Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Tiger

“I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes...”
I met her in London, she's new in the city and she was down for the night. When travelling to the city people tend to just aim for the bushes. I hadn't read the script but London beckoned, songs about misogyny written by American rap artists. I took a leap of faith, waited for the train and headed for Leicester Square! I would have liked to have prepared something symbolic, instead I ended up at that American restaurant. I have always wanted to assemble a flash mob together in a public place to perform a random sequence. A few years ago I participated in a re-imagining of Mary Shelley's masterpiece, Frankenstein. In a unique take on audience participation, thousands were invited to attend Frankenstein's Wedding in their best outfits and play the role of wedding guests. I really enjoyed the event at Kirkstall Abbey but would prefer the Grand Central Station sequence in Friends with Benefits (2011). Closing time, you didn't have to go home but you could have stayed at mine!

I met her in Leeds, she came from the South she had a first for knowledge. I travel to the city every weekend and aim for the night life. There's no closed doors and I'm always on that okey dokey! That evening I attended the Apollonia showcase, I had been anticipating the night for a while and wasn't disappointed. Apollonia is the project collaboration of Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky, three of Paris underground's hottest exports. The night exceeded expectations, the highlight was when Dyed Soundorom played the track that we know only through the vocal sample. The night changed direction when she messaged! I wasn't sure what to expect, especially knowing that she doesn't approve of the creatures of the night. She came to the house where I was staying and we spoke briefly. People are so eager for the inside story though and the circus in the basement became a distraction. Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chasing Balloons

“Nights ends so much quicker than the days did.
Same clothes, you aren't ready for your day shift.”
I travelled to Leeds at the weekend, hoping the city would provide a distraction. I spend so much time on the move, passing through transitory space, travelling between cities and places. It would be impossible to undertake the routine practices of my life without public transport, telecommunications and mobile applications. The world consists of a complicated series of events and the connections alternate, overlap or combine and thereby determine our sense of place. I had a busy schedule. Intending to avoid the bright lights and fly like paper, get high like planes. Twelve months ago it was a different story. I was struggling with my emotions, deadlines and paper cuts. I wasted the good surprise! I wasn't folding planes this year, I was folding pages and trying to find the questions. I hadn't spoken to the-one-that-broke-the-curse in a few days but I expected to hear her voice at some point over the weekend.

I won't ever understand why people upload unnecessary photos. A moment on your lips, forever on your Facebook profile! Although it makes a change to be featured because I usually avoid the photojournalists. I rarely attend student nights but it was my friend's birthday and we had an area reserved. It was a good night, everyone had so much enthusiasm! The night ended early, but so did my resilience and I lost my page again. 

I hate sending those text messages, obviously motivated by impaired judgement through alcohol consumption. Fortunately the response I received was positive so I was spared any embarrassment. There's a chapter in The Great Gatsby (1925) that I have thought about in depth recently. The scene where Jay Gatsby has a greenhouse brought to Nick Carraway's house in preparation for the arrival of Daisy Buchanan. I have always thought that these grand gestures are appreciated but I'm not sure they are any more. I still remember the email that everyone received after last year's showcase!

The following nights merged into each other but I remember coming up to breathe before diving back into the music. On Friday I arrived at the club with some Valentine's Day balloons that had been acquired from a restaurant. These proved to be a popular choice but they were a distraction so I decided to give mine away. The aftermath provided the usual exemplary performances. The talking points focused on someone's choice of clothing and a friendship that appears to have taken the scenic route. Birthday proceedings resumed that evening and while everyone looked stunning and fresh I was struggling to keep pace. During the night I was even asked whether I wanted to get on someone's shoulders! I refused because the girl was clearly not considering our difference in size. The after party continued on to the afternoon before everyone headed home. I was played out that weekend by an interesting phone call with several friends. Ain't nobody got time for that...
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Day in the Life

I envy those that don't stray too far from the path. The people that can hide their emotions and abandon everything without looking back even once. Too often I have been secluded by the isolation of being on the outside looking in. But at the same time I'll always take a leap of faith. I would rather believe in something intangible or unproven, than become an old man, filled with regret... I travelled to Leeds at the weekend. I have made the journey many times in the last few months and there's no chance I'll wake up on the wrong side of any bed. I was physically present throughout, but mentally absent due to being preoccupied with my wandering thoughts. I saw her face again, oh boy, but unfortunately I didn't make the grade. I was reminded of twenty-eight but there are no words to describe the depth of indifference. Walking through the streets I encountered an expression etched across a familiar face that could easily have been my reflection. I chased shadows for much of the weekend and when it was time to leave I doubt anyone even noticed. Most people forget the first two rules of Fight Club but I was greeted with a different interpretation. The more you beat yourself up, the harder it becomes to find the answers and move on...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Empire State of Living Under Influence

I have been told on numerous occasions that I should start writing again. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been a while since my last confession blog post and a lot has happened since then! These are my sins...

Firstly where to begin? That's usually the hardest part, but the start was essentially the beginning of the end of another chapter. In 2010, I became disenchanted by London and pouring myself a cup of ambition wasn't fulfilling. I met someone around this time and decided to travel to university with her and start an undergraduate course. The pursuit of knowledge leads to many places and Leeds appeared on the horizon. Moving to another city provides many challenges and opportunities. Learning another culture, discovering new places and new habits. The first year at university wasn't easy, and settling in was difficult with so many distractions. Freshers Week will be remembered for the wrong reasons but it made my relationship stronger. At least that's what I thought at the time!

Previously I wrote about travelling to Ibiza to work there with my partner and several friends. I expected so much from the experience because Ibiza is a spiritual island but I returned early with a burden bearing down on my shoulders. When we first arrived at the airport there was so much anticipation. Ibiza. Billboards, palm trees, clubs on the beach and everything makes you wonder. Then within a month it felt overwhelming. And in that moment, I swear we were finite. The hourglass measuring our time together had been influenced. You have to play the best game you can with the cards that you're dealt. I focused on university assignments, spending longer in the library as a distraction. This only widened the divide and I began to neglect feelings and responsibilities. Then I dismissed what was important and became immersed in the music scene.

Reckless is fun when you're not the one that gets hurt. I broke her heart and then questioned how “[she] could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once.” The quote is from Yann Martel's Life of Pi (2001) and it's one that has resonated with me in regards to the pain. We shared so many memories over the three years, both in London and in Leeds. There are ways of mediating space and we made a home in the routine passages of life, producing our own version of the city. I still see her everywhere, the language written through the streets and read out as if aloud but only I can locate the landmarks. I composed our image on the city and now all that remains are memories. I pursued her for months, but there was no reconciliation. 

I finished University with First Class Honours and Joint Winner of the Alan McGregor Prize for Exceptional Contribution to the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities. I also had my dissertation published with Lambert Academic Publishing titled 'A Critical Analysis of Facebook as a Method of Manipulating Consent'. I dedicated the publication to our time together but everything paled in comparison to how much I loved her. It wasn't the ending I had envisioned for university. I watched her graduation from a lecture theatre although it wasn't the same as being there to celebrate her achievement. Even though it's not much of a consolation I hoped she would at least want to be photographed beside me that afternoon but she wasn't interested. The night before my graduation ceremony we had an argument and her words were devastating. I wept like a child. I had never experienced that side of her before and I felt betrayed. I managed to hold it together during the ceremony but when she approached outside the Great Hall I couldn't control my emotions and I fell to pieces. I'll always regret not having my photograph taken with her that day!