A Strange Day
A strange day. I haven’t written anything like this for a while. I woke up, sat straight up bolt upright in bed half asleep. I needed some water. Something terrible was currently happening, about to happen or had happened. A frustrating day. I try to write it all down. It’s a beautiful morning and I want to go for a run. I’m averaging 10,000 steps a day at the moment. All I have now is my mind and my imagination. I woke up feeling dull. A song in my head I can’t remember the name of. It’s a comedy song, well not comedy, but over the top and flamboyant. What’s happening? The more I write the more I feel trapped, like I’m carrying around versions of myself that I should conceal. I have all the others hidden under my bed in an Ikea zip up storage bag. I don’t want this to come out stylised or for an imagined future purpose. Have a shower. Put something on. I’ll get in the shower and use baby shampoo. It’s double strength and it’s taking ages to get through my hair.
Keep forgetting I have clothes on and have to get in and out the shower. Answering questions about yourself while you look in the mirror. Do you carry a feeling with you? Are you well acquainted with it? What are these two marks on the side of my arm? I have to go to another room. I’m supposed to crawl through a letterbox sized opening but I can’t fit through and I don’t understand how this can be a route I’d always taken? This isn’t the first time this has happened either! I’m working on an exam paper today. I’ve answered the questions and now I write my own story based on the given parameters. I tell someone who lives in my building as we overlook a body of water that I want the story to encompass past, present and future all at once, so it’s impossible to tell where you are at any given moment. I ask for advice on how to physically fit everything I need to say onto the sheet of paper. Things not to talk about. Feelings of indifference. How to get back on an even keel. This has been so bad or weird that I haven’t wanted to reflect on it.
But I don’t care or notice in the moment. Something about disconnection. I want to write without looking over my own shoulder. Sometimes it has tried to look like something. Sometimes it pretends to be things it’s not. How to sneak up on myself. Something that is not “it”. I don’t have huge goals, do I? To retreat. To not be in the spotlight! Looking at someone’s Instagram page. People started to create separate accounts where they felt they could be free. Someone role playing a range of characters. Reacting in different ways to the same people and scenarios. I am watching something I didn’t create but part of me senses this came from within me. I ask her about it and I say - I like how different each character is, and she says - oh no, they are all the same thing, the same person. I had an ongoing dialogue with someone who never put their camera on. I’d talk to them about their work but I never saw them. I have no desire to reflect on it more than I already have done.
What is the meaning of all this? I know I can’t smell something through a laptop screen. Oh God please not a video that goes back and forth quickly that I can’t remember the name of. Please not a video that starts normal speed then goes in slow motion. Usually in dreams, when she is there, I know she’ll have to go again, and that thought creeps back just as I’m thinking – “Interesting; I don’t have that feeling this time”. The knowledge of this is powerful enough to interrupt the narrative and remind me it’s a dream. But part of me is still grappling with the idea of whether she exists. Imagine me walking out on stage carrying a candle. I will tell people of this plan and have the creeping sensation of not knowing what I’m doing or why. I have no idea how it’ll turn out. I don’t want to put on a show. I’m reshuffling my book shelf to hide all the embarrassing books. My door doesn’t close properly. I’ve wallpapered my room a bright blue colour and I start drawing on it. What a terrible idea!
How does someone find out who you are? How do you tell someone about yourself? I meet with a group of people under a dense canopy of trees and we discuss how to go about it. I have a group of friends I’ve never met in person. Later we are sitting outside at a table and it starts to rain so we are going to go inside. Who are these people? What do they think of me? Can I trust them? I don’t want the humiliation of being seen like this in public! At same time, want to be viewed, touched and understood. Also want to hide and not be looked at too closely. Keep people at a length where things are not visible to them. I am ruminating on it. Part of me wants to let loose. I want to be moved more than I have been. I’ll turn my desk around for a better background. I’ll get that crushing back to square one sensation. I remember wandering around a building. I was so happy being there. I think, “It’s great being here, you can really be who you want to be.” I’ve been here before. I’ll sit in the quiet study zone and I’ll explain that there is no sign telling me not to talk.
I have been set a task to do on a computer but I’m not finding it very easy it’s an old grey box computer. I plan to be at the front of a lecture theatre. I have to be out in the world. I’ll sing a pop song with a group of other people. I want to do something crowd pleasing with exciting sections. I reflect on it later and wonder what I should have done. Dividing up bits between each performer and then we all come together for the chorus. Is it not enough just to talk? I knew at the time what all the lyrics were and who would sing what but now I have no idea. A feeling of having been in a space for too long. Of having revealed too much. How is my life better if I believe my dreams are meaningful? I like walking alone and clearing my own head. I walk through the countryside past some sort of wooden structure in the ground. I climb up over a stile and get stuck with a Sainsbury’s orange carrier bag around my leg. A friend walks by and helps. I leave some books on the ground as I repack my bag.
A large A3 book. Someone walks over it and leaves footprints on it. I am very angry about this carelessness and try to express it. I wipe at it with a nail varnish remover like substance. It makes the footprints more permanent to the point where they look like part of the original design. I think, I’m going to have to accept this and appreciate it for what it is now. I slept all day. I’m wrapped in a quilt trying to continue sleep. A lecture on my “practice”. I ask them how it was. They are indifferent. They tell me I need to submit six hand written forms by 1pm. As if to say. Get up! What are you doing down there when you have work to do? A class room, a place where I live, a shop and a toilet cubicle where I can look at myself. My hair is about shoulder length. One of those recurring situations where I have more to do and it’s making me later and later for something. Spoiling the event by dithering behind the scenes. Should I arrive and enjoy being here with these people? Constant bombardment of noise.
And me morphing myself. I’m in a place where I’m watched and we all have to behave in a certain way. I pretend to applaud with everyone else. People are suspicious that I have become indoctrinated so quickly. They’ve added my name to their website. I’m filming a children’s TV show with other members of staff and it’s very dull and unprofessional. I’m being interviewed for a television feature on the arts. How embarrassing. I’m still concerned by aesthetics of course I am. I hear myself say. I want to show people who I am. Can’t imagine the response. But it is an act of showing. Trying to be more entertaining. Feelings of being boring. Saying things quickly. It all feeling slightly off. A memory of lying with our feet off the edge of a bed. Living at home. Not being a show off. Not being trolled. Real experience can and will happen. Even now I’m thinking – maybe these words could be useful for something later – or – oh this would make a good blah blah. Or am I heading towards a breakthrough? I would like to unburden myself of whatever.
I’m meant to be at the office. Yet I’m sitting around musing about – Sometimes I just want to refresh myself. Sometimes you look back at what you did and see that everything was headed towards this. The months disappear. There is another me that exists when I’m asleep. There are other “me”s that people can interact with. Yes I have books full of dreams written down. I try and record them when I wake up. I find it fascinating. I remember walking in the woods and hearing other people talking about it. I remember us speaking about it but I don’t know what I said. This is all just an intro. It needs more fear injected into it, do it completely from memory. Stop trying to be so opaque. The middle is where you can rattle off a load of information about yourself. The end, say, you’re not sure how to end but I thought I’d try this. My mouth is dry and I’m thirsty. I lie on my back at night and think about it over and over again.
Photocopied text for Photocopies, Recent Activity, 2021