in Prose

S03E01

I should be writing something else

Hello again. I’m currently on leave; leave I took with the express purpose of writing The Book. I am, in fact, not writing the book. I’m writing about me. I need a break from characters and plotting.

Onwards!

Things have happened

1Two friends got married, and what’s super-exciting is that they got married to each other. The memories I have are either very clear or super-fuzzy, but here they are: the bride squeezing the groom’s hand and mouthing “Don’t you dare cry,”; an outbreak of snuffling tears from 120 people as an opera singer raised her voice to the rafters; a moment of shared joy at cracking a cryptic crossword clue despite being more than a little hungover. Ice cream. Belly laughs. A flurry of green confetti that flew up with a laugh as the bride grabbed a handful of her dress and whirled. Conversations that paused 3 months ago and picked up again without a phrase missed. Love. Everywhere love; for friends, for family, for lovers.

Oh. And there was a wedding dress with pockets.

2I’ve been referred to our local autism services. I’m still processing this. I’m processing it out loud, and now I’m second-guessing if this is symptomatic or a thing I do; and if there’s overlap. It’s become a weight on my mind and my actions. I don’t like it.⁰

Recent events have certainly made it clear to me that I’m not 100% neurotypical. I don’t know how to deal with it, especially because at the moment I don’t even have a diagnosis. It may not be that. It may be something else. But anyway: I’m now full of anxiety about things that might not happen. This is affecting me in all kinds of ways, ways I suspect I’m not as aware of as other people are.

3I have working code in production. People are using a thing that I built. It’s working. I mean I assume it’s working, I’m on leave and haven’t looked at my emails. This has been an incredibly interesting product to work on, and if I move teams I’ll still have learned loads and I’ll always be able to point at something and say I did this.

4I attended a jobs fair for the Cabinet Office’s Private Office Group. I don’t think I’m cut out for Private Office proper, but there were a couple of really interesting roles in background jobs that I’m strongly considering making my next move. I’ve got an end goal in mind and an idea of the next steps I need to take. We shall see.

I saw my ex there as well. It was…odd. It was odd when someone asked us how we knew each other and we both laughed because we hadn’t thought about how to answer that question. It was odd because we kept an eye on each other and I let them know when I was leaving, except that’s what you’d do if you saw a friend at an event. Except of course we’re not friends. We’re something more, and also something less.

5I’ve written six thousands, two hundred, and seventy-six words of The Book. It is to date the second largest piece of continuous writing I’ve ever done, and will eclipse the first — my undergraduate dissertation, a piece about which I have extremely mixed feelings — by tomorrow. I’m feeling really good about it. I’m writing about 1500 words per day, and it’s absolutely pouring out. That’s not to guarantee quality. In fact it’s almost certainly pish.³ However, at least it’ll be written. Then comes the editing, but at least there’ll be something to edit.

That’s all. It’s been a weird week, and this period of leave is going to be weirder as I find myself on a roll and type til 2am. I couldn’t do that if I had work or a partner, and there’s a weird, fierce, sad sort of joy I’m getting through doing it. I’m not sure it’s healthy. But it feels good.

Here’s a thing I didn’t say at the wedding but had to tell someone, because the couple had sonnet 116 and I love it; I do, but I’m a joyless, cold-hearted suckfest and you have to realise it was read wrongly, the rhymes that should have rhymed did not, and look just listen to Ben Crystal do it with today’s pronunciation and the original and try to tell me it’s not better the way it was, the way it should be.


⁰ Ah but what if that’s symptomatic! A strong preference for order is definitely on the list.¹

¹ On the other hand, plenty of people feel anxiety about impending decisions over which they have no control!²

² Yes, this is indeed the single, looping track my brain has been playing since I got the letter.

³ to urinate under the influence of drink

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