I've been in Brighton for a week and have lost any real sense of time. I could have been here for a couple of nights or a month. There have been visitors so not sure why this is. But I have been to some extent immersed in the Writing. There is the great big window and masses of sky (more sky here than on forest terrain), the sense of being apart but also a part of everything, always something happening outside, just enough to feel oneself a member of this bit of world but not enough to be intrusive. Until last night.
Students who live in the house next door decided to throw a party which most of Brighton's student population probably attended, spilling out into the street at the front and the garden at the back, the air pounding with retro music (I recognised most of it from my own party days in another life) until about seven in the morning. Not much use plugging myself in to Paul McKenna's 'I Can Make You Sleep' CD. And why, in any case, does he insist that one counts backwards from 300 while listening?
Mr. Signs, who understands the subtle workings of the human mind - or at any rate he understands me - told me I was not a good subject for hypnotism. Always wanting to take issue with or about something. I can suspend that, I said, I can give it a go. But he was right. My nit-picky mind finds something to argue with and will not let me succumb to the drone that is Paul McK's hypnotic voice. It was the same years ago when I tried it in the early days of M.E., thinking that hypnotism might make me feel better. We were doing ok with the relaxation and the zoning out until Mr. Hypnotist began talking about ironing shirts, not just once but several times, he had a thing about it. I had to imagine myself ironing a (husband's) shirt and feeling very well and happy while doing it. Even before M.E. I never ironed shirts unless there was an extraordinary and pressing reason to do it, and my take on husband's shirts was that he could perfectly well do his own, and anyway most of his were drip dry and didn't show creases much. Hypnotist was insistent that I did as I was told and pictured the ironing. How many shirts, I wondered, did I have to in my imagination do? Because the thing was, I had orthostatic intolerance (though I didn't know the name for it then) and wouldn't be able to stand for long. And so on. We didn't get very far. He saw shirt-ironing as some kind of bench mark and it kept cropping up. Paul McK doesn't go on like that, he says a number of perfectly good things and I know for a fact he has helped a couple of people I know. But, but, but.