Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Words are flowing out... endless rain into a paper cup." Across the Universe by the Beatles.

Do you ever catch yourself in a bizarre situation, or a set of peculiar circumstances which cause you to say, "I'm going crazy. I standing here, solidly, on my own to hands, and I'm going crazy." (Tracy Lord played by Katherine Hepburn, Philadelphia Story.)

That has happened to me today.

As it turns out, I spent much of today alone--walking back and for from the main building to my dorm (many more times than strictly necessary, but it was a nice day), in my room, doing laundry, cleaning, studying in the library, etc... and when I did spend time around people, I found myself putting my foot in my mouth even more than usual, which put me in a more melancholy mood, and made me talk less around people, but narrate more in my mind--which is what happens when the words don't come out. I think I've mentioned this before, but momma likes to say that I have "a rich inner life." It's quite true--there's a running commentary in my head.

Actually, I think it's my imp. Everyone has an imp. Some people's imps give them tunes to hum, and other imps create rude limericks about things, some draw deep conclusions or great works of art or poetry or prose (at which point the little fella is no longer an imp, but has crossed the line and become a definite muse), and some people's imps create comparisons. If you've seen The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, that is a perfect example of an imp--when interesting things happen in life (or when she's bored, or when a thought is nagging at her mind) her imp presents her with a "movie preview" that highlights the point of whatever is at the front of her attention. Jack Black's character also has an imp that helps him write movies soundtrack scores--and it provides the perfect background music for him to "doodly doo" and hum in everyday life. Another example in film is in Elizabethtown with Claire, who sees most of life like a kind of scrapbook, for which she takes those little "mental pictures" that allow her to remember and treasure those ironic moments of life. Closer to home, I think Fred's imp draws connections--which leads to her quoting seemingly unconnected things or bursting into song like an early Disney cartoon--but she can almost always explain why it connected--and that is due to her imp.

My imp sometimes comes up with rude limericks--only on special occasions though. Most of the time the little booger is busy keeping up a running commentary which sometimes runs right through my mind and out my mouth, and that's when I get into trouble. Or more precisely, that is when I exercise my "gift" of disrupting things.

It causes me to interact with everything--including inanimate objects--which would lead the common and unenlightened person to the conclusion that I'm crazy. This would be untrue (at least, I think it would be untrue.) The truth is, this little imp inside myself is simply jabbering on a mile a minute (he doesn't get as tired as I do) and he, being an immaterial and imaginary creature, is not bound by the societal values of "sanity" and "insanity" and is therefore free to interact with any object, real or unreal, whether sentient or no, and as often as not the response is completely irrelevant to my continued interaction. It's the irony of the actions (or lack thereof) combined with words. It tickles my funny bone, more to the point.

For example, tonight as I sat on my top-bunk (trying to study) someone came in to find my roommate (who wasn't here) and then said, "Wow, you look so cozy up there, and you know, you're top bunk is seriously the coolest top-bunk I've ever seen."

"Really?" I asked. "How come?"

"I don't know--I guess just because you took the guard rails off." She bounced out of the room.

I turned to Audrey Hepburn, who was simpering (as usual) at me wearing her classy black dress and toying with a long black cheroot. "Nice to know that we're still cool, huh?" I asked her, as she pouted in silent agreement. She blinked and shook her head slightly, indicating her disassociation with the whole affair. Cardinal Richelieu looked up at me (but only two of his three faces from the famous painting are on the front of the book, so he seemed a little lopsided) and wiggled his nose in affirmation. I blinked down at him and said, "You know, in pink, I simply can't take you seriously." (The book is bright pink, even the image of him is pink.) He wiggled his nose again, signifying his disappointment in my shocking paucity of imagination. I could hear conversations from the rooms around me, girls doing homework, girls bickering, girls doing laundry, girls singing, someone in the basement was practicing the piano (sounding good) and someone above me seemed to be either having a knock-down drag out fight or clog dancing. Over on my desk I saw Frodo and the Rubick's cube having a heart-to-heart about the merits of black-tea-versus-herbal, and on my dresser, my bamboo waggled its leaves in a shimmy in time to the music that was playing softly from my ipod, "Ah W Noss" by Nancy Anjram. Two mugs, a spoon, and a bowl full of cheez-it crumbs winked at me balefully, reminding me of my neglect of duty in terms of keeping up my end of the room cleaning. My printer shone dark and ominous in its little corner, still a new-comer among my possessions and a bit of a black sheep, apparently. (They have not welcomed him into the fold, and I suspect it's causing a little bitterness. He does look rather evil, being all black and shiny--possibly a distant relation to Darth Vader--but hopefully that will pass, and he will be invited to all the little gatherings my possessions have in my absence.) I think Frank Sinatra (on the calendar) is the ringleader of the month--they all look to him when I search accusingly for the guilty party when things go awry. He does have a self-satisfied look about him. Audrey simpers from across the room, and he leers back. Good thing January's almost over, and hopefully next month will be someone with a more congenial attitude--Sinatra makes me quite nervous. Richelieu doesn't like him either, which isn't such a problem, but I think there would be some serious conflicts when I got out Ben Franklin, who, thankfully, should not have to be brought out too much until well into February when Sinatra is safely behind the next month.

Jolly Berry informs me that my imp needs a name. I respond that imps do not have names, but she is insistent. Her imp is a slideshow with vocal narration. It's a little man behind a curtain, pushing buttons to make the slide show go on. He has a black suit and top hat, he's kind of thin, with a smile--a happy man, as Jolly Berry says, and she calls him "the little man."

If I could describe the shape of my imp, it would be a humanoid, with fuzzy hair on top, and a very expressive little face, with ears that lie quite flat against his head. Kind of a mix between a fairy and a leprechaun.

Davin, his name is Davin. He's youngish--which explains his immature glee at sending me into fits of giggles at very inopportune moments.

Isn't life ironic?

1 comment:

Pinon Coffee said...

Fred's imp is delighted to have been acknowledged. She (and Fred) thank you. :-)

Incidentally, did anyone ever tell you you're a brilliant writer?