15 May 2005

The battery licker

Some people wander around seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. I think I see all that happens and hear every sound. I think of it as hyper-sensitivity, my critics say I obsess over minutiae. Perhaps I cannot apportion my attention correctly between the trivial and the vital. I make sure my stock of batteries includes at least twenty of the three types needed by various remote controls, yet for ten years I cut one hundred feet of grass every week with a rusty old roller-mower.

I liked that old mower, it had nothing to do with money. But when I decided it had to go I spent loads on a decent machine, added a strimmer, a hedge trimmer and a blower/vac. Something takes my interest and I do it to extremes. I do it differently. The picture of my Canon digital is taken by itself reflected in the pick-up of a guitar. Why?? I self-analyse extensively but I can't work out whether that composition is significant. But then does it really matter? I have a nagging feeling it should.

I'm guessing the battery in your smoke detector is one of those rectangular 9v ones which have both terminals side by side on one end. When it next needs changing, gently apply the terminals to your tongue. The sensation is sweet, metallic and tickling. Now unwrap the new one but before you slot it into the detector... yes, touch the new one to your tongue. WOW! this time it twitches violently and stings sharply. Now why did I try that? Because I was curious.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? I am a creature of habit stooping along between the high walls of my furrow. Occasionally I sneak a glance over the top and am scared by that glimpse of the unknown. I duck down and plod on. How many years are left of my allotted timespan? When the last day arrives will I regret a lack of ambition and curiosity? The older I grow, the less inclined I am to break out of my comfort zone. But paradoxically the less time there is left available to change my outlook.

As a young man I had hopes and dreams enough to make you cry. My obsessive, addictive view of life and my surroundings has given me a full and rich set of experiences to look back on. Even so I have a list of things I say I'll do tomorrow. Today I am considering how I can balance the familiar with the scary, how I can try something new for the first time. I am the battery licker.

"Daisy chains and school yard games
And a list of things we said we'd do tomorrow."
The Libertines – The Good Old Days


superflywebpimp said...

thanks for wondering pv, i'm alive and well. although i have taken a break from the break neck speed i was on with the writing, i shall return, "indeed." i have given myself some much needed r&r. today i went fishing with my dog. i found out 1 thing that will get your heart pumping. stand in ankle deep murky water in the middle of nowhere by yourself, and have a four foot poisoness snake emerge beside you. i found out my dog won't save me in times of trouble. i have forgiven him, because i always tell him when we go out in the woods, "you do anything stupid boy, you're on your own." it seems he feels the same. strange. i admire him for that. "in this world, everyone humps their own load."

Perfect Virgo said...

Superfly - I wondered often how you could maintain the high quality of your writing while constantly driving up the quantity. It's tough isn't it? I like your dog's approach! He is right, and so are you. When you get right down to it, we are on our own.

Great to hear from you though and to know that you are sharpening your pencil in readiness. I hope the rest has rejuvenated you and that you can return in style.

Even an occasional gem would be superb. I've missed your posts and still check back every day.

finnegan said...

"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"

By degrees, this question is answered moment by moment. Taking a breath, seeing, feeling, hearing etc., in any given place and time. Babies have the concept down. Just look into their eyes.

The question inverted is more of a conundrum: When was the first time you did something for the last time?

RuKsaK said...

I've never really decided if it's better to blank out the minutae or not. Sometimes, living in yet another city of 10 million, I want zero detail - each brick and slab of concrete cripples me and I wish I could mush it all into banana trees in my mind.

I'm not sure I envy you your attention to detail - I just don't know.

doughgirl said...

When was the last time you did something for the first time....ummm can I get back to you on that one?

Perfect Virgo said...

Thanks all for your thought provoking comments.

Finnegan - The last time is a frightening one. Until your dying breath you can never say never.

Ruk - tricky isn't it? I live in incredible detail, its almost like an affliction. I can't imagine glossing over things or having superficial views on my favourite subjects. I think I would worry less if I could blot out the detail.

DG - keep thinking girl! You sound so busy that I'm sure you will sooner or later pick up a new activity. Tell me when you do!

Wardo said...

I like that picture. Gibson pickup, if I'm not mistaken?


doughgirl said...

I've got it...Today is the last time I tried something new. I finally subscribed to flickr and put some photos there. I haven't added them to my blog yet, but the little square is there...yippeee...lmao

I know Perfect, I am crazy, but that's ok. It's the little things in life that keep me happy :) Thanks for the challenge!!

Perfect Virgo said...

Argus - yes good spot, Gibson humbucker. Its a Les Paul Standard in bullion gold. There are some more conventional pictures back in the Feb and March archives.

DG - thought you would rise to the challenge, you crazy girl! I'm looking forward to checking out your flickr pictures soon. Happiness comes in many forms, I like the small ones too.

recoveryroad said...

A typical alcoholic/addict response it to buy the mower, strimmer, hedge cutter lmao!

I agree with you about most folk wandering around de-sensitized to their surroundings.

Nice pickup. That makes me hot, hot, hot. ;)

Jen said...

I thrive on change and newness and suffocate with the mundane. Change is scary, though!

Perfect Virgo said...

Kenny - you better believe it mate! I am a man of extremes, all or nothing. Glad the mower made you chuckle - true story of course and there are hosts of other examples. You will know about that trait I guess!

Rich and rubbery sound. smooth as honey or downright dirty, take your pick(up)!

Jen - I envy your optimism and ability to embrace change. Did you note though, I am planning on trying new things. Just so scary as you say! I'll be checking on you, I hope you get some positive news soon.

Anonymous said...

these are simple words with big heart. perhaps you are now changing and shifting in ways you never thought possible.

you reveal important personality details! and your style is different here. it is my favorite post thus far. "Why?? I self-analyse extensively but I can't work out whether that composition is significant. But then does it really matter? I have a nagging feeling it should."

Perfect Virgo said...

Jane - Yes, July 2006 sees me flexing and pushing at my boundaries in a previously unheard of way. There is a shift so subtle you'd barely notice, yet there is also a sea-change so fundamental you see a new man.

My personality was carefully concealed, or so I thought... your perception is sharp as a razor or I would loan you mine. I always liked this post too, it seems increasingly appropriate with the passage of time.