sulk music & excavations

06May10

I was going to take a photo of every Bic and Zippo lighter I have uncovered in this latest anthropological box-and-dust experiment.

I found a lighter for just about every colour of the rainbow (and there were also some in colours that aren’t even in the rainbow). I think I must have packed them all, sensibly, having no use for them. Apart from the giant one I use to light the gas oven, I mean, which doesn’t count due to the fact that it serves an almost daily purpose.

Now we’re living leanly and the floorboards gleam. The other night, excavating, sitting in slippers amongst boxes of crap, I remembered walking around Pompeii years ago and marvelling at perished villages and artefacts. The moulded facsimiles of freaked-looking, open-mouthed people, filled in from the spaces they left in the lava when their bodies disintegrated.

As charmingly or yawn-inducingly morbid as this may be, I sat there, deciding whether to hold onto a card from someone whose face I can no longer strainingly conjure, and who I would probably fail to recognise now even if I got stuck with them in an elevator. I imagined being entombed right there where I sat, with the bitsy carnage of our lives strewn around us, all disrepair (and no will or succession plan to speak of). It wasn’t a distressing thought or anything. It was actually quite perfunctory [our street is superimposed cleverly on a faultline, so I guess I always keep the crumbling house possibility tucked somewhere at the back of my mind; it’s a fairly practical consideration].

All I thought was: I wonder what all this (junk) would say about me if I was discovered like this in years to come. I didn’t get much further than that. It’s a pretty impossible question to answer, to be fair.

Then I got distracted by how many pens and pencils and writing and drawing instruments we have. I tested them all and threw out about 30.

This is what remains of my savage pen culling. I took lots of photos because I was trying to find the best angle and setting to convey just how many pens we have. To get across what pen hedonists we are. 

Who on earth needs this many writing instruments?? [My hand cramps up when I write more than a shopping list, FFS.] But still I can’t bring myself to throw them out. What if one day there is a shortage of pens? What if one day I regretted throwing away perfectly good pens and pencils with reckless abandon? The shame of it.

Oh and by the way, now I am listening to sulk music. I’m not even going to tell you what. It’s sulk music of the for no particular reason just because variety. I don’t know if it makes things better or worse. Self-indulgence is sort of like emotional mildew or dry rot, but it’s so fleetingly, temptingly, achingly bittersweet. I’ll only give it until the end of the album. Then my socks are up and my ideas bucked up. 

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