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I remember reading somewhere (such vagueness more & more common these days I think – I followed some link, read this article, somewhere, I forget when…) that there is a limited number of possible geometric tiling patters. Could it be the same with wallpaper? I don’t have wallpaper, but I do have some drapes. They are a sort of beige colour. There is a pattern of roses all up and down the drapes and these roses are a slighter darker shade of beige. There is no rose of this colour in nature. If there was, people wouldn’t propagate it. It would most definitely be shunned and it would become extinct. If my whole house was covered in this duality of beige it would make me vomit. I would vomit uncontrollably every time I entered my house and I would soon either move or kill myself. Luckily it is only the drapes. The old boxy aircon unit lurks behind them, one corner of its filter poking out, eyeing me. Use me it says. You know you’re hot. I have to look away. Soon I’m considering ways to trip people over and claim it was an accident. It’s not something I’d really do but thinking about doing it is something I’d do. As a compromise I promise I will ask people about their sources more. You read it somewhere, did you? Where? You don’t know? You can’t remember? I’ll then laugh and change the subject to something like beige roses, or the most popular wall-paper patterns of the 1960s. Everything will be alright.

Or will it. It seems I’m never just me sitting here writing. If I was you could imagine me tapping away fiercely at the laptop, the fingerfalls loud as a rare hailstorm, this symbolising a serious flow of ideas. But I’m not me, not in any serious way, simply not there with my face lit up in an unnatural LCD glow. Because by the time I paint that picture things have changed. To wit: initially I’d sensed the tittering of crickets coming from outside, something we’ve all heard but SO WHAT (and I was thinking of it even before writing, thinking this would be good to include) because then when it came to actual moment of keyboardly execution, the moment when I needed to render it and make it REAL the sound was drowned out by a jet passing low over the house. There you go. So typical of the world and the way it works against me. The cricket orchestra is now audible again but that’s so not the point. I conceive of myself in flux all the time. Maybe that’s my problem… The cup of tea at my hand would fix that if only I couldn’t reliably predict that it is by now lukewarm. (And I know from past experience that I can predict such a thing. It always happens when I’m in hailstorm writing mode.) Drinking or eating something often makes me feel differently about a matter I was previously considering. Like, for instance, my own conception of me as a solid thing, a thing capable of being the subject of a portrait. A good dose of hot tea would probably lead me to think of this as a not-so-important issue, a real thing but something to be put aside lightly, like a Woolworths catalogue in the mail informing you of LOW PRICES. And now yes, the tea is lukewarm, very nearly slightly cool. I knew it would be so and that seals decides my next course of action. I’ll abandon this portrait and somewhere within its wordy boundaries insert the words ‘work in progress’. It will never be finished though (or if it is I’ll remove those words, and that’s how you’ll know). Just imagine me as I am at a future point in time. Lying in bed, turning out the lamp. At that point know that I will be wondering how good my life could be if I had an authentic kerosene lamp to read by. Know this. Be satisfied with this.

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