Monday, 15 January 2018

third and last set of twelve questions

The remaining twelve questions are much more geared to a conversation with a person you know, as opposed to one with the internet, but I'd like to try to finish them off (not "finish them off" in the sense of hunt them down and kneel on their chests and cut their throats with a filthy knife made out of a bear's claw, rather,"finish them off" in the send of "wrap it up" - not "wrap it up" in the sense of spread a plastic shower curtain on the ground, put the girl in the middle, fold both sides over her and tuck in the ends - rather, "wrap it up" in the sense of "lay it to rest"....I don't mean "lay it to rest" in the sense of wait until dark then throw it over the fence of Melbourne General Cemetery and pedal away as fast as as your little legs can go...I won't continue, although I totally could and maybe totally should. Maybe you would prefer that. No way of knowing, and I for one am not aware of any means of finding out nor would I be disposed to put much faith in any evidence that might be presented to me, either way)

It is Monday and I am marooned in a shithole country called Hamilton Island so I am not seeing my doctor this week.

I spent today rereading and then re-rereading Mary McCarthy's "The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt", first published in the Partisan Review in 1941, and as mindblowingly good as anything she ever wrote. I wish there was a copy online because while I began reading it to look at her technique, I finished it wanting nothing else than to thrust it under someone's nose and make them read it so we can say "oh wow this is amazing" and make other inarticulately appreciative sounds.  

I also listened a lot to Frank Ocean's "Ivy" - it occurred to me that this song does a wonderful job of conveying some ideas about "back then", ie youth, the past, without either descending into maudlin over-identification or retreating behind a screen of equivocation or hardness. Vantage points are important and it's fascinating to observe how they are built.


25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ... “
I'm alone in this room. Let me see if I can come up with three statements that are true about me and also about you in the room you're in:
1. We are both curious, maybe mildly apprehensive, about where all this is going
2. We both feel that we might have better things to be doing but this is what we WANT to do right now so we're doing it
3. We're both imagining what it would be like to have this conversation face to face and we're both thinking that on the whole the present arrangements aren't too bad.

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... “
Easy, I wish I had someone with whom I could share fangirling about "The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt"

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
I don't always know when to stop and leave it alone and I know this is annoying. I will sometimes wildly overpromise, purely out of enthusiasm, and then the inevitable underdelivery makes me ashamed and I might have to hide from you for a bit. I am quite used to seeing forbearing expressions on my friends' faces when I get going on some hobbyhorse. I get obsessive about things - if we are doing some sort of extended thing together, when we meet I might only want to talk about that with you and I might forget to ask you about the other big things that have happened in your life since I last saw you. If "become a close friend" is meant to be euphemistic, you should also know that my skincare routine involves nine different substances and takes a very long time of an evening. Also I like to squeeze other people's spots, so be warned. Jeez, I'm a real catch aren't I. For balance, you should also understand that I am clever, charming, funny, a blood donor, and I vote Green. 

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
I like everything about you. You're great! 

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
In front of another person, on Monday 8 January; by myself, probably some time in October when I was going through a rough patch. Some years back - years not blogged - I used to cry at least once a week. What fixed that was leaving my last job and getting through the awful years of early parenthood. Analysis has undoubtedly helped too.

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
As I have already explained, I like everything about you, dear reader, you obviously have champagne taste, since you're here, and really, what's not to like about practically anybody? It's really just a question of perspective. People who are terrible shits are usually able to provide some sort of entertainment as long as you can view them from a safe distance. 

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
This is a strange question. Rape, serious assault, violent untimely death, deaths of children, tragedies befalling actual people etc, you know. I also think you should not make fun of things about people that they have asked you not to make fun of, no matter how trivial or indeed hilariously comic they might be

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
I wouldn't regret anything because I'd be dead. If there are things I haven't told people it's because they don't want to hear it, and that is just something one has to accept if one wants to retain the right to be thought of as an acceptable and decent human being.

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
The little oil painting of my worn and battered pink teddy bear that my dearest oldest friend K did when we were 19 years old and had both just started art school. It's beautiful in itself, and it was a labour of love, and it connects me to my infant self through the lens of my friend's gentle, searching attention.

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
Oh my god, my little boy's, what an awful, awful thought, end of discussion.

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
I am a bit puzzled about what I should be doing with my life. Please advise.

No comments: