So yesterday, other than being the first of November, was the day I met up with an old school buddy of mine.. Oh man, was it excruciating. For him, that is: whilst he was waxing poetic about the beauty of the world and Zen, I stood mutely under a tree in the pouring rain and wondered why on Earth I was here – in the most un-existential way possible, of course. This is borderline reckless for me – my usual idea of adventure, other than those found in the confines of entirely fictional realms, is sticking some food in my backpack and heading out into the hills for an hour or ten. An assuredly solitary pastime. If you add people into the equation, especially people I am fairly new to (I mean, we went to school together! What does that say about me?) then it becomes less of a social activity and more of a task to count the leaves on the many trees surrounding us whilst simultaneously struggling to find something deep to say about German Expressionist art.
I swear I died a little that day, I really did. And considering the previous day was Halloween where we had virtually no trick-or-treaters just like the year before and I ended up eating most of the lollipops and sweets we had reserved for the little blighters, that’s saying something. (Speaking of which, when was the last time anyone has seen a good old-fashioned lollipop? Not the dinky albeit very crappy ones you get in fun bags of sweets, but the gigantic ones that last you about a century and you end up throwing away because you can never finish it? They seem to be something of an endangered species. I’m not even sure fairgrounds sell them anymore. It is a very sad day for humankind, indeed.)
But I have learned something out of all of that: if you don’t have anything valuable to say, say nothing at all. The emptiest vessel makes the most noise, so it seems, so in future, unless the conversation happens to meander pleasantly over to Murakami (who is quite possibly my favourite author right now) or the nervous system or even something as simple as what I had for breakfast this morning, I will quite happily stay clear of anyone who is making noises in the form of the intellectual sort forever and ever, Amen.
That’s not quite true, though there are some types of intelligence that scare the living daylights out of me. For example, I have a friend who is quite capable of being the next Prime Minister, if he so wished. He seems to have an ability to effectively ‘work the crowd’ and is an excellent public speaker, and that sort of intuitive ability to manipulate people and their feelings as a whole really does frighten me. Another is a remarkable mathematician and she possesses an ability to wield numbers and letters that look like numbers (but are actually letters), and again, I am left in awe of her talents. She is easily one of the smartest people I know.
And it’s not just even the typical ‘book smarts’ that leave me looking like a gormless buffoon. How people can build whole structures from a single thought in their minds will forever remain one of life’s great mysteries, as far as I am concerned. And let’s not forget the billions and squillions of people out there who possess so much common sense it comes out of their ears. It will take a dozen times, potentially two, before I will learn that taps are better switched off if no-one is inhabiting the bath or before I twig on that checking to see if your shirt is back-to-front before meeting all your friends for a game of DDR down at the local arcade is the most sensible option, and saves a fortune in public decency costs. There’s only so many times a person can use the, “Honestly, I wore it like this so I can turn it back the right way round after we finish stomping on these things so you don’t have to see my sweat stains,” excuse, and really, it shouldn’t have to even exist in the first place if it wasn’t for goons like me forgetting to dress themselves properly.
Which brings me to shoes. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “this is a woman writing, and she’s not even gone one post without mentioning shoes! Gasp! “- but let’s face it, unless you have heels of steel (I hope that’s not a trademark or something somewhere) or live on a remote island where your only terrain to fret about is soft, silken sand, you are going to be wearing shoes at some point in your day-to-day life. The first time I met my friends down at the arcade I was wearing these:
And if you haven’t immediately clicked out because of a) My taste in shoes or b) The horrendous image quality, I can applaud you.
Point is, they freaking killed. Now, I could’ve taken them off, but it would have taken an industrial strength winch to remove those babies because I had spent an entire ten minutes lacing myself into them good and proper. Like hell was I going to admit defeat all because of a pair of shoes, so I did the most noble thing I could and stamped, stepped and stomped my way to a flawless victory. I know I’m pretty much moaning about the way they made me feel but I have never, ever, managed to score as many combos since I did wearing those things. So, good for DDR, bad for pretty much everything else, though I had blisters that wouldn’t go away for three weeks and believe me, no amount of high-pitched pseudo-techno-trance music is going to make me want to don them again for that purpose. Sorry.
I’ve always been a little bit weak when it comes to footwear, and good footwear at that. Sure, sometimes comfort is sacrificed for style, but ultimately, I do have a love for them. And I don’t mean this in the traditional sense of a shoe passion – I don’t own any stilettos, nor do I intend that to change in the near future, but I still stand by my claim that my Doctor Martens are the comfiest damn things I’ve ever owned, and I’ve had them for nearly five years, so I think I can say that with the utmost confidence. This is followed closely by my old faithful walking boots that somehow always seem to stay spotless no matter how much mud and sheep excrement I wade through when rambling etc. I even like slippers, which seem to be on my feet more and more inside the house since the cold weather is arriving.
Anyhow, I will end this post here before my writing becomes too absurd. I’ll save the insanity for next time around.
Thanks for reading!