I Bore Myself 11.06.17
In the embers of a party, I sat there, with two friends occupying corners of the living room. I talked about the past. I can talk all day about it, but a feeling of weariness arises: oh not again. I bore myself. This conversation. My voice dips, perhaps, in a way it didn't when I arrived in this city with a suitcase full of stories. My stories have all the charm of used underwear, stuffed into a plastic bag in a suitcase. Yes, you can wear them again, but only if you're desperate.
Underwear or food? Let me try another analogy with these tired Sunday eyes. How long can I dine out on the same old tales? How long before you begin to notice the strained smiles that say: you've said these things before, we know all this already. If this is food, it's stale sandwiches, the same as last time; unappetizing but better than nothing. It fills a hole, so let's get it over with. Eat, and try not to throw up.
I don't know if I bore my friends as much as myself. I need a plan. I'd like to embark on a secular-spiritual fasting: no parties, bars or let's-do-pizza; no coffee either, just a new monastic discipline to not talk anymore about the past, only read and do things. Enough of thinking about reading Arthur Koestler. Just read Arthur Koestler. There's a library not far away. This inertia: I must think of things that can be done differently that don't involve the past. I wish there were a word for this, a Ramadan or Lent for existential citizens of an atheistic angle, where you immerse yourself for a period with books and self-discovery and trips to places in the quest to make yourself relevant to yourself, to make your existence meaningful in a futuristic way. Because I no longer feel interesting to myself.
These thoughts of mine: in fairness it is the day after a party, after four hours of dehydrated sleep. This could be why life feels like this. Things affect us, our diet not least. I will cook something different this week. Fish. A small step in a new direction, fish fried with garlic and onions, added to fries and rice. The pick-me-up of grapefruit juice, ice-cold, waiting for me in the fridge when I get home. Why can't addictions be healthy? I want to make myself addicted to healthy living, to being zestful. I don't care for cooking, but the way food and drink affects us is so compelling that even if cooking is dull, it might be fun to experiment with a few new recipes involving fish and garlic and onions, to see how it makes me feel. Not cooking. Alchemy.
I'm making myself feel better now as I'm writing. Ways to lift one's self: imagine making that delicious, healthy meal: the smell of lemon squeezed over the fish, my mascara running from the chopped onions. The spitting of olive oil in the pan, the stench of fish. I imagine how I'd feel after eating it. There are so many ambitions that need years in the pipeline; cooking is the short-term achievable goal.
While the world continues to turn. It's the Sunday after the British General Election last Thursday, and in the news is a diminished leader who's still in power, contrary to the source of hope who remains on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, I saw a nurse last week, who's handling my medical case. I said I'd like gender reassignment surgery two years from now, after I finish my PhD. It sounds like the decision of an accountant, a financial plan sensibly audited, submitted dispassionately.
Five (?) things to do this week: cook something different to the norm; read something I've often wanted to. Could two things be enough? Two is not a glamorous number. It's not three or five or seven, and nowhere near a 'top ten.' But two different things completed are better than five things unattempted, especially with the PhD and the reassignment surgery shimmering in the far-distant haze of late 2019. In the week following a political election of campaign slogans, here's mine to be measured by next week's journal entry: Cheap & Healthy. And a little more controversially: a War on Boredom.