Will I Ever Be Real?

My psychology is contorted by strange concepts of time and expectation. But there is hope.

Doubts and Giddiness

I woke again with a fatigued sense of who I am, and a numbed sense of bearing. I don’t sleep well. Usually — and this has been going on for a while now — I jolt awake at intervals, to be later followed by dreams that tangle me up in doubts and giddiness, dreams about unfinished work and unfinished friendships.

In the morning I want to get up, partly because I am sick of lying there in the cave of my sleeplessness, and partly because I have anxieties about the day ahead. There are things I want to get on with, slices of my life I want to reclaim and slot into place. I think about those toys I used to play with as a child, with those coloured blocks that slot into the right-shaped holes.

Getting up before the sunlight — before it has sparkled over the distant tree-tops — is beneficial, because I can assert myself more purely when the light is not looking at me.

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I feel down in health, like a river whose waters are low. My breathing is shallow and uneven. What is the trouble here?

I tend to blame my work, but when work is going well, I find other things to blame. I have no clarity, and only a feint sense of what makes me happy.

I have ambitions I am now scared of. I used to crave adventure but I feel as if a few months of complete regularity — pure silence — would help me. The love of my family often makes me feel better but I don’t have the time to be with them as often as I used to.

“Why now?” I ask myself. “What has changed?”

Back in 1995, when I was in my later teenage years, I went travelling around Europe with my older brother. We started in Paris, and made friends with gangs of other travellers, some Australians, Canadians, a Dutchman and a couple of South Africans. We drank from bottles of cheap wine beneath the Eiffel Tower, and roamed the galleries of the city in elated optimist. After Paris we went onto Brussels and Amsterdam, then over to Prague via Berlin. After that, we went south through the glades and groves of Italy, Greece and Spain.