Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A day ahead

I’m fairly satisfied that the things going on in my head are not quite normal, however that doesn't make them uncommon, there are numbers and statistics, anecdotes and description, explanations and quite a bit of scientific and medical study out there. It's all documented. In some places the legislation has changed, moved on, taken into account the wider world of political imperatives, human rights, values and that most fickle and awkward part of this to capture and define, public opinion and taste. I'll ignore religion in this as that tends to be of little help, it's like a dam built against progress, resisting the Zeitgeist with a purpose and determination that is of course divine and beligerant. It will never help (unless the divine nature changes).

So being myself again, I'm in some supermarket, picking up things, putting them down, reading labels, putting them in the cart, feigning interest. It's all vague and embarrassing but it goes with the job, the need for constant pretence defended by a robust presentation. The hard, unspeakable part of a living out an elaborate lie. Maybe now if I'm driving a car, alone, not part of a group, a bunch, no brothers or sisters, no companions. The feel the intrusive lens remains on me, be it truth or imagined, I'm outside of my body all the time, floating and capturing the moment and feeding it all back in so that it can be dissected, judged and marked, commented on, perhaps even approved of before it sinks and drowns in that other morass. Remorse.

Back in my head there's a cacophony, unrelenting, options screaming for decisions, jousting for attention and a slice of peace. Reflection. It all passes understanding and falls backwards into misunderstanding. That's the normal, serial misunderstanding. The words I say are muzzled and muted, squeezed, coupled up saxophone notes in dim jazz clubs, a lazy tinkling cymbal or a dull economic bass thump, a foreign music that even as it's stretching ears and brain cells defies understanding. That word again, that intoxicating word spun into the interpretation in that song and that music and melody, in a bucket at the bottom of the well. In the water at the bottom of the well, deep and drowned.

I'm still making this unscripted documentary, for myself, for the sake of some superstitious drive to touch the wood at the root of the tree, for luck and vague shit, for old times sake, for a better hallucination. The ongoing delusion, the ongoing and elaborate self serving fiction. It keeps me alive, smiling, confused and lit up from within with some green ray. I will not deny myself any twinkle in my eye, I will not deny that thought, the one that came from nowhere like some lost migrating bird and as it so happens landed on my head and then in a quasi religious way, as a part of some mystical process it got inside and decided to settle there. That was the story of that thought.

I am indeed a full day ahead of myself. A privileged position that may turn out to be very useful.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Non-driving robot week

Odd and varied behaviour: On today's random journey I was following a Fiat Punto travelling across the Forth Bridge, suddenly a sandwich flew out of the driver's window and bounced on the road in front of me. I took the driver's action to be deliberate and I wondered quite what had led up to that action. As the sandwich sped by me I noticed that it was brown and triangular, I couldn't however distinguish the filling though I strongly suspected that it had not been to the driver's taste. Why had he thrown it out and why was he eating a sandwich whilst driving across the bridge? Of course it may be that his female copilot had been eating the sandwich and either on impulse, opportunity or as a result of some in car altercation had decided to throw it through the open driver's window and onto the wet road surface. I imagined that in the car an emergency had occurred, the sandwich, though labeled as egg and cress had, due to in factory contamination, contained traces of nuts. The driver, on his long journey from Broxburn to Inverkeithing had become hungry and requested that his companion open up the £2.50 Lite Bite Tesco sandwich and hand it over to him as he drove. She complied and handed the crumby snack over. He bit into it but within a few seconds felt a strange tightening in his throat and quickly deduced that he was on the verge of anaphalacitic shock and there and then decided to ditch the offending sandwich before it killed him. The sandwich hit the road, he however now had a small trace of nutty debris coursing through his sensitive blood stream.
That trace amount slowly closed his throat and airways and he slumped into unconsciousness across the steering wheel. The female passenger quickly grabbed the wheel and steered a straight course across the bridge to the northern lay-by where she parked up. She then had the presence of mind to give the driver a good slap and he then came round complaining of a sore throat, face and head and feeling hungry. “There's another one of those sandwiches that you like left in the packet,” she said.

Friday, 11 May 2012

More on robots

Good advice from our metal friend.

The ten golden laws of robotic diplomacy.

If you ever meet up with a wise robot please choose your words carefully. Conversations with wise mechanical men are notoriously tricky and you ensure you follow the following things that follow the final use of the word follow in this sentence, follow?

Eye contact is good, steely wrist to fleshy neck is not.
Speak clearly, avoid saliva spray, robots dislike excessive human moisture and bodily fluids, (sweaty palms can produce mild electrical shocks).
Don't put on a funny voice.
Don't do a funny 80's dance or adopt a comedy robot gait.
Don't offer up a can of oil as if it was some kind of acceptable beverage.
Just act as normally as you can if you are any kind of slightly ill at ease middle-aged person who's never quite come to terms with the hand of cards that life has dealt you.
Try no to speak in mathematical formulae or binary code.
Most robots consider Japanese to be their mother tongue, learn it.
Don't try to plug any mobile appliances you may be carrying into any of the robot's ports. This can cause serious offence.
Robots aren’t stupid, don't address them as if they are washing machines or other white goods (and why are you talking to washing machines in the first place?).
Gossip about Bender and any of the cast of Futurama is a good icebreaker.
A warm room does soothe the circuits, check out the environment and get the ambiance right first time.
If the robot offers you a snack made up mostly of iron filings then he/she is only having a laugh.
In robot etiquette it is quite acceptable to leave a slightly greasy stain on a chair or carpet.
That's about all I know.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Ensure you insure

Late in the day we explore the possibility of once again getting it all straight and legal, always a tough call. Words that seem to be just a shade short of right and appropriate, but we must keep within an inch or less of the law and the ideas that pour forth from that idea. After all we are respectable, reliable and up to a point safe and bankable. That can't be said for everybody. So there is no point obsessing about it, you make your call or click or whatever and choose one of a million options, the one that somehow covers your basic needs, has a nice name or a pleasant logo and fits with that number you thought of when there was still time left in which to think. You can just about remember it. Enter the magic numbers and the security code and you're in and gone. Two months later you get a cuddly toy in the post. Simple.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Stay in shape

Things have changed. It was a huge shop window, brightly lit in a headache inducing way, whites, bright pinks, wild oranges and hot purples circled and bounced into the corners, lights pooled and swam, it was a show, even empty, bereft of product. It was all daring, distracting and hypnotic but my gaze and attention wouldn't hold. I was far to hungry to be entertained or enticed. Food was my current preoccupation, not the joy of art or design and filling spaces. Food was becoming a background obsession, playing on my consciousness like that stupid light show, I was feeling hungry, in and out of shapes.

Shapes are everywhere, here, there, all around, the universe is full of shapes, made up of shapes, I am a shape and I must maintain that shape or at least control it. With shape and self awareness comes responsibility, what actual shape to aspire to? Which one to choose and maintain?

I looked away from those hungry windows and their vapid but tantalising colours, across great paved areas, blank spaces set for vehicles and traffic, green lines for pedestrians, signs and awkward bollards, trees blocked in by regulation, more shapes and boundaries and definitions. I observed my own shape fitting in with the others, my shadow stepping across the surfaces, my eyes measuring and grading spaces and dimensions. Sizing up and taking account of the space, sensing as if through giant whiskers that touched the far walls, the concrete and the road noise that rose from behind the masked barriers. I am here, this shape in space.

And then she comes in to my outside space, talking, talking already without any invitation, telling me things and insisting, a threatening and enticing shape, a shape that pulls me out of shape, automatically. I decide to just stay in this orbit, to fix my reference points, to focus on myself and ignore but the joints and linkages are weak and things seep through. I stay in my orbit, tainted but revolving and with no small effort retained my shape.