Hello Darkness My Old Friend
I could be purely biological about it, say that I've gone 4 days without exercising properly, and been eating badly, hyping myself up on sugar again. I could say that it's falling back into bad habits. I found myself at home on Saturday evening (I mean, honestly, where else am I going to be?) - I was actually having fun, playing bedroom DJ, putting together another Crafty Beats comp because several of my friends have been asking for one.
And then something in the back of my brain remembered - oh, it's Erol's 6mix tonight. I wrestled with my internet connection to even get it to load, and at the sound of his voice - so familiar, nervous, slightly stuttering, all that information in his brain coming out in fits and starts. It's like he starts a sentence, realises he's on the air and freezes up, then a moment later, the rest of his words tumble out in a great rush to finish the thought before the next song comes on. It's strangely endearing.
And I *ache*, remembering the last time, a gang of us listening together on the internet, the glow of computer screens like a digital age fireside, though we're thousands of miles apart. I want Alexa and Ida to be there, but Alexa is on the way to university and Ida is working late. In a fit of nostalgia, I log onto the board - big mistake. I can't just slip back into something I've left so flagrantly. No matter what thread I comment on, it's like, no one can just talk about the topic with me, they have to turn it around and make it all about me and how shit I am, and what the fuck I'm doing on the board again (usually in the most nasty, pointed, vicious internet bully way) and it's like I'm caught in the glare of a dozen headlamps.
I'm looking at his twitter, glancing through the fuzzy iPhone pics he's posted. There's a dark, grainy, blurry photo of what appears to be him with my internet crush. Oh fuck, I'm doubly glad I didn't go to the gig now. Like it wouldn't have been painful enough - by myself (because none of my friends like that kind of music), in an unfamiliar bar in a part of town I dislike - knowing no one in the venue except the two people on the stage - and then my tarnished idol turns up? My idea of hell. I shudder at the simultaneous lost opportunity and the narrow escape and turn back to the forum.
Then he does a shout-out to all the forum members, mentioning several of us by name - and I realise he's reading them off twitter. Of course my name isn't on the list, though a quick trending search of twitter reveals my stupid, nostalgic tweet is one of the first that comes up. A stab of paranoia shoots through my brain like a bolt of blue lightening. He's blocked me. Proof, finally, in the absence of other information, that he does, truly, dislike me. He only ever spoke to me when I was being negative. I writhe with jealousy over everyone else on the forum he's *nice* to. What the fuck is it about me, that I'm so hateful and repulsive that even someone who is *known* for being so gentle and gentlemanly - even he dislikes me.
I *am* a bad person. I am a negative and bitter and twisted and generally angry and misshapen person that clearly deserves all of the negativity and bile that is thrown at me on the internet.
NO! Why do I give these people such power over me? Why do I *let* them bother me? Is it like I have some kind of deathwish, that I go somewhere I know I don't belong, in order to justify mine own self loathing?
I am who I am. There will always be people who loathe you because of difference, perceived or real. There will always be those who sneer at you and try to cut you down, saying "You think you're better than us, don't you?" No, I think I'm *different* and I am *allowed* to be different. I am no better or worse, I simply am.
I switched off the internet and went back to my mix, playing with the transitions, mixing together girly electropop and arabic percussion, rushing back and forth between 80s goth and 00s R&B on the basis of textures and feelings, plotting a mixtape like a journey, a slow dance in the middle, a mad psychedelic sprawl to toss yourself about to, a quiet interlude to go to the bar or have a cigarette or just sit back and catch your breath. Bedroom DJing offers you new opportunities to muck about with new techniques, capturing and sampling bits of songs to juxtapose, backflashes to songs that have gone before, flashforward teases of what's coming up next. No, the edits aren't always perfect, and I cannot be bothered with beatmatching, but it's not the grammar, it's the feeling. I don't care who listens to it - these sets are to make *me* happy. I have enough respect for my "audience" (read: the dozen or so friends that download my mixes every month) to trust them to be able to follow the journey if they so choose.