Unpost 6: extended café remix

I’m feeling quite drained of energy and whatever that other stuff is that goes with energy. I managed to drag myself out of the flat for a late lunch of a bowl of soup at my usual café, having bidden farewell this morning to a friend of my ex’s who has stayed in our flat for a couple of nights, disrupting the usual routine.

All I have done today, despite having things I really should do (like maybe writing some Christmas cards – I had good intentions for that this year), is sit in the café consuming hot beverages and interacting with Twitter.

My main focus has been trying to lend my support to Mermaids, an incredibly important charity that works to support trans children and their families. It had been awarded £0.5m of lottery funding, which would have enabled it to expand its UK support network considerably. However, the funding has been called into question after the transphobic mafia piled in to complain, led by the Sunday Times, Mumsnet and Graham Linehan (yes, the one who used to be a comedy scriptwriter).

In fact, before that happened, I tried to convince a handful of people I follow on Twitter to stop following Linehan. Although some were happy to do so, others wanted to leap to his defence or at least offer him the benefit of the doubt. It must be nice not to be able to hear the shrill scream of the dogwhistles.

The usual routine has been disturbed not only by people coming to sleep in our living room, but also by the very existence of December. It is without question the most routine-distorting of months, and I should never have expected to make headway with my serialised story in the past couple of weeks. (It will come, though!) There’s so much going on, and it’s completely overwhelming: no one should be expected to actually do anything in December!

Tomorrow will be written off: I’m block-booked for a day of marking with other course tutors. This is a bit scary, because it’s a leap into the unknown. And I have to go out for lunch with the tutors and some other staff; the prospect of not being able to get out of that environment all day is making me feel very claustrophobic already.

I have been reading a linguistics monograph recently, as bedtime reading. The material is of interest and of relevance to my PhD, but what’s particularly interesting is that I’m starting to think a little about my PhD work again – even if it is only as I’m lying awake at night.

If only I could visualise stuff in my head (I have aphantasia), I might find those times more productive, rather than having to set up loops of narrative in my head to hold the ideas and constantly augment my thinking with subtle hand movements in lieu of pictures.

I really just want to put the light on and read some more, but that’s not possible when there’s someone else in the room who wants to be in darkness. I wonder to myself whether people with a typical mind’s eye can conjure up images even in the depths of night (which feels like impossible magic to me). Lying in the dark (especially in the Northern Hemisphere winter) is a kind of sensory deprivation.

In closing, I don’t think this unpost has been helped by the weird synth-pop wash that’s been playing all afternoon. It has taken me to a stranger place than the one I was in when I arrived.

If anyone wants to say hello in the comments, please do. (Comments on unposts are allowed to be unposty too.) And if you know me in real life, do get in touch.

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