Doing makeup on the Train!

On the train, I sit opposite a woman entertaining herself with Puzzler magazine, and beside a man passing the time with The Economist, this week on Catalonian independence inter alia. He and his sister are better at conversation than I, talking with the woman about The X factor on the telly, which I never watch, and then with me on whether there really is a St Pancras. Yes, there is a St Pancras’ church near the station, a Roman martyr. St Pancreas, says his sister. What does the pancreas do? We don’t know, and neither does the Puzzler woman, who is silent.

Cuddling with a friend, I find myself thinking of when I am breathing, and holding my breath at the time I decide consciously. Just a cuddle, between friends, and I am completely Controlled, so I stop.

I asked facebook what they think of doing makeup on the tube. J gets funny looks when she does hers on the bus, but what with getting to work, getting the children out to school, she has no other time to do it. M thinks it shows a lack of self-respect: it is like getting dressed, you do not get dressed in public. I got my mascara out, and felt a wave of pleasure and relaxation. I am claiming my space in this carriage, as mine. I like making up. It is pleasurable. If others look, to feel self-conscious is a prey response. What should they mean to me? I do as I wish!

We are getting somewhere with all this, it is not just clearing up odd wee points. the 5Rhythms, I do not understand when S says she never really understood Chaos, did not really do it properly, wants to get really into it, and when dancing with someone I am wondering what they think, I should follow a bit, or lead- oh, I am following, is this creative enough, what does she think of me? What do others think of me? Well, what do I think of others? Some of the time I am just moving with the music, and some of it I am thinking and planning. Or comparing. This person is more flexible, this more beautiful, this more creative. And- one must learn before doing, that is a mental activity.

Playing B’s piano. Something about the vibrations in the air- though how could they be different?- makes a piano with strings so much Better than a digital one. I fiddle about with Chopin waltzes, which I have never looked at before. I might be able to make music with these. Oh, that phrase is so subtle and beautiful.

The dancing may indeed be a Spiritual Experience, spontaneously moving, getting out of the mind and into the body, and I think of what impression I make. Doing the makeup was the spontaneous act, doing what I wanted when I wanted to, purely for myself. Do I do something for my own pleasure or just to make a Good Impression? Dancing, ideally, should be both, music should be both, just seeking to make an impression without getting joy myself seems cowardly or treasonable to myself somehow. Or, it is having the experience, seeing how I am, seeing how I am with others, how important the impression is. And there are moments of spontaneity, even enjoyment, in Enjoyable Things.


I want to withdraw.

I read the Holstee Life-manifesto, and think, yeah, right. It ranges from what I see as good advice- “open your mind arms and heart to new things and people,” say- to the “You can do anything you want” stuff which I have heard is the kind of vicious lie we have to try to believe, but is very far from my experience. Though when I whined something similar on her site, Lynne made a gracious reply.

I want to withdraw. But that is completely nutty. I have twice seen an NHS CBT worker about “behavioural activation” which is getting me to do stuff, there is lots of stuff I need to do to advance my interests, and Withdrawal- sitting doing nothing- is not doing that. Then again: “Do what you love, and do it often”. “Live your dream and share your passion.” Mmm. Well, here am I doing nothing, and telling you about it.

I want to withdraw, and that is indeed strange and wrong- arguably- though looking at some other wants:

I want not to have to think
I want to be looked after
I want to be told what to do

-even though if ever someone tells me what to do and that is not what I want to do in that moment I have a resistance, and do not do it. Vide Behavioural Activation. Oops, that is not a proper sentence. Looking at my other wants, life is too much for me, all I have imagined I needed to do does not fit my desires, and I can’t think it through- “Stop over-analysing” says Holstee- so withdrawing makes sense.

I do not always resist. “Go and see what the next dance is” said S, and I went off to look at the list stuck to the wall, surprising F who thought me over biddable. Arguably. Gosh, that’s er, must be 25 years ago. Just wafts into my mind then.

I withdrew as far as I can- after breakfast I went back to bed- and the grinding tool or drill screamed into my consciousness and I am not in control, even here. Tears. After reading for a while I went to shower, and- getting into the bath, that routine movement, the planned thing I must do- more tears. Presence. Consciousness. The feel of the water, the heat.

I could do X and dress for that, or wear jeans to slob around the house, and I really want to wear that skirt. So I do. That “per una” skirt- it is years old, I have worn it twice this Autumn and been told how beautiful it is each time. And it is. And this blouse.

-Tranny crap. Fantasist, worrying about clothes for fuck sake, not real life-

Maxine did not like the word “blouse”, which seems less in use, preferring “shirt”. I love the softness of the fabric, the subtle floral design, the fussiness of the shape…

My living room is tidy, after S visited. I light a candle. Beautiful. I read a bit.

I kneel in my ritual space, and am overwhelmed by sensation: the wig I never wear, real hair, moves on my cheek if I move my head, the silk slip, the soft opaque tights- and I come to an end, just as the timer does. Then I play the piano, starting Giorni Dispari but moving quickly to free improvisation, the spontaneous interaction of rhythm and harmony.

I am being spontaneous, doing what I want to do, against the Rules inculcated, against the Common Sense which consciously runs through my mind. This is unaccustomed. I am so, so guarded, that spontaneity with another person seems too much, too difficult, this sitting doing almost nothing is all the spontaneity I can manage-

That beautiful, sensitive man- seen as Mentally Ill, looked after (managed) by his younger brother, last time I saw him he was SUPPRESSED by anti-psychotics

Just sitting here, with that candle, its flame so steady, so beautiful- just sitting here feels so dangerous-

If you have read this far, please leave a comment. A reaction would be good, but a comma in the comment box is a good enough “I was here” for me-

I do not trust myself, and I want to be heard. Then again, I grow, just a little, in trust of myself. Withdrawing is definitely good for me today.

Written 20 November.