There’s nothing quite like the live streaming of your own cervix, magnified beyond comfortable viewing, being presented to you on a thirty inch screen, within reaching distance – coupled with the buzz of surgical diathermy – to concentrate your attention on paying more mind to your physical wellbeing. And, more pressingly, getting a new tattoo. That’s how stream of thought manifests itself in the real world – in the desire to get inked. No amount of mindful body scanning will displace that thought. If anything, it just throws up more creative possibilities.
I mistook metaphors as rhetorical devices. Literary effects. I’m beginning to realise that they are so much more. Creative necessities. Smokescreens in which to wrap the sources of hurt or agitation and smother their long, late afternoon shadows before they merge to become another restless night in which sleep is slowly picked apart by those creeping memetic agents of infection. Feelings are framed. Exhibited. Flung to the wall like a fake Jackson Pollock. Inarticulate.
Giving attention to thoughts changes them. Sometimes for the better. sometimes not. The scaffold doesn’t always hold. The web in the corner of the room was abandoned months ago and has become heavy with dust. The free edge sways in the convection current – a shallowed, rounded out quarter turn against the ceiling coving; hanging like an open loft hatch inviting me to look beyond. To look through. To wonder where the spider went. Maybe he followed Boy when he moved rooms. Maybe he missed the company. Maybe he just couldn’t afford the cost in Lego to rent office space.
Discontinuity is an affliction I seem particularly susceptible to.
I like the idea of a Pollockesque tattoo but I’m pretty sure that the etched-skin reality wouldn’t live up to the pain of the etching. Typewriter text. That could work! But whose words? Christina Rossetti’s… Sylvia Plath’s…
Through the window came the rain,
Kim Deal’s? I miss TV. I used to watch all kinds of crap. Keeping my head in the place it’s meant to be at has proved more and more difficult against the biting dark of Winter. I need for it to end now. Winter. The bite. I need Spring skies. I need to re-focus. My attention is required here, there and everywhere but I just can’t catch it to pin it down and share it out. It dashes in front, rushes behind and runs – fast – in circles around me like a child playing tag. I barely have the energy to look at it. The paperwork piles up. The list of people to call gets longer. The tiredness gets tireder. I’ve been trying to wake time and attentiveness from their hibernation but they’re struggling to get up. I know how they feel.
My head hums to itself like a fridge in the middle of the night. I’m trying to ignore the obvious comparison, too banal and not even funny, with the BEKO in the kitchen with the blown internal light bulb. I’m surrounded by similes not of my own shaping. The permanent openings where the internal doors used to be are making me think of the middle-ish bit of the brain, the name of which escapes me (along with all kinds of other information I can’t remember where I stored) which links the left and right hemispheres; the bit which was widely assumed to have something or other to do with autism until someone a little more assiduous pointed out that the vast amount of experimental data which negated any serious open/closed/swinging/revolving/slamming in the gusts of who knows what mid-matter door hypothesis had been repeatedly overlooked for years quite simply because it was so dull as to have just never made it into the peer-reviewed literature. The more the best and brightest think they discover about autism, the less anyone understands – actually – what the fuck it is. Autists might describe ‘it’ as being dynamic and a hundred and one other things inseparable or otherwise from ‘self’, depending on which school of descriptive language each individual subscribes to but a conscientious move towards qualitative rather than quantitative data collection and analysis would require a paradigm shift of such epic proportions that clinical psychology would have its own nervous breakdown. And, professionally speaking, it houses some really fragile egos.
No level of prompting in my Facebook feed by Ink4Autism could convince me to get a fucking puzzle piece tattoo. (Though I do love the concept of ‘ink for acceptance’ – in a Peloponnesian-tribal-art-history mash-up kind of way. It’s a weirdly cool idea that appeals to my sensibility to seek out semblance.) I took the eyeliner to my right upper arm to experiment with shape and placement. Before I knew it the pencil had flowed quite naturally across my chest and all the way down to my left wrist in the process of balancing new forward facing black-work with an existing colour-saturated back piece.
It’s not a mantra for life in general but, when it comes to tattoos, go big or go home, I guess…