So I wake up, as I generally do at 5.30, after a dream about an animated video of snow and mountains, and am thirsty so I go in the kitchen for water, and the sink is full, full to the brim, and the floor isn’t wet, and I pull the plug out and think: ‘why isn’t the floor wet with the tap dripping all night and the overflow bunged up so the water has nowhere to go? The floor should be awash. How COULD I be so stupid as to do this again?’ And I look on the floor and realise it is covered with towels, from when the last time this happened, and the towels are soggy. They are very wet. So I take them off to the bathroom and put them in the washing machine and pick out some other towel that is clean and dry and put that on the kitchen floor that I can see is a little damp, and I think: ‘I shall check downstairs, to see if there is water dripping through the ceiling, because I am pretty sure there must be, despite all this towel business.’ And I find my keys and go downstairs and of course there are these great drops plopping through the ceiling onto the floor and a little wet patch where the drops mainly go and I go upstairs and find a flower pot and go downstairs and put the flower pot under the drops to catch them, and mosey around because there other drops coming down from somewhere else and I stand under them and get wet, and fiddle around with this feather duster I’ve got with an old pillow slip on it, wiping the ceiling, and then I go upstairs again and think: ‘it’s five thirty in the morning, so if I basically stay up, and don’t go back to sleep again, I will hear when they get up, and will be able to scamper down the stairs and remove the incriminating plant pot before they get into the hall, and by that time anyway the water that is now living in between the floorboards and the ceiling will have stopped dripping through, and perhaps... no one will... notice anything and I’ll be safe because otherwise Daniel will kill me, and also, everyone could gang up on me and get me thrown out of the house for being ‘an endangerment to private property’. I’d better phone my plumber, and indeed the only reason why I haven’t phoned him is I haven’t got any money and thought I could just carry on with the overflow not working and needing washers on the taps and that would be fine if I remembered to take the plug out, but the problem is I never DO remember to take the plug out, not at night when I am in bed or mainly in bed and not rushing from room to room. Oh dear. Maybe I am drunk, or maybe I am senile, and if I’m not senile yet, I will be senile soon, and I’d better get that plumber over because this can’t go on.’
OK so now I am awake and alert - alert for any sound of noise in the house - like a mouse in a wainscot, and I have a skirt on and some pink top, and the moment they start clunking around I will whip out that door and retrieve the flower pot.
This is just so embarrassing.
Also, there was only one cup left to wash up, and I could easily have pulled the plug. I don’t even know why I didn’t. Am I trying to save water or not waste washing up liquid? I have a real problem chucking things out, even when it’s only dirty old sink water.
Why is this?
Because I... don’t... like... the idea of death. Or loss. Or something.
I sent that letter to Mendel.
Ooooh (\(ˈ)ō\ /-yo͞o/), I just went down to check again, and I have to say the water is rising in that flower pot. It is right above Daniel’s ceiling, and will have been dripping on that floor all night, so it’s absolutely itinerant that I don’t fall asleep and whisk it away at say, 6.30, when all the water will have dripped through and there will be no evidence, or no ahem obvious evidence as there is now, because basically the ceiling is raining.
I feel so guilty.
This is what happens when you put combinations of incompetence and lack of cash and household maintenance all together. I suppose I’d better phone up John Lewis about carpets, and a few other places, tomorrow - oh I can’t, it’s Sunday - to show willing and to make some recompense for the abuse.
There was a whole streak of water down the wall near the door. Still, I’ve seen worse.
OK so what’ll happen with Mendel is that for a week or so I’ll feel really mortified and ashamed and unable to think about him at all, because I’ve ‘made contact’ and ‘made a demand’ (when by rights I should be dead), and this will mean that the guilt will prevent me from thinking about him as I normally do, not him exactly but this invented spirit I’ve dreamed up to look after me when things are terrible which they are nearly all the time, so I call on him A LOT and imagine light and peace and so on, and now I’ve called on him in reality, I won’t be able to do that spiritually, as this time he might be able to hear me, and get bothered by it. This means I have to ‘change the names’ or think up someone else fast, like maybe this time God, or an actual angel, or a fake boyfriend, so I can use them instead but I’m terribly bad on names and boy’s names are all dreadful anyway unless you’ve met the person, but if you have then it is a bit of an imposition. Maybe I’ll just stick with Mendel, but since he’s become real again he won’t really do in his angelic capacity, but, because he won’t reply, there’s a time limit on this, maybe a week or so, and then he can stop being a banned angel and turn back into a functional one as the reality gets less sharp and more blurred and the visionary aspect can march in and take over. But it will be a week I think, for my guilt to subside, and maybe we could use some other name, but not Daniel, in the meantime. Or Robert. Why? Here’s Grace’s letter:
I also feel guilty about Charles de Chantilly because I corrected the grammar in his novel, and there was loads of it, and he didn’t really want me to do that, he wanted me to read it and have a nice chat. I think he’s nice, and I also think he’s nicer than the sum of his parts - he actually has ‘a good spiritual effect’ - you know, makes you feel alive and not dead, and your dreams start to change, and not have demons in them any more, and there just are these trickles of life around the place that beat down the paranoia and that’s the kind of effect he has. I will grow gradually dependant on him and not be able to say rude things about his grammar or be beastly to him on Facebook, and then he’ll guess, and then he won’t come and see me any more, so I’d better carry on being nasty or he’ll start feeling what Mendel is probably feeling, which is ‘imposition’ which is the only way I can describe - no, it’s something I can’t dissociate from the notion of thinking well of someone, because all my feelings of love and optimism are tangled up with the idea of imposition, so even when I like someone I have to murder my heart and appreciation because it’s all to do with taking something from them even when it’s giving, because I can’t tell the difference because Mendel fucked me up. Which is just really annoying, because I’m not in love with Charles de Chantilly, I just value him and think he has ‘a good effect’. So, what would this be like if it actually were some sort of boyfriend figure? Far, far worse. The whole house would be flooded then, it would be underwater and we’d have to go and build an ark.
Though, as it turns out, Charles’s girlfriend is annoyed with him for coming to visit me, even though it’s work and I told him to take her a picture or something so she knew I was bona fide. Because he does need someone to talk to about his book, and art and so on. She’s having a baby – it’s due in a month, and I think he wants me to draw some pictures of that and the mother which I wouldn’t mind doing. Anyway, I don’t think I am treading on anyone’s toes there, and we always have Mendel to fall back on and throw water over and drown or parch or overwhelm or fizzle out - we can do anything we like with him. So I don’t think anyone is in any danger of being ‘loved’ by me but him.
The snowy mountainside animation dream was quite good, because I’d actually done the animation myself - some sort of art thing - so it wasn’t photography but more like 3D art, like virtual reality but much more beautifully painted. And you could actually go under the trees and over the mountaintops and get into the dream, which was romantic and mysterious. And I’d made it. I’d quite like to go to some art school where they take the talents you actually have and turn them into what is viable electronically and you can put these things together and make interesting films, or ‘worlds’ instead of just having a boring time dithering around with ‘concepts’.
I just thought of something.
Žižek says in The Birds that the birds essentially are ‘murderous maternal rage and incestuous jealousy’ and they keep appearing because of the love between Tippi Hedren and the Mick character and it’s all the fault of the mother, which sounds pretty true - projected outwards, because her son is being lost to the blonde. And I think that sort of thing goes on around me, you know, when I try to do something, like be happy, or draw a picture, or fall in love with someone, or even LIKE someone, there’s this demonic revenge enacted. This got doubled with Mendel because he actually HAS got a murderous incestuous mother, so she will have been in full play when I was around; in fact there were two. So Mendel is kind of fatal. Fatal for anyone, but most particularly for me - I suspect maybe that other girls have ‘terrible fathers’ and there’s a load of malevolent male masculine energy surrounding them, but that’s not quite so bad, because it’s paternalistic and to do with protection, and makes them think the world of themselves and not go screwing every Tom Dick and Harry, but sit in front of the mirror all day thinking they are God, which is why all the men like them and buy them flowers and diamond rings and furs, instead of trying to humiliate them, which is what happens with the malevolent murderous mother side to things. You’d know a bit about that. So. No birds here, but definitely water. And…
I’ve warned Charles about ellipses, but he won’t listen. I think his novel’s quite good actually; I’d forgotten he was a poet (No it fucking isn’t: I’ve wasted another two hours marking his excruciating grammar) you know, good in a charming, innocent way. I said he was good at ‘mis-en-scene’ and he asked me what that was. It’s a bit annoying that I can’t actually write and tell him the nice things I think, because I am worried about ‘the murderous, malevolent, incestuous maternal energy’ so I’ll just have to shut up instead, and maybe think about orchids or plumbers.
That Mendel. Someone should horsewhip him.
I’m going to check the flower pot again, it’s 6.32.
It’s quite weird this: I go down there and actually listen to the water: you can hear it sliding through the floorboards, like it’s in a box that’s being tilted, and water is running in and sloshing about, and I stand there, drab with guilt, and then there are few more loud drips into the flower pot - quite a little pond in there, and then there are other bits dripping - the ceiling is festooned with droplets - I wiped them off with my feather duster in the pillow case but I can’t reach very far - and then I thought, ‘best leave it for another half an hour.’ So I’ll keep writing this to stay awake and then hike down to remove the flower pot at 7 and pass out, after writing ‘phone plumber’ on a piece of paper that will get lost.
So I think basically I am surrounded by ‘murderous maternal incestuous energy’ kind of ALL THE TIME, whether there’s a romantic swain or not, and even when I’m not planning to do anything nice for myself that will let me live: it’s always there whatever I do. I could do with some ‘beneficent, gentle, energising, delightful, creative maternal energy’ instead. Charles has a very nice mother, he told me, and they have good conversations and get on well. See? This will be why he is nice to me and I have good dreams as a result of him, and everything is sunny. He doesn’t, however, get on with his dad, whom he told the story of his novel to, and who told him to change the ending so he murdered the girlfriend, who is in the novel a rather horrible old woman admittedly, but I said, ‘it’s CALLED The Death of the Artist and is about his psychological death, or at least his death AS an artist, that’s the point. You don’t want another death, and especially not one of someone who isn’t an artist. That’s not the story you are writing. He’s got it completely wrong.’ And Charles agreed. So he has this annoying boring father with all the money, and this rather nice mother with all the love.
I just have a feeling this may be quite crucial, these men who have mothers they get on with, or at least vaguely like, and these men with ‘terrible mothers’ who want to ‘screw them’ and ‘kill them’ and it sounds awful but the second bunch may have to be avoided, because while it’s patriarchy and misogyny we’re up against, if the son is rebelling against his boring conventional dad, in a no doubt primal Oedipal scene but SO WHAT, and has this mother he’s in cahoots with as they both loll around talking about emotions and being submissive and subversive, that’s the kind of guy who fits better into the ‘feminist paradigm’ or whatever it is that stops me, personally, from dying due to ‘vicious maternal raw incestuous energy’ or whatever it is La Mendel has going on. He is The Birds really. Or Marnie, maybe. Anyway, that sort are the ones to avoid, and maybe it almost ought to be the first question asked, though it tends to be pretty obvious anyway.
I wonder how the water’s doing. It’s 6.49. I wonder what time everyone wakes up and starts putting on suits and slamming doors. I wouldn’t miss all that for the world.
Mendel had a very nice grandmother however, so he’s acquainted with the idea of being adored and cherished, and treasured, but he apparently keeps jumping between the two ideas of being spoilt and being abused so there’s very little hope really, he can’t be straightforwardly grateful for anything. However, I think my ‘if you think YOU got problems, take a whiff of this’ arsenic type approach might just stop him thinking he’s the only one with expensive tears. Pay for my sorrow, I feel like saying. That’s a lot of cash you owe me on the capital investment of pain. Perhaps this is what the house is doing. It is CRYING. It is crying over Mendel. Or something.
Charles is good at analysing art, and good at descriptions of smoke, and I think he is a little dear and a strong character, and he likes the leaves on the trees.
Do you think people leave at ‘exactly seven o’ clock’?
OK. I went down. There were no drips. I stood and listened. I picked up the flower pot. There was a dark patch underneath but not if you weren’t specially looking out for it. I wiped the drips off the ceiling with the feather duster in the pillowcase. I think a casual observer just rushing through on their way to work wouldn’t notice anything amiss.
OK now I have to deal with everything else.
Oh yes – they’ve booked me in for a ‘procedure’ in the hospital in a week’s time, and they’re going to anaesthetise me and send me to sleep - Charles can’t pronounce ‘ennui’ but again it’s ludicrous he knows the word - and this is to find out what’s going on in my ear. Which is waterlogged. That is the essential problem: inadequate drainage. So, what are we saying here? A LOT OF WATER. Water in the ear, water in the house: it’s got to all mean something and I think what it means is sorrow: I think it’s all about tears: clogged tears, or tears that aren’t given a chance to float away naturally and are locked in, and then pour through the ceiling. Tears everywhere! And tears that make you go deaf, which is a new one on me. I don’t know. Frozen tears in the snow dream. And of course my electricity doesn’t work either. Do you know an electrician? I’d say, were we talking psychologically, everything is pretty dim and dark and wet around here, and it all needs brightening up and drying out. Maybe a hair dryer: maybe a grommet of the soul.
Slavoj Žižek: http://youtu.be/8sFqfbrsZbw