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AA October 20, 2009

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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I’d go to Alcoholics Anonymous but I don’t like my name enough.

I have three default occupations: working, drinking and nothing. Which normally might not matter – lots of us bumble along thinking no further ahead than making it to the end of the cup of coffee we’ve got on the go (though I’m rarely that ambitious) – but the difficulty and futility of the nothing occupation magnifies itself exponentially when I have periods of solitude and independent living.

My beloved is sojourning in the former Soviet Union – this just in from Crimea. Gents hotter in Ukraine. In Russia, everyone looks a bit gay – and I am left to ponder the present alone.

And in a bout of not boozing or working, of nothinging, in other words, I got to worrying about a future. All brought on by marzipan, of course.

Darlings, you know that fear I’m sure we all get where there is some freakish disaster and, wouldn’t you just know it, you’re the only person to survive it and then, wouldn’t you just know it again, human beings go and replicate themselves almost immediately and arrive on the planet that had briefly only been populated by you at exactly the same distance along the evolutionary ladder and – would you credit it! – speaking English but without knowledge of the past and these arriviste new folk somehow realise you’re the only survivor from the old days and therefore think you are the very embodiment of omniscience, Wikipedia made man, and you have to impart history’s secrets and teach them how to farm and form societies and invent the wheel and the spinning jenny and the internal combustion engine and aeroplanes and the internet and space travel and France and Christmas, well I just wouldn’t have a clue how to do any of it. I’d have to just go and hide in a cave, hoping the freakish disaster which had left me all alone in the first place hadn’t made the planet perfectly even and free of hiding places, and hope the new re-humans were too thick to come and find me.

Because I wouldn’t even be able to tell them how to make marzipan.

I consoled myself that I could justify my ignorance by comparing myself to all those unlucky solo-survivors of freakish disasters of previous generations who would have had far less to impart to their new re-co-humans. Oh yes. So much less not to know back then. Huh! Shakespeare! Think you’d be any better at the job than me? Teaching them to write purty ain’t gonna help. They’ll all be dead of the plague by the end of their first couplets. Oh well bloody done, Joseph of Arimathea. So now they know about altruism and you happened to know how to make sandals. But how are they going to make red wine? Or invent music? Is a planet without Pump up the Jam even worth trying to recreate?

But slapped myself down. What arrogance! Easy for us – or me, seeing as the rest of you have been momentarily obliterated – to think that life was less complicated in the past. That we’re all specialists now. That they were all generalists back then. No doubt the medical profession seemed just as impenetrable to us non-people of science a squillion years ago as it does today, even if the most advanced remedy was to go and pick a leaf off three neighbouring bushes and put two of them in your hair and the other under your pillow.

And then I worried if, by some freakish PS to the original freakish disaster which had left me alone and in sole possession of knowledge in the first place, a wormhole was created whereby I regained access to Wikipedia – yes, to all knowledge – that I would just set it up on a big screen for all the new re-cos to watch – hopefully a sheep-dog would have survived the disaster with me – and just play it to them over and over again at high-speed in the same way that Milla Jovovich watched history in The Fifth Element. I might not try to resculpt humanity at all. Just let them become and recreate all that we had been and all that we had had.

It is terrible not to have an imagination beyond marzipan.

My name is BiB, and my beloved is on holiday.