Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I am my favourite horse


It recently dawned on me that I am nobody's favourite person. I was having a bit of a ponder about flying wall ducks and the stiffness of measuring tapes when it popped into my head. I am nobody's favourite person. I don't mean that everybody hates me, only that everybody I know has at least one person who rates higher than me in their invisible rating scale of people, like their long-standing grew-up-together-best-friend or a boyfriend or wife, or the undying object of their unrequited love.

I am no more a workhorse.

Five seconds after coming to that conclusion I felt immensely pleased. I have discovered a new kind of freedom. So far I have used this freedom to leave parties without saying goodbye, not reply immediately to missed calls, text messages or email and importantly to not bother about including people in my plans. If there is not one person out there who will be especially hurt to not be said farewell to or invited to the art gallery, movie, cafe, bookshop, picnic, graveyard, Peach Deck or ferry ride then I needn't be bothered wasting time thinking about other people when I make plans. I can do whatever I like, whenever I like and not have to answer to anyone. Spencer will tell me I'm being a fuckwit if I start running around being deliberately rude, but his scale of rude is quite different from mine to begin with. What I would consider quite rude indeed he wouldn't even consider.

When there is someone, I mean someone special, a first port of call on all matters large and small I have the luxury of a second opinion. That opinion can stretch across all facets of life, from what I am wearing to what I'm saying, eating, thinking, reading and most importantly, what I am writing. In cases like this I have acquired a constant reader.

I am a racing horse.

I despise a constant reader, one that feels like they need to comment on every single letter of the alphabet, wants to know if I was talking about them, wants to know if this is really what I mean to say. It is easy to be weighed down by a constant reader who wants to act as a second head, no neck was built to withstand that kind of strain. It's like holding a mirror so close to a dancer that it shatters with every point of a toe.

Don't go feeling sorry for me walking around being nobody's favourite person. I have no constant reader, no man burdened with mental illness tracking my every move, no person aching to call me to account for every minute I spend in silent reflection. No watchdog counting the relative merit of every spindle of thought. I have the freedom to fail, flail or spend the whole day writing without interruption. I can cancel any obligation without guilt, I can stay away for days or curl into the arms of a good idea. I am my favourite horse.

1 comment:

- Jerome said...

I know what you mean when you say how liberating it is not to be waited on. I'm trying to give my number ones more freedom, because I know it's in my nature to be overbearing.

I think it's easy for people to be incredibly clingy to the people they love. I know that I am, and have always been so. Life is fragile and the people I love are too precious to even sometimes stand loving them. It's not as though I could stop a lightning bolt when it'll fall out of the sky on them, but being overly possessive of them somehow keeps doom that few steps further away. And pretty soon my number ones loose that vital liberty.

I've often contemplated how better to handle this. I feel much better knowing where they are at and that they are safe. This ofc leads to them resenting me for my obvious lack of trust and breaks down relations. Now I've come to realise things I have definitely backed off. All I have to do is balance my genuine feelings of unease with my joy for their new found liberty.

This is the paradox of caring for people. I want everyone, all the ones and certainly all the twos, and even a good 30% of the threes as well to be perfectly safe and happy. Life just doesn't play by any rules or such and seems to keep tearing people away regardless of our attachments. I guess it's not meant to be any way else.

I'm thankful for twos. Ones take too much out of me, and I know I take too much out of them. One can only have a few ones. I'll probably be much more content in a world of twos, and totally at peace if I was only ever a three or even four or so for everyone that ever knew me.

It works both ways and it would be nice to have a better grasp on how much we actually mean to other people. That breathing space between a one and a two is vital but rarely fair.

I guess there is a constant flux between caring and consuming, devoting and devouring. I'm guilty of them all.