Friday, 14 December 2007


Actual mess seems to coincide with mental and financial mess in my world. I 'worked from home' today. The work I have to do will be done tomorrow though because I had to get my car serviced and wander around the shops buying things for Christmas. Neither of these things was either free or cheap. My to do list for work has been competing admirably in the World's longest list competition with my Christmas list. Of course neither of them are actual, tangible lists as such; they're more a swirling mass of vague and nagging imperatives in my head. When I have something on my mind it usually results in an inability to sleep. At those times the storm in mybrain is so disordered that I lay awake trying to think about what I need to think about. As Christmas approaches and I try to organise my visiting itinerary alongside the work and other stuff I get a kind of anxiety that stops me from efficiently doing any of those things and being able to cross them off my many lists. Nevertheless, one look at harangued faces on the other frozen people in Halifax today made me realise I am not alone. A quick chat with the woman selling 'Big Issue' did the whole salutary lesson thing too. I also saw Tiny Tim hobbling forlornly past the baker's window.

The flat is the biggest mess. I have spent the last two hours wandering from room to room picking things up in one place then putting them down somewhere else. If tidying meant doing that a lot I'd be the tidiest bloke on the planet. The boy's room isn't the worst but it is a bit of a tip. There are sweet wrappers all over the place, sometimes concealed by a stiff parody of a sock but more usually strewn in such a way that I imagine him discarding them like Henry VIII lobbing chicken bones over his shoulder. I considered venting a bit of steam over the phone but, luckily for him and for me, my sister phoned and reminded me of my would-be hypocrisy. As a (it has to be said) somewhat grubby teenager I got used to the distinctly malodorous fug in my bedroom and resented the complaints from sister and mum. I eventually found the energy (time wasn't exactly an issue then) to tidy properly. Under some paper which itself was stuck to the carpet under the bed I found some still soft centred crap (literal crap, not rubbish) that my dog must have left for me a couple a months before.

Time moved on and I now live in a worse world: I appreciate tidiness. I function well in an ordered environment. I can relax when everything is in its place. BUT... I don't have the tidy gene. My brain is wired in such a way that if it registers an empty surface, it will find a way to cover it with crap (the metaphorical stuff though so a small blessing). From where I'm sat now I can see loads of covered surfaces just by glancing over my shoulder. Actually, there's barely room for this keyboard on the desk upon which I am typing this tidy-avoidance post. Pens and some unpaid bills I understand but why is there hair gel, some plasters, some little stacking blokes, a banana and a three pairs of boxer shorts?

I sometimes wonder how I manage to hold down a job; You'd think the boxer shorts, plasters and little stackable blokes that are cluttering the surfaces of my brain would prevent me from even finding my way to work in the mornings.

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