Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thursday is a typo.

(Warning: Post may contain peculiar UK English spelling. Side effects of reading peculiar UK English spelling may include - the all-pervading melancholy of a fallen empire, the ability to see flaws in the most perfect of situations, and nostalgic memories of when BBC 2 was worth watching.)

As I sit here on a sunny Sunday afternoon, having stayed up until 4am the night before and having slept until midday, I find myself thinking about Thursday. Bear with me; I'm going somewhere with this.

There are many things that could be done on a Thursday. Laundry is usually a good idea, especially when you have a three-week build up of dirty clothing that is threatening to evolve into a new form of life. Homework is also a good idea, especially when a trip to San Francisco and subsequent stinking cold result in a backlog of essays and readings. Failing laundry or homework, the third and most realistic option is sleep.

For someone such as me, with the short term memory and attention span of a drunken five-year-old, being sleep deprived is a dangerous thing. Leaving aside the obvious difficulties with functioning in the real world while your mind has long since given up, it becomes rather tricky to write something cohesive. Oh, there is little doubt in what remains of my mind that being “not all there” brings me closer to the guttering candle that is creativity, and in that strange state of limbo between dreaming and waking I have seen sights that have both inspired and terrified me. But imagination without restraint is madness, and while I would argue that anyone creative has to be at least a little insane, a bit of sanity is required to make your writing know, readable.

Thursday. I’m not sure I approve of the concept. A day before the last day of the week? Piffle. The way I see it, the week should just end; we shouldn’t have to get through an entire day of almost the last day of the week. What exactly are you supposed to think about Thursday? You can’t see it as the middle of the week; that title is reserved for Wednesday. If you get all excited about the end of the week, you’ll just disappoint yourself when you wake up on Friday morning and realise that you now have the actual last day of the week to survive.

Thursday is a day of displacement, of displaced excitement; do you look towards the weekend, or focus on reaching the end of the week? Thursday is a day of displaced priorities; do you pull a Friday excuse on the things that need to be done and leave them until Monday on the basis that it’s almost Friday? Thursday is a day of displaced fatigue; you’ve worked three days, you’re on the fourth day, you don’t have the buzz of the fifth day, the chemical surge that carries you to the end of Friday. Thursday is simply an incorrect day; a divine typo. Do you know why the universe will end one way or another? Because of Thursday. Thursday upsets the universal balance. It’s a scientific fact. Probably. Don’t quote me on that. I mean I’m usually right about this sort of thing, but the scientific community might not have caught onto this yet, so give them a few more years and I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

Ahem. So, of all the things that could be done on a Thursday, I went to California Adventure. Don’t judge me; it was Thursday’s fault, and I regret nothing. Besides, thanks to the amazingness (yes, that is a word, because I say so) of my girlfriend, it was completely free. Much hilarity ensued. By the way, wouldn’t it be funny if that was how all stories were written? For example:

He felt a sickening crunch as flesh was crushed between metal and bone, the impact reaching into his body and filling him with dread. Conscious thought was silenced by fear. Fear was drowned in adrenaline. He leapt to his feet, tearing himself from his pain, and stood face to face with his assailant. Far below them, the crowds of the theme park flowed and divided like a river delta. His assailant stood in perfect stillness, dark silhouette before dark sky, darker than the night, blacker than his own shadow.
“Now do you understand?” the shadow asked him, the voice deep and calm.
“Yes,” he replied, standing his ground.
The shadow sprang towards him, and much hilarity ensued.

I dislike theme parks. I’m not sure what it is exactly that I dislike about them; the cold-hearted corporate mentality behind them that charges $2.75 for a bottle of water, or the forced joviality they use to hide it. Perhaps people in animal suits creep me out. All I know is the very thought of going to them fills me with such gloriously black cynicism; they make me want to write something terribly satirical and cutting. They make me want to let loose with all the deadpan bitchy comments I can possibly come up with. They make me want to smirk at all those doomed individuals clad in Mickey Mouse ears.

Unfortunately, and disturbingly, I felt the magic while I was there. I’m not sure you can comprehend how unnerving it is for me to admit this, but it is quite true. There is something in the air at such places (although it wouldn’t surprise me if this something is in fact chemical in nature, and pumped into the air by the park owners to create this magic feeling). Sitting upon a bench and watching the crowds, listening to horrible Beach Boys covers drifting through that surreal world from unseen speakers, bearing witness to the bizarre artificiality of it all, leaning back and embracing this alien I sat there, all I could think was; I wish I could be locked in here over night. I wish I was alone here, in this strange place, so that I could explore and have peculiar adventures that would defy sanity. To be alone with all the automation, all the lights, all the dark corners and hidden maintenance passages.

And so here I am, filled with thoughts of writing surreal fantasies and horrors set in theme parks, even though I know such a setting has been used many times before by such genres. The idea of writing something so conventional fills me with self-loathing, and yet I can’t shake this urge to do it anyway. I feel as though I have been infected by Disney...what a ghastly thought.

And I owe it all to Thursdays.


Temporary Home

This blogsite is our temporary home while our website undergoes an extreme makeover of epic proportions (shifted septums, pacemakers, calf implants, dialysis, a fancy wig, contacts -- the works).

This was our old home, and while it is a bit dated, it's a good source of info regarding recent issues and the history of Prism Review.

Updates will follow regarding our new home. ETA summer 2009.