Saturday, November 1, 2008

~ the cloud of unknowing

On Thursday I took the long road to Langwarrin in order to console Kylie, who broke four ribs falling off a fence. Interestingly, she claims to have been only slightly intoxicated - at least in comparison to her personal precedents.

Kylie is one of my dearest friends and near to qualifying as a nurse. I cannot think of a person more suited to the job. She is almost pathologically empathetic, particularly when it comes to animals. She is feared by local vets, to who she regularly brings near-dead possums scraped from edges of roads. She keeps a blanket in the back of her car expressly for this purpose.

It’s been a while since I’ve been down that way and it was unrecognisable. Indeed, I got lost. What was once pleasant and semi-rural is now undergoing rapid change.

Housing developments are spreading like a necrotising rash, an untiring cloud of unknowing. These are the fabled mcmansion estates, which may only be visited by converting large amounts of gasoline into poisonous exhaust. Other means of transport are either impractical or non-existent. The children who grow up here will struggle to avoid alienation in their cavernous, appliance-filled houses. Perhaps the internet will be their saviour. Perhaps there will be helicopter airlifts.

I saw no solar panels. No water tanks. I imagine the large developers have lawyers to sleaze them out of those annoying obligations. Do these houses have double glazing? Solar hot water? I wonder just how ugly they really are? When carbon trading begins, just how difficult will it be for the dull sublunary occupants of these macmansions?

At least the financial ‘meltdown’ will slow the carbonators down a little.

I do go on.

I’ve got a stall at Camberwell Market tomorrow, in case any one is in need of vast quantities of ridiculously cheap books. It’s been a while since I’ve culled the distributed tumour that is my book collection. The blame rests with my embarrassing second life as Lampsucker the ebay seller - and with what my wife calls my ‘Asperger’s syndrome’.

Admittedly, I do have trouble disposing of objects. I am a recovering hoarder. And I am subject to sudden consuming obsessions. And I have a well-established reputation for saying inappropriate things in social situations. And I have been accused of lacking emotional reciprocity. And I do react with abnormal intensity when others interrupt my routines ...

Aspeger’s is a ‘spectrum’ now, not a ‘syndrome’ – so perhaps I lie somewhere in the very mild reaches. Personally, as the occupant of my own mind, I think it’s possible. Others, excluding my wife, say it’s just eccentricity. But these days even things like eccentricity seem to need a medical description. So be it. After all, Einstein has apparently been post-diagnosed with Asperger’s.

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Jade said...

No! Dammit.
Can I get a list of the books you have and choose some and paypal you for books plus postage? I know you have something I'll want.

I am a book hoarder. I feel safe when surrounded by book walls. My daughter thinks I'm ridiculous but she's dyslexic.

Sam Sejavka said...

Don't worry. The stuff I'm selling doesn't really reflect my taste. Thrillers. Chicklit. Diaries of mothers whose daughters are heroin addicts. Diaries of fifty-something ladies who make a new lives for themselves in Tuscany ... And there are always planty more ... What are you into?

Ann O'Dyne said...

comiserations and get-well-fast wishes to Kylie - broken ribs are really painful

I hope you have fun at the market.