The Pachyderm in the Parlour

Posting blogs and sending emails from Myanmar is often a bit like trying to get letters past Irving Washington, which goes some way to explaining the recent vacuum of this blog.

Things here are complicated.

Subsequently my head currently feels like it has been filled with breakfast cereal, and although whatever I do write is snapping crackling and popping out onto the paper it usually turns out to be a soggy mess by the time I’ve carefully watered it down. Frustratingly I know what I want to write, and those magical lucid moments when I do catch hold of it, what it is I must say, they are dampened by the fact that I am then just not able to publish those words; hence the exasperating title of this piece, and the lack of activity recently.

Do you ever get that feeling – do you ever have those moments – when you just stop for a second and watch it all continue racing past you?

It’s very much like that sensation on the waltzers when you’re spinning so fast – the music is so loud – and the lights so bright that for a fleeting instant you feel completely stationary; you are almost motionless in time, your candyfloss-filled-stomach is in your mouth as everything whistles dangerously and excitingly around your ears.

It’s the same as that instant when you think you’ve lost your wallet/purse/mobile phone in the street, your heart races, you hold your breath, you begin to pat yourself all over, you’re fleetingly glued to the spot yet the world blithely continues around you.

Do you ever see that freeze frame? That snapshot of everything everywhere all at once; and for the briefest of moments you get to have a quick peak behind the big curtain?

It’s that time when you catch the cheerful and helpful waitress dropping her plastic smile a fraction of a second too early before turning away from your table. Or when you’re the only person on the street that sees the wheels on the car going past you reach that speed when they appear to stop and then go backwards. It’s that sickening moment when you see your future in your cursor that is still hovering over the recently accidentally clicked reply-all button, or that confusing period between waking and opening eyes where dreams and reality are still inextricably wrapped around one another.

Have you ever done that? Just stopped, and had a look around? I mean really had a look around? Peeled that shiny sticker away with your nail and seen what’s underneath? Had a good look at world around us, the reality of which is so carefully shrouded in distracting flashing lights and noises.

Do you ever get the feeling that it’s all completely fucked, that we’ve just got it all wrong?

I do.

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