Saturday, 16 June 2018

Saturday

My day began and ended with friends, with a long section in the middle spent doing nothing much but enjoying the hell out of hanging out with Lenny.

I had almost no sleep last night and I'm completely wrecked now, but the day has gone smoothly and well and I have enjoyed it very much. And I appreciate that it has been the people I spent it with that made it a good day. This is how it's been for a while, on weekends in particular; I need the help of my friends to be cheerful and I am in fact so thoroughly dependent on this help that I don't even feel bad about it. I can see, and I'm deeply grateful for, the significant investments of time and effort I am requiring from them, but at the same time, it's just that, a requirement. I am needing this specific kind of help and support. I'll repay it all with pleasure when I am able. But for now, I can't do without it and I can't do it for myself. 

I went to the bakery for breakfast and spent a very nice couple of hours there soaking up the waves of human excellence emanating from V, who has had a big birthday, her partner S who has been overseas for a long time, and several of their friends. Then I went home, left my bike, and took a tram into the city where I got Lenny from where he was with his father and I took him to work with me. I had to do a couple of things that could not wait or be done at home. Leonard sat next to me and drew a picture and at a mandarine and drank a glass of milk. He was mightily thrilled by all this, so much so that I will try to find a suitable day to bring him in to work with me during the school holidays. Just between us, I don't intend to ask permission in advance. I'll just bring him in and see what happens.



If you don't work here I guess you wouldn't recognise how very unusual-looking is this dispersal of people across the forecourt. It turned out that the pokemon-hunting craze is on again. Once I learned this I understood why several sites in the city had been heaving with people as I passed them.

Then I took Len to the NGV. He wanted to go there. This is a model of Nicholson St Brunswick East one year from now which I constructed out of blocks in the lame-o children's gallery they've set up to reinforce to kids that New York is an infinitley more interesting and significant city than the irrelevant one in which they live and walk and play right now.






By now, these days I spend with Len have a very familiar feel to them. We check out one or tow cultural institutions, we do a bit of shopping, we roam around in some hidden corners of the city, and we eat lunch in a Japanese cafe in Swanston St. Len felt the need for a little lie down on the windowsill of the Telstra building and I was glad to oblige.


I bought him a pair of fluffy gloves that he asked me if he could have.


I took Len home then set off again, this time to K's milestone birthday dinner with her really lovely crew of friends - all women - at a kind of nice pub in North Melbourne. Getting off the Elizabeth St tram I looked at an apartment building on the other side of the road and thought, like I often do when I see a lighted window and glimpses of somebody's home, how much I would like to live in there or a place exactly like there.

  


Pub toilet.

Home by 10:30, now fighting off sleep, long enough I hope to be able to get out of bed and brush my teeth.


Friday, 15 June 2018

gloved

James Bradley writes so beautifully. The best thing I did today was read this post and the related essays of his that he's linked to, at his blog City of Tongues. I think you would appreciate them. I had not seen any of these essays before, despite having valued his novels since Wrack and having very much enjoyed his occasional blogging since he began to do it.

I have been thinking a little bit recently about the problems that are usually present, in my observation at least, in memoir-ish writing about episodes or experiences of inner disruption, and I guess I'd thought these problems were here to stay, partly because of the modalities of autobiographical writing that appear to be available to practitioners of the form working now. But I am inclined to revise that opinion now. James has written about it all with such clarity and care, and with a truly wonderful capacity to move between active if dispassionate reflection and gently allowing his narrative to be carried by the form of the experiences he describes. I had spent some time in the middle of the night before minutely reading and re-reading Virginia Woolf's 1925 essay 'The Patron and the Crocus' and thinking about what she says a writer needs to know, and do, to produce good writing - to know for whom one is writing - and James's essays resonate with Woolf's and also, in their purposefulness, demonstrate the truth of her claim.  

I took a shower earlier in the evening. I was indulging my wonderful hobby of washing my hair extremely well, and I was singing along with a new record that I'm hugely enjoying, by a woman who I've been acquainted with for many years and who I feel very connected to, and who seems as though she may be able with this record, quite different in kind to her previous work, to make the breakthrough to a more mainstream kind of success; lucky mainstream, if that happens, she's more than it deserves, but when artists work so hard and give up so much for their creative work nothing is better than seeing the strain disappear from their faces when they finally earn some money. So I hope it works out for her. And as I said I was singing along. And I stopped thinking about the feelings and ideas lifting and blooming in the music and I began to think about myself. I thought, I have had a really shit couple of years. Emotionally, in terms of identity, in imagining my future, it's been a walk on perpetually and unpredictably shifting sands. And I want this to stop. So OK, one of Lenny's adorable little friends did say to me in the park last week, oh your hair is all grey already, but snide remarks from shitty little seven year olds aside, you know, I feel pretty able at this juncture in my life. When I don't have to walk on the shifting sands any more, I will be able to put the energy and the mind and the determination to work in much better and more satisfying ways. And this is what I thought, listening to someone else's creative work; I thought about myself and whether I can make a life for myself where I too will be able to stretch myself in those ways. You know, I think I can. I will have to get through the weekend first, however.

All right. Well, some pictures from today.

just thought I should give my bike some love, I know I mention it quite a lot but I don't give it many chances to just show itself to the world, as it is, without me sitting on it or falling off it
  

Could not help myself

Did not purchase


Dinner was Lentil Crisps, which are a sort of cross between poppadums and polystyrene packing fill, with silken tofu, vegan pesto and sauerkraut. And a G&T. I ate too much today. In seperate incidents, two different people at work gave me Cherry Ripes. I have been quite appreciatively reading this book called Anzac Memories, by Alistair Thomson. The awful-sounding name is interesting - the book is literally a study of how three Melbourne men constructed their recollections of their First World War, the stories they told others and themselves, the intersections of their memories with narratives circulating in the public domain. It's such an interesting project but it also has the quality of an academic book that has compensated for its innate adventurousness with a lot of very plodding laying-out of the assumptions. It's a little sad that a book about the plasticity of memory should itself be so stiff.


My white woolen jumper suddenly exhibited all these little holes - I found six. If it's moths it's a weird and disturbing new kind of moth that can do all this damage with speed and stealth. The jumper has been worn and washed at least weekly since April. Then yesterday I got it off the drying rack and all these punctures. I darned it.


The darns are visible but not overly so I hope. I don't like throwing clothes out unless its absolutely necessary. This jumper is very plain and simple - I got it from Uniqlo four years ago for $30 - but I really like it


Vinnie is horrible, this is his arse



Thursday, 14 June 2018

the forceps to the stone

6:48am, Swanston St, I dropped my shopping on the floor


Coffee here this morning, just like every workday morning. The word I find that I have for this interlude is 'reassuring'. I suppose this is because it would be highly unreassuring to pull up outside the Arts Centre one morning and find nothing there but the blurry greyness of a hole in reality. One day soon when I am feeling more myself I will write you 4000 words about what I have found out about Melbourne over the course of the eighteen months of ten minutes five times a week, between 7 and 7:25am, which I have invested in looking at this place. Oh, it will blow the top of your skull right off, you will see.


Comfort food for lunch: thinly sliced raw vegetables, tofu, vegan mayonnaise, walnuts and a serious fucking shitload of kimchi
I snapped this then rode across the intersection and on the other side I encountered two very dear people. It was very, very great to see them! I am intrigued that they are not actually in this picture and I hope the fact that they are not isn't proof that I hallucinated them, although the details I remember of the quest that they said, in conspiratorial tones, they were about to embark upon, being to find and buy the last 450g of rye flour in the northern suburbs, possess a reality-effect which I recognise as being very much beyond my powers of invention. 


After saying goodbye I got back on my bike but had to get off again almost immediately to photograph this glove. Two riders behind me crashed inelegantly into each other when I stopped, and you know what, they deserved all the crashing and more because they were both attempting to pass me on the left at the time. FOOLS. The two men sitting on the planter are playing soccer games on their phones but when the crashing occurred they had a good old laugh. I myself did not have the presence of mind to laugh then & there but I was so pleased and grateful that they did.


I once had a pair of black satin gloves with fake fur trim, I made them myself. Because of Doctor Zhivago. 


This man has been videoing a small group of bunches of flowers which people have placed in Princes Park today, near where a different man had left the body of a young woman whom he had murdered. I read in the news this evening that her name was Eurydice Dixon and she was twenty-two years old.

No words.


Second bad flat inside of a month. I know why. It's the fucking unpicturesque heritage bluestones infesting the streets

Shudder


right now, right here in bed, no filter, no makeup, no masks - just - whatever this is, this 'person'. I will never understand it. It's only this body I live in; I take it everywhere I go, I waste immensities of time on placating it, I have to whether I wish to or not! I see all the things, I try to make some sort of connections between and therefore sense of them, but all of that sensemaking is the purest and most arbitrary effort of will. Nothing links anything but the accident that the mind lives inside a bag of skin and bones and has to be toted about in this undignified carapace from one time & place to the next. I failed first year philosophy by the way. But it deserved to be failed at.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Can't

I will mostly stick to posting pictures for the time being. I do not currently know how to write a sentence, even one about Barnaby Joyce, that isn't going to wind up including the phrase, at one end or the other, if not in the middle, 'I feel so bad' or some variant thereof. (See what I mean?) And I don't want to write that and nobody wants to read it. The problem derives from thinking, an activity I have decided ought to be avoided at all costs. Pictures are altogether a better idea under the circumstances. 
Help me coffee & bagels you're my only hope.
Someone left this inside the Shrine on Anzac Day. I don't know what to do with it. I don't want it