This week has been a disaster, or at least the latter half of it has. Ever since Friday when I climbed full boar onto the bad decision bus and rode that fucker right off a cliff. I planned to go the city to catch some movies, so far so good. The train was delayed and I rushed and managed to get there just about in time.
The trailers had already started playing so, instead of doing what I would usually do, and grabbing the day’s tickets from the out, I I just picked up the one. Of course the film ended and I went down to get the second only to find out that the screening were fully booked.
Great. I look at what else is available and there’s nothing that fits in the time slot so I’m stuck with three hours of wandering around the city. Bearing with myself. I knew my body was going to be unhelpful to me when I put on clothes that morning, everything was the wrong shape and I eventually resolved to drown myself is loose layers to more easily conceal the horror of it all.
It never works. I actually buy and own nice clothes, you know? I can never wear them at work, and after work I just want to throw on something comfy and relax, and the two days I got of a week I am so full of self hatred that i can’t fucking bear to. What am I doing with my life, I’m trash.
Anyway, so I was wandering around and figured I go to Bristol’s classic film rental place 20th Century Flicks, and because I’ve missed the one screening, and still have another film I need to catch in addition I decide: well, I’ll be back up here Sunday now might as well be my chance.
I chat with the staff and they’re great, they recommend some 1930s French comedies and I’m like, ‘Sure, what’s the point of this place if I’m only gonna be renting whatever I was gonna watch anyway?’ Then they asked me for my name and I didn’t have the didn’t have the courage to be honest even though it seemed a pretty chill environment so I stood awkwardly for like 5 seconds before mumbling a sad answer.
I was working yesterday and I spent eight hours trying to make myself as small as possible. Eight hours is a long time, when I am there I am already dead. Sometimes I like to rationalise my actions as a form of slow suicide, at least that gives the meaning.
Anyway, it’s today now and I find out that there’s some emergency rail works and so all the trains are replaced with buses. I can’t hold onto them DVDs because I’m not going to be able to get back up there in time to escape the late fees. I’ll be writing the rest of this over the two hours worth of replacement services that will wind me there.
That’s kinda it I’m afraid. I’m trying to think what else I been done this week but there ain’t nothing, nothing new or noteworthy. I struggle trying to find the shape to build my life into. The beginning of the week were real productive for me, I were writing every day, went to the gym Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
I’ll be the same this week too, I’ve watched a few films. They’ll provide some structure for my evenings. Work, work out, write, sleep. Once I’m done with material though what do I work on then? I wanna get into streaming but first will need a webcam and a microphone and the thought of buying things scares me, it makes it all real. What if I’m not good at it, what if people see me and hate me? It’s barely worth thinking about.
I have an idea for a youtube series, something outside film. It’s an acting thing, looking at Shakespeare. People don’t read the life into his work that flows off of the page, they don’t capture the urgency of it. I don’t know, I’ve been going over the secondary school hits, your R+J, your Much Ado, your Richard III, your Hamlet.
I think I could do it justice, think I could step tick my way through the material, maybe I could find something in it.
When on Friday, I was walking the streets of the city, feeling quietly awful, I stopped in at a Smith’s. Got myself a proper diary for the first time in too many years. I’m gonna start making plans, hopefully it will keep me level, not having plans leves me prone to self-destruction.
At that, saying that I ain’t been doing nothing new, I did do something real old. I reinstalled the original Deus Ex for the first time in ever. So far I only went through the training level. Remember how each time you reinstall the keybindings revert to the original, those funky nineties hangover which decide that reload should be on the ; or that the only acceptable way to crouch in a stealth game is hold mode on x, god knows the dexterous fingers that those players had back in the day.
I take away that it is the first time that I have approached its systems holistically. I would like to criticise the way that these sorts of immersive sims have existed within the cultural conversation. ‘You can complete the game without killing anyone’ is repeated so often that that has become the measure of success.
This is the first time playing through this tutorial level when I actually went and destroyed the robot: hiding behind some barrels, pushing an exploding crate into its path shooting at it, realising I was too close, jumping into the water behind me to avoid taking too much damage.
It felt like an experience more alive than I’d had there before; negotiating the awkward stealth system, flopping around trying to find the datapad with the code to lower the bridge, reloading every time I got in some hot water. When the ur example of mastery of a game’s many systems is forgoing some, you are encouraging the assumption that asceticism is a virtue. Imma keep playing it all wild and free, see what hijinks I can get up to when the shackles are let loose.
I’ve also been playing a disappointing amount of Euro Truck Simulator 2. It’s what I play when I’m not doing too great, when everything seems too overwhelming and I need something to occupy myself in order to calm down. I always feel bad because I know I only play it when I’m unhappy but, at the same time, pretending to drive a trailer of plastics from Glasgow to Antwerp for half an hour does a tremendous job of levelling me out.
I’m sorry I don’t have any more to give this week, but that’s the ebb and flow of it I guess. It’s love, and I trust that everyone around me is a beautiful human being. In my town, over the past few weeks, there’s been flyers attached to lampposts from far right groups, telling people to check out fascist websites for information about ‘the great replacement’. I tear them down where I can, write ‘Fuck off Nazi scum’, on the ones I can’t. But I know that don’t defeat their actual purpose.
They still manage to make me afraid.
I’m gonna go try live now, there’ll be reviews of Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, Léonor Serraille’s Jeune Femme (Montparnasse Bienvenue) and Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story in the week to come.
Stay good y’all,