I feel so much more positive today. In control, content, not quite content or happy or satisfied, but accepting of the present state, knowing that I can’t change it at the moment, so I just have to tolerate it. Not accept it completely or absolutely. I’m not thinking about work when I don’t have to. Today was supposed to be an at home, consolidating, tidying day. I want to say plainlining, or do I? Perhaps not. Simplifying. Earlier I thought about saying sanguine. Instead I’m here. I went to the river, and placed a new text piece. It is a bit disappointing that they don’t last long, I don’t know who takes them down, I feel it might be one person or a small team of patrol type people who don’t like them. A print roller would help with the application, and make them smooth. I might have one somewhere. I could make them smaller, and use full paragraphs. I don’t need to over think or over complicate it though, just do it in a measured, regulated way.
I didn’t intend to come here, I was going to go to Cannon Street, but was accosted by someone I’ve only known before in an online context, through a now-discontinued gentlemen’s contact website. A not unpleasant encounter, although a little strange. Numbers were exchanged. He was not what I expected, although I wasn’t expecting to be accosted at all. He has an address in the rough end of the city, and seems pleasant.
I feel ready to go home soon, slightly dejected, slightly failing. I could go via the Cannon Street outlet, but the district line is under aestivation at present, and going there would be acknowledging surrender to the rest of the day, wasting an hour or two of time that could still be salvaged and made productive.
It is sunny outside so it doesn’t feel as late as it is. The time is out of joint.
127. Tuesday afternoon. Feeling marginal, wretched, purploseless.
There was a work social function last evening at a rooftop bar in Waterloo, reached via multiple flights of concrete stairs and vibrantly painted walls, as if we were going to an illegal rave in a car park. The setting was rudimentary and beautiful, a brightly coloured skyline worthy of film opening titles, tall buildings, and a whole subculture of rooftop event spaces stretching along the building. The huge edifice of the railway terminus opposite provided contextual backdrop, reminding me that trains used to leave for the continent, connecting us to a bigger world, to other cultures. Before going in to the rave, I walked around the local streets tucked behind the station, a tiny village community of pubs, cafes, delis. The locale was reminiscent of Ealing films, a quintessentially English communities. There is also a network of access roads and tunnels threading beneath the station, and stories of other subterranean parts, inaccessible to all but the most determined urbex people. I’m not agile enough to do that sort of infiltration. I prefer to stay in the open.
I briefly allowed myself to dream of living there, scooting over a bridge and along the embankment to work. I know it’s a forlorn hope, but I could wait for a top floor of a municipal concrete building to become available as a guardian space, maybe with an old mechanical goods lift. Even a long corridor would be good, if it had large windows and access to a roof space. A butler sink and hot water supply, that’s all I need.
The Improved Industrial Dwellings building used in O Lucky Man with the huge Electrolux fridge on the roof would be good too, with views of the busy railway lines. I may watch that film again soon. It is a shame the South Bank is no longer industrial in character. The wharves in Bermondsey where Derek Jarman lived would have been perfect too. Gentrification destroys everything in the end.
The problem last evening was to do with people. I could have existed quite happily just observing within a safety bubble, in the company of my own thoughts. Instead I was with people. Noisy pretentious people, arrogant self important people, work people, boring people. Some of the work people are pleasant, nice, friendly. Some are just tiresome, fake and self serving. Work itself is a drain of energy, and so associating with people I only connect to work is similarly draining. I won’t give up my own time to be drained like that again. I don’t know if looking for other theatre jobs is a good idea, it might be better to just do what I currently do, whilst plotting an escape. I’m so disinterested in theatre and ticketing these days, it seems futile to pursue those paths now.
Today, and there’s a man juxtapositional who looks like Superhands from Peep Show, with another man who looks similar but at least 20 years older with a round pastry-like face, maybe they’re father and son, they could be the Langwiths of the Small Faces, who lived in South Woodford. They’re talking about the music business. The possible son has a soft voice.
I must try to go away next week, to places remote, to photograph on film, to write. I wonder about printing limited editions of blog writings with photography, in zine form, printed on Atlantis paper, to leave in places. There would have to be a means of finding out more, signing up, paying, etc. I’ll think about that.
I wonder if my feeling of rootlessness stems from the situation with my father, his house, my disconnection from the rest of the family, are really the symptoms of grief, even though no one has died yet. It feels like a tie has been cut from the past, leaving me alone in the present. I have less reason to remain in London. I’d like to think I belong here, but I’m not certain. The job isn’t holding me. I want to talk to James, it was a little manic last time, and he’s in Edinburgh now. He’s unpredictable at times, but contrarily, is one of the few constants for me. I still want to go somewhere else. A city with dereliction and rooftops. Glasgow?
A postscript: someone else who was at the social occasion referred to it as being surreal, and I understand what they mean. It felt like we weren’t in a real situation, we were on a film set, recreating a scene from collective of memories of how we think we used to live. We were all just playing characters. It’s a past way of life I don’t want any more. We need to find new lives.