Tuesday, 29 April 2014

I observe

Life isn't such a bleak thing at all, it's quite the opposite. Don't believe everything they tell you. Some people never get that, they remain locked in the perpetual cycles of the lowest levels of existence, grumbling like itchy volcanoes. I was thinking these thoughts and also considering a packet of crisps and some oatmeal oatcake cookie things (with dips). The question was/is what to eat first, was there an appropriate order or ranking for these two foods that I should honour or succumb to. What did convention demand and was there any digestive type of advice I should consider? I briefly googled but all that came up was Steve Marriot's life story and various odd and unrelated articles about what music really consisted of. That forced me to turn back to the BBC but the news there was all too real and repetitive. I decided that hunger had placed me in some weakened state where my powers of decision making were diluted, I might be confused as if caught up in some prelude to old age and the eccentric behaviours that might accompany that segment of existence. Old age and making decisions didn't seem to go together so I decided to pull myself together and eat nothing right now and just go out.

While outside I observed a pair of Oystercatchers. They were my favourite bird, oddly elegant but with a cartoon look and comical gait and some almost human glint in their little eyes. Black and white and orange with staccato movements and sudden bizarre little flourishes of behaviour, quirky and out of this world, perhaps having stumbled into our universe from another parallel one where birds rule. They seemed intelligent and purposeful as they pecked and explored high up on foreshore. A long way from the high water mark and any actual naturally occurring oysters. Perhaps they'd gone off their food or were they just searching the whole area for an item that had been lost or misplaced? I'll never know but I did start to think they might not be quite as intelligent as I first though, there, wandering about pecking at pebbles so far from any seafood. I returned home an just ate the crisps and then the oatcakes. Seeing the bird's lack of direction and purpose had given me some.

I don't know the name of it but that feeling you get, that anxious and driven thing, when all you want is for the events and commitments that are pressing down on you, the things that are “must do” not “might do” or “could do” but “must fucking well do”, those things you want to happen as soon as possible, for them to be over. That feeling  of bringing on the event, peddling time towards you in some blur of quick execution. They are there, bearing on you like an express train and like a tidal wave. You're braced and ready for the impact, tight and tense for the landing of the killer punch and the weighing up of your chances of survival. The gamble and the uncertainty, like pulling off a bank robbery or some violent crime, successful and undetected and getting it away with it. Phew. 

How much time is there before the next enjoyable thing comes along? That was always my question. My long but short and to the point question. When can I expect pleasure  next and in whatever form? And it has to be soon. It could be simple enough, a smile, a banana, punctuation, a story told, whisky, a song on the radio, sunlight flickering through the blinds, a touch of the hand, a whole film lasting 90 minutes or more, a stranger visiting, silence or surprise. I could have carried on; my enjoyable things formed up into a list was a long list. There was a whole world of enjoyable things and I had only really named a few. It then occurred to be that just making lists was enjoyable, just naming and sorting good things and putting them in order, even a random order was good. Satisfaction was pleasure and for the most part, for me it was found in very simple, straightforward, everyday things. I'd no idea how that had come to be. I even liked the word thing with all it's meaningless, solid and abstract possibilities; lists of things. Why was it that I was so easily pleased? Perhaps I was some kind of simpleton, simple soul, easy pleased idiot. Perhaps I just didn't care. Unsophisticated and lacking in complexity and depth, childish and naive, eager to accept whatever came my way and so totally predictable. Happy when the clouds moved, the rain pattered, the sun broke through or the fog rolled it. Easy, cheap happiness, you cant buy it. Soon, any moment, soon, it would be time to look out of the window again.

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