Wednesday, 13 December 2017

i (don't) like to move it move it

You can always tell something has upset me if I start looking for new places to move into and/or jobs to apply for online. Both together is an especially bad sign. Because both means that I feel like I'm being forced to leave behind what I have now, rather than just fancying a change.
Both usually means that one will be a means to the other - a job to take me to (and pay for) somewhere else to live, or a new place, to give me reason to find a new job.

I've realised this is a form of crisis management I resort to because I have resorted to it again over the last couple of days and it feels very familiar. The reason being that I have an issue with my flat and the landlord is not being in the least helpful about it, making me feel less and less at home and/or welcome.

The thing is, I thought I finally had it figured out. I have managed to live in this building for two years now. The last time I lived somewhere for two years was between 2007 and 2009, and that was the first time I ever lived away from my parents.

Between 2009 and 2015, I moved at least once a year - usually more frequently. After my initial student studio, there were two more places while I was at uni (the last few weeks I spent sleeping on my flatmate's floor, and finishing up my Bachelor's thesis in the shared kitchen, as my replacement had already moved in), there was the first place in Brighton that was definitely dodgy and had a rodent problem, there was the second place in Brighton which was actually nice, there were a few months back home with my parents when I felt like an absolute failure, there was the third place (back) in Brighton, the one above the garage where I only had a skylight window and was absolutely freezing the first week or so, where I tried to construct a second hand loft bed which ended up being too wobbly, but then I only stayed there for two months anyway, there was the fourth place, which was actually the second place again (the one that was nice), the one where I slept on a mattress on the floor for eight or nine months because buying a bed felt like too much of a big purchase, the one that eventually went wrong because I upset people without intending to, that went from being an actual home to not feeling like a home at all very quickly, there was the fifth place in Brighton, the one above the pub, that again was definitely very dodgy but was the best that could be done at short notice, where again I only stayed two months, there was the sixth place, the last place, in Brighton, the one that definitely put the nail in the coffin of that town, the one with the tiny all-white attic where the window would fall out of the frame, the one with the effing birds that lived in the kitchen without a cage, the one with the hole in the bathroom wall, the one where everything went wrong... there was the first place in Liverpool, which was fine for a while, until I noticed that the floor made me feel sea-sick, there was the second place in Liverpool which again was fine but was just too much space for just one person, at least if that one person was me, where the neighbours would have nightly arguments and to my surprise I was more amused than annoyed, the one where I had my own backyard and where for a few weeks in summer I actually felt very free, there was the third place in Liverpool, this place.

Looking at that list you might think I was some sort of madwoman, or a rental nomad, one of those people who doesn't pay rent, trashes the flat and then moves on to scam someone else, when the fact is, I can't remember ever even being late on a single rent payment and I think had a good reason to move every one of those times.

This time I thought I had it all figured out, if only because I've managed to stay here for longer than a year, which is clearly an achievement. This time I thought, I feel comfortable here, and at home, and when I move out it will be because I have carefully considered my options, and it will be because I am making a fresh start and not because I am forced out by things beyond my control, things that make me feel uncomfortable. And then I notice that my search history displays all the signs of "how can I do a runner / get out of here as quickly as humanly possible", the same feeling I had in the first place in Brighton only days after I moved in, so much so that I went to view another place before I managed to calm down, the same feeling I had in the second/fourth place in Brighton when I stopped feeling like I was at home, the same feeling I had in the fifth place in Brighton when they said you'll have to move out within two months at most, the same feeling I had in the last place in Brighton when the shit hit the fan and I lost entire days to feeling really uneasy about the place I lived in.

Giving up and running back home is not an option for everyone and if it had been for me I feel like I would have done it over and over again.

Yes I know I'm lucky to have a roof over my head, but oh well here we go, and oh well another one to add to the very long list, and oh well it all gets very boring after a while.

Monday, 27 November 2017

This post has no content and is about nothing in particular

I've had a very good day today.

Sitting behind my massive computer machine keyboard wearing gloves to combat the cold like something out of the fucking 19th century, except they didn't have computers then nor computer keyboards like. 

Did some work - not loads mind you, just enough, had some healthy snacks, and some unhealthy ones, and did some laundry.

Wearing my massive jumper because the room is cold. Got my massive headphones on because they make the music sound better and the music cheers me up when I've been cold. 

Fourth load of laundry in two days, cleaning out the wardrobe, you see.

Except the headphones and the loud music make a weird vibration happen in my head that stays behind even when the headphones are off and stop me from falling asleep because my head can't relax. 

I mean I needed to clear out the wardrobe anyway, but the mould inside the wardrobe gave me a good reason to do it.

Like tension in my head. 

So, in a way, the mould is a good motivator!

The same tension that is caused by the electric fan heater because of the weird noises it makes. 

It also meant I had to wash all the clothes that were in there.

Like when the room I moved into had a mini fridge in it but I decided immediately not to use it because the noise would drive me mad. 

But it's good to get stuff done, and it means that I can sort all the clean stuff into neat little piles of what to keep, what to give away, what to chuck out, etc.

Possibly because the weird vibration-tension thing in my ears. 

Cleaned out the dresser the other day, because of all the random shit in there.

The one I also get when I've been talking or thinking too much. 

Looks and feels much better now.

Possibly also caused by tension in the shoulders. 

One drawer for one purpose - more or less.

But hey at least it's been a good long while since I've wanted to punch someone for chewing with their mouth open. 

Make-up stuff and jewellery in the first.

At work that is. 

Medicines and sewing bits in the second.

Because I don't go to a job anymore. 

Art supplies and pens in the third.

I still occasionally experience it in my private life but then I think hey at least I've chosen to be here and if I act like a weirdo at least no one can say anything because I'm not at work. 

Hair-dryer, hair clippers, hair scissors, epilator and a couple of old, broken mobile phones in the fourth.

I certainly have not wanted to punch anyone or wanted to cry because someone was jiggling their leg or their arm or something on the edge of my field of vision, not in quite a while. 

And everything I use on a daily basis on top of the dresser, as before.

Which is nice. 

It feels like the other dresser is still too full, though.

I did use to feel like a weirdo leaning on my hand in such a way as to cover the movement that was literally the only thing I could focus on until I covered it up.

The one with all the clothes in it.

 It has been a while since I have wanted to claw my way through the various layers of my skin because I had forgotten to cut a tag out of a shirt. 

Especially as I seem to wear the same 10-15 items 90% of the time.

When that happens now I am usually at home so I can change my shirt or cut it out with scissors. 

So maybe I should just throw out everything else!

So all of my tops have one or two little holes at the back of the neck unless I have the patience to do it properly and pick the seams apart. 

That might be quite refreshing.

They are the tiniest of limitations. 

Then again, I do like having Options.

It has been a while since I've felt like a weirdo because I could feel the vibrations of a bus or a lorry pass by outside a building that I was inside and it really really bothered me. 

Because who doesn't?

It really really has been a while since I've wanted to slap someone in the face for eating crisps at work especially when it wasn't even during the lunch break because then how am I supposed to put on my massive headphones with the loud music to drown out the sound because I need to work and that is not allowed? 

Anyway.

How am I supposed to leave the room because I cannot stand the sounds that human bodies make. 

Tomorrow I leave the house, first on my bike, then later probably on foot, to take the train.

How am I supposed to go and calm down and try to dispel the rage I have for people I think are being rude because surely everyone must get this annoyed about the sounds and the smells and the temperature and the sights and the habits and most things in general. 

There's a plan which might allow for some more tidying, depending on my efficiency.

Surely they must all be like me always paying attention to whether they might be doing something which could annoy someone because it's caused a lot of anguish for them too? 

Sometimes I have trouble believing that I am able to feed myself.

Better take off the massive headphones now to stop the head vibrations else sleep will never come.

But I've had a very good day.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Throwaway Literature 2017

It's been a fair while, but it is high time that we return to the International Cheese-Fries' very own digest of literature of little or no value - Throwaway Literature. Here, then, are the best/worst submissions to the editors' inboxes so far.

***

"Scattered thoughts wade through a heavy cloud of coughs, half-finished sentences and well-meaning jabs at someone's confidence. The confusion is strong with this one, they seem to say, watching from opposite, on the bench. She gets up, as if to leave, because this is frankly too much. Instead, the mouth opens. "Why are you all looking at me?" comes the hoarse inquiry, a shaky utterance, barely audible.
A pause.
"Why are you all looking at me? Answer me" she repeats, this time looking one of them directly in the eye. The target, a wiry-looking man in his thirties, is hesitant. "Is this not where the play is? We were told to come in here for the show".
Of course.
She's known there was something she has been forgetting. Days have melted into each other of late, and now the day is upon her, the audience is here, and she hadn't even noticed.
And what an audience! Fifteen people, is it really worth doing the performance now? Does she even remember all the moves and all the lines? What is it called again? It's all swimming around somewhere in uncertainty, until she turns around and spots the costume on the chair next to the one she's been sitting on. The simple white blouse and the tracksuit bottoms. It's all coming back. She sighs, and starts to undress."


Swimming Days, the long and rambling story of a highly intelligent and busy performer with a knack for drifting in and out of reality (includes a colouring-in section towards the end of the book, before the finale).

***

"When you go out and realise, two minutes down the road from your house, that you have not only forgotten your keys in your flat and thus locked yourself out, but have also left the hair straighteners plugged in, switched on and resting on your most flammable pair of colourful polyester trousers, the back pocket of which contains your smartphone and your bank card, as well as instructions regarding the donation of your organs after your death - this of all times is when you should honour the mantra that we live by and  c a l m  d o w n." 
"You know the moment. The moment when someone has come up to you in a bar, insulted you, your partner, everything you stand for, and, by extension, your mum, and now this lad is standing opposite you, squaring up, sleeves rolled up and getting ready to punch you right in your pretty face whilst wearing a shit-eating grin on his own horrible arse-face, and then he opens his big hate-filled mouth and tells you to CALM DOWN? Well, conversely to what you might think, that is exactly what you should do in that situation."


The Little Book of Calm Down, recently reviewed by amazon user hotcakes15 as being "literally the worst self-help book I have ever read whilst on the bog".

***


"I wish I could fold up my life and stick it in a tiny little envelope and put that in a tiny little drawer in a miniature bureau made for a dollhouse out of wood and glue. Don't tell the dolls where my tiny folded up life is kept. They will only take it out and look at it and it will make me feel embarrassed about what I've been doing these past forty years. I wasn't even alive for some of them.
I think."

Wat is origami?, [according to the author] a collection of "confusions, contusions, and anthropomorphic auto-bamboozles, with a twist of the old nihilism". Nominated for "Worst in show" at the 2017 Small Literary Show Prize.

***

until next time
x