Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lists

Today I am very tired after another night of heat-disturbed sleep. When I woke up this morning, I looked like me but I felt like this:





This is Katie Ka-boom from Animaniacs. Sometimes I wish I could just go KABOOM and have it over with.

Tiredness means I have neither the energy nor the inclination to be nice or write interesting things, so I am just going to write a list or two. I am a list-writer from way back. Writing lists mean I can stop worrying about things and do something about them; sometimes just writing things down is close enough to doing them and I can happily drift off to sleep. The first time I read My Year Of Meat by Ruth L. Ozeki, I got stuck into writing these contrived lists to try to be like Shonagon. Fortunately I've stopped doing this and have developed a possibly just-as-annoying appreciation of the ephemeral list, which means my handbag looks like an amateur version of the newspaper-filled shopping trolley I'll probably be pushing in a few years time. My sister once said I'm the most well-documented non-celebrity because of all the receipts and paper scraps I keep. It definitely isn't always a good thing; some of my old lists are cringe-worthy reminders of what I used to enjoy doing or probably hoped someone would see I'd done, and some simply embarrassing because I actually had to write down a reminder to change my sheets, but I suppose in a way it makes things like that seem more important, the way that a soundtrack makes an everyday thing in a movie seem interesting and meaningful. I wonder if I'm sub-consciously trying to leave a trail to remember me by because I'm not doing anything particularly worthwhile... and now I wish I hadn't thought of that. I really love finding old grocery lists Vincent has left around the place, and they're not lists but I always hang onto little notes people have left me on scraps of paper. When I was at school, from primary right through to secondary, when my Mum would make my lunch she would put in a serviette that would have a little note on it telling me she loves me and that she hoped I was having a nice day. I was always loathe to throw them away, but when they were smeared with honey or covered in orange-pith, I couldn't really keep them.

So here are two lists, one new one and one old one.

List One -Things I meant to do this year but didn't:

Write to Gloria, my sponsored child
Send my absent best friends birthday presents
Do something that will actually make a difference in the world
Read [insert title of about fifty books here]
Get drum lessons
Make everyone's Christmas presents (admitting early defeat; it seems more organised to do so)

There are more but I think I'd rather end that list for now.

List Two - Happy Things To Chance Upon On A Fine Thursday Afternoon:

the book that the person you love most in the whole world has been looking for (and for half-price)
a nice young man asking for coins when you happen to have some
a nice old man swinging on the monkey-rings in the park, no grandchildren in sight, while his nice old wife looks on and laughs
a well-wrapped, fat-cheeked little girl telling her Mother about her day at kindy (also at the park)
the street that leads to the pub where you will be with your beloved sister this time tomorrow.

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