In a few moments we begin the thrashing over an urn just six inches high—
- I may be a few days in the wilderness, just to be social— I have no idea as to how long— a day or two most probably but with the prospect of a long rail journey tomorrow, there’s bound to be something which catches the eye.
- I always carry a pen.
- I’ve a few pieces just about finished— they’re there or there abouts, so if I have time I’ll get them typed and up; I’ve tangents to fill after all and I’m not in the habit of leaving things unfinished.
- It is a pity— I had hoped not to miss a day.
- But in-case I do, I really would appreciate it if you didn’t go anywhere…
- Thanks chaps!
It’s time for The Ashes…
Those familiar, would know Montmorency:
And those not, should be; a dog born with more than his fair share of original sin…
I was a familiar stranger once in a city of few lights past the open fridges in Electrical Appliance Retail, which glowed as cigarettes do in darkened rooms. These are reflections which inevitably lead to what I describe as: Klapka moments.
I was a student at the time— a status which allowed a certain degree of latitude with tardiness, which is all well and good since my time spend horizontal was more circumferential than to a certain degree. Sometimes it overlapped and sometimes it crossed; sometimes into a whole new day and sometimes I didn’t have to move a single muscle. This was speculative posturing, tailor-made for study, especially in front of the television: it was all about the visual learning experience.
I remember discussing the prospects of sharing such moments— a moment shared is a moment halved after all— and a bonus surely, since the other half could clearly be made up elsewhere. The idea however was dismissed as foolish— in fact the very notion was rejected so effortlessly; done so with nothing but an unimpressed twitch: I’ve seen shuffles and glances last longer. Unperturbed, I proudly informed her— the effortless shuffler— that I could sit for days without moving, but again, was greeted with another sideways look that this-time almost breached the perpendicular.
It was a subtlety that was again to be misplaced, although this time only ever–so briefly. I can only describe it as a moment of empathic clumsiness on my part. I made the mistake of offering to ‘lend a hand’ to a man who was struggling to retrieve a dropped wallet. It was a comment that wouldn’t have been quite so Caligulan had the man— on closer inspection, been in possession of both his arms. I don’t blame him for the stern expression he imparted, but its implying wish to take from me, that what he was sadly lacking was unmistakable. Personally, I don’t blame him.
It wasn’t an intentional blaze of cruelty— I actually felt for the chap despite feeling amused by my own lack of tact…
It was wonderfully surreal accompaniment: a side platter:
A salad bar on a day of free pizza…
The secret to humour is surprise.
A moot point perhaps, but oblivious in this case to the signifiers that make the ‘everyday’ flow seamlessly from one interaction to the other; if they weren’t, you’d find yourself hopping madly all day. Whatever it may be, obvious, deliberate, debatable, moot? A couple of years ago my mother discovered a reservoir of previously untapped ‘ridiculous’. It’d become, after a fractious few years— a pleasure spending time with her, if not for the first time— but the first time in a long time. She’d seemed to be a little more understanding and accepting of my foibles, and I of them, which makes all the difference in the world. It helps relieve a little of the ‘complicated’. The fact that my mother’d discovered comedy and was making me snort on a regular basis was merely a bonus.
But this is irrelevant, a long-winded introduction and steady build up leading to a crescendo of noise— which is not entirely bunkum as it happens. It’s a story involving balloons…
My nephew loves balloons, especially the kind that when released, fly around exulting a harrowing scream, flitter then drop excitedly with one good spasm before expiring. Louis and I had been synchronising the take-offs of them all morning, much to the delight of the little man and thought what a wonderful idea it would be to release even more. Amz was on her laptop, but my mother was hands-free…
So Louis and I filled some balloons, gave them to her and instructed her that under no circumstances was she to release them. Even now, I feel as though I should’ve added something.
Anyway, Louis and I expended what little breath we had left into the remaining balloons and poised at the ready. The scene was to be spectacular; six whirling tubes of shrill screech, dancing unpredictably towards an enthusiastic death-knell. However, I failed to entertain the one element of unpredictability.
‘Ready,’ I said, ‘on one . Three… two… one… release…release…release!’
Louis and I had a successful launches. But my mother held firm. Even upon the final release! Even though the room was filled with the sound of screaming babies Even though the launch command had become a desperate, personal plea for her to relinquish her grip…
‘Why the bloody hell didn’t you launch? We’ve just done this ten times … at what point did you not think I was talking to you?’ A reasonable question in the circumstances I thought.
‘Because,’ she said, ‘you told me that under no circumstances was I to release them.’
Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled…
Not unlike those sodding balloons!