when you're lying flat on your back with a heavy sack and your legs are pawing the air like a turtle... it's unattractive but laughable

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It starts with one little bite, one little itch, and then the whole thing goes to pieces. While I was scratching my mosquito bite, I realized I was paralyzed with indecision over buying a book about a fifty-year old man who suddenly finds himself pomading his hair and ironing his clothes so that he can convincingly tell his son why he won't be marrying his niece because said niece has fallen in love with the fifty year-old man. I wasn't wracked with indecision because I wasn't sure about the book. I just don't know how much room I have for books I haven't bought when there are already books I have bought, but haven't read, waiting in the queue for a heavenly space next to my undies and short shorts.

But I was still scratching my mosquito bite, which I absolutely want to carve out with a pen knife it's driving me so crazy, when I realized that I couldn't make that decision now, couldn't bring it unto myself to smoke a nice fat joint, couldn't buy the giant chocolate cake I'd been eyeing on the menu, couldn't buy a ticket to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I just can't buy anything... out of fear... fear of caving to an addiction... which is answering my every whim with something I have to buy.

Why am I doing this stupid treatment now? It makes me so miserable and dissatisfied. I'm almost pulling my hair out, and carving my mosquito bite, while gnawing on my frustrating predicament, self-imposed... like a fatman reading cooking books.

Someone once suggested that I could just try making more money, then I wouldn't have to worry about spending it so much. That's utter crap. Everytime I make more money, I find even more creative means to dispense with it. However logical this sounds, I know it's one of those cruel jokes life throws you. I'm not fond of those kinds of jokes, and while I do agree with the original statement, it's about as logical as asking me why I don't build a space shuttle if I want to visit the moon... just leads to other even more complicated problems.

So, I'm sitting here, frustrated, not drunk, not smoking and glaring ever so darkly at my computer screen when Dacnar, yes, he's here in Toronto, hands me an english translation of Roland Barthes's Mythologies. It's a simple ploy they use on cats and little children. When they are whining or looking bored, you throw them a new toy and they fiddle with it for a couple of moments, forgetting their temporary existential unease. (Oh, yes, cats are capable of existential unease. That's why they scratch.)

I don't think this will last very long, nor the cure for my addiction, nor the addiction itself. I'm not convinced about the longevity of anything, neither pain nor pleasure. I'm sure the memory of pain can cause trouble, and so I cultivate a healthy memory for useless facts to prevent that space from being occupied by unhelpful memories of pain. That way, in times of crisis I am prepared for immediate and appropriate response.

For example, when I was young, some fellow classmate once called me a "Paki," the derogatory form used for anyone who looks vaguely from the Indian subcontinent. I remember feeling quite puzzled and saying quite flippantly, "Oh, you've got that wrong, I'm not from Pakistan. But the capital of Pakistan is Islamabad."

Or somebody asking me why I didn't concentrate on marrying a rich man, since I have such expensive tastes. At which I answer "Oh, I'm quite happy with Dacnar. He really likes the Tour de France. I like the Tour de France...Speaking of which, Jan Ullrich has finished 3rd in the Tour de France for this year, did you know that? He's really fantastic. I'm so proud of our man from Rostock..."