Over the weeked, glitzfrau
asked me how long I've had insomnia. Twenty-one years, I said. (This is, indeed, broadly true. My poor mother.) At least, she said, it's vaguely glamourous as life-long afflictions go. It's not, for example, constipation.
Needless to say, I am finding this an oddly comforting thought at 1.27am. I am overtired in that very special way that involves pacing up and down your room being wide-eyed and loopy and hyper-aware of the quality of the light. Bizarrely, I seem to be sleeping better in places that aren't my bed. I woke up a lot but did actually sleep when I was in Leeds, chiasmata
put me up on Thursday and I slept, and tonight I dropped in on jacinthsong
after OULES and dozed off whilst sprawled full-length on her floor. I think I might seriously try sleeping in the window seat again, but perhaps not on a night when it is six degrees below zero.
(A brief digression on that point: holy cow, it is cold. It was a couple of degrees chillier in the north, but it's still very cold here. Worth it, for the three or four days of perfectly cloudless, clear winter days, which are my favourite type of weather and I should stop moaning.)
Anyway, yes. It remains true that lack of sleep is making a wee bit of a nutcase of me. I was on jacinthsong
's floor, as previously mentioned, staring at my bare wrists and noting that I never know what time it is any more, like so: "My watch has stopped. Also I'm not wearing it."
Yep. I'm very bright, me.
Cue laughter, because, oh, dear, I am not made of win at the moment. I have spent the last few days fighting off an utterly black mood - why should I get out of bed? why? no, really, why
? - mostly successfully, by being very busy. Friday night was Queer Cabaret, and it was marvellous. The bar was filled with beautiful people of every gender, and there were pink wigs and glitter and luridly-coloured cocktails.
(Also, it was four degrees below zero and this is what I had chosen the coldest night of the winter so far to go out in: ( huh )
Yes. But freezing to death aside, it was a wonderful evening. There were two "professional" queer acts, neither of which I liked particularly, but I actually went for Girlesque, and they were worth every penny. They sang and danced and were gloriously louche and genderqueer and talented and beautiful. sebastienne
's beyond-lovely version of Cole Porter's "You're The Top", redone with a distinctly sadomasochistic flavour, was probably my favourite part. And this is entirely apart from the fact that I was immortalised in the line: "... you're the harsh slave-owner / you're Laura
to my Iona
Every new person I met for the rest of the evening said, "Oh, you're the girl in the song!" I love it really.
On Saturday morning, at eight in the morning, chiasmata
appeared with a lot of coffee and informed me we were going to Leeds. And we did, indeed, go all the way up the M1 to Leeds and visit biascut
, who are delightful and were very good to us. We didn't do very much beyond eat, giggle, read the Saturday Guardian
and watch Mean Girls
, and it was a lovely relaxing couple of days. It was nice to be back in the north, however briefly. I might've been tempted to actually go home as well - Leeds is, I believe, east of Formby Point and not too far a drive - but my parents are away. They're in Bangalore doing interesting and exciting things and undoubtedly getting into trouble of some description. They're with my favourite uncle, all three of them are skiving off any lectures they ought to be giving in Delhi, and last time this was the case, I was flying home out of Delhi. I'd said my goodbyes outside, got through security control and just settled in to wait for my flight when my mum and uncle appeared looking very cheerful. You're not allowed to be in here, I complained.
Sure we are, they said. We're government officials of India.
"Since when?" I yelled.
"Since," my mum said, holding up some expertly forged dated paperwork, "er, since this morning?"
...I digress. But they're having fun without me and have probably got into lots of trouble by now.
We came back to Oxford late this afternoon and made it home without any hassle, despite traffic accidents on the motorway and a general aura of sleepiness. The weather was almost ludicrously beautiful all the way down, with a glorious, sticky-Neapolitan confection of a sunset - pink and yellow stripes! - and I was thinking, in that half-witted very sleepy sort of way, that a lot of my thought processes lately have been framed in metaphors of travel and movement and distance. I noticed the landscape changing from rolling Oxfordshire fields to the more industrial north; I noticed the curving lines of streetlights looking strange and starry against the sky; I noticed changing signposts and people's accents and all the things that are different when you go anywhere. Which is all not very profound, but it makes me think that the next six months of my life, after June and Finals, will not be spent here. Not here, not in one place. I want to travel - I want to keep on moving and keep noticing and keep writing - and this will be the first time I've ever been free to just start moving and not stop. And part of it is undoubtedly a straightforward response to urgh, Finals, but it's true: it's time for something different.
OULES is going well. At some point this week, we are going to acquire the Sack of Troy from eBay. I meant to come home, but stayed and drank peppermint tea and did nothing but stare at the ceiling and love my friends and now I'm going to try and sleep.