I have no idea if the final word in the title already exists. Surprisingly for one so prone to going off on writing-avoidance tangents I haven’t tried to Google it. It’s irrelevant. Whether I’ve coined it or not, it is who I feel I’m being right now.
I seem to recall a time when reading was something I did after completing a set amount of writing. Too often these days it’s the other way around and so in the last twenty four hours I’ve taken drastic action.
About ten or so years ago I decided to give up smoking. I’m not sure of exact numbers but maybe three of us (my wife and at least one bandmate/housemate/friend) made a pact to give up smoking as a New Year’s resolution. Our method was simple. Smoke as much as humanly possible on New Year’s Eve. The idea being that on New Year’s Day we couldn’t face another cigarette.
Oddly, apart from the occasional minor lapse in the early years, it worked.
Essentially I used the same tactic with reading. I’ve caught up on every story on my reading/critiquing list for Literally Stories, I completed a couple of other shorts that needed revisiting and even survived late night kindiac arrest* in completing Stephen King’s Under The Dome.
* kindiac arrest is the minor heart attack you suffer when you fall asleep while holding a kindle only to wake up feeling like both you and your e-reader are plummeting to the ground.
Right now I really don’t feel like reading anything at all. Which would explain the whole writing-stuff-down-in-a-telling-you-all-about-it-kind-of-a-way thing that’s going on.
I predict my lapses will be more regular and more pronounced than those that followed the end of my smoking years but at least it’s kicked me into gear for now.
After I bore you for a little longer with some random waffling I’ve got a date with a fairly forthright fantasy fellow I’ve called Aloren Rend who was last imagined walking up a hill of bloodstained cobbles.
For those of you in sync with the title you may be wondering what my out of sync part refers to. Who am I kidding? You’ve just scrolled up to check the title which you forgot after line one. It’s ok, I couldn’t remember it myself.
I was in Joburg for a couple of days this week. It’s the first time I’ve been back for (I guess) three years and I had a profound sense of dislocation. Everything looked pretty much the same but I was somehow out of sync. A bit like visiting your old school a month after you leave I suppose.
It left me feeling quite sad.
The thing is, I didn’t leave Joburg because I hated it – quite the opposite. We had a great life in Joburg. A nice house with a huge garden. Good friends and family close by. I was even playing a decent standard of golf. My wife was born in Joburg. We got married in Joburg. We lived in a house almost directly opposite where she grew up. It was my entry point to South Africa and is a time I look back on with happiness. So to go back and feel somehow disconnected was quite hard to accept – especially as I went through something similar last year during our family trip back to the UK.
A well centred and positive person would focus solely on the flip side of the coin – the sense of belonging I have in Cape Town and the belief that we made the right move as a family. But hey. I’m too old to start being upbeat on a whim.
It’s not all doom and gloom. I had a great time catching up with my brother in law and in revisiting an old favourite Portuguese hangout with some excellent company in tow. I even managed to squeeze in a long overdue breakfast with a very dear friend. There’s something magical about spending time with people you haven’t seen for a very long time and yet it’s immediately comfortable. Conversations pick up as if they’d been dropped a couple of hours prior rather than a couple of years.
What it did make me realise is how rarely I do anything similar here in Cape Town. Life is always too busy, routines are too set and days become weeks become months.
What it also made me realise is that not going for dinners, drinks and breakfasts with friends is perfectly fine…as long as it’s because I’m sitting here being productive. If I’m missing out on this stuff just so I can waste hours coming up with justifications not to write, then I’m an idiot*
(*a larger one than we thought)
Right. Now leave me alone. I’ve got stories to tell.