While driving home last night through the midnight streets of my soul with a restaurant napkin clenched tightly between my butt-cheeks (more on this later) I began to reflect on a number of aspects of my life.
I do love to drive. I’ve often said it is the only occasion where I can think obsessively or think about absolutely nothing and the choice is mine. It’s not entirely true, of course, but it’s pretty damn close. Sometimes, like last night, words and phrases creep into my mind and I start crafting a new, exciting and brilliantly humorous and enlightening blog post – like the one you are about to read.
So, settle in, dear reader, and make yourself comfortable with a cup of tea or some other shit for what may be a gentle, lazy, casually meandering wander through the sunlit, daisy-strewn fields of my mind. Or not. It may actually be a case of strapping in to the broken and slowly sinking log flume carriage in the abandoned theme park of my imagination (that may or may not resemble the untouched, werewolf-filled forests of Yugoslavia). I’m not too sure how today’s ramblings are going to turn out. Truthfully, I don’t give a fuck. But considering I’ve made an opening gambit that compares the next 1000 words as either being the Eternal Sunshine of my Mind or Nightmare on Grimm Brothers’ Street (now with extra bad shit!) I have a sneaking suspicion that this could be very discombobulating either way.
Maybe we should start with some inappropriate boobs, just to lighten the mood a little.
As a blog, I have often struggled with finding new and exciting things to talk about. And, no, we’re not going to jump straight to that previously foreshadowed story about why I had a restaurant napkin clenched between my buttocks. My employment with the government means that I can’t talk about my work. And, fuck me with a big stick, sometimes I really wish I could. And as a fairly private person, I like to be fairly careful about how I reveal myself to the world. Obviously a high degree of self-deprecation and chewing of toe-nails and other fun-filled activities (like placing my scrotum upon an anvil and allowing people to hit it with a sledgehammer – just $5 for 2 hits) allow me to control my projected image, precious as it is. But it is controlled. I’m not one to delve into the depths of my own self-pity for public consumption, although I’ll happily re-write it for public amusement. But that re-write is always seasoned with a healthy dose of poetic license, editorialisation, humourous fabrication and, let’s be honest about it, totally-made-up-bullshit.
So, I don’t write about work. I don’t write about relationships without providing provisions of personal protection for pontificating perambulations. (Yes! Fucking look at THAT alliteration, you bastards!) And, in most cases, I don’t know enough (or care enough) to engage in political discussion or current affairs. Doesn’t leave me much to write about. Mostly dead pets and boobs.
But yesterday was a pretty good extended metaphor for the state of my life and, as I was driving, I began to piece together rough ideas about what and how I wanted to write this morning in the office instead of the high-level, top secret North Korean cryptobabble that I should be analysing for ASIO. So much so that I had to pull over to the side of the road to e-mail myself the necessary notes.
Let’s see where we end up, shall we? More boobs first or just dive right in? Ah, fuck it…
The decision to make a 250km round trip drive after work yesterday to make a simple purchase from IKEA was not an obvious one, well, not for anyone who isn’t me. With my life, professionally and personally and socially, falling apart around me, I needed the drive. I wanted the time to simply not think. A little bit of self-induced white line fever was called for, was desperately desired and notably needed. (I’m not sure if this awful alliteration is going to be a running theme today, but we’re at the 700 words count, so it could be a pretty safe assumption that it will. If it was a cockroach, I would bet on it.) I need a shower rail and shower curtain, but I also need some packing boxes and some time with my good friend Govs. Sure, 250kms, but with goals in mind.
It was on the drive home, through the pitch black, rural streets, that I began to feel like the post-existentialist flâneur, the solitary literary archtype wandering (specifically sauntering) through city streets observing society as a macrocosm of themselves. Rattling in the back of my car were the moving boxes within which I would transport the shattered remains of my life and the build-your-own shower curtain with which I could cleanse the accumulated filth from my heart without then having to wipe it up from the bathroom floor.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to have that chat that I needed with my friend Govs. Black Hops Brewing is going from strength to strength and their fucking awesome beer is showing up in pubs across an ever-increasing geographical radius. Kudos to them. (And seriously, go drink the beer – it’s good.) But my opportunities to have those psychological de-briefings that dudes need from their friends are becoming fewer and further between. The chasm that I felt widening between my intellectual and emotional self, the crack in the Larson C Ice Shelf of my humanity (and that metaphor works on so many levels) was epitomised in this very moment. Especially as our planned dinner was not the simple Monday cheap steak I had hoped for, but a crew of hungry young men diving into hot sauced chicken wings at a hipster pub. When the chicken wings arrived, a toxic yellow/orange/Chernobyl look to them, I remember asking Govs if my anal sphincter was going to regret this hot sauce in the morning. He assured me that it would not.
Ten minutes later, in a dark and seedy toilet, my anal sphincter was regretting the hot sauce. Making Govs the disseminator of absolute and divine truths while somehow managing to be an absolute cunt.
And what a time to discover that there was no toilet paper.
Yes. Really. Truly. I’ve seen memes about it and laughed at the hypothetical predicament. Wasn’t so funny anymore. Shut up. But I can only offer my most gracious thanks to the hipster pub for the exceptionally high quality of their napkins whilst simultaneously telling them that I hate them.
It started to rain on the drive home. The sun had set and the country roads were unlit. My burning ring of fire had had its coals banked, so to speak, and I began to think about angels.
In Pratchett’s Going Postal, the protagonist, Moist von Lipwig, is hanged within an inch of his life. Embezzler, fraud, rogue and all round scoundrel, awakens with Lord Vetinari about to give him, Moist, the opportunity of a lifetime. Or more accurately, the opportunity of having a lifetime. Lord Vetinari uses this opportunity to speak of angels; he explains that sometimes, in a person’s life, when that person has made such a tremendous fucking mess of things, such an almighty SNAFU, the pants, ball and cock up to supercede all other cock-ups, sometimes an angel appears. And that angel grants an opportunity to go back, go back to the time prior to where it all started to go wrong, and re-set the direction or, even better, re-direct the journey to be undertaken.
But you only get one, Mr Lipwig.
My sister asked the difficult question. She said that I had crawled out of this dark funk before so I could do it again. But my solution last time must have been imperfect otherwise I wouldn’t have found myself back in the funk. So what do I need to do differently this time? My snarky response was that I probably needed divine intervention. And I started to wonder where my angel was. And I know it seems like a perfect time to make a joke about how my guardian angel is probably drunk, or lost, or has given up, but last night I began to think that this wasn’t time for jokes anymore.
But maybe I used up my angel time when I had my heart attacks last year. (And for those hearing about that for the first time here, I’m sorry about that.) Maybe I used up my angel time earlier this year when I walked home after a car accident with blood running down my face and the realisation that somehow I had managed to avoid the spanner and the screwdriver and the hammer that would’ve been bouncing around the car with me as I rolled down the hill. Maybe i used up my angel time when I couldn’t think of a third thing to add to this list.
Maybe I’ve already used the only angel I ever get…