- Where are you hiding, my love?
Cast off like a stone.
Feelings raw and exposed when I'm out of control
Pieces were stolen from me
Or dare I say, given away?
Watching the water give in
As I go down the drain
I appear missing now
I go missing,
No longer exist
One day, I hope,
I'm someone you'd miss
Shock me awake, Tear me apart
Pinned like a note in a hospital gown
Deeper I sleep, Further down
The rabbit hole never to be found...
- I don't fit in with anyone now.
Not my family,
Not these new and friendly flatmates,
Not my (past) friend's, (past) friends' friends,
Not even my "best friend".
I'm the eternal outsider who doesn't fit in with the insiders.
It felt contrived and somewhat "poor me", regardless of how true it feels so I didn't publish it on it's own. I feel better about contextualising it here as part of a larger post.
There was a BBQ happening at the flat, but it wasn't suggested as a flat activity, it was just something that my flatmate said: "I might have a BBQ tonight." I read that as "I might have a BBQ tonight" and by the time I realised I was expected to be a part of it with my other flatmate, I was already down the rabbit hole of anxiety and confusion, my brain flipping out about my own stupidity and feeling like an outsider again.
I didn't want to move into a flat with other people, but I am financially unable to live on my own so felt forced into this position. That, I don't hate, nor regret, but there has been a feeling of being uncomfortable around my flatmates, maybe because they are younger than me, maybe because there are things that haven't been said, or that one of them is not expressing, therefore causing me to feel like I have to tip-toe around that particular subject matter because it hasn't been put out in the open. I don't necessarily begrudge the flatmate for not being more communicative on this subject, as I feel it is their right to either talk about it or not, but it has also made me feel like ... I don't belong / am not trusted. This, I don't blame myself or them for, since it is a reflection of the society we live in, but I do feel somewhat out of place nevertheless.
When I first went looking for flats, I found a house with an upstairs that was self-contained, but with house-kitchen downstairs where there were three more rooms and an orchard worker already renting one of the rooms. Upstairs was being rented for about $240 /wk and I was ready to jump on it since I had full-time work, and even on minimum wage I was willing to make sacrifices just to have that personal space to myself. Unfortunately, the house was sold within the week. This flat came along and I snatched it up after a really positive look-in, and although the flatmates are still positive people who I like, I can't help feeling I have little in common with people who do a lot of kayaking, trail biking, snowboarding, and are both skippers during the summer tourist months. And they love watching Rugby (audible groan).
And I like books.
I left music. I wanted no part in chasing something that gave nothing back. I gave everything I had to it, every emotion I felt, every spare piece of time to scrape and sculpt songs out of, but ultimately, I had no way of presenting these songs to the world. At least not without the support of others. That support seemed to come and go but never stuck around to help out in the long run. I just ended up feeling like I was at square one all over again, every time. Most musicians make steps that move their goals forward, but every step I took ended me up right back at the start like I was restarting a race I had already run many times and got nowhere with.
- The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
- Most of what you see my dear is purely for show
Because not everything that goes around comes back around you know
Holding on too long is just fear of letting go
Because not everything that goes around comes back around you know
One thing that is clear it’s all down hill from here.
- 'Like Clockwork' (Qotsa)
Most of my adult life I've asked myself when do I get to sit down and write my novels? Dirteater of which has been in existence since 1997/8, but has only had notes and an occasional scene written for it, but of which the entire structure, characters, themes and narrative are all worked out; Welcome Home 1998; Deiaul 2001. In 2014 when I had no work but was given the chance to apply for a teaching job I had previously enquired about but hadn't manifested until now, I had begun moving into writing mode with Dim Day and I made a decision to pull my job application knowing I'd never be able to continue writing while teaching full-time (I know what my writing habits are like!). I was told by a family member that I was making a big mistake and would regret not going for the job choosing to work on my next novel instead. I don't regret it at all. I wrote more than I'd ever be able to write working full-time in a job where I had to care about other people's needs over my own. This is the frustrating reality I faced when I did finally take a teaching job in Canterbury during 2015 after my writing had slowed down (at this point I had already moved onto expanding 'The Future Unfolds' into Auralye on a Harp). In 2016 after the new year had started, work had become a minefield of bad communication from management and inadequate support for a Provisionally Registered Teacher who had travelled from job to job with inconsistent evidence of teaching being gathered.
- I couldn't be this person in their lives. I had to be me in my own life.
I love the classroom, I love the students, and I love being there for them and encouraging their talents no matter how big or small; but a part of me was dying from not being able to fully express itself, and I couldn't stand seeing Dirteater drift further and further into the distance as the years went by. Do I have to be an old man in retirement before I can sit down and write the novel I planned when I was just 21?
I made a decision. It was the right decision. Whatever poverty I face now is a result of that. I have no more music to give anyway; what exists just needs to be recorded and anyone can do that - it certainly doesn't need to be me!
The isolation isn't a problem. If I could have that, I would take it; it's the non-isolation that financial strain causes that is a problem and having to work around the issues in my head as they converge, conflict, and crash into situations I misunderstand and am misinformed about. It's almost ironic that the orchard work I have been involved in has allowed me to exercise responsibility through confidence in knowing what I'm doing and what is expected of me, and being unafraid to ask questions. But orchard work is coming to an end, and I aim to have time on my hands to write. Even if I'm stuck in this house with these flatmates I don't really relate to, I have to work to make that time to be alone to write.
To write the days and nights away.
Especially the Dim Days.