University is starting; I'm in better shape than last year – not energetic, but cheerful, calm.
Frequently my body falls into a haze of slow-motion quasi-weakness – not like a sickness, just drained of energy; but it doesn't feel like a problem. I suppose only when other people are expecting me to do things... I'll have a chair nearby in lectures, and might give the students some oddly timed breaks.
I've spent the past year repeating the assertion that if I got some exercise I wouldn't get so tired. But I'm now thinking: perhaps this is just the way it is.
But I'm cheerful. Calm, a bit detached. Not quite engaged with space, or people, or events....
When I have done social things lately, I am however a bit clingy – I need to stop doing that. Points where I'm pulling for too much attention, from people who are have their own partners, or jobs, or people – as I may have mentioned it has been a more social year, but I am perhaps expecting a bit too much of it.
Last night I know I had a dream, and I know there was some sort of cue for it –
That day I had spent the day at the computer, cleaning up various spreadsheets – my classes, students, the plan and syllabus and presentation for the cultural theory class, plus finally deciding what to teach for the philosophy class; and organising the graduate class in cultural theory, paperwork, syllabus –
which last set of tasks ended up being a bit pointless; there is only one guy in that graduate class, a guy with interesting ideas, so I'll toss my plans and ask what he wants to read. Not the first time (for a decade that seminar was very popular, then in the past four or five years it seems to have become less interesting, so... well, no problem).
So, pages printed out, realising most things that need to be done are done, and completely: it's been a slightly odd start to the year – K. and R., younger colleagues who are now in charge of things, have prepared everything in detail, and calmly – so that the usual irritating chaos has almost not happened.
All of which I like, of course.
After all of that paperwork I did something, or read something – or remembered something – I don't know what happened, now. Which resulted in one of those moods, accompanied by quiet music from the computer, where I'm thinking through... well. What will happen, at some point.
Is that when I looked online for the longterm HIV+ survivor group – the London one that meets in a big country house south of Manchester? I don't know whether my mood was caused by their website, or whether I was already in that mood and then found the website.
I've never been on one of their retreat weekends. There's one in mid-December – I almost put in a deposit. I might....
of course my mind skis off into what I would be saying at the retreat: I'm used to lonely, I know I won't get past the next decade; and it's fine, really, taking care of analysands – and students, and colleagues – and friends. Being linked to various groups, groups that happen to have a lot of lonely people (LGBT people in a small city, with the oblique sense that their personal concerns are made more anxious, more disoriented, by the chaos of current politics...).
So, I say to this invisible group, I know I'm connected to, take care of, various people, and... well I know that's about all there is left. But I'm, at the moment, just for a bit... tired of it.
That imagined speech: how I'm tired, why I wanted to be with people who knew what it was like to be positive long ago... it kept spinning out for a couple of hours; I made dinner, organised papers, kept reworking my way through it...
by the time I went to bed I was somewhere between exhausted, relaxed, and/or drained. Getting to complain endlessly to people who aren't actually there, who would, of course, nod at it all in supportive recognition.
Today I had practically nothing scheduled: I'm very pleased to have no classes on a Monday – starting the week focusing on my own concerns seems just fine right now. Then I can catch up with people who need something from me later, from Tuesday onwards.
But, as I was still in a mild fog after a night of vanished dreams, I did nothing much for some hours...
finally showered, started to get dressed, to go in to the university.
In to work! When I didn't have to – the reverse of my usual practice.
Smiled at people, greeted. Nice end-of presentation, sorry I missed your cameo performance. Then later afternoon, it is quiet – I go upstairs to the instrument storeroom to get more of my scores so that I can bring them downstairs to my office: it looks as though everything I own will fit into my office, eventually....
Of course even moving my books and scores has a strange quality at this point. G., in the office next door, used to own (nearly) as many books as I do – and then when we were pushed through the chaotic office moves of the past few years he got rid of most of what he owned... his office is now elegant, stylish. And not at all full.
And yes, I know: what is really the point of keeping all of these things?... I decided to fit the books in, instead of a piano, so all of these scores I used to love to play – the truth is, most of them probably won't be played again.
Although I have been doing this for months, there are startling moments picking up certain scores – things I loved playing; a score by Paul Pretkel, long dead; a score that I must have bought in Vienna; and this, didn't I play this in high school... Some of those moments are unexpectedly emotional.
I walk down the hallway very slowly, pushing the cart: most people have gone home, I can go as slowly as I want.
Imagination crosses in a different direction: after I have suddenly moved into a big house, with lots of money. I tell my new secretary: unfortunately the movers got most of these scores rather dusty, so if you could carefully wipe them off...
Or, another direction: as I pick up these scores they are a bit heavy – is this the point where I collapse on the floor of the storeroom, shortly after the secretary leaves, and am found the next morning... and then, all those books and scores in the office: what the hell do we do with them now?...
Or, a slightly dusty vision of another future, where things are piled in boxes around me in a crowded, dingy room....
the camera pans through a country house, dark and quiet, as someone walks through it calmly, not touching anything – he reaches the door, goes outside and turn, pulling the door shut behind him.
The camera moves across the front of the house as he locks the front door, holds the iron key out, hesitating –
and walks down the path to the mailbox, and puts the key into it, shutting it after.
And walks away, without looking back.