Start with an image, one of such quality that if it came rendered as a photograph you would blow it up and frame and hang on your wall. A close up of a autumn leaf mid red-to- gold for instance, the veiny spindles of focus contrasting so well with the more blurred circles of green in the background. It clearly depicts a natural landscape and the passing of seasons, but then it also does more than this – theses textures are the shape of your dreams. You can see menace in the blur, childhood beauty in the sticky patterns. Use this pictorial loveliness as a starting point. Even with this though, I suppose (my belief I can see right through things inherent in such a start) I will at day’s end receive a communication to the opposite effect. ‘No,’ the email will say, ‘you were not right about this (though your effort is much appreciated).’ Fucking navel-gazing.
To this end I begin visualising the past choices I would make if the time machine in the garage had of worked. I would change much, despite enjoying my life. This is never the point. ‘Exactly the same’ is a misnomer. Firstly I begin to hang out with the wrong sort of kids at school. We collect on the wrong side of demountable classrooms and toilet blocks, planning such audacities as the use of lighters, or public displays of ‘kissing’. I enjoy my time in the red light. We graduate to high school where my new friends find themselves intellectually pigeonholed and sure, I cast them off without too much guilt. I begin associating myself with cool kids that nevertheless take advanced English play guitar and are concerned about animal rights. With a couple of them I form an Indie Rock outfit heavily influenced by Pavement. We talk about how different things might be in the future, in our adult lives, and experience a collective sense of pre-emptive nostalgia for the current context. I fall in love, and fall out of love sporadically, enjoying the drama of it all.
When and if we try again, try to start again, to start with something, with a thing like a moment indicative of other feelings, it won’t be anything like this. There won’t be anyone to form-response you with the brutal facts.