Thursday, 1 September 2016

Not Again

In a third floor room locked from the inside a person who identifies as female sits consumed by random thoughts, what they might mean and where will they lead, and how to follow and capture them on a rectangular document. The two can't always be done simultaneously: either her fingers type with conviction, the sentences forming themselves unthinkingly, or these same fingers stay mostly inert, with just the occasional twitch, as her mind tramps an inner country like the Pied Piper with no pauses given to catch the impressions made; this will have to happen later when any sense she might have had of any especial meaning will in all likelihood be lost. Sometimes irretrievably; or what is managed to be salvaged isn't quite the same. The significance, as was, can't be recreated or explained in a commonsensical way so that it confuses even her when she reads it back. What was she trying to get at? What was it she thought she had wanted to say? And why can't she now?
Neither approach boasts coherency, and the results like her thoughts are haphazard, but then her mind though it prefers a controlled environment dislikes being inwardly or outwardly governed. This stubbornness borders on lunacy, once in a while crossing that line and committing her to an obsessive spell until it's just as swiftly broken. She watches out for these undulations, tries to temper them, despite knowing the source of creativity lies in them and not in her and so they must be ridden. She reasons there's a method in this madness and yet has never to date figured out what this method is.
Perhaps, after all the hows and whys don't matter. She has nothing else to do – no other pressing engagements – and even if she had these waves would still come and pay no heed to such affairs. The act of thought carrying more import than anything considered domestic and trivial. Those kind of concerns can wait, or better yet, be done with less than half a mind so that they accommodate rather than occupy. Thus, her cognitive side is pacified believing it holds the upper hand, which it does but not full-time and not to the extent it conceives. There are moments when it doesn't require her undivided attention, and through that smaller than average window she makes her escape. Never for very long, but much to her surprise her over-thinking side doesn't appear to notice nor to retaliate; it allows her a short break at any rate from internal debate and rumination.
So what's outside her thought-proliferated cell? Distraction of the sort her intellect mind regards as trashy: reality, dating and cookery shows; radio phone-ins and rants; soaps and foreign translated dramas; face-to-face meets with friends to gossip and moan, because what her inner dictate fails to see is that whilst this employment may not feed her intellectualism, or indeed her imagination, it enables her to contend with the strait-jacketing effect her thoughts demand.
But as I said this form of respite is brief; sometimes the window through which she makes her usual escape doesn't appear, and sometimes when it does it refuses to open so that she can only look out despondently and speculate about the other lives being lived around and below her. The air then grows close, almost asphyxiating, so any that by some miracle finds its way into her constricting lungs catches and releases a spasm of what can only be described as polite little coughs with some genteel throat clearing that wouldn't be out of place in a more public setting where the atmosphere is conspicuously quiet. More noise enters from outside than any that is made within the room; outside, voices are audible in all their varying pitches, inside, speech is internalized or whispered so that often she has to repeat herself. This effect, it has to be said, can be maddening, particularly during the hot months of summer, which of course makes distemper in someone of her disposition far more likely, that is if she hasn't fainted already from the lack of life-sustaining oxygen.
And so it goes on, always in the same pattern. She calmly sits in front of a blank screen, fingers poised over the white lettered keys, to find the nagging voice that likes to revisit themes will not now allow the thoughts pertaining to these to be thought or written.

Picture credit: Help Me, Barry Kite