The Unbearable Pretence of Luck

I woke up one morning with a sudden realisation that my day did not start at half past six as a usual Thursday would. I woke up three hours later, with bed head as usual, but the sun was projecting itself through my curtains as if it was trying to tell me that the world was waking up.

No college. This excited me. Not due to disliking it, or disliking the people, or disdaining the studies, but because the sheer exhaustion dripping off of my body as if I had just been drowned in the ocean and resurrected. The fatigue was a wave of the ocean. In actuality, I still feel it now. Like the snow is falling like a pretty scene – the day off of college – but getting irritated about the snow postponing the walk I wanted to take – the fatigue. A single snowflake could fall and I would tread on it as if it were a spider or the loch-ness monster. Try to defeat the fatigue sprinkling itself on my shoulders.

A particular mood ransomed itself that morning, as I read the beautiful, The Picture of Dorian Gray by the one and only Oscar Wilde. The chapter I read was brutal (I will not specify the events just in case there is anyone who wants to read it, is currently reading but not where I am, or just hasn’t read it). This brutality, in short bursts of librettos in comparison to other chapters, was located in chapter thirteen.

Chapter eleven of the book, to me, seemed slightly pointless. Despite the beautiful words that Wilde used, the tiresome facts that it displayed seemed to have no relevance to the story. Maybe I will find out that it is relevant as I continue to the end. However, if this chapter had not been included, the brutality would have been chapter twelve. If there was an extra chapter inserted into the book as a build up to the bitterness, it would have been chapter fourteen. There must be something significant about this harshness being in chapter thirteen.

Thirteen: a supposedly unlucky number. A number to avoid. If you complete an exam in thirteen minutes, what are the chances of something bad happening to you afterwards? If you shut your eyes for the entire minute of thirteen while on the rowing machine, and you open your eyes before the minute is up, what are the chances of not collapsing into some bad luck after you finish your workout? If you finish chapter thirteen of The Picture of Dorian Gray and leave it there, what are the chances of that chapter being remembered throughout the next seven chapters? Very likely.

There is no logic in luck. There is no logic in the idea that stepping on a crack in the pavement will make you dissolve into a luckless puddle.

Tell me, is there logic in one stepping away from a mirror for two steps and then it falling on the ground, and one thinking, there goes the next seven years of my life; sweeping up pieces of glass and walking around on invisible shards, and stressing about the concept of not knowing where the bad luck is erupting from. Is there logic? Was it your fault that the hook that the mirror was attached to became so loose that it just let go? No. I suspect not, unless it was purposeful. Even if it was purposeful, your luck would not instantaneously condense into a major issue, and the world that you see is only full of people like you who have broken mirrors; people disappearing every second due to their seven years of bad luck coming to an end. You sigh at the thought of your seven years just beginning, as people come and go into the world of bad luck like a firework show before your eyes. And after your seven years, your firework would erupt.

The thirteenth chapter was brutal. It is illogical to think that leaving the book after reading thirteen chapters was unlucky. I do not believe in luck, like the breaking of a mirror giving you seven years of entrapment of bad luck, or having a lucky number, or four leaf clovers, but I cannot deny that the idea floats through my body like a wave of insolence, irritating my organs.

If I broke a mirror, I would be angry. I would be forever concerned that I did not pick up every piece of glass and I would stand on it one day and the shard shoot through my foot and right through my body. If the number thirteen came up, for example if I had to cook something for thirteen minutes, I would always cook it for fourteen just in case something had happened. In fact, I don’t think I would even eat it if it had to be cooked for thirteen minutes; I would disregard it as if it was a slab of meat already chewed up by a lion and spat back out onto my plate.

As a child I would always search the grass for a clover with four leaves. The extra leaf supposedly being a symbol of the luck that was induced in the world. But, it is quite clear by never finding a four leaf clover, and even if I had, the world would be no different. Nothing would change. The mirror would still break, and the food would still cook, and the four leaf clover would eventually become a three leaf clover, then a two, then a one, then a none. That isn’t the cycle of losing luck. If there is no luck to begin with, one cannot be planted into bad luck.

Luck does not exist. But the feeling of luck or the wishing of luck does. If you tell an actor to break a leg, they do not actually break their leg; if so, if the act of saying this was true they would break their leg every time. If every time someone was standing by a mirror, and you said to them, break a mirror!, the mirror would not break because of a wishing of luck. The mirror would break out of deliberate means, or accidental, but not a fate or destiny that would automatically send you to a institution for the clinically challenged wretches.

It does not happen that way. And for Dorian Gray, the idealism that Basil Hallward adored so greatly, the brutality was just a sentiment, not a burst of bad luck, but I wish you, Dorian Gray, all the luck for your future endeavours for the next seven chapters of the book.

But now in finishing the book, THIRTEEN days later, I know what has happened.

Rest in Peace, Oscar Wilde. 30.11.1900

-ALWright

It’s Down to You

My creative writing coursework is almost complete; and I simply cannot read it a single time more otherwise my brain will implode and my new eighteen-year-old self would be barely into existence before it even started.

The silence of this computer room is deafening. The mumbles under people’s breath and the sudden, monstrous laughs that distract my little body that has its coursework staring back at it as if it asking me, Why can’t you read me? and my answer is just nothing but silence staring through my pupils.

So instead, I have written a new piece to destroy my rut that I got stuck in, the clichéd writers block if you will, and it is probably nonsensical.

()()

I’m sorry for anything that I have done, she said to you. Why? That is for you to say. She apologised with water painting her cheeks, with a tinge of pink that made you think that you were on the brink of madness. You, whoever you are, do not accept her apology. Why? Again, that is for you to say.

Who has done something wrong to you? A girl, as she was a she apologised. Think of that girl, of someone who perhaps lied to you or resented you and is apologising for that. The resentment rising when she woke up in the morning. The lies she told about your fidelity or your friendship. I don’t know who this girl is, whether she is a friend or a  girlfriend, but she may have somehow betrayed. But betrayed what? You? Your trust? Your commitment to one another?

The rambling begins as you said nothing to her after her apology. Nothing was to be said. The whites of your eyes turn bloodshot and deadly. You look annoyed and aggravated as if nothing she says will change it.

Change. Is that what you wanted? Change? Evidently, whatever she is saying sorry for, the lying or the infidelity or the idea that she accidentally used something of yours without asking, needs to change. But it is up to you whether you want to change it. I do not know why you would want her to keep lying to you, as that would defeat the object of lies: if you knew that she was lying, she would become a transparent monster in her own skin. If you wanted any adultery to continue, any love in your relationship was never true in the first place. But you may not mind them borrowing your things, but the question is, do they need to ask? Is the trust still there for her to take things that belong to you?

Like Othello, the handkerchief representing your love, and fidelity, may truly be lost. Desdemona may have lost her love for Othello, but maybe that was not of her own accord. The trust may have dissipated through the loss of the handkerchief. The handkerchief! (3,4,90-96). The begging for the love and fidelity to be returned.

But one knows that the tragedy of you (Othello) and your Desdemona will not reverse itself back into love. You will not be simply the hero; the tragic hero you are thus going to live as, and perish as.

()()

Shakespeare was a crazy guy.

-ALWright

The Castle in the Clouds

Yet another visit to my childhood, my readers. I stumbled across a beautiful story that I owe credit to my year ten R.E lesson. The strange thing is, I do not know if it is a well written piece. I am probably biased by thinking that of course it is not good, I wrote it three years ago. Conversely, I could say that it was so good. Lets see what you think, shall we?

‘””‘

I’m Leslie. As I am a ghost, being able to write this journal is beyond me but let’s just go with it.

This situation is serious but, in a sense, it’s completely ridiculous. To be honest, I despise of it here. The atmosphere, it’s polluted. I can hardly see my breath in the brisk, winter air. It’s cold, I’m cold. If it were possible for me to have shivers now, they would be infinite. The ghosts are thousands of years old, alike to me. I miss being human. With the feel of warm skin even in the coldest nights, I just remember being born into a world like no other. I’m homesick. Home is where my heart was set in stone, and I was never alone.

What is the “real world”? I remember my parents talking about it, with their warm houses with real beds to sleep in. Me? I used to sleep under a palm leaf with a rock for a pillow. This is why I remember shivering so vividly, my arms always went numb out in the open. In a way, I miss living there with humans. Ghosts are spookily unkind and heartless and they look through me as if I weren’t there in the first place. I know, my hair is white and all in disarray and yes, it must look uncanny floating around without a body; they are exactly the same, so why are they complaining? Also, I have no idea why these creatures got left with the rare spiritual qualities. I thought they were supposed to be for the ones who obeyed God in all his forms, they are ungrateful for their immortal soul as a ghost. I know it’s not how the afterlife was planned, I know that ghosts are imaginary, and I am truly convinced this is a nightmare and I will wake up back with my only friend – the palm leaf.

This castle is unnerving. For some reason, even though I hear no talking, I hear my name echo around. “Leslie…Leslie…” I hear, it’s as if I’m famous and paparazzi are looking for me. As well as being everything I dislike, I am an elder. It just tips me over the edge with fury, if I were human, my face wouldn’t be visibly accessible to anyone due to the millions of wrinkles covering it. I don’t know why but I helped build this castle. I think the colour scheme was made to represent what we ghosts are like – grey walls, grey stairs, grey everything. Even my palm leaf throw is grey, I made it to remind me of being human but no, it’s like I am colour blind. My world is now black and white; when I go and tread carefully upon the clouds outside, I see that the sea down below is black. My vision must be impaired, the sea is blue and my pen also says it’s blue on the side of it, as well, but it is writing in black.

We rarely have visitors up here. Well, I do understand. I know that finding shoes that make you jump high enough to get up here is infrequent, poor humans, not being able to venture out to see us. But, I would be amazed that they even knew we were up here, they have no such beliefs of ghosts – which is something I have in common with them. They will just have to wait for the great gift of death to lift them up here, I hope they aren’t as unlucky as I was to come up here.

Earlier on today the rest of the elders and I had a long, draining discussion. They’re so ridiculous. One of them had a rant about being “unloved” by the humans. I mean, the humans don’t even know we’re here so how are they supposed to love us or long to be like/with us? I kind of zoned out for a while whilst the rest of them deliberated something, it was the most genuinely boring conversation to be a part of. Well, it was until I heard my name be brought up:

“Leslie should go. He has courage, integrity, and…” said a floating blonde head of hair amongst the group. I saw her eyelashes gesture towards me fiddling with my thumbs. I looked up. “You’re happy to become human again aren’t you, Leslie?” I jumped out of my skin – excuse the irony. It’s indescribable the shock I was under, it was terrifying. I mean, I’d much prefer to be a human to a ghost, but I’d rather commit suicide than become human again.

“Where’d you get that idea from?” I queried. I heard a thousand mumbles, is it really that scandalous that I even asked? I waited a little while to get a civilised answer; before I only got a “jeez” a couple of times and I heard a “seriously?!” once as well – I felt very much exiled from the discussion immediately. But when I finally got a response it was:

“You are the only one of us who nobody likes…I mean, who can interact with humans”. She got nudged by her partner after the “nobody likes you” part, which made her pause. I felt incredibly loved, I mean, everybody loves being told that nobody likes you. But, I don’t understand. When I was a human, I was treated as a prince. It was as if, my soul was a divine representation of Jesus – I swear I even walked on water like he did, although that may have been a dream.

I may consider going down in human form. I miss being able to wake up seeing my reflection in the sea, with pure, oceanic eyes and skin that actually shaped my skeleton. To look like my old self would be a miracle in itself. I would like to be able to retain my fully evolved spirit though, being more powerful than everybody else sounds like a task I’d enjoy. The blonde who seemed to dislike me the most started jogging down the stairs with her partner, and I heard something from her lips that completely threw me.

“I think they’d appreciate a woman figure the most. I should know, I got all the male attention whilst down on earth, they couldn’t keep their hands off. That’s what’ll work this time. Leslie?” she shouted across to me, “you’ll need to transform into woman form.” My anger grew. Even though I love the other gender, that doesn’t mean I want to become a crazy psychopath like herself just to be respected by humans. I resulted in just giving her a look as if she was dirt. I did this by fluttering my unbearably short eyelashes in her direction rapidly so she got the message that her plan was nothing but an attempt to get everybody to praise her.

“You’re out of your mind.” I replied to her absurd remark. “You can’t seriously want me to be bizarrely alike to the she-devil that is you?” She looked at me like she wanted to turn me to stone, but I just smirked. She replied to me by saying “just think about it. Are you for women’s rights?” I just looked at her as if she was talking another language “just act like you’re a heroine! I mean, we all think of you as being a heroic…somebody, just show off that spark!” I laughed at her attempt to make me feel better about nobody liking me, I literally shook that insult off my shoulder in a half hour. “Now, you can take back you’re comment about me being like the devil. I have never worn red – other than lipstick – in any of my lives. I’m the opposite of the devil, I’m like…an angel!” I laughed again. I never saw her halo spring from her floating wig for hair.

‘””‘

To be continued. Look out for Part II.

-ALWright

The Temporary Garden Door

I glanced at the date today, and then gazed at the date of my last blog post and I became overwhelmed with shock. I know this blog must have been missed terribly, so I apologise. (I feel like I have apologised a lot on here…)

This post is a secret. A disaster including a minor detour in the world that I encounter is described. The only hint I will deliver is this: I am so physically close to quitting education altogether due to the multiple errors that have been made in my, and many others, education home.

$

A world behind a door is either secret or not. It can be revealed, or it cannot. It will be revealed, or it will not. The circumference gets longer and longer around the campus; the string of teachers add up like a child who will never stop growing.

The door was just an accessory for the building. You were not allowed in, but it was there. It was as if a direct route into the building would be unacceptable, but you could go a longer way round to get to your destination. What could have been behind that door?

The growing population of temporary teachers was like an allotment continuing to grow vegetables, despite none being planted. Why was this? The victims of the dramatic development of vegetables were blamed, as if it was their fault for existing. They grew without being told to, but a plant cannot stop it’s production; that is an unreasonable demand.

Behind that door used to be a staircase up to a normal place. Normal chairs, normal tables. Normal people, normal everything. But now all you think is that it was a pretence. After you left, every day, it was turned into a place where all the unwanted mess was stored. And when the trash had so much mass the stitching of the walls started to unravel, the mess flowed down the stairs like a river of destruction, therefore preventing you to make your way up to the place of your normality.

You do not need the mess, but you get given it anyway. After one impression, the mess realises that they are in fact a mess, and resign their post of being Mess of the Year. Little did you know, before the deception was revealed for all the world to view, that there was more than one Mess of the Year, every year. It was a weekly ritual were that weeks’ bag of dirt was the trophy for the quitter dumped on the staircase with the rest of the mess. They all had a trophy, once. Until it disintegrated into nothingness and all that was left was the remembrance of that one hour of trying to be tidy.

Even after the big reveal, you were still not allowed through the door. There was no reason for the door to be shut still, unless the disintegration was so terrible that the staircase had disintegrated too, which would mean that if you went inside you would float down into the piles of quick sand decorating the floor with the skin cells of each and every Mess of the Year winner.

But after some time, the door was replaced. A garden door. A door that you could not see through, like a window to a bathroom. When you stepped inside the room for the first time in months, it looked uncannily the same as it was when you left it. No dirt, no quick sand, no skin cells creeping up your legs trying to turn you into new messes. Nothing. And the staircase was still intact. Nothing was different. And this puzzled you.

It looked temporary. It did not lock, so it could get easily broken in to. It was a useless piece of decor, much like each plant that grew accidentally. These accidental plants are in such a delicate way, that humans tried to allow them to teach, then crash and fail.

Was it really worth it? Recruiting the useless to leave you feeling more unworthy than ever?

$

I will allow you to absorb this, and figure out if you understand it. I won’t be offended if you do not; the feelings are very much an inside joke that needs to be externalised.

Thanks for reading!

-ALWright