Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Loneliness of the Long Distance House Sitter // IN THREES

So it turns out that I am a social creature. One never would have guessed it. This is something I had to hear from my brother. With only 294 words left to write on my essay on intelligentsia and state-socialism, I have realised that my thesis statement rings true for me. Just as the intelligentsia can never be separate from state-socialism, neither can I. Despite living under a democracy. Don't ruin the neatness of my intellectual epiphany.

I have been living in Leichhardt now for a month, looking after a dog and two cats. There is another five weeks to go. One of the cats, Fat Vivian, took an immediate dislike to me. The other is just a paranoid idiot. The dog eats the kitty litter, and about half an hour ago, she bit me. Hard enough to bruise, not bleed. I responded by sitting down and crying like a two year old. Unlike the two year old, my mummy couldn't come to rescue me. All that was there to comfort me was a near-complete, utterly dodgy essay and the new Wild Beasts album. Desolate and despairing, I dry heaved.

This is not quite how I imagined my year was going to be. I had plans, I had theories, I had something brilliant on the tip of my tongue. Instead, I am whinging and whining, I am moving in triplicate. I am saying "I AM I AM I AM" and spending my nights awake.

My mind races with these 'white people problems'. My mind throbs with the problem of speaking for others - I will never be a subaltern, I will never have my voice taken from me - even if it is taken, I will still have had a chance at speaking. So why should a dog bite and a dodgy essay cause me more grief than usual?

Because it is only me here. Boring little me. Little me who thinks in threes, like most people do. I read something about that the other day - I think it was AA Gill who said we speak in iambic pentameter, we think in threes. Like Roman triumvirates. Like Caesar, Pompeii, Crassus. Octavian, Antony, Lepidus. Jeremy, Claudia, Madeleine.

There are four of us in this house. A Fat Cat, a paranoid cat, a dodgy dog and me. Four, not three. That's probably why I feel so stuck in a Smiths song, devoid of Morrissey-ian humour. Why I managed to get interested briefly in Czechoslovakia, before I realised how twisted everything is, how inseparable. All I really wanted was to write about Milan Kundera turning his back on a failed socialist dream, not how they all clamoured at Novotny to give them something, anything, that tasted of pure socialism.

In class, I have a mouth that runs like a long distance runner, desperate to make noise that is heard. In class, people are confused - is she a genuine idiot, or an idiot savant? What is her deal with Kundera and Forster? In class, there is so much potential that I find slipping through my fingers. It makes me want to cry, the way I did when the dog bit me.


oh god, this is the worst thing ever. but i wanted to make some noise. any noise. white noise.