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The Insider

Digital Video
2014


Part of a life long attempt at writing a novel. 




I have missed all of daylight today, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching it since 7am. From my bed, I have watched the light come up forming grids across the floor of my room. The dull carpet becomes interesting only at that time, light after all is the dynamic persuader. From Baroques use of chiaroscuro to reveal the folds in drapery, to the street lamp in film noir. Light means action. On this day, on this floor however, light means that the day is not over, and that it wont be for a fair while. This is one day that is not cherished, it is the day after one, and the day before another. It is interstitial, tomorrow will matter, but today was done before it began. I engross myself in activities that consume time. I sleep on and off, I imagine myself in other places, I make lunch. New potatoes, I roast them to take more time. Sausages, grilled, covered in that tangy mustard from New York. Salad, plonk, a handful from a ready washed bag. Voilà, it is done, meat, potatoes, salad.

I eat whilst watching a sitcom about teachers, I don't like eating alone. If you eat alone you have to occupy yourself whist you do it. I’ve tried books, sitting in cafes reading books, but it doesn’t work. To read a book and eat at the same time you have to keep flitting your eyes between the book and the meal, every time I do this I loose my place on the page. Not to mention that eating whilst reading means that you must hold the book with one hand, that is straining, and that you must be able to eat with one hand, that is challenging. Food that can be eaton with one hand; soup, small sandwiches, chips, crisps, it’s not a particularly thrilling group. So instead of reading I watch a show, just something that lasts half an hour or so. Today I watch five shows, back to back, a teacher quits, a new one arrives, daily battles with love, success, vanity. The characters are in their twenties and thirties, the millennium has passed, the present for them is 2001. They live in pairs, smoke, own cars, and go the pub everyday. I think about now, I live with four people, no car, smoking is bad for you, pints cost five quid.

I could fancy wearing a neck choker, like the characters. I miss wearing t-shirts all the time. After the fifth show I decide things need to change, I must make myself feel better, more presentable. I shave my legs, under my arms, I open the new soap, a fresh start. I clean myself to a point at which all ills feel much better. I put on modest but flattering clothes, make my bed, wash the dishes, pour a cup of tea, then sit at my desk. It is at this point I notice that I have missed the light. It is mid afternoon and the sun is on its way back down again, its that lazy time of the year when it feels like the sun has lost all enthusiasm. I open up my laptop, flick through the various tabs, catching up on the difference between today and yesterday with everyone else. There is no change, sure the likes have moved to different places, and the email titles offer different promises, I am here and you are there.

Its funny though how the checking is now a process, the routine of finding out that there is no new information and then moving on. When we wake, when we arrive, journey, break, wait, get back, look busy, are bored. It is now dark outside, the day is done, but the evening is here. A new challenge, do I stay in this room that I have made my container for the day, or do I go out, or invite someone in? Tomorrow is new years eve, I’ve invited friends, I hate new year. No, not hate, but rather loath it. New year is a day like today, that I want to erode away from the confines of my room. However, I cannot. Today is any other day, I can ignore the possibility of other things and keep my mind in four walls. Tomorrow is the day, the day that people ask about and comment on, so you must do something.