Bristol 18.9.18

I had my first offer of supply work this morning at 7.25 am. I was asleep. When I called Michelle at the agency at 9 I promised I’d be up every morning at 7 to be able to take on jobs. I’m on a night time rollercoaster. Last night, good (thanks, Mr Xanax); Sunday night, bad. I think – I hope – I’m not dependent on those tiny blue pills to get me through the night. If I know I’ve got to be up for work tomorrow I know I’ll do it again if I’m still thinking at 1 am. With this in mind last Thursday I decided I’d try something else, the antihistamine and sedative, Phenergan (Promethazine). I took 50 mg and for the next 2 hours watched on as a fight started and gained momentum between my cortisol wired system rising up against the knockdown response of the drug, my mind in neutral just allowing the 2 sides to belt it out. I had to go into the sitting room, as I often do when I’m trying to ride out the storm. At last I lost (praise the Lord) and woke in daylight which these days is always a lovely surprise. However something wasn’t right. I could hardly move with lethargy. The simplest of morning chores became a marathon effort: tiring and painstakingly slow. For about 3 hours my body and mind tried to unstick itself from the glue that had bound up my muscles and mental faculties. I also felt like I was on a comedown: unable to have that usual confidence with strangers and spooked by loud noises.

I heard back from The Old Vic. They want me to be an event steward for their new heritage exhibition starting in November. As predicted, the open day attracted plenty of retired smiley women with short hair and anoraks and a smattering of students. It sounds a bit like Clifton. As always I feel like an ‘inbetweener’, in some unknown place on the path between youth and death. Where’s everyone else my age? Working their arses off and changing nappies, as far as I can tell. Don’t get me wrong, I like this place where I am.

I did eventually get round to meeting Gwen again. That should be her name for as long as it lasts. Gwenagain. And I one of the knights of the round table. Sir Albatross. We met in The Synagogue in Bristol. No, we weren’t there to observe the Sabbath. The Synagogue had opened its doors for Bristol’s Open Doors weekend. It was interesting to see but quite plain, I thought. I did meet a nice chap called Alex, a practising Jew who offered to give me an interview about his background.

It had been probably 2 months since the last time G and I met but we talk and laugh freely, generously. You can’t beat that. It feels good. But there are ‘buts’. There always are. Not that I should even be thinking about that right now. I have a light feeling in the stomach that wasn’t there before. It’s a bit like the feeling after being on a swing or the pirate boat ride at Pleasurewood Hills.

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