confinement to connection

People can be presented to you in a quite dizzying whirl sometimes, just as you become to feel as if you’re in some sort of pseudo confinement, fundamentally cut adrift from others of your species forever.  Unable to engage and connect.

I opened a sporadically read paperback novel today.  Out of it fell a slip of paper which I’d previously given up as lost.  On it was semi drunken handwriting: a mash of dreary words about confinement while sitting in a Soho pub on my own.  That day had come at the end of a long stretch of not actually speaking with anyone.  Then I’d gone into town that day and professionally engaged with two separate groups of people. And females too.  THAT other unknowable side of our species.  And they’d been attractive ones as well.

After several solid days of extracting belly button fluff and intermittently moaning inside my head, I had seemingly transformed myself to a “normal” seeming, vaguely articulate sort of chap.  I remembered how to speak, at length, just like that.  It flooded back like I was regaining a superpower.  And the second meeting was an interview where the industry researchers were actively interested in my thoughts and what I had to say. Me!?  My views?  But I’m a sad lonely twat who just got made redundant and is trying, quite possibly in vain, to become sustainably self employed. Felt quite preposterous.

It chimed with my experience yesterday, and in the preceding days.  This week has slowly lifted me out of a horrible depressed fug simply because I’ve been active, out of the house, attending industry events, engaging and meeting people.  Even though there still hadn’t been any concrete promise of money at the end of it.  

Yesterday morning I attended a regular professional gathering in the centre of London and met a handful of people.  One middle aged man, dressed as if he was in the heavy rock band, Limp Biscuit (or however you spell it), told me about his word for a charity designed to raise awareness of young male suicide: the largest, (or second largest) killer of young men in the UK.  He had stats.  Another older lady was passionately animated about education.

Later, yesterday evening, the other end of a sweaty coach journey west, my parents dragged me to our local village pub.  There I chatted with an arrestingly sharp pensioner.  A single lady who had lost two husbands, one exceptionally tragically together with one child and her own foetus in a car accident.  She had worked as a nurse in West Africa, travelled extensively and spent her whole career serving the medical profession.  She had serious cause to feel harshly treated, to become depressed after loving and having those loved ones snatched scarringly prematurely from her.  Then lose her second husband too.  She then spoke about the therapy of healing through the channeling of energies, an area I find rather alienating.  Added to the insights she offered about the village’s history: the last trains to run through it, and the builder of its small primary school, which I attended; she was a fascinating person to meet and converse with.

Others in the pub supported the notion of a traditional country pub being a place where people can closely mix, banter and generally converse across generations in a way that’s much harder, or simply not done in a bustling city pub.  Sure the physical dimensions of this particular pub are such that avoidance is difficult, if not impossivle, but even so the atmosphere is tangibly warm, open and inclusive. 


Tried foolhardily to engage my mother through explaining my own ongoing angsty, misery, worries and fear.  She accepted this as a cue to talk about her own insecurities about work and employment.  Not that she needs to work anymore, and has a comfortable, large house in beautiful countryside, an adorable new puppy and a husband of fortyish years.  I quickly gave up, just nodded and appeared to sympathise with her predicament.


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