Tuesday, 21 June 2016

that dread memory

when i was growing up, i was slow to realise that my social interactions with others caused them moderate-to-severe discomfort, and that a lot of how i behaved (and, when i was in my teens, what i said) was generally quite abrasive. now, i should emphasise that this is not just the awkwardness while one is young(er), or the rebelliousness associated with youth - i never really went through a rebellious phase, as i was at boarding school, anyway, and i always liked the higher authorities; i never really felt that i was too awkward a person in my lonesome, but i do recall, now, that in the company of others, i would behave somewhat unsavoury-ly - something that persists in vestigial amounts to this day.

perhaps, it is warranted here an example. i believe that one of the biggest social faux pas-es that i did was this uncanny ability to remember the smallest details that i pick up during conversations. again, when i was younger, i felt that everyone would retain a considerable amount of information from social conversations, and it would, therefore, not be out of place to reproduce such information at a later date - this is wrong. not only do people forget most of the 'filler' details of conversations, they also relegate most of the information to a disposable status soon after the conversation has ended - something, which, i feel is socially acceptable, if not expected.

now, before you judge me for being a self-proclaimed know-it-all, or hyper-observant twat, let me acknowledge that i am neither (or anything similar, hopefully). i don't pretend to have a photographic memory, or am able to 'learn' of things faster than anyone else, just that i have perhaps, always thought that everything one mentions in passing is important enough to warrant someone paying attention to. of course, with age, i now know that most people use these factoids as 'fillers' and, unfortunately, i find myself (having to do) doing the same.

of course, a repercussion of this was that people would find me weird for knowing things about them 'that nobody else knew' or that 'they never told anyone', which, again, still happens to this day. you can imagine that, since this retaining of information is more emphasised when i deem it 'important' (such as when someone special in your life may mention something to you), well, it only bodes unwell for when i try to have a casual conversation with 'that' someone (especially considering that i'm already in jitters to begin with).

in any of these high pressure cases, it seems that i let blurt, sometimes, that old habit, of information that was so readily divulged before, but apparently not to be retained - in said conversations, in job interviews, in meeting new people, and such. and the slanted glances don't go unnoticed. however, in my (oh-so-wise-) age, i've now learned to better control this in conversations, such that i 'force' myself to forget things i hope are too trivial (and doing this on purpose takes a lot of practice and experience!), but sometimes, people do notice that i'm feigning it (although it's usually not the person who's supposed to have thought that i had legitimately forgotten, thank heavens.

anyway, it's nice to become a little less socially inept by controlling this impulse, but at the same time i cannot help imagining if i've come to mask it so well that i've now adopted it as a norm. i do find myself forgetting details of a conversation that, when in the past, people would say 'i can't believe you don't remember me telling you this' and thinking to myself, 'yes, i remember, of course, but have to pretend that i don't remember every single thing you've told me, lest you think me a stalker', now i find that i legitimately don't recall (or at least require some pondering to recall it). perhaps it is also my (purported) age that is lending its hand at making me more socially acceptable.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

sometimes i do like the winters so

i'm not necessarily one for winters. the cold, i've grown accustomed to (somewhat), and the shorter days are tolerable, even if i barely see any sunlight between leaving and coming home from work. the constant need to visit the washroom, and sporadic hunger pangs that likely arise due to my reluctance to increase my food intake are only bothersome if i consciously think about them, but otherwise, winter is alright by me. perhaps, the only thing that i could do without is the dreaded waking up in the morning - when the duvet is so blissfully warm from a night's worth of body heat, and the parquet floor as cold as the impending toilet seat, it's probably for the best that i cannot hold my bladder enough to warrant more sleeping in (unfortunately, this applies just as well to the weekends).

in any case, i'm not necessarily one for winter, perhaps if only by comparison to a nice spring or autumn day (aren't we all), and even a heated summer evening, or perpetually warm and dank tropical midday, if not out in the sun, is perfectly acceptable, if not preferable. sometimes. but, as with any day, season, month, and year, there's nice things about it, and what i shall miss the most of the winters everywhere is likely to be the following:

coming out of the house, into a strikingly cool day, as the sun arises, exhaling the first breath that 'smokes of dragon's-breath' and taking in a brisk, sharp, fresh strike of cold air to replace what warmth was housed in my lungs. the distinct smell of winter, which i cannot describe, that transcends locality or time, much like that Aeromonas smell after a rainfall that belies metabolic certainty as clockwork.

which may not seem entirely comfortable to some (even myself at times), but every so often it makes for a memorable start to a day. of course, its complement does as well:

exiting the train station (or any other venue that's filled with the scent of people; cigarettes, leather and wool, cologne and perfume, and sometimes, unwittingly, body odour) to be greeted by the same natural smell, with the taint of morning bakeries, (preferably mild) coffee, and a nuantic mix of the atmosphere (you will forgive my ineptness in describing this, but i'm sure those who have felt and smelt it will know what i am talking about!). perhaps this is something that the summers cannot offer, and, as with all things that have pros and cons, i will sometimes reminisce on the winters if only for this feeling.

which is probably untrue, as there's other things about winter that i do love, but are forgetting at the moment.

ah, you fickle mind.