Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Are you still banging on about this, Fish?

They tell you men just want sex and women just want love. They're full of shit. When I've been on my knees crying my eyes out in hotel rooms, it wasn't because I fancied a quick screw. It's because I hate sleeping alone. Still do. That's why I'm still up now, typing these words at almost one in the morning, anything to delay that awful moment of going to bed on my own and giving in to that crushing sense that there is no-one. If you sleep alone in a house with other people, you have the consolation of knowing that there's somebody in the next room that you know, and that, if you had to, you could see them and talk to them and make the bad feelings go away. And most of the time you don't, of course, because it's bad manners to rob people of sleep just so you can unburden yourself of your problems. But the potential is there. Hotel rooms rob you of this, in the most mocking way: there are hundreds of rooms, and there are people in them, loads of people: but they're total strangers, and so are you. You're a stranger among strangers, and the only people who talk to you are those who are paid to do so, and they secretly despise you anyway.

This isn't as bad as all that, because I know this house. Hell, I should do: I've lived in it for more than five years. But there's a weirdness to it, a sense that it doesn't belong to me anymore. It's a stranger now, too.

But I've written more. I've worked on new poems. I've been tidying up work-in-progress. I've submitted work to magazines again for the first time in ages. I'm blogging furiously. I think since the divorce became a reality, since I got back to sleeping on my own again, I've probably written more, in terms of word count, than I managed in the whole of last year. Obviously an awful lot of this has been crap, but if you write more in general then the tiny fraction of your work that is any good will usually be bigger too.

So it looks like solitude is good for my writing. Being alone forces me to think about things, I try and grapple these thoughts into some kind of shape using language, every now and again this results in something good enough to publish or perform. I may hate the solitude, I may hate feeling cut off from the rest of humanity, I might sob late into the night, desperate for the consolation of another human body in my bed, but the fact is the solitude works.

Maybe the price of a productive artistic life is the knowledge that, no matter what you do, no matter what you achieve, every single time you go to bed you go to bed unhappy. That's how it is for me, anyway.

Night night.

No comments:

Post a Comment