Friday, 29 January 2010

Moan, moan, bloody moan



In the above photo you see a member of the species psychrolutes marcidus, the lugubrious-looking blob fish, so called for being a lugubrious-looking blob-shaped fish. The name is therefore most apt. They live in deep waters between Australia and Tasmania, where they don't do an awful lot. Take a good look, for they are endangered and pretty soon you'll have to learn to live without them. Lately, I've been feeling pretty much the way he looks.

Rhinoviruses like me. If a bunch of them is hanging out and they see me walking past, they make a beeline for me. It seems my respiratory tract is most congenial to any bug whose speciality is infecting the sinuses or inflaming the throat. All week I have been streaming and sneezing and coughing, and you cannot teach in this condition without causing offence. It'd be like unrestrainedly belching and farting in a restaurant. I’ve been stuck in the house and lost a lot of money.

Does this explain why I feel so very flat? I don’t know if it does. I want a change in my life but there’s the thing: what exactly do I want to change? My job bores me, but it pays well. I spend far too much time alone, but for me any time spent in company has to be offset by at least twice that length of time in solitude or I feel overwhelmed. I live in a cramped flat in a beautiful town. I could move to a spacious flat in an ugly town and be nearer to work, saving a lot of money on train fares. But how much longer will my present job last? I have moved something like eighteen times in the past twenty years, and when I move again, I want to stay put for a substantial period of time.

Even my dreams are dull as boiled cabbage. I used to dream richly and vividly of mosques and Buddhist temples, and of being accompanied by spirit people into worlds beyond this one. Spectacular stuff, it used to be. What did I dream last night? 1) Two brown paper parcels thud through the letter box. They are the books from Amazon that I ordered on Monday. This dream may well come true today, if the post office is working on time. 2) I’m in the office of the course director. We move a table from one side to the other. That’s it. We are a far cry from the gorgeous mosaics, glowing tapestries, drifting incense smoke and sonorous chanting of sutras that I used to see and hear in dreams in the early nineties, for example, following the death of a friend in a car smash. Of course I don’t want someone to die simply to spice up my nocturnal personal entertainment system, but come on, does it have to be this mind-numbingly banal?

Life’s like a permanent Monday morning these days.

Right, I’m the absolute kiss of fucking death today, so you have permission to go and find something more cheerful to read. Cut along.

Dreams then...

...dreams now.

11 comments:

Bo said...

I think you know what you need to do. (As do I.) The flatness of the dreams suggests that you're cut off from the Unconscious--- messages are trying to get through (the parcels) but you will only take them if they appear in a decorous, acceptable format. (Expected books).

Oh, ignore my Jungian wittering. Hope you feel better soon. If you ever fancy nipping over to cambridge, do let me know.

vilges suola said...

Thanks Mark, v nice of you. You are probably right about the Unconscious. Maybe I'll start keeping a dream diary again, as I uesd to, and hope it goes beyond 'moved a table' soon.

Nik_TheGreek said...

Κοίτα να δεις… Και στο δικό μου το μπλογκ σήμερα για το όνειρο που είδα χτες γράφω.
Ο καιρός αυτό το ΣΚ προβλέπεται να είναι αρκετά καλός, με λίγο κρύο αλλά τουλάχιστον δεν θα βρέχει. Γιατί δεν κανονίζεις να πας κάπου, να δεις κανένα φίλο σου?
Ελπίζω κι εγώ να νιώσεις καλύτερα σύντομα.

vilges suola said...

Ευχαριστώ, Νίκο. Λέω να βγω την κυριακή το βράδυ με μια φίλη μου για φαγητό.

Michael said...

Cheer up! There is still time. Preset a year to retire, and spend the rest of your working days planning meticulously for what you will do after that. Trust me! It'll give you direction in your life.

Michael.
Do you hate it too?
"If you're going through Hell, keep going."

vilges suola said...

Michael, the idea of retirement and spending the rest of my working life planning it in the hope that I will have life and health to enjoy it is enough to make me consider ending it all right now! I'll be OK once I resign myself to going back to work.

Michael said...

You could use your valuable skills in an overseas job. It's never too late.

Fionnchú said...

VS, I'm with you compared to "Bo" re: dream disparity! I have the dull classroom ones interspersed with the "I haven't finished my diss." & "here I am naked in front of my class" ones, and that's about it.

About the two hours off for every hour on: see "Caring for Your Introvert" by Jonathan Rauch, the most e-mailed article ever in "The Atlantic Monthly". I know we can both relate.

vilges suola said...

Fionnchu, thanks for the link. I'm aware of having dreamed something last night but it was so unremarkable I have forgotten it already.

Anonymous said...

worried about you..i think you have just forgotten how creative and inspirational you are..what can we do?? Get p....d? Discuss other roads for you to travel..No! I think you have forgotten how lucky you are - work can be inspirational..you've just lost the enthusiasm..maybe you need to come back to Greece and do a 7 hour stint, following the book to really look like the fish at the end of the day..hey man..live life!! find some good friends who will say how great you are - let everyone know how brilliant you are - stop hiding and get out there! Just love the blogs and advertise them??!!

vilges suola said...

Ach, that was January, I had burning sinuses and a sea-lion cough and felt like a xtypimeno xtapodi. Now I'm OK! But thanks for the advice.

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