On Brick Lane I felt like the dead come jealously back to life, like some sort of voracious, vengeful ghost. Just the Sunday afternoon crowd, the young men touting for curry houses. I don't know. It made me feel sorry for myself, but glad to be living- sorry for the hours and days and hours I've wasted inside (inside my house, inside my self).
Anyway, I was there to have my haircut. I wanted somewhere that would cut it short at the back, not like my last haircut which made me look like a dinner lady.
I sort of had in mind something boyish. But now instead I have a very short, very sleek bob. I love it.
It works well, it draws attention to my cheek bones and sort of transforms the bigness of my features (vast forehead, big chin, long face, big lips) into something rather aristocratic looking. So '20s, so Bloomsbury set.
I want my essays to be finished so I can make some dresses and start swimming again and start reading the books I want to read and phone up my friends and sit out in the sun.
Everything is taking so long. My mind is collapsing. I forgot how to spell 'vehicle' earlier, I wrote 'veichle' which I knew wasn't right but I just couldn't think how else it could possibly be spelled. (urgh and just then I wrote 'spelt' rather than 'spelled'). I remember once when I was about 10 I forgot how to spell 'the'. It was awful, my mind just completed emptied and I couldn't think how you could arrange letters in a way that would make up that sound.
My essays are taking far longer to write than I hoped. It would help if my notes for the 'gender and witchcraft' question were a bit better than "Mary Daly is mad" followed by a list of some of the best highlighted mad bits from gyn/ecology. Which of course is wrong anyway; it should say Mary Daly was mad.
But I rather worry I have too much in common with mad Mary Daly. My scattergun ransom-note madman-shouting-on-the-night-bus prose style for a start. And my melancholy Catholicism of incense and archetypes.
I am bloody Mary Daly...
I was thinking earlier that if I do have children they'd better make sure to be boys. Because the names I would like to call any future sons would be James or Thomas, or maybe Timothy, Michael or David (the problem with those would be that they would be shortened to Tim, Mike or Dave- which I don't like). I'd call a son Nicholas, if he shortened it to 'Nico', but not to 'Nick'. I rather like the name Alfie, but that's as pretentious/outlandish/trendy as it gets for boys' names. Anyway, by the time I have children Alfie won't even be trendy anymore.
My daughters would be called Bronwyn, Gwenllian, Ottoline, Octavia, Daphne, Margot or Julian. Probably Bronwyn or Gwenllian since they're good Welsh names. I really like 'Julian', as in the 12th century mystic Julian of Norwich, but people would say it 'Julie Ann' or 'Gillian' or else wonder why she wasn't a boy- a lifetime of explaining. Margot is a great name, but one for a glamorous woman not a baby or little girl. Daphne is pretty, but maybe too soft for a daughter of mine. Ottoline is wonderful, but too exotic. Octavia is far too pretentious.
So I think my first daughter would be Bronwyn. My first son would be James.
Maybe I should just get cats...
Gwenllian was going to have been my name, but my dad didn't like it. So I have another good Welsh name instead. Or I could have been James, if the chromosomes had been meted out differently.
I think Gwenllian would have had a prettier life than me. Less poisoned by introspection; Gwenllian is a name for a Romantic not an existensialist.