My grandparents live in a three-storey Victorian house with high ceilings, huge windows, and packed bookshelves. It’s big, but the more you get to know it, the smaller it gets. I’m spending the night here, which I always enjoy. At home I’m always surrounded by my own physical shit—my disorganized papers, a pile of clothes I’m too lazy to put away, all the books I haven’t read, personal mementos that I can’t seem to get rid of—which has come to symbolise my personal, internal shit. But here at my grandparents’, I can escape all of that literal and mental clutter for a bit. I can relax. I thought my own bed was my favourite place in the world, but I don’t sleep very well there at the moment. But last night, here, I didn’t even have to try anything to get to sleep other than getting under the covers and closing my eyes.
Visiting my grandparents is also a nice way to escape the crazy routine I have become so entrenched in at home. I am simultaneously happy and sad with my life, tired and energetic, bored and excited, sick and well. I am used to one monotonous mood that drags on for weeks, not this new up and down, up and down. I am spinning so many plates at once it’s hard to think straight. I haven’t been able to concentrate on schoolwork, or anything else. There is something going on in each section of my life and I feel I owe attention to each part. It is all so overwhelming. And that is on top of the usual things like cleaning your room and brushing your teeth, which I find hard enough anyway.
I wish I could be more like my grandpa. He’s a classical composer, and he still sits down at the piano in his study almost every day, with large sheets of musical staffs in front of him, hundreds and hundreds of books behind him, and a wonderful view of the sky out of the window, and gets to work. He always has an upstairs book and a downstairs book on the go, so he doesn’t have to tread the steep stairs to get fetch his reading material. I wish I could apply that logical approach to the whole of life.
I have such a strong urge to get rid of everything at the moment, to empty my life—but I know I would regret it. I just want to stay here. I want to retreat, I want to hide away. That is always my natural instinct, my default in life. I keep on crossing the road and not minding the idea of a car hitting me. It’s not that I want to die—I just want a reason not to do anything anymore. ♦