Thursday, July 8, 2010

the humdrum of winter...

Yes, it’s cold outside… and, quite frankly, I’m getting tired of it. For some reason, this year, winter feels longer. I find myself wondering if I feel this way because I haven’t ridden properly since January. It’s possible that this fact is contributing to my restlessness.

Usually, I adore winter. I love being cosy in bed when it’s raining outside. Perhaps I was a Siberian in a past life? The cold invigorates me – I think more clearly and feel ready to take on the world. I enjoy hiding in big black overcoats and scaring strangers with my appearance: long black curls, black nails, black clothes, black, black and more black…

I take pleasure in watching the reactions around me in public places. I notice it far more in the burbs. I stick out like a sore thumb in this cerebral wasteland. I catch glances from passers-by… glances which size me up, a fleeting look that questions why I look this way, trying to assess what’s wrong with my life.

Perhaps I’m imagining more in the looks that I receive than is actually there. Questions jump out at me when I notice these ephemeral appraisals: Does she worship Satan? Is she grieving for the loss of a loved one? Does she know how bad she looks? Why does she insist on being so morbid? If she were my daughter, I’d… etc. etc.

That’s probably the only thing I enjoy about visiting the biggest shrine to materialism in the outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne - Knox City… Wearing a pair of un-needed sunglasses on an overcast afternoon, walking through the masses of mothers with three to five kids in tow, looking like I’m about to pull out a shotgun from the confines of my big, black overcoat, à la Columbine High School massacre.

I suppose my mind is as sick as I look to these people.

I must confess, even though my eyes are extremely sensitive to the glare of an overcast day, I wear my dark sunglasses in these places so that I can observe others with ease. On occasion, I see signs of nervousness when someone I am watching suspects that I am doing so, but can’t quite be sure that they’re being examined. It’s so hard not to laugh when I see this reaction. But, most of the time, the people I study are blissfully unaware of the scrutiny I am placing them under.

Sometimes, I am close enough to overhear the conversations that people are sharing. I am sad to say, that more often than not, I am not even remotely interested in finding out more about the topics of their exchanges. In these instances, I am privy to small wins at the pokies, the regular parma and pot night that will take place that evening, as it does every week, the demolishing comments offered on another’s appearance…

There are times when I am fortunate enough to overhear a group of teens chatting… Funnily enough, I can never recall the topic of their banter, as my mind is consumed with counting how many times I can hear the word ‘like’ unconsciously inserted at regular intervals in their sentences.

Plus, there are occasions when I am, no doubt, given filthy looks when I walk past these annoying balls of pubescence, imitating them: “Like then I said to her uhhh… how can you be such a bitch? That’s like soooo wrong!”

And then there are times when I feel old… I see teens walking around with the waist of their jeans clinging to the lower half of their arses for dear life. I start to giggle as I visualise coming up behind them and dacking them in public. Of course, the giggles stop abruptly when I realise that they probably wouldn’t even notice if such an event occurred.

Their hairstyles freak me out too - hair going in all different directions, looking like they don’t own a comb or a hairbrush. I must admit, I have walked past teens looking like this, exclaiming the words, “Shit! I’m surrounded by Morlocks!

What are Morlocks, you ask? A bunch of savoury creatures from the 1960 film, The Time Machine. Have a look at this link, and see if you agree with me…

Hmmm… is this blog post really about the “humdrum of winter”, or is it about the “humdrum of suburbia”? I recently cut out an article from The Age newspaper on this very topic. Words like stagnation, emptiness and disappointment jump out at the reader – it impressed me so much, I have the article pinned up on my desk at work as a reminder of what to avoid, despite being surrounded by this miasma of suburban culture on a daily basis.

It can be so easy to fall into the trap of routine and predictability in the suburbs. As human beings are essentially creatures of habit, it would not surprise me if I woke up one day, wondering why I wasted so much time attending to the mundane and dreary duties of living.

I find places like Knox City comparable to the circles of hell… a world of spiritual deprivation where there are lots of people, but there is no contact of any worth – a world of what T.S. Eliot referred to as “perpetual solitude”. There is endless “twitter” that fails to generate meaning, and a great deal of hustle and bustle serving only to defer the stillness one’s soul requires to flourish.

I am so close to my goal now, I can almost taste it…

Spring and the following close of 2010 will indeed bring new and fresh beginnings…