Sunday, 14 February 2010

I am going batshit crazy, my friends.

Sometimes there are days, weeks or months in a writer’s life when extracting words from his brain is akin to setting upon a paperclip with a JCB. Or eating soup with a fork. Or reading a book with both eyes closed. Or dancing the Watusi on crutches. Or mixing metaphors with business and pleasure.

I have encountered such a week. Returning from pleasurable isolation in the Highlands, where I was prosperous on the writing front, the last five days have been nightmarish. I have stared at paragraphs for up to seven hours, willing them into completion through telescribenesis. I have bent the space-time continuum making nouns fit into sentences. To no avail.

I have been plagued with various anxieties around domestic arrangements (spazzing out at bills and the like), taking this to levels of parodic madness. In fact, I think I have gone bonkers. On Thursday I threw a mad tantrum when I was sent a basic request for personal info from the council. BONKERS.

I believe this is part of a greater descent into lunacy. This is how it starts. I imagine the sinister vampires from the council are out to eat me, and I retreat into Philip K. Dick-like levels of paranoia, bolting the door shut and surviving on roasted carpet droppings and boiled lampshades.

Then I begin self-cannibalising. First I will devour my arm, then I will nibble on my legs, devouring the armpits with fingernail entrées. Next I will gobble down a fresh tendon with a side dish of bottom blood, evacuated through the insertion of a pipette into the anus, sucked out through attaching a Dyson nuzzle to the straw tip.


Whenever I find stress overwhelming I retreat into obscure weirdness. Locating unusual indie rock records from the mid-90s such as Cynthia Dall’s untitled debut record. Reading a children’s book with an HIV subtext written when homosexuality was outré. Pretending to be interested in other people and things happening in the world.

Most of the time I want to hide. When the phone rings I freak out and start sweating. Societal conventions deem you have to SPEAK to people. I hate when the door buses. I hate having to go out to get groceries. I am warm in my cloak of obscurity, distanced from the clawing insistence of reality. I am Eloise from
Lucy Ellmann’s Man or Mango? – A Lament.(Which you must read).

This week I am closing the curtains, unhooking the phone, and battling the screen. Then, when the doom descends, I am warming up the oven, greasing myself up, and climbing inside.

Here is a picture of a polyp:


  1. Uh, thanks for the picture.

    Hang on. Fight the good fight, sir.

  2. My apologies. Though it is a beautiful polyp.