Thursday, June 24, 2004

The glass has got some water in it

I like to think of myself as, on balance, an optimistic person. Not that you’d know that from reading this blog recently. Everything seems to be getting on top of me recently, putting me in an increasingly frazzled and foul mood.

This blog is teetering dangerously close to really bad stand-up comedy. It’s not very constructive for me to rail about polyphonic ringtones, people with umbrellas or cigar smokers. Pet peeves don’t always translate into good writing. If I thought it was cathartic, I’d happily write about it. Just let it all explode onto the web in a gory mess of Travis Bickle bloodletting. But it doesn’t make me feel better. It just makes me stew for longer on things that don’t really merit so much scrutiny.

Some painful belt-tightening recently has resulted in me widening my outlook to find entertainment and distractions that fall between the posts marked “Cheap” and “Free”. I’ve found it difficult to devote time to simple pleasures in the last month or so. I miss reading uninterrupted for long periods of time. I miss the feeling of loosing my imagination free of its constraints to let ideas surge onto a page. I miss the ability to sit and watch a movie without feeling my eyelids fighting to stay open. And I miss the sensation of listening to someone talk without getting aggravated and confrontational. Sometimes, just stringing a coherent sentence together is an epic task.

Yesterday, it was clear that the good weather had well and truly passed for the time being. Good news for me, as it means my hay fever has gone on hiatus. Fed up of lunch breaks that consisted of sitting in St. James’s Square munching on sandwiches, Becket & I decided to go walkabout. We ambled down to the Mall, flicked through the overpriced magazines in the ICA bookshop for ten minutes, and then headed on over to the Horse Guards Parade. Over thirty years living in this city, and I’d never really seen it properly before. The rain whipped our faces as we checked out the big-ass cannons in the courtyard. It was great.

The rest of the hour was spent deliberately treading the back streets of the city up towards Leicester Square. Browsing the graphic novels in Comic Showcase up on Charing Cross Road. Stumbling upon out-of-the-way noodle bars in the alleys around Chinatown’s Gerrard Street. Amazing to think that where Dr. Johnson once convened with his Literary Club, you can now bag some Japanese pink mags and a copy of Battle Royale II on VCD. Now that’s what I call progress.

Best lunch hour I’ve had for a very long time. And the walk was more nourishing than any sandwich could have possibly been.

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