The Blackening of the Clouds

It’s that time again.

That time where I find the ground beneath me quiver and shake, where the sky darkens until the sun is blocked from view.

I’m down, you might say. Some would say I’m depressed, but I’ve been here before and it’s not that bad yet.

I’m at the point where nothing can shake it off. I have a few little tricks as to how to buoy my mood and outlook – certain music, movies, whatever. The Traveling Wilburys have admirably done this job for weeks now. Weeks, I’ve felt this coming, and I’ve fought it, really I have. Of course, no tricks, no fight has yet beaten the coming darkness. It’s held it off, it’s delayed it, it’s made it less-bad, but never beaten it. So now, the coming darkness has arrived.

I feel better than I did on Friday. Friday, I walked home and my iPod stopped working. This is bad enough in the good times, but I walked down Holborn with tears occasionally slipping from my eyes. I hate London, sometimes, and it was one of those times. All I needed was to just get home, with Bob Dylan’s surprisingly comforting voice keeping me on an even enough keel.

In fact, the only bright moment of yesterday was discovering Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour on BBC6, which I can listen to at work.

This has been coming for awhile. Last week I acted like a total fuckwit, and I know it’s because this was coming, and I could feel it. The fatalistic attitude kicked in, so there’s holes in my memory.

This fatalistic thing is going to kill me one of these days.

So, I’ve managed to catch this real fucker of a cold. The full works, complete with fuzzy head, not much voice, etc. This has probably hastened my descent into the sadly pathetic world of The Big Meh.

I just wish that I could not feel like this anymore. Every time I think it’s gone away and I can just be some variation of nearly-normal, it comes back to remind me that I’m not allowed nearly-normal, and that I’m destined to be on this awful treadmill of up-and-down for the rest of my life.

It’s back anyway. The awful thing is how it skews my point of view on things. For instance, my best friends are at the V festival this weekend. Normally I would smile, wish them well and think “thank God I’m not traipsing to another festival.” Now, I’m sat here wondering why they didn’t ask me, how much fun they’ll have without me and how much they’re not going to miss me.

Oh yeah, this shit makes me even more self-absorbed than normal.

Back to this Friday, anyway. I found myself falling back into familiar habits of not looking before crossing the road, of mentally composing long, tedious treatises upon the state of human nature. You know, the usual.

None of it really matters. I only fear one thing in life, and it’s the only thing I’ve managed thus far with any degree of success: mediocrity.

I am not beautiful. I am not charming. I am occasionally amusing, but rarely funny. In terms of writing, I am as pedestrian as the people I hate but I don’t make millions out of it. In terms of music, what have I actually achieved?

I am a dreamer, this I know. The problem is, even the dreams are starting to fail.

I am not special or outstanding, no matter what my arrogant little ego tells me. The chasm between the reality of myself and what I think I am is as deep as it is wide.

I cannot understand why people bother with me… and then I think, well most people don’t. I don’t know what it is that I either lack or possess that makes people not hang out with me, but they don’t. I don’t suppose they ever really have. I was not the one asked out to places when I was at school, not so much at university and not so much now.

I’m not so fucked to know that this is partly my own fault – I do often say no when asked… but never because I don’t want to hang out. The thing is though, what about all the times my pals, my friends and so have just not asked. What is it about me that makes me so unlikeable? What is it that leaves me always, ultimately, alone?

Perhaps the fact I asked the question goes some way to answering it.

Perhaps it’s that I’ve seen too many episodes of Friends too many times. I don’t expect a life like that, but… my best friends live so far away. I would love to have the kind of friends I can just scoot over to Regent’s Park for the day with, or to just hang out at some place with. I don’t know.

I sometimes think I should just throw everything away and say “sure, those mind-altering drugs sound like a good idea!” After all, I’m already fucked in the head – what difference would chemicals make? So far, only the memory of standing in a cold, damp cemetery, surrounded by tourists looking down with indifference at the stone, or the memory of sitting on wet grass in Ireland, has kept me from it. Only the feeling of not wanting to betray myself, has stopped me. One day, this will not matter, and that will be the day I probably die. I’m not a drug person, I’m a drink person. I’m Dylan Thomas, not Aldous Huxley. I’m Jim Morrison, not Jimi Hendrix. I just wish I had their abilities as well as their livers.

One day I will say “fuck it all” and I’ll tear it up and down like few before me. I won’t rest until I’m in my coffin. The fatalistic attitude will take over, and Clare herself will be lost until it’s much, much too late.

After all, I don’t fear death at all. Death is just the next big thing, a trip to the land of Tir na nOg. It is where the people I love are waiting for me. In that respect I don’t know what I’m waiting for.

When I’m like this, it always seems worse than it probably is. Then again, sometimes it is this bad.

It feels like I don’t have anything. I have no skills or specialness about me, no matter what I think. I don’t turn heads and I don’t make people think.

Someone once said: “When one is tired of London, one is tired of life.”

I am heartily tired of London.


In other possibly related news: I think I may be in love with Bob Dylan. This has been a decade or so in the coming, and I hope it’s as transient and silly as all those other crushes I’ve had lately.

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9 Responses to The Blackening of the Clouds

  1. *hugs* I wish I could do better than this, but…*more hugs*

  2. annearchy says:

    *hugs you tightly*

    Have you considered either therapy or medication, or a combination of both? I’m not talking about anything illegal; I mean something that could help lift your mood. You’ve got some Fire-sign angst going on here (I can’t help recalling the song from THE FANTASTICKS with the line, “I am special…I am special… Please God, don’t let me be normal”), but sometimes you can’t get by only with a little help from your friends. *hugs again*

    • apollarock says:

      I don’t want to. I never have. I will sink, swim, fail, succeed, live or die by my own self. It’s the only reason, the only one, that’s kept me off this that and the other all these years. I don’t take pills to sleep, which means I don’t always sleep. I don’t take pills to make me happy, so I’m not always happy. I know it’s a necessity for some people, and I understand. I also know that I might not always be able to fight it… which is why I’m not going to give in unless absolutely necessary.

      Thank you though. Love and hugs

      • annearchy says:

        I just hate seeing you or anyone I care about unhappy 😦 And sometimes you can’t fight your biochemistry. You’re Irish, Clare, regardless of where and how you were raised. ‘Tis known we Irish are prone to melancholy… *hugs*

  3. ashleigh_713 says:

    I’m not going to make flowery, sweet remarks like I once would have, but after taking all this in and digesting it, one thing that comes to mind is that, unlike somany people, you can put all this sinking and thrashing into words. Words that even make sense.

    You may not have the friends right there to run over to for a lift, but you do have a thing with music that seems to go so much deeper than it does for the mass of music people.

    I know these things won’t make it go away. it will take its sweet time receding. Still, you _know_ yourself, and that’s no small thing.

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