Acid for Blood 18.06.17
The bitterness flooded briefly on Thursday, having burst its banks. The Funded Ones in my PhD world had returned from glamorous research trips abroad or from conferences, while I had done nothing, sat inert for weeks at my desk with books about Lacan, trying to refocus after a stop-start May. In July I will teach foreign students for a month, the income opportunity will rise like a whale, before disappearing again. The latest spate of part-time job applications I sent for something more enduring have once more led to nothing.
I remember sitting in my apartment armchair on Thursday night, tired, summoning the will to go to bed. The bitterness and resentment struck me then like acid, and I had acid for blood, like the aliens of Ridley Scott's imagination. No longer human, a new species, income-less fortysomething student with acid for blood. These feelings, they come and go. I knew from writing these posts that the next day is not the same, and I might wake up no longer an alien of acid and bitterness.
It's Sunday morning as I'm writing this now at the University and a near-empty study room. It always feels good to get up early, the walk along Sunday morning streets, crossing empty roads without care, with one of my favourite skirts swishing around me. The Meadows Park was tranquil, a few people pushing small children in buggies, a jogger or two. Incongruously, a spread of litter in the park of one unfathomably selfish group from the previous evening, contrasted against the otherwise pristine green. Perhaps an alien had attacked them.Not this alien, though. Perhaps it was the friends' barbecue I went to yesterday which calmed me down, as I chilled among all the families. It's good to have those anchoring moments, to remind yourself that you're a person and everyone has their sense of unfulfillment, a novel never written, the travelling that was put on hold. I have done those things for what it's worth, and the metaphors I use to describe myself now change to something new, and I'm not an alien with acid for blood but a chameleon of an emotional kind, with a self-image that takes on whatever's happening in my unconscious. Today I'm more like a figure living in poetry, like the beautiful, failing detective in the movie Neruda, who begins to question whether he really exists or is just a figment of someone's imagination, and is that so bad anyway?