Someone come and talk to me. I’m in a state of absolute mania.
I want to scream into the valley: “HELLO? I’M HERE!! SOMEONE TALK TO ME, PLAY MUSIC AT ME, DANCE WITH ME, BE WITH ME.”
At times I feel insane.
This morning I was absolutely fine. Half an hour ago I was absolutely fine. And then, suddenly, absolutely inconsolable. I NEED PEOPLE NOW. I know it’s good for me to learn to have self reliance, but sometimes it’s just painful, actually painful.
And you see other travellers, in their other camper-vans, with their significant others, or less significant others, or just others, speaking their other languages and you wonder when did we become so indoctrinated into this belief that every waking second needs to be spent with other people, or connected to other people via small rectangular telecommunication boxes with their windows to other realms? Is the idea of travelling alone so obscure? Because it seems to be. I can’t see ANYONE ELSE doing this alone. At all. Anyone?
And I know I can just pick up the phone, call someone. But when you’ve savoured these moments, these precious interactions for times of true desperation, suddenly you’re under a weird pressure. Or something else. You feel this sense that you have to say everything in that moment while you have chance and somehow that makes the idea of it seem scarier than the loneliness. And when you’re feeling manic, alone, vulnerable, the last thing you need is the pressure of having to recount every last detail of your past week. Because, by now, you’re not sure if it was the most eye-opening, life defining week of your existence, or if every second has actually been nothing but painfully mundane and all you’ve done is stare wistfully at the bit of mud stuck to your flip-flop as you listen to the hours tick by.
You might not have spoken in your language for a day, or longer, and then somehow your voice is alien, your words are alien. You say something obscenely loud, because you’ve forgotten how volume control works, your voice cracks and breaks, you shriek: “HELLO!!!”. And when you reach that point you never know if the worst is yet to come, you want to savour that phone call, wait until you really need it. What if I call now and in an hour I feel worse, or what if something happens to me and what if no one’s there? What if no one can speak now? Because everyone else has a life after all, they aren’t just sitting by the phone on the off-chance you might be feeling a bit weird about this wholly self-inflicted situation you now find yourself in. They’re not just sitting next to their phones, staring at them, willing them to ring as I am in this moment… or maybe they are? Let’s face it, they are staring at their phones. Most people are staring at their phones most of the time.
This is such a beautiful valley. I could almost cry. But that is out there, through my window.
In here. Alone again, alone still. In the van. Sometimes this tiny space seems so huge. So much space around me and I take up such a tiny portion of it. I wonder how I ever filled a room, a flat, a house. Where did this need come from? For space, and then, for things to fill the space. Were they always just a distraction? Why did I need that chest of drawers I found in the charity shop? I opened every last one of them and I found nothing, not fulfilment, not happiness. Just another thing, to fill with other things; to fill my empty heart, to close my mind to truths, to whatever it was I wasn’t looking for and wasn’t finding.
And I’ve finally made a plan. I’ve had tea, I’ve done all of the jobs that needed doing which take hours more than they need to, because everything does when it is in miniature. Washing a miniature pan in a miniature sink, and then putting it away again, into the miniature cupboards; a miniature version of real life, played out in a 1 metre squared section of miniature floor space…
Now all that is left is to explore, but this mania makes me tired. It makes me say fuck it. What the point of going to the town? I don’t want to buy anything, I don’t want to see another collection of carbon copy buildings I just saw in the last town, selling carbon copies of their souveniers, just with different words on them. I don’t need to get a drink from another rubbish cafe or bar, everything I need is here. But then, cabin fever, miserable cabin fever. Literal cabin fever. Time to venture outside.