Monday, September 07, 2009

Monday morning, grey skies, cold

It is 20 to 11 and our street is quiet. An elderly couple in sports gear is walking slowly down the middle of the road.

A while ago Zenita rang me. Whenever she is away she will phone. She just peels away from the rest of them and phones me. I never know what to say. I am not good on the telephone at all, and I struggle with small talk with adults, let alone small children.

I think it is because I prefer to observe than interrogate. I let the world come to me passively and allow it to be what it is, and hope that that process will reveal it to me. It does, but I think that it is a way to learn what it is but not what to do with it.

More than once, people have said that I don't seem interested. Mrs Zen says that people think I don't care about them. I want to say to her, I have no idea what they think because I have no idea what my image is to them. I do not trust her judgement about that either. She is very good at seeing my flaws. Sometimes I say to her that it is painful for a person to hear always what is wrong with them, that it makes me unhappy for her not to be able to see any good in me.

And she doesn't respond, or if she does, she'll say I know there's lots of good in you. And I'm thinking, yeah, but you can't say what any of it is.

The bigger problem is that I'm inclined to agree with her view. What can you think about a man who is unable successfully to make small talk with a child who loves him?

It is 10 to 11 and I hate to be lonely, because when I feel that I'm on my own, I start to pity myself. But no one was around who wanted to talk to me and I don't have people I can telephone or hang out with. I have had to be self-reliant and I'm not good at it.

I know that I will now receive at least one message that will suggest that I can develop that ability, and I will be stuck once again with having to say over and over, patiently and unavailing, that I just can't. I only seem to be capable because you don't know me very well and I can bullshit over the cracks.

That's the problem with a blog. I can tell you about my life, but it can't answer back.

It is 11. In two hours, I will walk to the bus stop to go to work. Maybe I will read a book. I have started reading novels again. Nothing heavy. I read a John LeCarre the other day. It seemed like the work of someone who wanted to write something but didn't quite have it down. But what do I know? I'm never going to see my name on the front of a book. To achieve that, you need a well of self-belief. You need not to be discouraged when people tell you your work is boring, because you are convinced of your own worth.

It doesn't matter how much talent you have or even whether what you have written is any good. It matters how much you believe it. I seem to recall Mrs Zen saying more than once that she would try to get my book published or my poetry, and I was really pleased, because what greater sign could she have given me that she believed in me?

But she never did a thing.

It is 10 past 11. I am going to read my book. I don't know how it is that I bring sorrow to everyone who knows me. I don't try to. I don't know whether that's the same as saying that you try not to.