I will have an update of more substance when everything settles down – and by then, I should have a few more links of published work to send your way. In the meantime, I’m also interested to know whether any of you have any particular pieces from my 365 pieces project that you liked more than the others – I am contemplating putting together a chapbook or ebook (or both) of some pieces, but would love feedback with regard to what pieces you’d think would be best suited and/or whether or not you’d possibly be interesting in purchasing such a book? It would give me a chance to try out my fledgling publishing skills!

Now, I must disappear and lock myself in my room until I finish my current piece – deadline’s tomorrow! Watch this space, my lovelies.