I have this bang on my knee, and two days ago it was a bruise. A nice bruisey bruise, with angry pink on the edges that gradually faded towards sallow yellow with tinges of purple in the center. I can’t remember where it came from, but since I noticed it I’ve been watching with pleasant anticipation for the moment of crowning, splotchy blue glory all significant bruises enjoy. But instead, when I woke up this morning, it had migrated to the top of my skin and become an ugly, parasitic, scabby scrape. Boo, hiss.
Unrelatedly, I’ve been thinking about serendipity today, and how I tend to rely on it for decisions of all sizes and impacts. I am, for the most part, very adept at wanting what I can find instead of what I can’t have. To put it another way, I have cheap tastes. My therapist thinks this is because I grew up without much excess money and got used to buying toys from garage sales, the implication being that I never learned to properly define what I want.
Economists have studied how shoppers behave when they’re faced with a paralyzing array of strawberry jellies at the supermarket. Such dizzying choices are a peculiarly modern phenomenon – jam or jelly? strawberry or strawberry-kiwi? economy size or novelty jar? do I really give a fuck? – and they make people inefficient.
The guy across the hall is on the phone with his girlfriend. He just called her “honey” in this strangely oozing tone; threw me totally off track. I’ve never dated anyone who called me “honey” with any seriousness – not in conversation anyway; written forms do accomodate a certain amount of extravagance – and it’s probably just as well, because most endearments completely wig me out.
Ahem. I believe I was muttering something about combinatorics and explosions and technology. Yes. I’ve also been sidetracked by an aesthetic issue, the glorification of killer robots and things you can do with jagged-edged scrap metal – a celebration of the post-apocalyptic, as it were. I haven’t documented any of this, of course – facts are meant to be free, not enslaved by silly theories – but intuitively it seems that attitudes towards urban decay and nuclear winter have been moving from honest fear to campy appreciation to genuine appreciation of an idealized post-modern savage. Why? Because we’re all sick and tired of choosing between 87 kinds of strawberry jelly, and we’d rather define ourselves in relation to some set of obvious, external, unalterable limits than deal with near-infinite possibilities and associated existential angst. Or at least, that’s how my world works.