I’m scared of the words in my notebooks. They seem, at times, to adopt the mannerisms of someone so alien, to me, that they may as well be the thoughts of another creature – the difference is almost visible. My own handwriting is a fairly neat affair, curving lines which often fails to join together; every other letter stands alone, aloof, whilst its partners crowd together in the old familiar style. My hand writing is like that of a child, only recently introduced to conjoining letter; new to the idea that the pen need not leave the paper in the midst of a word.
When the distance comes upon me, the unfamiliar nausea – for lack of a better word and as a weak tribute to those who went before – my handwriting warps into a scribbled, untidy, slanting affair. It is written like the footsteps of a deserter, like a horror movie heroine fleeing some implacable evil. They are panicked and rushed, as though my hand understands the passage of time; as though my other self is given some private knowledge of my future and my affairs, and writes in a fashion to counteract that eventual misfortune.
The language too changes – where I make idle commentary, the other hand records the minutiae. I wake from the distance to discover that these white-pale hands have recorded scraps of conversation, counted the chairs and the tables in every room, recorded the names of the books which cling to the shelves. He, It, loves the immediacy, whilst I attempt to plot out the future. I am, perhaps, the narrative, and he is the method.
I think it has something to do with my illnesses – I think it has something to do with the disregard I have for my own body, for my own health. I gorge myself on the same sugar that will kill me, in the end – I seek out alcohol that I dislike the taste of, as though I can punish my body, beat it into inebriation and passivity.
There is a paragraph, which I am reading as I write this: it reads –
Existentialism is a physically debilitating illness, and yet it works to liberate the mind from the established concepts of modern society – contemporary existentialism is not prized, because it is an impossibility. Surely, with all our entertainment, we can find something to appreciate? Surely such undeniable, undoubtable misery is impossible in the face of the distractions of contemporary life?
The other me wrote that; the ‘me’ that takes pleasure in illicit motions, the me that stares out of a window, or at a computer screen, and thinks of a thousand other things whilst my fingers move across a keyboard, or fondles blindly at the screen of a mobile phone.
I think he traces these same thoughts that I do, but traces them in different shapes – follows their trails out into foreign wastelands and gardens, as I haunt city streets and fields. I think that I need to take better care of myself – Beat literature and poetry s all well and good as an abstract, but when one takes the personal loathing to new levels, they self-destruct.
I am not even 23, and I wear a denture, and I am only kept alive by a series of injections every day – logic has no place against the self-destructiveness of me, and him.