Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Warm black

personal 3 min read

It’s been an unusual day. I find myself yet again in the position of simultaneously having a lot I’d like to talk about, but many interwoven confidences to maintain, so I’m very limited in terms of what I can actually say. I know many people, both online and off, and I’m fortunate to be able to say that I’m well trusted by almost all of them. As this blog makes clear, I have no problem with discussing personal issues, and generally entering into frank dialogue about things that are important to myself and to those who are important to me. Hopefully that’s normal enough, and can pass without further comment.

The upshot of all this is that I’ve become a confidante for almost all those who know me, at one time or another. This can lead to extremely complex webs of related information and personal truths which have to be navigated carefully in order to not betray the trust of any of the involved parties, whilst still being supportive and useful to said people. It’s a task I’ve always accepted gladly; people in general seem to be lacking such a figure, or are at least always in search of additions.

Coming back to today, this all means that, as I said, I can’t say much in terms of specifics, and certainly not name any names. I imagine those involved will recognise themselves, and perhaps the commonalities between their respective situations. I’m always available to talk, needless to say.

Today, some people have come almost dangerously full-circle, and some remain equally dangerously exactly where they were. Some know what they want but haven’t yet attempted to get it, and some simply have no idea what they want in the first place, and desperately need to take some time to discover that.

Most are hurt in some way, and almost all are questioning past decisions. Some are doubting whether they were correct to make a certain trade-off in the past, and some found themselves left with nothing to trade. Some moved too quickly, and some didn’t move when they should have. Many changed, and some found themselves left behind by change.

And, as always, a very select few continue to watch and listen, as selflessly as our flawed emotions will practically allow, to try to improve the situations of others, all too often to the neglect of themselves. What damage is done by silently lending out your emotional machinery to another, who usually isn’t even aware of the fact? My past has certainly taught me that the cost can be very high indeed, and I wonder if at times I’m not drifting slightly back in that old, and very dark, direction.

Nor have I been entirely a bystander in the many events which have taken place today. I’m sure it wouldn’t be out of line to remark that Fiona’s blog now conspicuously has a “love life” category, and a new post therein, and that at time of writing, her mood icon on the sidebar reads “smitten”. We’ve spoken earlier today, and again I wish her luck and happiness in all things, with a due note of caution she thankfully needs little reminding of.

It’s after 10 pm, and yet the night is comparatively young for many of our protagonists, in various different parts of the city for various different purposes. It’s slightly ironic, then, that the one for whom the night is very much over is myself. I think I’m probably mostly just tired, but I also have to confess to feeling somehow emotionally fatigued, like a fuse has burnt out. The feeling is noteworthy precisely for its lack of any emotional resonance for anything; a seductive flatness of mood all too familiar and sinister. Warm black.

Barely a day in the past year has gone by without a joke by some well-meaning friend about my comparatively vast age amongst the group (25 to their average 21), and I try to always take it in the harmless spirit in which it’s intended. Tonight, however, I feel old, and tired beyond the end of a single day. The coming academic year stretches out before me like an upwards incline, and ghosts of questions about such things as taking a year out move transiently through my mind. All folly, of course, but not without significance. I feel cold, muffled, and uncomfortably awake.

If ever there was a sign that I need sleep, I’d say that the above would more than qualify, and I hope the morning brings a brighter perspective. Not necessarily truer, but then that’s really not what’s ever been important.

I hope you’ll forgive me the significant indulgence of this post, and resist the urge to simply unsubscribe, delete your bookmarks, or however people access blogs these days. My single defence is that, whilst certainly not cheerful material, it’s the truth of what I’m feeling at the moment, unfiltered and uncensored, and readily able to be ignored by yourself, gentle reader. The fact that I’ll no doubt be mildly embarrassed by its tone in the morning is only all the more reason to publish it now.

I don’t promise to talk about Mac OS X, or Cocoa programming, or whatever else you might come here hoping for. I do, however, promise to be the same person here as I actually am in “real life”. How many can honestly say the same?


  • Matt

Footnote: Fiona’s aforementioned new post, previously password-protected, has been made public on account of her being inspired by my candour in this one. Her words, not mine. I hope you’ll agree that it’s some of her best writing online so far.