Bristol 

Autumn. Or is it Winter yet? This is when city life appeals to me. Getting dark at 5 but the lights coming on one by one in streets and shops and houses. The streetlights outside my house are like something you might associate with Victorian  London – they come on intermittently and flicker into life as though their age makes it an effort. And the light itself a dull, orange glow that casts strange shadows onto my curtains as I lie in bed at night.

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Life continues in a rolling blur. Weeks start. Painfully, normally, then proceed almost unnoticeably into the weekends. Much happens in the week and day to day and I dream of the day where I’ll leap out of my bed and feel filled with joy and expectation at the day ahead. Little dramas play out in front of my eyes and often I’m involved but somehow somewhere else too.

I love coming home at night and turning the lamps on in my flat which looks out over the rooftops of North Bristol and the green, copper roof of the college. While the streetlights glow weakly outside, the lamps throw light into the corners of the room and the candles burn orange like the lamps outside while I wait for the room to warm. I break bits of warm white wax from the outside of the candle to change the light and shape of the flame and the wax is warm and soft, almost animate, consoling in my hand. It amazes me how long the warmth of candle wax lasts. Moments pass. And, of course, I sit and I look into the screen of dreams and promises: girls, adventures, travels, riches, images, possibilities, futures laid out before me. All there. Really out there but not here. Only me here.

Am I self indulgent? I often wonder. I pore over nudity. I eat almost automatically. Tea and toast and cupcakes followed half an hour later by flatbreads and houmous and and sauces. An hour later, dinner – a casserole. Then a pudding – sticky toffeee, bread and butter or orange sponge – in a pool of cream. Then more tea and chocolate. Some nights I’ll take Valium and drink Bourbon just to pique the interest of the evening ‘just a little bit’, the all too familiar voice of reassurance. On Friday nights I get high on beer and cocaine and listen to endless hours of music. What’s happening inside me, I wonder, but never really worry. I exercise – I run, I swim, I play tennis. I digest hours and hours of radio documentary – anything to do with the arts. I especially love the voices of long dead famous writers speaking from beyond the grave explaining in snippets how they do what they do and I dream of being like them, knowing I never will. Dreaming is everything. I worry I’m losing my dreams as in my dreams of the future. I start wondering what were my dreams when I was younger? Did I ever have that child dream “Oh, I want to be…” I don’t know. I’ve never known. And I’m pretty sure I don’t know now. That’s why I do this or part of the reason. You know, I don’t even know why I’m doing this – it’s to stop me from bugging myself for not doing it and it makes me feel better. Someone very close to me CAN’T actually dream, like real dreams. Isn’t that sad? Although dreams can be shit as well no? All last week my dreams turned sour. I thought that was it. I thought I’d never have a happy dream again. What happened in the dreams was perfectly innocent and quite inane as dreams often are but the feeling wasn’t good. I’d wake up with that hollow feeling inside me. The feeling we’ve all had alone in the dark.

Often, when I feel my own company has become too much I walk to the Museum. There’s often new shows on about Dinosaurs or the Egyptians or Assyrians and that’s interesting to a point but ‘where’s the beauty?’ I often think to myself. There’s one small room with  some steps in the corner and that’s where I go and sit on the steps and look at her and her power over him and him so completely ruined by her, unable to resist her. That’s what I want to be right there. That fisherman. Giving up everything.

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