Monkey puzzle trees right, left and left left. A solitary weeping willow too. Arranged around the Eastgate/Quarryhill roundabout, which is now disused where once there were fountains and before that a Fina Garage. I am travelling back towards Wetherby on the 3rd of May and I am telling myself I need to visit Mind, the mental health charity, on Kirkstall Lane, and I must venture there soon.
This bus always takes the same forsaken route to get out of Leeds; with its bland ‘To Let’ bulldozed wastelands, low rise warehousing with its pulled down shutters and a Nissan flagship and another few dozen flurried showrooms which are so out of place in this cheap rent part of Leeds. Where the very nature itself springs from the roofs of too often forgotten Victoriana: Tailors’, Machinists’ and Pressers’ Trade Union on Cross Stamford Street
From behind me on the bus I hear the sound of second hand ‘r n b’, the dumb and chavie youths music of distinction, but this is being played out by that most mysterious of rogue-40-somethings: Shane Bell and I have to put up with this sound for the next 50 minutes(bass too loud for me in this tranquil inner ear and vocoder ever present). Badly designed or cheaply constructed headphones that leak too much sound for a personal Hi-Fi?
(An ellipsis is some and so many things,
but to be eclipsed by Tony Tomlin,
who is a glimpsing crazy,
is enough really to be or not to be
Or should we all shout ‘do you not see?’)
Earlier today, on the 3rd, I returned to cash in my unused Bonobo ticket for a very generous £12.
I have most of their albums on MP3 and a few tracks on a Ninja Tunes compilation, which I hardly listen to any more. Plus I really didn’t have the desire, nor drive, to see this ‘band’ in my current mood. I can justify this because I only like about 2 or 3 tracks in total from their work and I really dislike the ‘baggage of the sycophant’ that goes with any live music event. I love music in all its guises just not the hype that follows it everywhere money can be made. When our dog is at home there is much more enjoyment in him than a cramped sweaty noisy concert that leaves my ears screaming that high frequency noise and he’ll put me in a better place mentally too.
(How much party funds do the political parties waste on planting flags on Roundhay Road to beg and crave our votes?)
Further along the route, with the buzz ringing oppressively from behind, I see the fading yellow of the oil seed Rape fields and realise the year and season is moving towards summer and I am without a job again. I want to see a different sight and hear a different sound, but also feel more contentment if I am to get through another day.
Earlier Dan, my retiree friend from Sunderland who wears his grumpiness like the Trilby he continually sports, was complaining that he has had his fair share of suffering at the hands of the savage, cold, empty state for far too long it seems. He speaks of the light blue bowler hatted brigade who judged him short-sighted as a child. Who forced him to take some miscellaneous eye drops that he is convinced brought on this physical change in his eyesight. He recalls the large bespectacled Maccam lady told him he would have to wear national health glasses for the rest of his natural life, like an institutionalism. She said that it’s not bad being blind now the frames are so much more fashionable. I find it ironic that all his hatred for the welfare state and its Orwellian darkness that he was a teacher for many years, worked at the courts as a clerk of court and now he distributes mail at Park Place Job-centre all for the system. Dan rails against what has always entrapped him and there isn’t anything left for him except the hope his daughter Laura is a success in the acting world and that there is always the often, too often, pint of Kölsch he consumes at the end of the day. I feel for the poor guy; as at the end of the rope Dan swings and I’m there nursing my Dark Star IPA next to him.
(I was once Stood in an olive grove on Vis looking over the harbour towards the monastery. Over my head hung heavy fruits ready to be picked from the branch: to be pressed into oil or brined for preservation, and I wanted to belong in that sanctuary over the bay, but I have no faith. I want a solemn life, but I have no faith.)
is another day of crawling into bed by 12noon. The last two days walks with the dog have come to this and it feels a bit like a siesta I am having in the unseasonally warm spring. I think I’m exhausted by some basic trial. On our usual 2 hour energetic morning stroll I decided to go into the field beyond St. George’s Field but we walked into a ton of trouble as in the field there were bullocks who very quickly took a dislike to Snoops as we skirted the bottom end of the oblong to come back up towards St. George’s Field from that rectangle. Maybe we got just too close yet some primary instinct took over in those cows (who can never have seen a dog before) and so we had to scarper into the next field lightning fast. We lost our ball. Snoops was trying to go back the way he went, but he couldn’t overcome the innate, but obvious, fear . I felt primal but not scared, my adrenalin flowing, with all these raging bullocks swarming around me: I shouted and made signals with my arms to shoo them. Strangely they didn’t see me as a instinctual threat at all but keep trying to get at the dog. We eat you!
Back to Leeds already down to £80 from provisional £130 and how am I meant to pay for electricity, water and food from that frugal amount?
Retail is a false economy. Retail has really been benefiting from higher purchase, bank loans and credit. Now the credit is gone and all the minor industries that feed the larger ones are slowly vanishing. The food chain of business. At the top sits faceless commercial tyranny.
In fact it’s all a lie. The need for materialism is a trap we’re forced into to keep us sedated.
We need a roof over our heads, a comfy bed, food, drink, entertainments, clothes, a cuddle…what else?
It’s going to rain hard tonight so I will make jerk chicken, but I need to have fun tonight and this isn’t going to happen with £50 left after I went to Morrison’s!
It’s occurred to me today, the 6th of May 2011 while supping coffee and eating a sunrise muffin at £3.45 in Starbucks, I have ceased to matter to anyone. I am clinging to an existence so banal and unfruitful that it is taking all energies from me and leaving me equally empty within the shell of my present fattening shape. It’s like this feeling is some disease that is spreading backwards from my extremities to my heart or my head and into my very ‘soul’. It’s like some numbness, some paralysis, which is leaving me voiceless in such a noisy and ‘word-full’ world. I am empty at my core.
Not so long ago I actual found myself unable to see any part of the journey I was on not filled with a noisy, dense and threateningly cacophonous wordiness. At every point of the compass I saw, or heard or thought about words (in Penryn I think). Usually in either the form of orders, rules or laws or else sales, offers or promises. I just wanted for a while to see, hear or think without vocabulary before my eyes. I didn’t want this so I closed my eyes. I have developed the deep abhorrence to what I don’t want and hatred is a very underrated emotion – I want to kill because of it (latently of cause). I wanted a basic reality where there was nothing spoken, thought or written. Is it the basic humanity in me who aspires to base instincts away from the busy consuming weary wordiness. Everywhere there are colours and textures and large volumes of both. There are bags filled with shoes from Next and a person carrying Ping golfing umbrella and many many more with their chilling brown Primarkian statements.
I return to Wetherby on the X98 to discuss the emotions I feel and the reasons for my sudden understanding or my change inside. With only 2% of my iPhone charge left I will undoubtedly be like Samuel Coleridge soon…
How we drift through the different stages of our life is something we may be hardly aware of unless something truthfully and epiphenomenonly majestic appears? Something so blindingly obvious that it is hard to decide why we’d never seen this thing before.
It is the number 6 – my mothers grill has number 6 as its maximum…why not 5 or 10…it this some Sumerian mystery? As I prepared mini naan breads with homemade onion marmalade and mature cheddar cheese, already grated, I am struck by the reason behind this number 6. I seem to recall having read that their number system was based on the number 6 and it is why we have 144, 24, 12 and 6 so often repeated prior to the decimal system of 5, 10 and 100.
Is this a moment of clarity when I realise the importance of the number 6 to all else in the cosmos; or perhaps just this house with its 10 rooms and 2 gardens (12 spaces in which to ruin ones mind).
As I eat into my lunch at 16;25 on a keyboard where the numeral 2 and the letter V have mysteriously decided to leave the other 100 something keys for reasons they best understand. With the V2 gone the war is recalled and all the interlinked series of events leading from the number 6 to the Second World War and my stuffing my face with the pleasures of bread, cheese, a sweet accompaniment and a grating of fresh black pepper. Its all the same; isn’t it?