21 June 2005

move along, nothing to see here

Somedays it feels like I'm constantly changing.

The conventional wisdom is that people do not like change. They like security and consistency. I don't know if I've ever felt like that myself, but it's possible. What I do know, is that I want to embrace change, not so much in the world, but in my self. I read somewhere that as you get older it gets more difficult to change, you become more set it your ways, and you lose the ability to adapt. Maybe this is inevitable, but I'd like to think that we can exercise at least some control.

Yesterday I got a phone call from Jennie asking if I wanted to go and see Tarnation at Chapter. I did, but I didn't have any money. When it became apparent that she had very little herself and wouldn't be able to pay for me I made a spontaneous decision.

See, I actually lied. I do have money, but it's rent money. Rent money that I haven't paid yet because I thought that I might need to dip into it, not willy nilly, but in emergencies. I had to dip into it to give Helen £30 I owed her from last year so she could get groceries for the month. I had to dip into it to lend my mother a fiver because she didn't have any change. This money will be replaced, it needs to be, by the end of this month in fact. Perhaps it would seem that going to the cinema with a friend is not, in fact, an emergency, and is actually a frivolous thing, and you'd be right.
But that doesn't mean it wasn't important.

We saw the movie, it was interesting and quite engrossing at times. It has been accused of being self-indulgent in the press, but did not come across like this at all. Of course, if you explained the concept to somebody, that the film maker had taken home movies shot throughout his life and created a narrative of his existence, then they may come to that same conclusion. But life is a large sprawling mass of interconnected narratives, sequences of events happening in some order (usually chronological) to various people. Artists and writers draw on the narrative of their lives for their art all the time and just because someone has chosen not to do so in an enigmatic and coded fashion, has presented it in a straight-forward manner, does not in my opinion make it an ex cerise in self-indulgence.

After the film we went back to mine. I showed her some documentary footage I had shot in smallman park, just straight talking head stuff of me asking the young people who hung out there (a social group which defies labeling and to which I once belonged to, albeit uneasily, and perhaps still do, at least in spirit), asking them to tell me stories. Some people talked about drug missions, one kid told me a parable, and another, totally playing up to the camera, told me what he liked about the social group. I'm in two minds whether or not to pursue a documentary about this loose knit community and this is largely to do with my unease with those people. Jennie agreed that there was definitely something to be made from it and that I should just keep going down there and see what happens. The best documentaries grow organically after all, an idea that interests me greatly. After this viewing we tried watching Chungking Express but gave up after an hour or so helping me to finally cement my view of Wong Kar-Wai. I just don't like the fucker. I find his characters dull, his stories hint at a depth that never seems to materialize, and his cinematic devices trite and forced.

Oh yeah, and that motherfucking sped-up digital effect he uses so often looks like absolute shite.

Today I had an appointment at the heath dental hospital for a wisdom tooth extraction. I was completely unprepared for this and walked in to the place cool as a cucumber. As I sat in the waiting room I observed a mother with her tiny baby, breathed in that smell and listened to the mothers cooing. I wrote a little poem and thought about that motherly comfort that babies are wrapped in. He used 2 1/2 cartridges on local anesthetic on my gums, which is way more than what a normal human being would need, but I seem to have quite the resistance to the stuff. Despite this I shook all through the procedure, my fingernails digging into the arm-rest, and as the extraction progressed and began to shake and cry, the pain was unbearable. The student nurse reassured me throughout telling me I was doing great, and to try to breathe calmly. She had pretty blue eyes. At the height of my tears and pain the doctor asked me if I was all right to which I shook my head but told him to just get it done. Afterwards, having chilled considerably, I was in quite good spirits, all though my face was completely numb. I took the tooth home in a baggie as a souvenir.

Unfortunately, at home, the local anesthetic began to wear off, and thus began more pain. I asked bethan if I could watch the simpsons, which brings me great comfort, to which she said no, not even bothering to look at me as she did so. I completely lost it and kicked a box at her, telling her I hoped it hurt and that I wished it had hit her in the face. She screamed at me and I screamed back, calling her an uncaring and unsympathetic bitch. I wouldn't normally be so cruel but the pain was really getting to me. The noise awoke my mother who was kipping. She came downstairs and shouted at me and I shouted back. At one point I stormed off and walked out the door, saying I could get more sympathy from the bums in town than I could from them. I quickly came to my senses and went back through the door which my mum held open for me, apologizing as I passed her. I still hadn't calmed down though and screamed and cried, tears randomly pouring down my face in patches of visceral emotion. I took some paracutimal. After my mum had gone back to her room and I'd calmed a little I went to apologise to her, crying all along. It felt like all the existential pain and loneliness I've been for the past god knows how many months was using this actual physical pain as a conduit to which pour through in the form of tears. Shallow pools collected on my cheeks. I yearned to be that baby back in the waiting room, wrapped in comfort. My mum said my nan would have some strong pain killers she could get, as she was going that way anyway.

Man, this post is long. I've lost patience with telling this story. Nearly done now though.

Sitting around watching TV I became quite excited at the prospect of the pain killers. See, I've been really quite straight these past couple of months, due to financial circumstances and a general desire to chill on the class As. The prospect of codeine based medication has me yearning for that warm opiate sensation. Call my a pathetic druggie if you will (You may remember someone did several months back) but to be honest your opinion means little to me. I know I'm a druggie, but sensation has always been my addiction and that is not neccersarily tied to substance.

Coming back to narrative and Jennie. My friendship with jennie has somewhat drifted since Toronto for various reasons, and this has made me very angry. Last night we talked about it for the first time and I told her that that things used to be so easy between me her and sion, that it just flowed, but that because we're all moving in different directions now (and jennie and sion are very seriously involved) that ease has dissolved. I said that I felt her friendship was something I want to keep, even if it required work, and that just because it required work did not make it worthless. Its not that we've changed to the point where we're not those people any more, it is simply circumstance that has made it more differcult. It is not neccersarily lost. She agreed.

I've come to realise tonight that Jennie is one of those people that drives my narrative. She causes it to expand and move in interesting ways. She's not the only one; Sion and Helen also belong in my narrative in that same way. The term "best friend" is much maligned and misused but has often been the best word available to describe such people. Now I propose this new concept to describe them. I think everybody has these people in their lives, those special people that help drive your personal narrative, and I think those people are worth more than their weight in gold (or MDMA crystals). If you know who those people are in your life keep hold of them. Their important in ways you probably don't comprehend.