In life so far: strangers ask me for directions (I look like I know where I’m going?) & they give me unwanted stuff (I look needy?). Could be worse.
I spent time in limbo last night. In my dream I was massively electrocuted by faulty wiring whilst replacing a light bulb. I writhed around seemingly painlessly and helpless as 240 volts arced through my body. I was aware of my partners distress at being unable to intervene. The world around be faded into a milky white obscurity as I found myself in a limbo world where I was aware I was would spend time before being reborn.
I was able to view the living though few of them could view me.
I was standing waiting to use the self checkout facility and the seventy something guy behind me struck up a conversation about how hit and miss the process of swiping your own items was. I agreed and said that it was sometimes hard to get all the items through without some kind of staff intervention but it was still worth it when you only have a handful of items.
The gentleman then revealed that he would normally stand there and look frail and helpless in order to illicit help from the designated self checkout assistant. He followed this revelation with a crafty wink and a wry smile.
I then watched in awe as he suddenly transformed himself into a doe eyed helpless retired gentleman quickly transforming his demeanour he caught the eye of said female assistant who then promptly processed each and every one of his items herself thus leaving him with little to do but smile meekly and say thank-you as the entire process was completed by a willing third party.
We both left the store at the same time and the helpless stoop straightened into a more healthy upright stride as he exited the store. A small example of one of the rare advantages of over playing ones age and fragility for personal benefit?
We took some time out the other day and took a bus ride for a mooch around a nearby town. The route is fairly convoluted and takes us through the countryside and various villages. The journey itself was somewhat stressful as the driver seemed permanently wound up, repeatedly annoyed at meeting oncoming traffic as he travelled at excessive speed along what is mostly narrow single track country lanes. At one point, in an attempt to squeeze by a truck coming the other way he managed to bounce us into the virge and a soft ditch. For a while I didn’t imagine we’d escape the confines of the ditch as he wheel spinned aggressively to try to extricate us from this predicament.
On our return journey a group of tweenies got on the bus with us and as we crawled through 4 o’clock town traffic one young girl’s female friends ran alongside the bus teasing their poor friend by chanting that the youngster loved a particular other person.She looked flushed and embarrassed right up until the point she retaliated by giving her erstwhile friends the finger and loudly proclaiming that they should “Eff Off”.
Soon we were out of town and in the countryside, free from the kerbside taunts of young girls but amazingly the young girl then took to phoning her friends on her mobile and putting them on speaker phone, thus allowing her friends to continue to tease her throughout the rest of the bus journey.
Technology is really warping social interaction isn’t it?
It’s the small events that colour in the large spaces between the more obviously significant moments in our lives.Sights and sounds absorbed in passing can leave a lasting impression of the immediate world around us.
This week I have been mostly smelling…aircraft fuel. This was something more common in my childhood but its been hanging in the air a lot over the past seven days and in that odd way that we get to associate good feelings with the smell of hot tarmac, bonfires, cut grass or a certain scent that you associate with a lost loved one, I find the smell of aviation fuel in the air somehow evokes pleasant feelings.
Where I live there is a running cat and mouse game with ‘gypsy’ travellers who occupy areas of local grassland for short periods before the due process of the law moves them on, only for them to return after a brief tour around the many other small pockets of greenery around town.
The council has started placing wooden fencing around many of the most popular areas which now sees the traveller pick ever small grass areas for occupation , now in pairs rather than in a larger group of six or more mobile homes. Just around the corner a communal area of grass with trees is now used by two families of travellers each owning a dog and a chicken (which live in their own chicken house) and a clothes line tied between the clumps of conifer trees for drying clothes. The sound of a portable generator permeates the suburban calm.Within days all that will be left will be various piles of discarded refuse where they once were. The council will dispose of this and if there is no money to fence this area off they will soon return. Nomads of the suburbs.
Strimming In Infinity
My parents live about two and a half miles away from us.It’s within walking distance and along the way this week I saw a young woman strimming furiously around her over grown front lawn accompanied by the highly amplified sounds of Robbie Williams singing ‘Angels’. A curious assault on the senses.
Cassette Culture Nostalgia
Also close to my parents is a closed down petrol station boarded up and awaiting redevelopment.The white hoarding around the area seems to have become attractive to graffiti artists who seem less inclined to paint their gang names in multi coloured spray paints but to apply their own personal branding images promoting the url of their respective MySpace web page. One such personal advert features an elaborate audio compact cassette logo. A now defunct retro cassette image by someone surely so young that the real article must have played only a fleeting part of their young lives.