Sat here in the oppressive heat, slightly dizzy, unable to really focus, it's all clear. The title is a fantastic one, the key image it throws up is Kieron's quote from the discussion of the Cassandra Project: "First rate at what I do, third rate as a human being." But I can't write it.
It's being in Hull, being at home. Looking back over the posts made this time last year, when I had no exit, no place to escape to, I'm struck by the similarity of feeling. The private posts, a mess of characters as I took out my frustration with the world and with myself on my keyboard, I see the same situation. Sneaking out for a cigarette or four when the family have gone to bed, writing because all I can do is digest and manipulate information and drama into stories.
I don't know what it is that I do that I can be first rate at.
Without that, I've no personal frame of reference. I know there must be something, but back here that doesn't register. In amongst the moths and the heat and the smell of tobacco, I realise that I've lost that sense of what I'm good at. Writing? If I were any good I wouldn't need the information hit. I wouldn't be so fucking annoyed at the world giving me nothing but yet more wankery about that fucking Harry Potter book. If I were really good I'd be able to ignore that. But I'm not. And apart from that, I don't know what I am good at, and so I can't write the story. I can't write anything.
That's the feeling that lead to so much depression last summer. Last everytime I was here. It's Hull, a psychic sinkhole that sucks the good out of people through a straw in the ear. I'm escaping tommorrow, but even that seems an aeon away.
I don't want to spend my life running from my hometown and it's effects on me. But equally, I want my knack back. I want to be able to turn titles into stories again, something that I was always best at while I was here.
I feel like Belbo in Foucault's Pendulum. Every time trying not to be a coward, and failing even in success.
I'd forgotten how bad it can get. I laugh and joke about escaping from Hull but it isn't a joking matter. Not really. Not when it has this effect after I've been here just over 48 hours. Not when I feel like I'm wasting yet another long night in front of a keyboard without doing anything, because I can't create.