Wednesday, 30 August 1995 3:40pm
Sis I’ve just been and consoled myself with consumer idolatry – I bought two books. Will Self – ‘My Idea of Fun” and Herman Hesse – “Siddhatha”. I’ve read the prologue of the Self book, it’s not exactly what I was expecting, and to tell the truth, if I knew it was going to have slasher elements to it (a la Brett Easton Ellis, you know – “American Psycho”) I probably would’ve left it on the shelf to be grubbily pawed by other worshipers at the Temple, but it looked modern and witty and snappily written so (obviously) I bought it. I wanted something written this decade, I’m starting to tire a little of all this dated stuff, I wanted something with casual references that I would more easily understand. The Hesse book is just because, well, I like Herman Hesse, even his short novels are great. New glasses will have to wait. Now for the big test – will I go home and bite the poison apple, slipping into a TV coma, or will I steel myself and cook a decent meal (rather lacking in those this week I’m afraid) and read some? It’s so hard resisting the pleasure of the moment. Hard to reconcile what I wanna be (erudite, charming, witty, nice teeth) to what my natural proclivities surge me toward (sedentary, tubby – not obese, lazy, bad hair). Is it indeed a perversion of the natural order of things to attempt to be anything other than what comes easiest? Whaddya think? I ask it not in an abstract fashion, but as a real question. I want – nay, I challenge – you to shower me with a learned monograph on this chestnut that has plagued man for centuries. Well, it’s plagued me for the last 20 minutes anyway. The way I see it, you have;
- What you are.
- What you want to (or could) be.
- What you could be if you simply allowed life to mold you as it will.
Number 1 is usually somewhere between 2 and 3 right? But exactly where on the Rainbow of Independent Will do you find yourself? Intense indigo? Queasy green? Does Man have free will? Do you believe in fate? Maybe I should write one of those dreadful self-help/personal growth manuals. Those guys always end up surrounded by dozens of doe-eyed adoring dolts just dying to hump their Golden Calf. But I’m sure I’ve been through the advantages of starting your own cult before, yes?
Thursday, 31 August 1995 10:01am
Computers were down for a bit this morning. I got trapped talking to Ms X and her friend, Giggles (I call them the Two Ronnies) for a Chinese-water-torture-eternity this morning. Ms X sat in my chair and bobbed up and down on the hydraulic height adjuster, stumpy legs swinging like some sick forty year old child humping a mechanical bull worn into weepy submission. Now I’m sitting on that seat, and I have to wonder what stuff she has ground into the upholstery. (I know that’s in poor taste, but you know it’s the truth.) I’m gonna be thinking about this all day now. So I escaped the raucous fun and went to the photocopier to rest my face which was aching from smiling so much. (Giggles never stops laughing at herself. She bumped into a chair and had to double over to accommodate her hilarity. I always feel compelled to smile in sympathy.) When I got back the computers were back up and my office had cleared. The Two Ronnies’ assault was especially bad because Simon is away today, and hence the smile-breaks he normally supplies in conversation were gone. I assume he’s sick, no-one has come and told me (and they usually do) why he’s not here. I’m in a grim mood now, the corners of my mouth set hard, eyelids heavy with cynical resignation. I’d better not get bothered today.
same day 4:50pm
And saying that, today has been one of the most irritating days imaginable – of course. I had Giggles in the office for most of the day, niggling me with questions. So I ball up my tension into fists and let them go. What crap.
Gonna go home and have a bath, delicious warm bath, then read some more of the Will Self book, eating last night’s left-overs.
Nathan (the office drunk) was in my office before, his tumescent tummy screaming for release as the imitation mother of pearl buttons strained to contain it in its polyester/cotton shirt, like a spinnaker ballooning, the tension so high it looked like he should be propelled perpetually forward. Funny how details take you eh? I was looking at his ears, how they’re squashed at the top, and fatty at the lobe, like someone’s grabbed each ear and squeezed hard between thumb and index finger middle knuckle, and the protoplasmic fluid sitting lazily inside swells to the bottom. I’ll have to send you photo’s of some of these people, it’ll make filling in the weekly action a little easier and a bit more vivid. Sometimes I feel like trying to construct a play for you with Barbie Doll figures and accessories. Those cardboard cut-out ones with the plastic base. “Barbie and Ken get off their face at Klicks! Accessories sold separately, batteries not included”.
Sketch by J
Receipt for book purchases discussed in his letter, found taped in J’s diary.