Personal Clutter

The scattered bit of records of existence, final irrefutable proof that indeed an individual does exist, are printed on supermarket dockets and ATM receipts (if you choose to massacre trees for nothing) and written on scraps of paper with to do lists and that sort of thing. We don’t prove we exist by typing something into an electronic device whose operating system may be obsolete next year and may be unable to be decoded or decrypted – or, let’s say “read” – at some point in the near future. No it’s scraps and lists and mundane details which show I’ve been to the nursery recently and that a huge amount of money was transferred into my bank account. Or not … OK this isn’t working any more than the last thing I sat down to write worked.

Last time I made it sound like the chance for Laetitia and I to move away and be happy and occupied doing things we enjoy was as likely as a Knight in Shining Armor sweeping her off her feet (and where would I be, in this fictional fantasy scenario?) – which I didn’t mean. I was writing about dreams and goals and things we would like to do, things which may seem unrealistic but we think and fantasise just the same. Whereas this view of the future, for us, is not just perfectly possible, it’s likely. We can make it happen.

And now I started something with the aim of talking about how we can account for ourselves – what proves we are here, apart from birth certificates and passports and so on – and run into the problem that of course databases for official information will almost certainly last longer than anything else, and although mostly private will tell others that our eyes are green and we are were very tall.

I don’t know what I’m on about.

Scribbled notes will tell something of my handwriting, and what the notes are about tell a story of their own, indicating interests and preoccupations and necessities in life, and maybe that is a fuller picture, something about daily life. And clues, possibly, toward an impression of personality.

A notebook I carry has shopping lists as well as addresses and items which must be crossed off; it also has details about a punters’ club I am in: moneys contributed by members, winnings and losses, profits and so on. What could be gleaned from all of that though? Not much. Compulsive gambler? Wrong. Compulsive organiser? Wrong again. Man who kept a notebook and hardly ever wrote anything interesting in it? Spot on.

You know when you put on a coat and it hasn’t been since last winter that you wore a coat, or a dinner suit and you don’t dine in dinner suits much, and you look in the pocket and you see the ticket stub of a concert or the program for a funeral? These are the details I’m talking about. It maybe that supermarket dockets are the most interesting records that will ever be created about us.

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Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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