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attenuated tones of violins - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
attenuated tones of violins
The voice returns like the insistent out-of-tune
Of a broken violin on an August afternoon

I had intended to lurk in a corner and read during the break at orchestra, but one of the longest-standing members of the orchestra was leaving and had brought sherry and nibbles for the break -- a nice change from the usual murky tea/coffee (which is it? who knows?) and generic biscuits -- and it seemed churlish to partake of the food and not hover for the conversation, for I think I must call it conversation, even though.

I suspect only half my mind was engaged in the exercise, though; the other half was (as it has been for most of this past week) wandering around somewhere in the windswept darkness, kicking its way through the heaps of fallen leaves. The cold dry air knifes some life into me.

Sometimes I wake up feeling as though I've been walking around all night. Sometimes I spend the first half of the day feeling as though part of me is still walking, the way you walk when you're exhausted and the only thing that's keeping you going is the built-up momentum of putting one foot in front of another. Other times I spend the second half of the day like that as well. I wish I remembered dreams of endless corridors, because that might make sense of the feeling, but I don't; I remember predictable anxiety dreams of tutorials on unremembered work and exams in unrecognisable languages, and I remember wild and gaudy feverish dreams with intricately tangled threads.

I went to Tesco after orchestra instead of going to the pub; it suited my frame of mind far better. There are times when I need to be in places that people go through, rather than places where people go: late-night supermarkets, and motorway service stations, and train stations, and even trains themselves. The people in these places always have that look of being there almost by accident, stumbling around in their own grey haze under the fluorescent lights. They are only half-present; they barely even ripple the surface of the reality on which they are floating. They do not disturb me.

Sometimes I feel that all the supermarket sells is words. That all anybody sells is metaphors. Selling language by the pound. So I walk past bistro-style and crunchy and quick-cook and fun-size and finest and deluxe, and I pick a few words off the shelves and buy them. I buy some fresh, and some healthy, and some golden; I deliberate between traditional-style and new improved but eventually plump for the former. I even treat myself to some finest, but feel guilty afterwards.

The lights in the supermarket never quite become part of the scenery; they can't quite help flickering, tugging at my sleeve like a child angling for a chocolate bar. They stop my mind from wandering. I couldn't fix them even if I wanted to; but I'm glad of their visual equivalent of background noise. They're like the gentle whirr of the computer I'm sitting at now, like a constant exhaled breath.

I remember, when I try, to breathe. In, out. This is life. This is the only one you get.

Current Mood: breathing

Read 7 | Write
nou From: nou Date: October 22nd, 2003 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate breaks. I never know what to do in them.

I've missed more than one London.pm tech meet because I don't want to have to endure The Break.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 24th, 2003 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I find reading is a good way of indicating "I don't want to be disturbed" without having to be actively rude to people to make them go away.

Failing that, if I want to be alone I just wander off. People tend to just assume you've gone to the loo if you just wander off, especially if you mutter "I'm just going to..." and let it trail off at the end.

Not that I'm practised at avoiding people or anything, oh no. :-)
marnameow From: marnameow Date: October 22nd, 2003 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want to be able to write the way you can. There are links and movements and details and flow and it all works, and I can never do that outside my head.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 24th, 2003 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's really hard to say "I'm flattered" in a way that doesn't sound sarky, or maybe that's just me, but I am, and not in a sarky way. If you see what I.

[waves hands awkwardly]

I think what I wanted to say was "thanks". :-)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: October 23rd, 2003 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn, but you're eloquent, and make me wish I had something more shaped to say in return.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 24th, 2003 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
*double blush*

Thank you! From a real live author that's a jolly big compliment... *hugs*

(And it's very tactful of you to resist making the point that my eloquence doesn't quite seem to extend to replying to emails reliably... [looks sheepish])
j4 From: j4 Date: October 25th, 2003 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)
*double blush*

Thank you! From a real live author that's a jolly big compliment... *hugs*

(And it's very tactful of you to resist making the point that my eloquence doesn't quite seem to extend to replying to emails reliably... [looks sheepish])
Read 7 | Write