Thursday, 10 August 2017

Disorganised Notes from the Oubliette

My body clock has gone a little awry and consequently my mind is screwed. It's been darting here and there and everywhere like a dragonfly all day. What about this? Should I do that? Why am I thinking of him or her? I need to go there; I need to do that. What possessed me to respond like that? as if the person I was talking to was an irritating bluebottle or had caught me in a unscrupulous act when it wasn't like that, I was unprepared for that kind of chat that's all. Why? Why? Why? can't I be this or that, laid-back and not so nervy, lively and not so drab. Plain, plain, plain with nothing of interest to say for myself or that I think will be of interest to that particular person. So contained I feel as though I'm turning to stone as I sit or stand.
I am stone with my mind flitting like this through my recent and archived history. Everybody knows you can't undo stuff that's done so why think of it? People, including the merest of acquaintances, ask me questions I hesitate to answer so that my mind scrabbles around in the few milliseconds it's allowed, which makes my answers when given sound weightless. Insubstantial bubbles of air with faint words suspended inside that will drift away with the lightest of breezes. My internal workings cobbling something together which when stuttered or said with a falsetto laugh comes across exactly how I didn't want it to: phoney and furtive.
I have nothing to hide, literally nothing, and yet now it seems I do. A secret life. Mysterious ways. Possibly even a double – one that wears glasses, and one that is bare-faced and sparkly eyed; one that is serious and one that can hold witty conversations, so that if by chance I encounter an unobservant friend, they never know which they'll get.
Some people aren't you know, observant that is. They don't notice small details or perhaps see past them. My point is some places and some acquaintances only know one version of me and not the other, so that if one day I'm the other, the version they don't know, I'm almost embarrassed to appear that way before them, and therefore would do anything to avoid that encounter. Anything, such as ducking behind shelves or suddenly disappearing into a shop or down an alleyway. Maybe that's why in my passport photo I look like a Russian spy.
And yes, you might very well ask why? Why this weirdness? All I have to say in reply is: comfortableness. I'm aware of certain people's preconceptions: if I look a certain way they'll judge me a certain way or behave towards me differently, and worse might draw attention to the fact I have glasses today or are without them. I'm a shrinking violet that's what it is, who accepts compliments graciously but never believes them, and a boring person to boot. Grey like Norman Major, who apart from once being described as such was also once the Prime Minister, and once lived a few roads away from my primary school, and so actually I don't really mind the comparison. I'm the one making it after all.
Still, it's a relief when acquaintances are used to both. It's just with some that transition won't come, so there's always that element of ambush or that sinking feeling when you know you've be spotted. The conversation done and the getaway achieved, you then rehash it and reprimand yourself for not doing it better, or more convincingly. How lovely to see you etcetera. Next time, next time, yet you know if it happens again, when it happens again, it will be exactly the same, though once you'd warmed up you guess it went okay. Room for improvement, hopefully in a room you don't wish to escape from or in one where you've already figured out where the exits are. How daft to judge a conversation on that score?
What must they have thought? Skittish creature. Yes, and more I'm sure. And yet there are times I blame them for putting me in that awkward position, because it ruffles my feathers and they remain ruffled long after, not that they would know that of course. I'd like to think I'd approach them but would I? Maybe if it was a day on which I wanted to be seen and wanted to converse, although even so, I just don't know what truths I might then blurt. 

Picture credit: The Soothsayer's Recompense, 1913, Giorgio de Chirico