stuff and things


A couple of months back, a friend of mine was working on one of the upcoming 9/11 films. He found himself really uncomfortable with it and asked to work on something else instead. We talked about it, but not for long – I still don’t entirely trust myself to be reasonable on the subject. Earlier this week, I got an email from a production company that’s worked on a few 9/11 films, inviting me to an event where they will be discussed. And now I’m feeling this creeping dread about September in the cinemas. As I said to my friend, “Ah yes. It’s the 5th anniversary of a major tragedy – I know what let’s do! Let’s tastelessly sensationalise it! Hey, if we’re really lucky maybe there will be another raft of race- and religion- related hate crimes!”

Then, this morning, the following email arrived (from another friend):

I got home last night to find my flat cordoned off in a murder investigation scene. The convenience shop a few doors up from my flat got fire bombed. Luckily no customers were in the shop but of the staff – one is dead, another critically ill and three injured. More disturbingly the attack was race hate – purely because they were muslim. :0(

The clapham road has been closed all night and the fire crews have been trying to make safe the building which is completely gutted.

I’m having to be escorted to and from my flat by the police as it’s inside the cordoned off area.

So so sad… And they were such friendly people that worked in there. :0(

So really, we don’t need any help with the whole hate thing. Which makes me even more nervous about what autumn will bring.

See, I’m the first to agree that 9/11 was a horrible horrible thing, and I think it’s right to remember it, but not as an excuse to take out your aggressions on people you don’t know, either physically or verbally. And not as support for a radical political agenda. And also not in a horribly sensationalist form masquerading as some sort of über-realism. I’m still not going to jump into the political debate over why the attack happened, but I do stand prepared to speak up against tastelessness, especially when it engenders a dangerous environment for me, my friends and our neighbours.

not so gah.

So I’ve given up smoking. I keep feeling weird when I type that or say it; I never thought I’d be a nonsmoker. OK, that didn’t sound right either. What I mean is that I don’t want to be confused with those militant nonsmoking assholes who do that desperately irritating fake coughing thing when you’re standing beside them waiting outside a gig venue. But yeah, I also want some new shoes and I’m never going to be able to afford them with this £5-a-packet thing, so there you have it.

Anyway. Yesterday I was cranky. Very very cranky. So cranky, in fact, that I only just restrained myself from biting my boss’ head clean off his body in a meeting (not good – see, normally we get along just fine), and that most of my team were sort of alternating between uncomfortable laughing and keeping outside kicking distance for much of the day. But today? Today I am not cranky. Not yet at least. Today I think a cigarette might be a pleasant thing but I also find myself able to read a whole entire document without drifting off halfway through the second paragraph and staring into the middle distance for five minutes. Today I only have a teeny little headache, and only for a few minutes at a time. In short, I feel much better. The experts say that within another 3 days or so I’ll feel mostly back to normal, and in another ten I’ll be fully cured. They say the worst is over. Let’s just hope they’re right.

and more gah.

Remember the cats I adopted? Adorable but still half feral, hoping in time they’d be tame? It’s not working out. After six weeks, I still can’t trust them not to pee on my pillows (ew ew EW!) and one of the two shows no interest in interacting with me. So I’m giving up. Maybe this is a shortcoming, but I think I’ve overestimated my tolerance for this sort of thing. I have discovered that no matter how good my intentions, I can’t have two creatures in my house that I care for but that I can’t really touch. It’s depressing and it’s sad, but there it is. So there’s my little confession on that.

but more good stuff too…

I haven’t given up on pets, though. It occurs to me that a similar thing happened when I got Akasha all those years ago – I took in a stray cat who stayed with me for a week or so and then made it clear he wanted to go (let’s not get into how); a few weeks later I met Akasha and her brothers and sisters, she fell asleep in the hollow of my collarbone, and I decided to bring her home with me. So I’m doing more or less the same thing now: on Sunday afternoon I’m going to meet some kittens to see how we get on. If all goes well I’ll be bringing them home in a couple of weeks.

If you made only the slightest change to those last couple of sentences it would sound like I’m going on a blind date, wouldn’t it? Well, let’s hope this goes better than my last few of those.