Making It Up


You know that feeling when for a brief tantalizing moment just as you’re waking up you can’t remember where you are? It’s uncomfortable, panicky even, and yet at the same time quite delicious. Well, I had that feeling but in spades. It wouldn’t come to me where I was and neither would it come to me who I was! I groped for something – some slight trace of memory, some kind of cue, but nothing came! My mental fingers groped for all they were worth but what they came up with was a big fat nothing…

The exquisite thrill of that moment – it was like a strange electricity flowing through my nerves. But the next thing was that the feeling never actually let up as I somehow expected it to, and so this kind of left me out on a limb. A very strange limb. I felt very strange in myself then – very unpleasantly strange, I might add. To say that I felt like a fish out of water would be a wholly inadequate kind of a metaphor. At least if I had known I was a fish I would have had something to go on!

I didn’t know what I was. I didn’t know whether I even existed. Did I exist? Did I not exist? Was it even meaningful to ask these questions? Was it meaningful to ask if it was meaningful? Words are all so meaningless anyway. Like bits of coloured confetti strewn upon the pavement after some event. Words, words, words. They’re all so stupid, so ridiculous. OK so I know I’m using words now to say how ridiculous words are but they’re all I have to make do with. I somehow have to explain myself with nothing more than a few handfuls of confetti. But what the hell. It’s surprising what you can do if you put your mind to it. So I’m not giving up yet. I’m going to make a stab at it.

Actually I have to come clean and admit that I’m only strewing all this confetti around by way of a distraction. The confetti is just a red herring. I’m buying time. The thing is, I know that what I am about to say is going to make me look like a complete fool. I can’t help but to be embarrassed by it. The thing is that I found not knowing anything about myself – who or what or where I was – so absolutely terrifying that I felt compelled to make a whole bunch of stuff up. I confabulated. To say that I felt compelled isn’t it. It wasn’t even like that. I just did it. I did it automatically, as a matter of course, without even thinking about it. Just like belching if you had wind. Or letting out a fart. I made up a whole load of stuff to fill the hole. To fill in the gaps. Like when there is an awkward silence and you just blurt out a whole lot of stupid crap rather than having to endure that silence. That’s exactly what I did – I blurted out a whole lot of nonsense and then proceeded to believe in it. I invented a ridiculous made-up story of who I was and proceeded to take it seriously. And – the crazy thing is – the whole time I was doing it never let on to myself what I was doing…

What an idiot I am! What a buffoon! Could you believe that anyone could do such a thing? What a preposterous dickhead I am. What a colossal knob head! So what I did is that I made out that I was this guy, that I was this person, that I was Tom, that I was Terry, that I was Joe, that I was Jack or Bill or Steve or Harry and that I lived in this house in this estate on this street and that my hobbies were such-and-such and that my interests were such-and-such and that I liked this kind of food or that kind of food and I liked this novelist or that novelist and that I watched this kind of a TV programme or that kind of a TV programme and that I had such-and-such a view on such-and-such a subject or some other kind of view on some other subject. Etc etc. All that kind of stuff. I filled in the blanks! I came up with all the petty details. I fabricated it in such a way that there were no gaps left…


What can I say? What a joke this is. What a ripe joke… What a farce…. And I kept it up. I took it all very seriously. I opened a Facebook account. I acquired lots of friends. I posted lots of stuff. Some of it pretty controversial. I liked lots of stuff. I commented on other people’s posts. What can I say? I made it all up. I invented a whole virtual life for myself. I kept at it, day after day. And I’m at it still. I’m at it still…


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