The Importance of Not Being Earnest

26 May

It’s not that I’ve lost interest in keeping my blog alive, people. It’s just that my life has disappeared behind Mark’s latest puppet, and editing The Tailorettes of Ulm caused me to shrink. Seriously, editing a film for weeks can make you feel very very small…

I was telling a friend what I’d do if I somehow managed to shrink right down to an amoeba again. “Maybe I’ll begin evolution all over again. Have a second shot at developing into a homo sapiens. In which case I’m going to stop when I’m  monkey, and dedicate my life to hanging in a tree, eating mangrove leaves.”

A note on the side: as I was typing “eating mangrove leaves”, I realised I had actually written “editing”  instead. There goes all hope that evolution could help me out somehow! At this point, I’d probably develop into the kind of monkey who sits in a mangrove tree and edits the leaves, bloody hell.

Here’s a further insight into what the madness of editing will do for you: I carry an imaginary timeline with me wherever I go and while I speak with a friend, I’m silently editing our conversation in my head. That part bored me, that bit wasn’t spoken clearly. Three simple keys: E, R and X, and it’s edited out. Next sequence please.

A few nights ago, my dream was accompanied with a timeline, which ran beneath the entire dream and I edited out the bits I didn’t like. Useful, ey?

Attention, shoppers! Here is your disclaimer: the Imaginary Editing Programme (or IEP, as it is known in the business branch) cannot be turned off as easily as turning off a computer. You touch, you buy. So once you’ve purchased technologoy’s latest darling, you might as well climb back up your mangrove tree and get busy editing those leaves, baby, cos that’s what you evolved to!

Now that my place in evolution is clear, let me get to Saturday night.

It was 1 in the morning when I was on my way to bed and the doorbell rang. Most of you will agree with me when I say that doorbells ringing at 1am mean nothing but Trouble. It’s never a friend who wanted to compliment you on your cotton socks and wish you a good night. Guests who show up at 1am aren’t the Sleeping Early kind. So I hesitated for a good 5 minutes before I pressed the buzzer. Curiousity etc etc.

Up they came, the heroes of the night, Fabiano and Isabella, carrying a scent of the wild. As we chatted, I remained standing and my silent debatting worried the IEP. But the scent about them was hard to resist: it was the scent of warm nights, of endless wine in dark parks, of howling at the moon. The scent of a longlost phrase I used to carry like an omen: burn the night, sweet children, burn the night.

Another guest entered, this time over the phone. Cousin on the line, called just to chat and was surprised at the party that was brewing in our apartment. Trickery seeped into his voice, and he scolded me for not offering my guests a drink. I inhaled the scent of the night, until it filled my lungs, and filled my eyes. I succumbed and got out the rum.

We put my cousin on loudspeaker. I didn’t have shot glasses so our Turkish tea glasses would have to do. As I filled ’em up, my cousin was instructed to tell us when to stop. Ofcourse he couldn’t see through the phone, so ofcourse the glasses were filled to devious amounts. One glass and then another. He egged us on. Wild loudspeaker conversations, wobbly drunk plans for meeting up and drinking together. Telephone laughter, handing the phone back and forth, unsteadily pouring more rum. Several Turkish tea glasses later, I got dressed to go clubbing with Fabiano and Isabella.

The club was an any club is: full, loud, and about to close. An hour later, everyone was kicked out. We three stood wobbily on the sidewalk, exclaiming drunkily how warm it was for 6 in the morning. It was at this point that Fabiano first mentioned the church.

The Pauluskirche (Paul’s Church) was covered in scaffolding. With a grand sweep of his arm, Fabiano motioned to it and declared simply, “I’m going to climb the church.” And then he was gone.

As one, Isabella and I took off after him, peering into the dawn sky. We stood at the base of the church, wondering what to do. Then it hit me: What the hell? What am I doing? I handed Isabella my blurry beer and declared, “Hell, I’m going up too.”

I made it up fairly high until I got stuck. I couldn’t find the next ladder. I tried to make the most of it by peering through a dusty church window, and I suppose I sobered up sufficiently to remember that I was drunk and standing on a scaffolding. Which came as a shock and made me sober up enough to remember that I’m afraid of heights. So I remained stuck for a while, unsure what to do with this information pouring in. I just stood around, trying to figure it all out. Finally, Isabella shouted up: “I just spoke to him! He may be climbing a church, but he still answered his phone. He made it to the top! Now he’s climbing back down the other side.”

All the way back down, we found a breathless, dusty Fabiano. He leaned against us, panting, and his eyes carried a faraway look. “Man,” he said. “I was standing right next to the church clock.”

Here’s a picture he took with his phone when he made it to the top:

It wasn’t until I made it home at 8 am that I realised my IEP was turned off. Not only that, but in a bizarre way out on that scaffolding, I actually made it to being a monkey, hanging there. If just for 20 minutes. And with a fear of heights. I also went home with a new blog story under my belt.

But above all, I went home reminded of what’s important in life. It was in the way Fabiano said with awe in his voice: “Man, I was standing right next to the church clock.”

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5 Responses to “The Importance of Not Being Earnest”

  1. Jane May 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    You cheer me up

    • rittisoncco May 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      And you give me the biggest of smiles.

      • rittisoncco May 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

        I wonder if your brother has IEP?

  2. peter May 29, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    meine nachbarn spinnen. alle.

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