Sunday, May 07, 2006

Gym Nasties


So yesterday what I really wanted to do was go home and write and instead I went out and got a sore head instead. I ended up guzzling a gin and tonic as I listened to Lise go on about family pressure for marriage, babies etc. And all the while her words were pushing me further into myself. While she is in a relationship and balks at all the ensuing baggage, I’m not but wanted all that. When I think how different my situation was last year...

I’m still having my ‘violence’ dreams, but the boat and family part have disappeared. Meg is in them more and more now. Does that mean that my subconscious has accepted her? But what am I accepting? Have I erased nine years of my life and made it all bad? I don’t know. I guess there is one side of me that wants to learn from all this, but the creative side is feeding so greedily on all this too.

But since Anne has suggested I do a rewrite and go up to 10,000 words I haven’t sat in front of my computer. She has asked me to read some of her stuff. She writes both prose and poetry, but poetry makes me feel so impotent. I couldn’t identify an iambic pentameter from a Haiku and this is what my English Literature education didn’t teach me! Maybe I should just ignore the fear; start with ‘The Things You Took Away’, that always felt like it should be a poem.

Later the same day...

‘I love Paris in the springtime; I love Paris in the fall...’ I’m imagining that Negresse Vertes song, but seriously what I love about this city is that you are constantly seeing it through someone else’s eyes. Just now the photographer with his tripod set up. What was he looking at? I look left and there is Invalides bathed in golden lights in the late evening dusk. That reminds me to look left at Avenue S... and see the Eiffel Tower casting its searchlight over Paris in wide sweeps. And when I get off the metro on the other side of Paris, all I will see is the tip of its beam swinging over my head. And that’s why I love it because everyday one way or another, I am reminded (one way or another) that this is a city that people dream to be in, long to be in, but also a city that people live in; from the Polish electrician to the Parisian magician with a strange North London English accent.


So where do I start? Well Friday came home and sat in front of the computer. It was probably not a good move as I had just read some of Anne’s stuff and what I was writing was the shit I used to come out with when I was 16, 17, 18. In any case due to e mail and temporary files and me saying no at the wrong time I lost the writing. But in the end it’s probably for the best. Five thousand words poured out but it’s now time for the hard slog. Where do the words go, where do the lines go, where does the story go?

So then yesterday... The gym... Oh dear God. There were women everywhere. There were three in particular with their perfect kits and their perfect bodies and all of a sudden the horror of being that clumsy uncoordinated teenager in PE came flooding back. But where did this fear come from? Was it just that I was never proud of my body? I don’t get it though. Apart from a period when I was 16, 17 when I was pretty overweight, I’ve been alright. My weight constantly yo-yos but at the moment I’m OK, but I still want to tone, nip and tuck and yet I’ve never really thought that I paid attention to my body or been concerned about looks in the way other women are. But somehow that situation of the giggling gaggle of women brought out all my self-consciousness and lack of self-confidence. So let’s go back to that situation and look at it from afar.

These girls needed to prop each other up by going together, that indicates a certain lack of self-confidence. Then the showering ritual: the girls were quick, super quick. But these are serious hard-ass power showers which give you a pounding and they’re hot. Fantastic hey! I spend ages under them. Then the contortionist act of getting dressed with towels and t-shirts arranged in such a way to show as little as possible while the dry clothes are slipped onto damp bodies. But I haven’t changed my dressing ritual at all; dry, deodorant, moisturise, dress. What’s the big deal? We all have tits, butts and fannies and there is cellulite and wobbles. But I think in the end don’t go to the Gym on a Saturday again!

Went to see Belle & Sebastian last night. Things I learnt there:
1) Well they’re Scottish. I’m sure I heard them on the Mark Radcliffe show and I didn’t pick up on that. Maybe I’m mixing them up with another band.
2) People look fantastic on stage. They wandered into the bar we were having a drink in after the show and they all looked rather geeky. But on stage Stevie looked rather dapper and slightly eccentric in a kind of Buddy Holly way and Stuart (I noticed) had a rather fit bod. Oh but I did think they looked rather gay whereas they turned up at the bar attached to women.
So 3) my gaydar has been completely screwed up by singledom in Paris. Obviously to keep a well-tuned machine a relationship is necessary.

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