In the Tar Pit


Not remembering myself was sticky black tar and I was stuck in that tar. Not remembering who I was was the fly paper and I was the fly. I was the fly and I wasn’t going anywhere! I was going nowhere in a hurry. I tried half-heartedly to make a little jump but it didn’t happen. Of course it didn’t happen. How was it going to happen? Amn’t I stuck in the tar-pit of instant forgetting? Amn’t I glued to the floor, lying flat out on the carpet wearing my best Velcro suit? Not much rolling around here. No jumping up in the air here. Not much walking either for that matter. Just keep putting one foot after the other they say. The journey starts with just one step they say. Easier said than done when you’re wearing Velcro boots! Easier said than done when you’re a fly all wrapped up in a tidy bundle in the middle of the spider’s web…


In my head there was a confusion of thoughts like an engine misfiring. Never quite catching. Wet spark plugs perhaps. Who am I really I thought and then forgot the thought instantly. I can’t remember anything worth remembering I thought and then I watched the thought spiralling crazily away from me, receding rapidly into the distance. My awareness keeps slipping through my fingers I thought and then that thought too was slipping away from me. Like water through a sieve. I can’t retain anything worth retaining.


I can’t retain anything that’s worth retaining and I can remember anything not worth remembering I thought and then that thought too was gone. Spiralling out of control into the distance at a frightening speed. Like a crumpled empty packet of cheese-and-onion crisps thrown out of a speeding car on a motorway. Then gone as if it had never existed. Scrubbed clean. Deleted. I can remember stuff that isn’t worth remembering alright. That’s no problem at all! I do that all the time. As soon as I start thinking about stuff that isn’t really worth thinking about (pointless stuff, dumb stuff, stupid stuff) then the thought in question starts proliferating like some insane kind of a virus. Populating my mind with its hideous nonsense. Think about me, think about me, think about me, say the thoughts. They stretch out their arms to me beckoning me, entreating me to join them. They are glossy and shiny with wonderful hair and great teeth and they are inviting me to join them. In the happy place.The happy place we all want to be in.


Come over and join us, come over and join us, come over and join us, they say. Come to Marlboro country where the flavour is. The richly satisfying flavour that says something about you. The flavour that says who you are. Their smiles dazzle me. It’s always summer where they are and everyone is always good-looking. And young. Never old or sick. Don’t be a stranger, they say. Come over to the happy place. Where everyone gets to drink Coke all the time and smoke Peter Stuyvesant Super Kings. It’s all happening here and you’re missing it all. You could be like us…


Come and buy the product why don’t you, say the voices in my head. The product being instant forgetfulness, of course. The product being anything at all just so long as it’s nothing to do with what you actually wanted to remember. Which is who you really are! That being of course the one thing that you aren’t ever allowed to remember. Oh no no no you mustn’t remember that say the thoughts. Tut, tut, tut. Think about anything else, do. Think away. Think your socks off. Think your head off. Think about anything just so long as what you’re thinking about doesn’t actually matter at all! Think anything you want to think just along as what you’re thinking is the purest most pestilential nonsense. Think about anything you like just so long as its the type of dismal inconsequential stuff that’s guaranteed to drag you deeper and deeper into that old tar pit…




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