Thursday, 14 February 2013

Desperate Living

Every time I go back home I have a sense of having not done anything with my life, which is partially true. Like Henry Miller once said, we'd all be better off if home just existed like a picture postcard in the back of our minds which we shouldn't be tempted to go back to. I regularly go back to Plymouth and the area of North Cornwall I grew up in. I normally end up walking around by myself and every corner I turn invokes a different memory and an awful feeling. A feeling of regret and emptiness. I need to move on. Anyway, I did one last trip around Plymouth on a wretchedly hungover Sunday morning in January and visited all the places around Plymouth Hoe which ever meant anything to me in years gone by. I took a "trip down memory lane" and ended up feeling suicidal. It was horrible.
Plymouth Hoe: An empty carrier bag blowing towards the camera. No one else is around and there was a fierce wind.. Sir Frances Drake was bowling up here when the Spanish Armada invaded in the 1600's. I learnt to Rollerblade up here in the early 90's. My mum bought me my Rollerblades from the free ads; they were white leather with green wheels, they were obviously made for girls and I don't want to think about it any more.

Plymouth Dome: I never knew what was in here and then it shut down. It's been shut down since about 2000 and nothings been done with it. Every time I look it I feel like it's 1993 and I've just gone to see Jurassic Park with my dad and sister. I guess it reminds me of the foyer in Jurassic park where the skeletons of the dinosaurs are hanging from the ceiling. I hate this place. It makes me feel old and sad, like my youth is dead and the future is a derelict building with no plans of regeneration

War memorial: Skated here when I was 15. I remember a scene in Flatspot skate video happening here. An old Plymouthian lady, a relic from WWII Plymouth tells the guys skating, "I used to be a little slip and you'll be paralysed for life...silly...silly boys". That was filmed about 1995. Why am I here thinking about it?

I met a girl on a date here last year. We sat in that shelter for about two hours and talked. The view overlooks Plymouth Sound. We had a two hour conversation and I think I was in love. I hold this shelter in fond memory. Later on we walked along the Hoe in the dark, there was no one around, it was windy as it always is, but we felt safe. The romance was doomed but sometimes I walk past here and think, "things happen in places that no one will ever know."

I had never seen this before but I like it. It's Poseidon stabbing some wretched sea beast with the blunt end of his trident. What a horrid way to die.

I once spent a night with a girl in the block of housing at the end of the Holiday Inn. She occupied the top floor window. She's gone back to Sweden now. Nothing happened that night I spent with her. I didn't feel in a sexual mood and instead we played crystal healing with her vast crystal collection. In the morning I woke up with an erection but quickly dismissed it. I gave her my tie-dyed shirt and we spent the day drinking on the hoe. I never saw her again.

I hate looking up this street in this direction. The hollow white light at the brow of the hill makes me think it's 1999. People are into nu-metal and I am trying to skate, but I suck. But if I look for long enough I realise that everyone I grew up with has moved away and probably never even listen to Limp Bizkit anymore and I'm here by myself.

For me this sums up Plymouth: a cracked pavement of faded pink and grey paving slabs from the post war reconstruction of the city. It's sad and endearing. It makes me want to drink and see my firends. I used to skate down these pavements and slam on my face every time I reached a section like this. So many pointless memories. I wish I could erase them.

I've walked down here hundreds of times but I've never been happy.

A reflection of the Civic Centre. Lots of this that I don't wish to recall happened in the shadow of this buildng. How morose.

I used to skate here all the time. A set of two steps outside the magistrates court. Where's everybody now? Dead? No, shopping in Drake's Circus shopping centre or at home. The play grounds of my youth are desolate wastelands and I'm hungover.

The train ride back to Exeter. My favourite view in Plymouth - the Plym Estuary at twilight. Lovely.

1 comment:

  1. "I've walked down here hundreds of times but I've never been happy." You should put on a photography exhibition.