I live suburban. My head is half-heated to cycles which have come to be known as ‘commuting’, traffic, I drink coffee because it is acceptable to ‘wake me up’ when really it is to mask the morning acuteness of unbrushed teeth. I slip up in some areas.
Yet 5 days out of 7 I manage to proceed to ‘my desk’. Touching really, how a piece of planed wood, computer and a monitor I had no role in arranging have come to be associated with me. After all, I live suburban – a society which thrives on associates. That’s the preferred title rather than ‘friends’. I was dissuaded from having ‘friends’ since primary school – the term is too slippery.
I suppose I am one who would be ascribed as ‘slipping through the net’. Like a salmon with its side skewered, no longer beautiful or a piece of nature, but a flailing piece of flesh with mucus spewing. That’s the reality, and I live suburban. I sit, streaming hayfever and heat and hormones into cheap tissue paper, bought by the boss in his edition of ‘care’. Sometimes I have nosebleeds and yet even the hot jammy pulses of red are not enough to make anyone notice.
After all, ‘notice’ is a strange thing. It’s handed out sometimes in a kind of condemnation, which sends people from the office quivering with upset, but I am sure is a small triumph. To be given ‘notice’, to be ‘sacked’ or ‘fired’ – they are a step-up from the typical monotony but they are still non-physical. I haven’t touched another human being for four weeks.
Reading is a kind of ‘reaching out’, yet only with the eyes. When I used to read paper books, there was also touch – I would trace over the lines – but now I opt for screens because it appears more ‘normalised’, unassuming. I live suburban.
Yet I feel guilty for reading. For in reading I am only consuming, sucking, sifting through the creativity of others. I attempt my own – during the accustomed lunch ‘break’ a literal gritty sweat breaks over my palms as I try to write. Yet my fingers on the keys are amateurish, knifing.
There is a guilt and feeling of abandonment I leave work at 5pm. Then what ensues is the fight between reading and writing – the questions of cycling and creation. Right now I could be reading the work of someone incredibly skilled. And are these then only outpourings, adding to the wasted minutes of the world?
I wonder if you can answer my question. Everything is and simultaneously isn’t a question and this hasn’t answered yours. Let’s be honest, a good portion of why your eyes lingered that slightly bit longer over text, over title was because you assumed something sexual by the word ‘pleasure’. Perhaps there is, a pleasure, but it runs l in a half-covered grime, like the gritty plaque coagulates at the bottom of teeth. I am in a perpetual state of morning. I have coffee, a keyboard, I wonder whether I even have questions anymore.
In reading am I losing myself.
In writing am I losing everyone else.