Friday, 1 May 2015

You never know

2 years of sitting on the same chair every Monday evening taught me to understand when an attack of binge eating is approaching.
Right now I can’t do much but keep it at bay until I succumb to it. One day I might manage to deal with it completely, you never know. For now I just go into damage control and try to delay it as much as possible. If I'm lucky I can drag it on till it's time to go to bed and then I'm safe.
For today, however, I managed to keep it under control only for the afternoon. How? By getting myself covered by a homogeneous layer of dirty dark grey dust; dust I also breathed, which explains why I can't stop sneezing right now.

I armed myself with broom, cloths and garbage bags and went to restore order in the basement.
I should have done it way sooner, more or less around the time I filled it with the first wave of boxes before moving to Surbiton.
But procrastination is something I’m good at, even though I still have large room for improving that too (first thing tomorrow), so I allowed time to pass and dust to gather.

By cleaning it, I realized a lot of thing. Gautama sat under a tree not eating and looking a lot like Keanu Reeves, I cover in dirt and then scoff down an unspecified amount of chocolate bars: revelation come in different forms and shapes after all.

My basement is a clear mirror of how I deal with problems: I just hide them away, easier than dealing with it. The problem is that amount of space one can use to store problems or boxes away in a basement is limited and sooner or later the pile of stuff and other shit will collapse, most likely in the moment one has decided to put some order in it. At that point it’d be wise to wear heavy shoes, not random sneakers, as the Yann Arthus-Bertrand photo book will undoubtedly land heavily on the right big toe and man, culture is heavy.

Cleaning the basement also brought back to light an amount of things I had absolutely no memory of: did I really buy this book? It could be some early form of dementia. Or that frightful feeling I’ve had very often about my past becoming blurry and uneventful, so I started forgetting many things such as books I read or movie I watched. Most likely, however, it’s mum hiding again her unwanted books in between my own, relying on the fact I will not spot them and that, if I ever did, I will eventually keep them. She might deny it, but I’m pretty sure I never bought a book on how to use a steam cooker, or the 101 ways to cook with a microwave.

I threw away a lot of “stuff” this afternoon and that’s a big achievement for me. Throwing things away is not something to be taken for granted in my family: I have somehow inherited the “you never know” attitude to life my grandparents passed over to their children. You don’t throw away things because you never know when they could be handy again. It's a concept comes from a time when my family had not much to begin with and later on eradicated itself on the notion that you can't take anything for granted and have to appreciate the notion of owning something: it's a privilege people in the family didn't have in the past and you might loose in the future, so better enjoy and value things now, with an eye to the possible bad times in the future.

This is how a useful-only-hoarding cross-generational hoarding habit has begun and it kept flourishing with no crisis on the horizon to slow it down. So, for example, that box we used back in 1995 to move to the by-then new apartment… why throw it away? Let’s keep it, almost empty, in Virgi’s basement. So if for any reason a 3rd world war break out and we need to move away but the moving company has no boxes to give us, we still have this old battered box: we can use it to take with us the microwave cookbook, the coffee cups gifted to us by somebody that clearly hated us and an incredible number of small cubes of styrofoam; one never knows when all of this could come in handy again. Oops, too late for that: we will need a different box in the event of a unexpected move due to international warfare landing at our doorstep.

It's a dear to transcend
Everyone here, at the end
I don't care anymore
You never know

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