Narcolepsy and Notepads

Writing… Writing and I, we have a strange relationship… Tossing words down on a keypad is fast and fluid… Why is that? Hmm… Ah… OK… Ah… Yes, I know why… I’ll come back to that trick.

Writing on paper… Eugh… It’s always been a laborious task. And still is! People assume that because I write, I can hurl words to page at will but that just doesn’t happen… I was glad when my daughter developed beautiful handwriting as that meant I could delegate the task of writing inside greeting cards. That’s something I’ve never been good at… I guess in part it’s because I don’t know who is going to read them… I remember writing a card for Mr S and putting inside something pretty smutty. I was horribly mortified when someone came into my house, spotted the card, declared oh! What’s this? Picked it up and read my lascivious promise as to what he’d be getting…

Seriously? Who reads other people’s cards? Lol yes, I know… I know I’m a tarot reader and I read other people’s cards all the time! But not without consent…

Then there’s the times when I’ve attempted writer’s workshops and I’ve just sat there and stared at blank page as everyone else’s pencils dance and glide across the page….I’m sat impotent… dreading the words ‘OK, so what have you got? Who wants to read?’

Nothing… I have nothing… Oh please don’t look at me… No… Fuck off… Nothing!

I remember getting pinned down one time by the tutor who took us for Counselling Skills. I hated that class… Half of it role play which I find an utter nonsense as often it only serves to highlight how ridiculous and perverse people can be in set up situations… Let’s not go into it… Well OK maybe a little… I did get to the point where I decided the only way to stay sane was to be as deliberately obtuse as possible… The tutor one day decided she’d play awkward client versus my aromatherapist. I cut the scene short when she insisted she wanted Rosemary and demanded to know what went well with it?

Lamb!

Lamb essential oil?

No… New Zealand lamb. Have you never had a roast before?

She broke scene – Karen, you can’t speak to clients like that.

Jill! You’re not a client! You’re a tutor playing a scene where the whole aim is for you to have the last word!

Oddly… No reply…

The other half of this course was diary writing and reflective study… Again… Eugh… Diary? You want me to hand over MY diary? You want to read my private thoughts? I just used to rant in them… Apparently I have naturally very good insights into group dynamics! What a nice, tactful way to say I’m a grumpy bitch!

But… The day she pinned me… End of term and seating arranged so you can see every other person in the room… Pieces of paper passed around. Write a note for every person in the class saying what you like about them. I was in no mood to play… I’d chuck the excuse that I was too tired from working the previous night and offer to do it at home. Nope! She wanted them, there and then. Seriously Karen! You write pages in your diary, this is easy! I think to myself, yeah… I write pages because I’m usually pretty stoned when I write that shit… I’m straight AF right now and tired… Instead I just stared back at her with my losing the will to live face…

She offers a compromise. One word! Just write one word for each person!

Oh! Fuck! Now the exercise has become mind-bendingly hard! How do you capture the essence of a person in just one solitary word? I looked around the room and words came… One word each. Notes are swapped and I have a batch of lengthy praises… Blimey, these people sure do know how to comply with authority… Nice was ordered and niceities were received. All unsigned as instructed as they were supposed to be anonymous… Now I’m very, what’s the antonym of anonymous? Ananonymous? Onymous? Obvious! NAKED! Blatantly exposed by singular words… All eyes on me… They glance at each other, at their scrap of paper, at each other and back to me… Finally one of them speaks…

Yellow? Why am I yellow? I’m not yellow!

Yellow? Yes, because every time I think of you I see yellow, yellow like the sun and smiles and I think of warm days and sandy beaches, yellow… you make me feel like Summer is here. Summer every time I see you!

So then I have to read the whole room… Oh fuck… I’m still tired and thinking if only I knew how to write on demand, I’d be heading to bed by now…

Writing in type… Why is that easy? Oh because initially it’s private… You stow away your files and people can’t out your weirdness… They can’t snoop through things hidden away..

Making the move to typing into public… Another trick… On a friend’s advice – Just start your page with Dear X, write as though you’re writing to me and then finish by deleting the Dear X. I still kind of write like that… Not necessarily to Dear X, but certainly in the vein of dance like no one is watching… My words are Wrote like no-one is reading…

Working on the D. O. I’ve shifted to paper. I don’t have the privacy issues these days as everyone in the house knows better than to touch anything on my desk… I say everyone, I mean people… Cats cross my desk, Woody knocks things off… Tommy Ten Sheds skulks across as he seems to be convinced that I’m hiding something very interesting in the gap between my desk and the cupboard… As for Fat Eric…well, nothing is complete until he’s arse kissed and crumpled my page…

Writing on paper is a very different affair… Typing, I never know what I’m going to write, it just spills out… Pen to page… It can sit and sit… Trying to write doesn’t make things move any faster… Staying in the chair gets things done… Today I complete the 7th out of 22 poems to accompany the D. O. This workspot I sit in has strange hypnagogic qualities… I drift in and out of dreams… I write words… I cross those out… I nod… I wake and find words to rearrange… I nod drifting back and forth between here and there, slip sliding in and out of this world to that world… Narcolepsy and Notepads… Words appear..

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