03 November 2007

day 3 :: living beings

It should be fairly evident that I become overly attached to inanimate objects. I mean, really? Sitting on the floor of the latrine sobbing over an iPod? Last time I checked, they are for sale in many a store. One iPod is not differentiable from another until you put songs on it.

I have always had a slightly overactive imagination. When I was small, I could not sleep unless all my dolls and stuffed animals were tucked carefully in around the edges of my bed. I slept in a water bed because my parents got sick of their children waking up dripping sweat (this was in Liberia, I think I hardly need say), so the various creatures fit nicely along the inside of the high edges of the bed. I didn’t do this for myself, not because I loved them so much. I liked some more than others, but I was convinced that they would be hurt if they knew that. So I never told, and all of them got to sleep around the edges of the water bed every night.

This is how one ends up sitting in poo crying over an iPod: one anthropomorphisizes everything, down to electronic items. Okay, I think a case could be made for all those years of moving about also having some sort of influence. When one is in the habit of losing everyone one knows, and all the places one knows, including, say, the country, one might be forgiven for clinging to the small things that can be taken along. (That was too many “ones” in one sentence. I do that in real life, too.) I have a hard time giving up any of my things. I don’t even mean the big things, like my computer and Wallace. I mean, I have a hard time giving up a water bottle I’ve had for a while. It’s ridiculous.

Side note: I’m really not sure how I end up being a traveler. I don’t deal well with partings and I’m not one of those really brave people. When I have traveled with other US American college or law students, I’m always appalled at how they just run off to explore the town, heedless of things like, I don’t know, safety. It takes me weeks. I’ve finally learned that I can land in almost any airport in the world and probably be okay, but it took a while and a lot of weeping on the nights before various departures. End side note.

When I went to get Wallace, I literally skipped ahead of my friend T. down Prince Street to the Soho Apple store. I might have used some language (ahem, the word “adopt”) which I do not use any more because I have been educated about all the fraught-ness since then. But anyway, I was on my way not to buy an iPod, but to meet MY iPod. Which was Wallace. I think the staff at the Apple store might have thought I was on hallucinogenic drugs because I was so giddy. (This is a fairly common problem for me. My friends in college were all incredibly GOOD people. We didn’t drink. At least, not together. They might have done some drinking without me. Maybe I was the GOOD one. Boring. But we used to get accused of drinking, based purely on the fact that we were laughing so hard in the parking lot outside the dorms that we couldn’t stand up straight. This was just because we were funny, not because we had ingested any substances.)

I don’t mean to go back and harp on poor me, surviving in the middle of nowhere without Wallace, although that’s obviously what I’ve ended up doing. I’m surviving. I’m okay with the Wallace part. I can even use the latrine now and I only think of him occasionally when I’m in there. But actually, I only wrote this post so I could tell the stories about the dolls and Prince Street. The rest just happened.

1 comment:

Monday's Child said...

I totally get your side note... people are always commenting on how brave I am and what a traveller I am rah rah rah and the truth of it is I hate travelling and I am soo not at all brave. I would never venture out alone into a an unknown city if I have a few hours to kill in some aiport... much preferring to die slowly of boredom sitting within the safeness of an airport lounge. I don't even go on the rides at a fairground.