So I can’t think of a better time to use an informal Italian salutation––
Than owning a day three illness and being in no mood to rock the grumpy… I’ve tried to string something together with words and what have you but’ve utterly failed; I’ve three separate paragraphs on the go going no-where–– so I’m not going to try for much longer. I don’t do ill very well; it’s a rare occurrence and I’ve never got the hang of it too well. I’ll just have to finish the post this should’ve been another time.
I think shitfuckbollocks says it all really!
Image: Part of a set I took in Rome between 0200 & 0700, empty…
Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.
I am fascinated by the heroic age of Antarctic expedition, history, education, great sex, openness, cats, cameras; the space race; sentence-structure, lexis, discourse conventions and phatic communication; cinema; the sounds of cricket and its numbers; golf swings, sortes, piropo, productivity, logical fallacies; fagottists— which leads to the double-o phoneme and coda-less syllables; falderals, nonsense; nanism— my fear of developing it and albino-clowns who already have. Ironing, long-sleeves, compound swearing, yellow pads, yoof-speak and linguistic representations— meh. Books, tea, science, feets, unnecessary plurals and corrugated-cardboard to name but a few.
It’s a pointless list because there isn’t much I’m not interested in. I like the feeling of insignificance in knowing how little I know; and how each little thing helps me know what I already know a little better.
And I still don’t know what this makes me, but it kind of works like this:
Perhaps it just makes me English since ‘England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity … hobbies and humors.’1 Quite whether the world thinks we are small or great, but such is the context of opinion. Goethe wrote that, ‘people of uncommon abilities generally fall into eccentricities when their sphere of life is not adequate to their abilities.’ Well spheres be damned as, ‘No one can be profoundly original who does not avoid eccentricity.’2 But to what end is thought’d: ‘eccentricity in small things [is] crazy’3 and though it ‘destroys reason, [it does] not [the] wit?’4
All I’m really trying to do here is to show a little of what it’s like to be autistic— from the ground up I’ve taken my traits and applied them to certain functions within the texts: from word orders and word types, semantic variances, repetitions and rhetorical devices— even archaic syntax to the very deliberate structure I use to present things. It’s not always easy to read and it’s not meant to be, It’s supposed to be a little overwhelming at times and take the reader in circles— but it’s a desirable difficulty designed to stimulate a little over-processing, in the same way real life does to me. It’s the only way I know how to present what it’s like to me: to demonstrate it, not write about it— especially when there are a million people out there able to just describe it so much better.
I was going to just post the blueprint, but thought the meta-language would just make it pointless— like the list…
I’m not just a linguist or educator or golfer or cricket fanatic or autistic or anything for that matter—
I’m just curious…
And I guess lists should be conspiculous by its absense, but it’s really not…
One’s real life is so often the life one does not lead…
Such are the senses, that we have more than five and fewer than six. Try tasting something without seeing it for instance; it almost always tastes like something other than what it’s supposed to and rarely anything other than chicken; listen to someone speak without seeing their mouths move or those unusual sounds that keep you awake at night when you’re trying to sleep that never turn out to be two thousand pound mice and you’ll forever be in that darkness— or even tasting something without smelling it and so on and so forth. Life is so much more than it appears to be, though it’s little more than it actually ever is. Unless of course, there is such a thing a two thousand pound mouse or you really were asked to shake and squeeze the band which gave King Tut its mildew…
My real life is far cry from the award winning, affluent, multi-faceted and admired jaunt and jolly through which my other self is no doubt enjoying somewhere where the senses are better understood and household pets and rodents are disproportionately large; but that’s not to say I’ll ever be to old to be everything I could have been-or too small for Autumn to call me sweetheart.
It puts me in mind somewhat rather of him— S; a splendid chap and so was his wife— K. At least she was when I knew her. She was smart too, in that sensible way that can get up the noses of people who try to sit down to quickly wearing tight pants, smoking whilst owning chest complaints and the intolerably foolish doing well, anything. She could and would point out the obvious with a style and punctuation, few of us would or could even dream about. I remember one such occasion at college, when she was trying to persuade S to disband one of his pro-radical movements— he liked to use meaningless compound phrases in those days— retro-activist-avist was his favourite— he said that it left dangling inferences suggesting guile and determination. K said it left an unpleasant odour in the air and a salty taste in her mouth whenever he said it. Her favourite saying on the other hand was, What’s with the finger E.T.? They were a charming bunch.
Anyway, he claimed the campus anti-everything lobby weren’t doing enough complaining about things that didn’t matter to anyone, so he founded the double A. E. B. The Anti-Anti-Everything Brigade, to which K merely pointed out that its tautology gave it ’all the noise of a harmless educational committee. Trying to point out the pointlessness of rebellion in the civilised world— is rather like an unwanted splinter’ she meant this quite literally; ‘a forgotten part of the Nation Union of Teachers perhaps’ she fancied, and besides, wasn’t it dishonest describing himself as a brigade, especially since he hadn‘t persuaded anyone else in actually joining him; that to disband an army of one was something that ‘reality just wouldn’t allow’ and perhaps he should try doing something useful instead like, drawing up a petition against himself and joining the N.U.T., ‘allergies allowing of course’, maintaining that she had read somewhere that ‘at least education had an ethos…’
S had missed the train again. It was the third time in as many days and he was starting to take the whole thing very personally. He wouldn’t have minded had it not been for the decrepit old fool in front of him who insisted on buying his ticket with an exact change he couldn’t really see; unless demonstrating the ability to distinguish the denomination of a coin by rubbing them against his eyeball counted as seeing.
As for me,I have a new cafeteria— reward for installing a utility next door, which brings me to my last point in a pointless exercise…
If you ask for and are expecting a cup of tea— but are given a mug of coffee instead…
It doesn’t taste well, and quite unlike either.
Excuse me, can I have a quick word?
Sure, you can have two: whoosh and zoom…
There are certain things that really bug me in the morning. And it’s not always the morning’s fault. It’s not the fault of those certain things which depending on the wheel of fortune of the day, just so happening to pause between one of the anythings that irk. Then there are people and every other thing.
I’m certainly not a gripper who goes to bed in surley-boots and wakes ready to extract joy, quite the opposite, but phone calls, sunshine and a blatant disregard for the effects of unnecessary exuberance count. I’m not sure which category it would fit into, but enthusiasm really waffles me when it’s unwarranted, unsolicited and before breakfast, appreciably so.
When I’m asleep, I like to think that I’m minding my own business. I like to think that it’s not out of the question to expect anything any different. But what do I know? I do know that there are people that phone your house sounding so fucking excited to be alive and lottery-winner jolly, wanting to give you free windows and trips to the moon, that make me want to disown my own face if I allow them more than minute or two.
So when I heard the phone ringing this morning; dragged my body over to it; answered it and Life is Beautiful introduced himself as, Trevor from Sunshine Travel. I knew I wasn’t asleep. I knew in those first few moments that I’d had a grim rest and no amount of happy-talk or freebies were going to supplant the misanthrope I felt at that moment.
‘I’m sorry’ I said, ‘but no. No, no, no, no. No. I’m not going talk to you…‘
‘Would you mind explaining why?’
It’s not everyday an opportunity like this arises, it just doesn’t, but Trevor from Sunshine Travel got brownie-points for being ballsy, and a free-pass. And I just can’t abide rudeness … the irony.
‘Not at all.’ I said, ‘Because I’m going back to bed…’
I’m not yet forty; still a way off that particular milestone, but like everyone else who is—
I find it approaching a little faster than I’d like…
The social stuff between now and then, or whatever time-frame I tend to use as reference for what I have or haven’t done doesn’t get any smaller. Just because I can’t get it ticked off the list shouldn’t matter, but it go figures. It just becomes more compact, which is a whole other type of frustration. It’s just not as easy as other stuff: cups of tea, peace and quiet, stuff which I need more of these days— language definitely counts as stuff…
For twenty years, sabbaticals beside— which you need if you don’t want to go a little blind or, hurt people I guess— has been my primary: academically and vocationally. To describe it as a journey just doesn’t work for me. I get it, it’s all kinda kinds of fitting, but it’s used to describe football seasons, relationships, books, school, work, pregnancy; I can see it insofar as life and everything in it is neater when it’s compartmentalised and separated into a series of cultural markers, but only at a stretch. I still don’t like it; it’s not for me— my associations don’t work that way. I struggle to compartmentalise neatly because I have a need for everything to be intermentalised and far reaching, somehow— somewhere, it’s got to have a relative context and I couldn’t care less how superficially— which is why I became ever increasingly drawn to it, language that is, not superficiality, though that’s OK too. For a start it lacks the same degree of constraint which burdens journeys. In fact it’s always given me the impression that it doesn’t like to be constrained by anything— which has been the source of many a headache and a-ha alike.
If you can make a rule, there’ll be an exception; an observation, an aberration. A framework which might explains a phenomena, there’ll be an approach to make you question whether you were on the right track at all. So in that sense, it couldn’t really have more appeal to me than if I designed it myself. No, I’m pretty comfortable running with the assumption that it most certainly is not a journey. But, it could be thousands of them, all different, all seemingly heading the same way but overlapping, double-backing, reversing, contributing, refuting and turning one piece of work into many, many more.
It’s never just an aspect, or one thing— that’s too neat when you’ve got all these trains whooshing left and right and what-have-you. One aspect requires others and each of those require the same, even when it isn’t always plain to see how or why; which is why it all takes time and the social stuff keeps getting fat. There’s a lot of going back and forth— to the beginning, back and forth to the end sometimes; starting again, screaming and so forth.
It’s rich, diverse and can be frustrating; though never less than rewarding, even when you’re getting nowhere. It is something which requires constantly chipping away at— and a good rail-pass. There’s always something new, a connection; a correlation, something utterly unexpected just around the corner— something you daren’t miss.
If I had one complaint, despite having been researcher, analyst, consultant and educator, it would be my failure to become proficient in no more than 5% of it.
By the time I am forty, that number will have shrunk…
In which case I’ll get stuff ticked off…
I’ve never been entirely comfortable with the use of the word ‘about’, when it’s used to denote precisely what it is about to—
Or at the very least, ought to…
With very few exceptions, I’ll be neither the object of a particular thought or action, nor and woe beide, any feeling which might get the better of me and wind up clipped and airing itself for all to see. It’s use in this context is something I’ve always considered somewhat cold and improper. Nor do I, or at least wiln’t— to a point, consider myself to be the subject of anything published here. For a start, I’m far too dull and again, it feels like a prepostion too far and just, for the lack of a better word: unsatisfactory.
However, since there’s more to showing than telling and since my sensibilities on this matter should reveal more ‘about’ me than my favourite colour or shoe-size— I can’t help but feel a certain imbalance has been addressed. Besides, I’m all about the fun; not the confessional; especially since I’m declaring my reluctance to do something in order to state it and by doing so, it becomes almost impossible to avoid. That and many, many ‘nors’. Like I said, I’m all about the fun.
My character in that case can be found in my quirks, which are pretty evident; my D.N.A. in my tendancy to structure those quirks around em dashes and everything else, word-wrapped around them— quite possibly italised. Now, provided I’ve constructed that last phrase correctly, I think you’ll find Me:
Less about and more:
And that’s about as certain as I can be…