Tissue paper in my ears

Published by Mackers in the blog Mackers's blog. Views: 186

I'm a firm believer in the need to transcend. Forget about measured opinions, it doesn't matter if you're black, white or lizard. We're all cut from the same cloth, bounding towards the same common objectives.

Sitting on the toilet I put tissue paper in my ears to drown out the sound of my Ma's phone calls. Like drink driving, there should be laws against using the phone when you're unsteady in your mind. All I can hear occasionally is “Em...Appointment...My appointment?”, the inflection on the last utterance a slight realisation that maybe she's unsure of herself, clearly forgetting the nuances of what she wants to say. She knows she has an appointment maybe today or next month, or maybe she's trying to make an appointment for a new complaint which she can't articulate. My Ma used to be an intelligent woman before medication turned her brain to mushy peas. Delirium, in all its various verbal forms, upsets me. When she gets off the phone I shout out to her to “Ma, do me a favour will you?”, the favour being a damage limitation exercise in the form of, 1.) Taking the phone out from the wall, and 2.) throwing it across the road and over the sizeable hedge which affords privacy to our street. It's such a shame she's hard of hearing and can't hear me through the bathroom door. In reality I'm just talking to myself.

It's what seeps out of your head that you never knew was there in the first place is what's of value. How do you know you're making sense? You don't. You speak it anyway and then trawl through the scrap yard of your thoughts: something is bound to be salvageable sooner or later, right? Reflect on the past, present and future and be honest. That's the most important thing. If you're honest then you can never go too far wrong, or so they allude to in sugary Rom-Coms.

A recollection of a past experience from a disembodied source: Do ye remember that house party you were at when you were nineteen? You entered the somewhat drab council house after a night out and the first thing that hit you was the smell, like a load of old smelly chemical socks. The house was peopled with people of dubious character, and there was you trying to fit in...And you sat down on the couch in the living room with the dodgy springs, hands pursed together, and the plate full of mephedrone being passed around, a great display of communal solidarity wasn't it, of sharing and friendliness. Not that this was all as edgy as it seems, mind, even though that's the likely impression of such a described scene, embellished with the little details that comes through the flawed process of remembering. Safe to say it wasn't an occasion for over-thinking matters, was it, waxing lyrical or getting all philosophical. And you sniffed that stuff up your nose and then you were on the bouffant cloud of euphoria for a while, weren't you, with melted bones and a rabid heart. Trying to fit in. A great wee day and night but you couldn't tell the difference which was which, hazarding a hazy guess it was morning with the translucent curtains seeping light. Sitting there on that couch like a scared little lemur, anybody asks you any risque questions you see nothing, you know nothing. Remember what happened to Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine? Yes, butchered for having big mouths, so you smiled and were sycophantic. After all, couldn't take chances could you. You sniffed more of that stuff on that plate and had a wee pre-prepared purple capsule of God knows what, and after a while it hit you: “How did I get here?” Not that it mattered, not that it mattered...An occasion for the memories, wasn't it, one to think back on in years gone by, like now, funnily enough, going over the conversations and the banter, not that you can remember the specifics to any great extent. But sure if in doubt you can always embellish it with more little details. “Where are you from, then?” The reprobate to the left asked you, looking at you curiously like you're some kind of alien.

In the living room, the tissue papers are still sticking out of my ears like little white, waxy antennae as I watch TV. Why do we always have to find reasoning in the things that we do? Yes, I put the tissue paper in my ears to drown out the sound of a certain phone call but their continued purpose is questionable since my Ma is long off the phone. Some things don't lend themselves very well to strict rational analysis. In the broadest sense, searching for simple structured causes and effects could feasibly be a futile pursuit, like “Would you classify your life as a success?”, which then initiates a methodical but fruitless trawl through childhood experiences, educational achievement, social interactions, the linear A to Bs which all offer convenient understanding but how much truth? My refusal to remove these tissues was borne out of laziness so there is at least a snippet of reasoning there, if not some wider profound motive to do as I do. I go out into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea because, well, I felt like having a cup of tea.

A rumination on the future from a disembodied source: Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you envisage the successful career, the financial comfort, the multi-layered lifestyle? To propel yourself into such a position, well that would require a deeply embedded understanding of what's considered to be a 'success' and what's of 'value', wouldn't it. That is to say you should first investigate the conventional understanding of success, which could be a combination of social, professional and material well-being, involving the comfort to do as you please; the freedom to visit places you wanted to visit; the ability to buy the things you wanted to buy. This is all underpinned by the ubiquitous trappings of money, which is traditionally gained by, first of all the professional success that is an absolute necessity which unlocks many of the social and all of the material benefits which come after. You should think long and hard about this pursuit. If you do not consider money to be 'valuable', and by implication the closely tied benefits of a rampant materialism, in the sense that money and material goods are the be-all and end-all of what drives your life, you should think of other areas unneeded by money, but what of independence? Money and all the trappings of it is that which affords the degree of freedom and control and without it you'll still be living with your parents, like the adult man-child you are. You must think long and hard and act accordingly, ideally with an element of urgency...Out of some misguided naivety you may not value money as much as you value your adulthood and independence, so you must contemplate whether a compromise is needed, which is to say you should do what all other grown-ups maturely do and that is to submit to employment, whatever its form, and this may require a surrendering of any lofty ambitions in favour of a simple pragmatism; or you may hold on to both ideal and objective, should you wish, for the retention of hope may do some good for your short-term mental health and long-term outlook, and the submission to employment will simultaneously maintain some essential practicalities. And if all else fails you could always contemplate suicide.

I go on to my lap top to do some job searching. I think about the abstract criteria employers want from me, and in my mind I envisage these imaginary bullshit qualities and, like a chameleon, try to mirror them in my applications.
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