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Wednesday, September 19

A Series Of Tantrums

I've had a series of tantrums today. You'd never notice them. It's like that time in Edinburgh this year when I lost my temper in a Subway. I was getting no help from the staff member in question. I'd asked for sweet chilli sauce on my sub and she was putting hot chilli on, not thinking to tell me that she'd made that decision for me because she didn't have sweet chilli sauce or hadn't understood the word "sweet" in my request. I went through a rapid thought process which hit anger and then decided that it didn't matter. My friend, witnessing my behaviour, realised that I'd lost my temper, but nobody else would have. My eyes flashed for a second and I was back in control.

Some would argue that that's keeping one's temper.

In the same way, some might argue that various "tantrums" I claim to have had recently are non existent. However, I know when my mind has just visualised a childish act of defiance or violence. I know when my instinct is to throw the thing in my hand at something, or smash my head against a wall. Today I had a few such moments. Frustration can be very emotive. I'm frustrated.

My biggest recent success had been reading an entire novel in an evening (last night). It was short. I was able to discuss the novel's contents with the friend that recommended it, which was nice.

In other ways, though, the day was a washout. I didn't actually destroy anything. I did have some moments of tension and some moments of utter despair at things which appear to be part of my world at the moment. I scheduled meetings around a planned earlier exit from the office, but then had such an important end-of-the-day meeting, that I couldn't go when planned. This was not good, but the meeting was good. I suspect, however, that the aftermath of the meeting may be somewhat tricky to live with.

I don't care about office politics. I care about finding solutions to problems. If that comes back to bite me, then so be it. Oh, and I care about making the people around me feel like they're getting their share of success. Even if that's measured in fruit, they should feel rewarded and valued.

After work, I raced home. The race home was slowed and slugged by traffic. Indeed, my earlier departure from home to get to the office earlier than usual, to get a head start on the day, was also dogged by traffic. So what's the fucking point!? I need some time to myself - to go on dates with myself (see yesterday) or whatever. If the only way to get an extra hour in the office, is to go in to get two extra hours, then there's something wrong. Build wider fucking roads!

Even cycling wouldn't have helped the trip to work.

However, I reckoned some bike time would help me purge myself of the troubles of the day and the calories of the previous evening's curry. I'd had to take over the MCing of the gig I run in Highgate, since the replacement MC (replacing me to allow me to do another commitment) had pulled out. So, I cancelled my other commitment, discovered I'll not get another slot with them until next year now (never mind, I'm not feelin all that funny anyway right now), and then stressed over getting to the gig on time.

Fast forward, Frieze.

I ended up on my bike with a clean set of clothes in my backpack, and clothes on which I didn't mind getting sweaty and rained on. I arrived at the station at 6.10. I was at the platform for the 6.15 train at 6.13. They wouldn't let me on. The 6.15 was leaving early. I exclaimed shock at this at the guard. He wouldn't let me on. He said another train was coming. I pointed out that the 6.15 train should leave at 6.15, not earlier. I also apologised for my outburst, but I was keyed up from running round meetings all day getting decisions made but not getting chance to do anything about those decisions, or even pass them on to someone to do something before the next meeting happened.

I phoned a friend. I got on the train and chatted to the friend for the journey. I felt better. A little better. But better.

At the other end, I took out my frustrations on the biking and made it from Paddington station to the gig in Highgate in 40 minutes. Not bad. There was some swearing at the London traffic and there was a lot of giving it welly going on.

At the gig I changed and we sat and waited for acts and audience to turn up. Of the 4 acts booked, 3 turned up. 2 of the gig "peeps" (staff) also were present, and an act brought a friend. Then 3 audience members turned up, one of whom was there to talk with me about a joint venture.

The gig was pulled and I stopped the closing act from even setting off from his location.

Worth rushing from the office at 5.23 to be commented upon "ooh, leaving early?" to drive home in 30 minutes to rush into clothing and rush to the station and rush to the gig to arrive at 7.30 only to pull the whole thing 90 minutes later. Was it worth it? Well, the cycling was good. The cycling was the best bit of the day.

Back in Reading, I went to Tesco for food and came home. I could have been in bed for midnight but for ablutions and blogging. It's good to blog.

Something is missing at the moment. Its absence is like an itch. I can feel it and I can irritate it by scratching it. It just sits there bothering me. I'm not sure what to do. Ignoring it and carrying on "business as usual" would be a good solution, but there is no "business as usual" anymore. Everything's different. Well, not everything. Some things are too much the same. However, there's not too much normality to cling to right now.

Last night's book could have been disturbing. Instead, I read blithely through it because it all made logical sense. The fact that it didn't bother me much was, in itself, a sort of a bother. There is no normality in my life right now, and I guess that's why I'm having tantrums and hissy fits. I guess it's why I'm sporadically funny, rather than in the comfortable centre of "the zone" as I was while in Edinburgh. In fact, if I could have any moment back to live in, it would be one of the moments of elation that happened back in August this year... when everything looked so goddamn promising.

That's the thing about holidays, they have an illusory quality, making everything seem happier and shinier than it necessarily is.

Back to work and the whole thing can come crashing down to earth.

So, this life isn't quite what I thought it was. Time to regroup, replan and revise... and rewind... and repeat... and replay some scrabble matches with my new found vocabulary.

I don't get to have everything I want. I don't even get to have proper tantrums, or losses of temper. Sometimes I think I want to wallow in self pity, and I sort of get to do that, but there's a limit. I'm a tough bit of meat...

...I'm not sure I even get to call myself fat at the moment... which is ridiculous. I just need tighter clothes.


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