I’ve been in London for over a week now. It’s surreal, like something I’ve wanted for so long has come true and I’m literally living my dream. I had my first lecture today, by the way.
It was, in all honesty, really nerve-wracking and scary and there are already whispers of word-counts and reading lists and it’s just terrifying. But the lecture was super interesting (it was on the arguable relevance of the Victorian era - and it’s literature - in today’s degree-level studies) and then I had a seminar straight afterwards and everyone there seemed so nice. We all had to choose a character from a book that we’d like to be - I chose Helen of Troy because she is a total icon of beauty and independence (like, the first one ever).
It’s really nice living here - the university is really, really close by and it’s surrounded by such cool and interesting places. On my second day I walked to the train station and whilst waiting for the train I could see a pub with a huge neon sign that says “TAKE COURAGE”, which actually really helped. I also walked up to the biggest hill in the area and from there I could see right from Canary Wharf to Battersea.
My halls of residence are also very nice and everyone seems really friendly. It was my birthday on Wednesday and I was really ill, but they baked me a cake, brought me a card and offered me a hot drink regardless of how unsociable I was (which was very). The showers are very low pressure which means it takes me a lot longer to get my hair clean, but I don’t really mind. The other lovely thing is my view, which looks over the Orangery, the Annexe and the gardens just outside. There are always some people sat out there in the evenings which doesn’t bother me at all, I actually quite like the quiet sound of chatter. Tomorrow I am cooking tea here for Jack, that is, if I can get past the thin layer of grime and general debris of student living that has already built up in there.
My guitar didn’t fit in the car. I’m missing it a lot. Sometimes when I look into my own eyes in the mirror I feel like I’ve let myself down because I stopped trying to become a musician. I think that my younger self would be really angry at me and that hurts because I’m trying. It’s something that is almost too painful to even write about so I won’t.
My mum sent me my cacti (that I left at home) in the post! They got some soil on them in transit but I don’t mind. I named the one on the left Regis, then Jack named the middle one Theodore and Kirsten named the last one Neville.
There’s still a lot of things I want to see, especially since getting here I’ve added lots of new things to my list. There’s a tiny, grim-looking local caribbean café/take-away that smells absolutely amazing and a film night at the local pub. I also really want to go and see some of the paintings that were referred to in my lecture today, as they’re in the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery (both of which are already on my list).
That’s all for now. More soon.
I Don’t Know (Things I Like About Writing)
Let me get colloquial with you, reader. Writing feels so
fucking pretentious sometimes. It feels like pretending to be able to spin a beautiful wordy yarn when I can barely string together one thought and the next. That doesn’t sound good, does it? No, well it never does when I say it aloud. It doesn’t even in my head. Only on the page. But how do you put your feelings in writing in a down to earth way? Like, I don’t write like I speak - I speak in stutters and shudders and long silences. How can I write - how can I express - the way I stare fiercely at you as possible, willing my eyes to burn my feelings into the skin stretched over your collarbones? There are no words for the way I nervously let my tongue slip over my lips to wet them, prepare them for words that will never come because I can’t make the sounds. I’m just pretending. Just pretending to have caught my breath long enough to stop spinning in my mind and put words on the page. In the right order. Jumbled not up much so. Not so jumbled up, even. The most common words in my mind are not beautiful. They’re not meaningful.
They’re, “I don’t know”.
Aren’t they everyone’s? So why is writing so damn good? Why does it make me sound so eloquent? Why does it feel like I could whisper droplets of liquid ecstasy in your ear when I put my pen on a blank page? It’s like being free, from the binds around my mouth that stop me from saying the things I want to, that I don’t know how. So please, don’t believe a word I don’t say - I’m not like this in books. Just love me between pages. Because in person, I am just as scared and small as everyone. I’m just as “I don’t know” as everyone. But I keep writing. And there, I feel a bit more myself. A bit less anxious. A bit less unloved and beaten and broken and scared, a little more human. Get on my level. Read between my lines.
What colour are your eyes?@Anonymous