Destination Unknown: Notes on a Mental Breakdown

I think I am experiencing acute information overload. My brain is becoming as blunt as my observations; my memory failing me like Sarah Palin’s debating skills minus the cue-cards.

I first noticed the symptoms a few weeks ago – I would think back to a conversation, remembering some scant detail or a quote; but not be able to place who I was actually speaking to. The paranoia started to set in at this point, because my life has been profoundly affected by Skins. I always think back to that episode where Chris died, his brain exploding after not being able to remember his girlfriend’s name. Plus massive drug intake. Plus actual brain disease. But I have no guarantee that my brain is not physically afflicted by some memory tumour. Do you see where I am going with this?! And as for drug intake, well, I ate Mexican food once.

So these conversations with no people began to increase in frequency, to the point where all of my social life just merged into one big ball of anonymous soliloquays which I happened to overhear; my brain compounding them into one massive, confusing, Modernist ramble of text.

So with all form of speech completely lost to me, the next thing to go was stimulating books. Because of my uni work, I have been physically unable to read anything beyond media theory for the past month – as previously ranted about. I’m surprised people even speak to me any more, considering I have nothing in my brain worth talking about outside of academia. Case in point – my mum’s boyfriend tried to pull me out of my week-long “bad mood” the other night (I was already out of it by then, but cheers…) by striking up a discussion about Aldous Huxley. He had stolen my copy of Point, Counter Point weeks ago and, by his own account, has read the first five paragraphs of it (I finished it in nine days the first time I read it – the man’s a genius); but found the conscise biography of Huxley at the beginning of the book very enjoyable. So I had this confused, Modernist ramble about Huxley’s experimental use of LSD and mescalin with a man who thinks gays should be shot and that my mum hanging a golliwog with a noose round its neck on her kitchen window is acceptable. I was completely unable to keep my argument on track, just spouting potted facts about Huxley’s defense of recreational drug use, ending with me calling my parent and lover-of-parent-who-steals-my-books fascists. I was not impressed when L-O-P-W-S-M-B thought his backchat-reference to The Young Ones went over my head. Who does he think I am!?

And while my mum and her boyfriend are sailing away in their utopia of red wine, premarital sex and ignorance of anything beyond the Daily Mail dictated status quo, my dad has decided that he is going to come and visit – for an entire month. Last time he was in the country, I only had to see him for five minutes before he buggered off elsewhere. This time, I don’t know. We have a strange set-up for Christmas, with my mum, my sister and myself visiting my paternal grandparents for dinner: with my dad here over the holidays, me presumably working and my mum busy burying her head in the Daily Mail letters page during premarital coitus; I am not sure how I will be able to avoid a few run ins with Big Davie.

I am not sure what percentage of my brain has been used to deal with these mounting problems, but I sure as hell know it is trying to cram in even more than that. For some reason, my tumultuous-cum-non-existant love life seems to be taking up more space than is really necessary. In fact, ever since I read an article about people defining themselves based on who they are with at a certain time, I have been needlessly convinced that I fit into this category. The only problem is that I am perpetually single, and therefore CANNOT exist! I need a new solipsism. Dark thoughts. Dark, dark thoughts.

Building out of the dark thoughts seems to be my dissertation, but there is really no point in even talking about that right now. What is really getting to me, though, is that I have OTHER classes at uni. When did that happen!? I am only now, six weeks into fourth year, realising just how much work I need to do in a very short space of time. I am trying to set up some decent interviews to use in a large portfolio, but I am finding it incredibly difficult to – for one thing, set up interviews; and for a second thing, actually motivate myself into doing the work. I got a blow to the professional side of my brain today when the local paper used a piece I tried to sell to them as a tip-off as opposed to a completed story. None of my (good) quotes were even used; and I certainly got no recognition for finding the story. I was well and truly scooped; I am well and truly gutted.

At most, I have managed to box all of my individual problems off – the Modernist, plagarised ramblings of my inner poet; the lack of stimulating reading material; the issues with my ever-expanding list of parents; the mutual hatred between the local newspaper editor and myself; and my complete inability to apply myself to anything productive – have all given their own topic headings under the umbrella term of information overload.

My first attempt at a remedy was some bastardised form of Cartesian meditation – trying to clear my mind of every intricate thought to leave only proof that there is a God (or so the theory goes!). This didn’t seem to work very well, but that may have been something to do with having downed a bottle of gin before making my attempt. At least that method relied only on my own initiative: my current plan is wholly dependant on outside influences – namely the Passport Office.

Today, regular readers Chris, Max and myself (yes, I include myself as a regular reader; even if my Number Of Hits Today ticker does not!) decided on a whim to book flights to Paris for our Christmas uni night out. If all goes to plan, we’re going to get loaded on the mainland five weeks from now! The only slight problem here is that one of us doesn’t have a passport, and of course, that would be me.

I have applied for a passport, but according to the leaflets, I should wait until I receive my documentation before booking any flights. Well guess what, I did, all right!? I’m not even interested in your “interview” or your “passport” or whatever! I just want to get the hell out of here!!

So regardless of how much I complain, I have to wait six weeks for a passport unless they decide off their own backs to do their job effectively! Any passport officials reading this – drop me an email. I will totally sleep with you or whatever if you fast-track my application.

Anyway, after I get loaded in gay Paris, miss my flight back and have to pawn my winter coat in order to afford the obligatory £15 worth of jellybeans, requisite for any good uni trip; I plan to make damn good use of this new-found freedom of world travel. My dad tells me he has moved out of his old apartment building (“it smells of cats and pee!” – his words), and into somewhere bigger (“this flat has more than one room!” – his words).

I’m excited, I must say. Wherever it is my dad lives in Spain is bound to be warmer than this icicle-riddled excuse for a country – which will work wonders for the Seasonal Affective Disorder I have double-think-ed my way into believing I have; and I will get to meet my dad’s girlfriend – for purposes of further stoned-out-zoned-out discussions of English Literature and firey blog-material of course! And who in their right mind wouldn’t want yet another unstable parent??

As soon as that Passport Office cheque clears – screw Rene Descartes, postmodern parenthood and thinking for myself, and let the world tour commence!!

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2 responses to “Destination Unknown: Notes on a Mental Breakdown

  1. For the record, I have began subscribing to your incessant ramblings, as it is pleasurable to remember the times when we shared these kinds of drivel with one another… I miss the days when we saw each other, and sat for hours, reading papers and drinking coffee. Then you inform me you are running of to Paris, or worse still eloping to Spain. My only words are: DON’T GO, THEY’RE ONLY GAY FOR FUN, DON’T GAY!!!!

  2. Why is it i have to subscribe to this to find out why you are going to Paris. I miss our chats.

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