Saturday, January 20, 2007


Reading Jess, on the Shoe, as I do, I was reminded of our very intense conversation on the subject of...naah, such a wide ranging kitchen conversation was never limited to just the one subject but, all the same, the nub, crux or kernel of the matter was our shared penchant for what might reasonably and psycho-analytically be termed compartmentalisation.

Shultz had Linus remark that, “Happiness is a drawer full of warm socks” but I would add a codicil to that along the lines of, “if warm socks were all it contained”.

When one compartmentalises to the extent we do, happiness may well be defined by the knowledge that when one opens a drawer one knows exactly the contents thereof. Take the lid off a surprises there.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. Remove yourselves, as I have urged you before, as far as possible from the possibility of misconstruing what has preceded this beseechment and denude yourselves from the delusion of our being some tight arsed labellers intent on stuffing our experiences into some alphabetically arranged compartments in our mental Dewey Decimal catologued memory banks. This is NOT, as Wittgenstein was so fond of calling, the case.

We are open and, dare I suggest, more than most, to the full panoply of stimuli this mortal coil can offer and retain the ability to absorb, digest and agglutinate same (Okay, agglutinate sucks but I have held forth before on the difficulties encountered by dint of the simple fact that English is no longer my first language) into our respective world views. And please excuse me at this point as I erode a further micrometer from the trail between my terminal and the fridge for another bottle of inspiration.

We do not attempt to shoehorn realities into previously annotated files. We have, as far as is ever possible, no conceptions that are in any way pre. We absorb, we cogitate and we adjust. We also fail quite spectacularly to realign our expectations of others. We, totally unrealistically, expect them to react to any given as we would, with the same considered intelligence. In this, we are naive in the extreme. We can see it, why the fuck can’t you?

And yet. Our lives are boxed, filed and tramelled into entirely discreet and separate areas. Thus far, I have, rather presumptuously, used the ‘we’ and yet from here on in, the first person singular will have to suffice with emphasis on the singular.

The whole question revolves around the query, “Who the fuck are we?” and, given the fact that our cells regenerate every seven years, we are hardly the person we thought we were in that not one of our cells extant at the time of our seventh birthday is with us today. Fuck. That’s a biggie.

So, who are we? Or, more to the point of this rumination, who am I? Am I the same 5 year old who developed an acute stammer as a result of an infant school teacher exercising her prerogative over the children in her care? The same junior school boy whose cap was nicked by the resident bully Wednesdayite? No fucking way. And yet we seem to expect that we are somehow a progression...a result of all that has occurred up to now and that the whole is a kind of totality. Bollocks.

And so it is. Bollocks. Those of us who do not have recourse to boxes are condemned. Doomed to be the same person at all times to everybody. Absolutely impossible. Or at least it would be to anybody who desired to remain sane and relatively likeable.

We who box, box most ourselves. We recognise that the totality of who we are is so completely inexplicable that to attempt to rationalise our selves is rather akin to pissing into the wind.

But we also have a freedom and an ability to mix, to be equally at home in the pub and the cocktail lounge. If you have no need of boxes, you have attained the unattainable, the ability to move within circles without ever having to adjust yourself. I couldn't do that. I am made up of so many contrasting and conflicting parts that to fully explore them all, I have to keep them separate to a very large extent. Few ever get to see all of them. Those who do are valued beyond measure and, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend to have boxes of their own.

But I am drunk and have long since begun to ramble. I shall probably delete most of this in the morning anyway. Put it down to the Stella.

And file accordingly.

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