Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Poem on Rice Paper

She forced my music into headphones
and gave away my comics.

She dried out all my wet dreams
and "lost" my khaki t-shirt.

She sucked the milk out of my coffee
and the froth from off my beer.

Please don't tell her I write poetry!

23 July 1989
This is a gross exaggeration of course but there’s some truth here. I was clearly feeling hemmed-in at this point in my life. Less by F. if I’m being honest—and B. would’ve been no better—but by where my life choices had led me and were leading me; the future looked bleak. Everything important to me was getting squeezed into smaller and smaller boxes or eradicated. That’s what happens when you try to walk in another man’s footsteps. Of course it depends on which translation you read. Some render 1 Peter 2:21 as “follow his footsteps” whereas others say “follow in his footsteps”. That wee “in” does make all the difference. The first means head in the same general direction; the latter means adjust your gait to his. If you’ve even walked down the beach and tried to step in the footsteps of someone whose gone ahead of you you’ll realise how unnatural it feels especially if he’s a couple of feet taller than you.

Most habits are unnatural at first; you have to work at them until they become ingrained. That still doesn’t make them natural. You’ve just trained yourself to behave a certain way. Like one of Pavlov’s dogs or Skinner’s rats. This doesn’t mean that everything unnatural is bad—you don’t see many animals doing calisthenics or yoga or reciting the times tables—and what’s so bad about a bell ringing to tell you it’s time for tea? In big houses there used to be a dinner gong for goodness sake.


Kass said...

I know the feeling. Well put.

Jim Murdoch said...

I did used to have a khaki t-shirt, Kass and I loved it. Bought it in a store on Buchanan Street which is sadly no longer there but it stocked used American clothing, a whole rack of baseball jackets and stuff you’d just never get over here like army shirts from all over the world and not just the stuff in army surplus stores. I remember taking SO LONG picking that t-shirt and I wore it until it fell to pieces. Actually I have no idea what happened to it but it was unwearable by the time I’d finished with it and needed chucking out. Why I’ve never bought another since especially since the Internet makes it so easy nowadays I have no idea.

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