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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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