Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Bed Moved

I woke up a lot in the early hours, itching and feeling pretty rotten. I had diarrhea and had to keep getting up to void myself - that’s exactly the word for how it felt - voiding - unpacking. Like there was something horrible in me. We watched The Exorcist the other day. Very bad idea. I remember seeing it as a teenager and being creeped out by the noises in the attic but finding the rest of the film completely ridiculous. This time around, at thirty, I found it utterly terrifying. That daemon, Pazuzu. There’s something about it. I’ve got really messed up in my head about it, superstitious - as if by writing his name here I might somehow be inviting him in. Our house is full of ghosts, by which I mean lingering little troubles - I think that is to some extent what ghosts are; echoes that don’t seem to go away - our physical proximities crammed with repeated patterns that have to be comprehended often in exhaustion. You can be afraid of them and you can also speak to them. I have done both. There used to be this banging on the door. That was maybe eight years ago. I thought that was a daemon. It was so sudden and insistent. 

I woke up at around five and felt terrible. I do stupid things but somehow they work. I put a documentary about Stalin on and I drifted off. There is a moment when you realise it is working. When you notice that you’ve stopped listening to whatever it is and that you are thinking about something quite different. Your mind begins to perform for you and you know that sleep may well be on its way. I love that feeling. However, this time it was very deceitful. All those lines between dreams and wakefulness became scrambled and I had a dream where I was simply trying to sleep. I kept waking up inside it. At one point the bed had moved quite considerably and it was absolutely terrifying. 

My dear friend Elle and her boyfriend Jan live in a really nice little flat on Clarendon Villas. They are moving out of it soon. They have been dreaming about a disembodied voice telling them to lock the door. Their door has a Yale latch and a deadlock. They don’t use the latter. Several times they have woken up to find it tightly locked. Jan said that the last time this happened he thought he saw a man standing near to the door. The other night I was taking the rubbish out. We live in a flat up sixty eight steps in what would have once been the servant's quarters of a massive Regency townhouse. Historically one family would have occupied the building, now it’s divided into flats. The final staircase to our flat is narrower than the rest, which is spooky. Anyway, I went down all the steps with this bag of rubbish and opened the corroded bolt to the old coal cellar where we put our rubbish. As I turned round for a second I saw a face at the window of the basement flat behind me. I stared into the flat for a few seconds. The lights were off but I could tell that the huge room was empty. I ran up the stairs and all the way to the top of our square. This Halloween has done exactly what it said on the tin, or what perhaps I whispered into the tin. 

I am more or less okay with ghosts and I am aware that I romanticise them a lot. Actually I am really fond of them in many ways. Me and Timothy Thornton wrote a whole book of them, every poem was a ghost and each ghost was full of ghosts and had ghost friends to play ghostly games with. Daemons on the other hand, I renounce them in the name of Christ. That’s not a joke. I actually do that sometimes. I am really scared of them, which is like telling one of those awful columnists that you are offended by something they have written. 

The bed had shifted forwards by about a foot and to the left by about a foot and a half. There is a small wooden set of drawers on my side of the bed. I found them in the street one day. They have an American flag painted over them and I took them because they looked ridiculous and useful. Where the bed had moved the American Drawers were crammed in behind it so we couldn’t move it back. Dolly and I had to shift the room around get everything back in place. Whilst I got really frightened she remained quite calm and seemed to have quite an assurance about the nature of unexplained things. This is a trait of hers in waking life. Where I often become terrified she will see something brilliant going on or somehow embrace the nature of the mystery. We both have our panics but I think she has a greater grasp on not Daemons, or at least not letting Daemons invade and occupy, than I do. I suppose not having them drilled into you helps. I was still asleep, and this went over and over. When I was finally awake I was paralysed and sleep took me again and again some horrible nightmares. 

I woke up feeling sick. Had to void myself a few more times. I had a couple of hours to get to work but realised I probably had food poisoning or some other nastiness. Managed to call in sick and get cover, then I was sick and whilst that was happening I was convinced something was going to tap me on the shoulder. I’m not sure what else to say, but that at night I’m afraid to look in mirrors etc. and that I’ve been heavily drenched in the most obvious versions of ghosts all my life. Now they seem more apparent. No more spooky films for a while, young lady.