Monday, August 30, 2004

Birthday Presence

You’ve been able to see the virtual tumbleweed drifting through Sucker Punch recently, haven’t you? That’s what happens when you have a job where they monitor your web activities, and you are about to become a father in three weeks. My leisure time has been greatly reduced recently, so I have to snatch my aimless fun when and where I can at the moment.

Almost two weeks into the new job now, and I am still firmly cast in the role of The New Guy. I am almost totally ignored by absolutely everyone in the company, I have little to no work to do at the moment, and I can’t kill time the way I used to (surfing for eight hours straight, interrupted occasionally with a bout of profane e-mails to friends). So, my working day consists of me badgering my superiors for work to do (I’d rather be bored and busy at the same time), being told that there’s nothing to do at the moment, looking like I’m busy by forcing my eyes to skim across techie websites, and making an occasional foray to the toilet or the kitchen. I spend my lunch hour sitting in the pub scrawling film reviews into note pads to keep my brain alive, reading, eating stodgy pub food. My working life is making me feel very restless and isolated at the moment, and I’ve never known such a massive discrepancy between my self-image (unshaven, foul-mouthed writer prowling the streets of London) and the reality (immaculately turned-out, mute IT wage-slave ambling through a green and pleasant land). It’s quite disconcerting. If things continue like this, I might snap. I’ll end up garrotting someone with my tie whilst telling them to choke on my fresh shit.

I went into Soho on Tuesday night for a press screening. It was great. It was like refuelling my tank with Distilled Essence of W1, and the minute Piccadilly Circus tube station vomited me up onto the street, the hum of humanity was incredibly energising. Everything was faster. The people, the traffic, my pulse. I walked around before and after the movie just soaking it all up. I reckon one pure hit of London lasts for a good two or three days before the shakes set in again, so I might have to make it a habit to go up (down?) there twice a week. It should stave off irreparable psychosis.

Last Friday was my birthday. 32 years and still going strong. The incomparable Mrs. AKA secretly orchestrated a blowout Thai meal in my old ‘hood Harrow, surrounded by my much-loved homies and an unending stream of potent beer. And she bought me The West Wing Season 3 boxset, and the Leone Dollars trilogy boxset on DVD. What a gal.

AND I finally got myself a car. Once the insurance is sorted, I can take to the roads at last. Be afraid.

The last two days, we have been continuing the endless preparation for the arrival of our little one, with dusting, vacuuming, washing, cleaning, tidying, throwing out shit…we eventually got to bed at 2am last night. There’s something almost Zen about hoovering in the early hours of the morning.

Got the house to myself today, so I can relax somewhat before the week begins in earnest. Going to write a film review or two, iron shirts for the week ahead (gah!), do some research on pain relief during labour, and then I can loll on the couch, crack open a can, and finally watch the Hellboy DVD that has been calling me from the shelf ever since I bought it a month ago.

On balance, all is good. And despite my grouches and grumbles, it always is in the end.

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