Sunday, November 26, 2006

The god of piercing self-awareness

The apartment building where I live is full of people who might uncharitably be called ‘losers’ – people with too many cats, people who claim to see ghosts. Probably unemployable, possibly certifiable.

I dislike them but can afford no better.

But the worst of them moved in next door two weeks ago. She collects styrofoam. I hear the horrible scritching through my walls of her moving it about and pushing and pulling it into different formations.

Finally, I can stand it no longer and knock on her door. She is a loathsome creature, all angles and lumps.

‘Why do you keep all that bloody Styrofoam?’ I ask, as politely as I can muster. She fixes me with her two tiny blue eyes.

‘Because this styrofoam carries the hidden shape of my life. The styrofoam retains the form of every toy I ever got for Christmas, every small electrical appliance I got for my housewarming, every piece of Ikea furniture I ever bought. And although all these occasions have passed and all these things have gone, their shape remains with me forever.’ And then she smiles at me and invites me in for a coffee.

I slap my forehead and walk back to my flat. ‘Bloody weirdo’ I call her over my shoulder.

‘Why does it bother you so much if I collect Styrofoam,’ she yells.

‘It’s peculiar,’ I yell, ‘and it’s freaking out my ghost cat.’ You slam the door and say a quiet prayer to Fromm, Germanic god of piercing self-awareness.

Fromm responds: you know it, dude.

Thanks be to Fromm, god of piercing self-awareness

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