From Jester To King L
By Simon Barget
I was talking to this guy once who told me nothing happens twice. Everything is new. And so the word that meant I’m angry back then isn’t the right word for now. Every anger an isolated nuance. Every anger a conglomeration of cells and fire at a particular time. Every memory becoming different down the line, always evolving. Every eclipse of the sun or the clouds opening out at four o’clock on November 24th 2002, and the baby that cried in spurts on the plane in July and how it made you feel and how the man in the seat next to you kept looking up from his iPad professional barely managing to contain disaffection. And the way your foot strikes the floor and the cold feeling when the thighs of your jeans get unwarrantedly soaked from being out in some serious rain and your coat isn’t up to the job. Every single sight of your kitchen table and then the countertop and if you happen to glance at the way the light from the downlighter comes down without even knowing and the way it hits each surface and your eye and at the same point you’re talking to your mum who’s turning down the hob whose beeps you are consciously hearing. And the way you feel when your sister walks in, the way you draw in breath or start pacing, or every minute movement in your duvet, wakeful just after getting into bed, the noise that everything and each bit of your body makes against the mattress and the fitted sheet over it when you move and the way you nuzzle up the corner of the duvet against the bit above your upper lip then with it slightly pulled over and around you, and when you turn to the left to prepare for the turn to the right, none of these things have you ever really felt before, however seemingly identical. Even swallowing coffee it going down, the way it kind of glugs down your throat, and the way you blink your eyes and the way you have a sense of the blood vaguely coursing in the back of your head and your heart also vaguely pumping and throbbing if you stop to feel it and the roads and the concrete and the cars how they move and brake and turning off and stopping at a set of lights with a left-hand feeder. How a person talks to you and how you see them either looking right at them or slightly evasive doing something with your attention at the same time. How colours essentially are, not just how they look but perhaps a sense of something else additional in them, the innumerable combinations of each bit of fabric against each set-up of light. All these things entirely new. All the trees breaking in the wind, all the leaves having fallen and smushed up. And the way the park seems to look so samey not changing at the side-walking bicycle-barrier by entrance, autumn’s just autumn, you’re always back at the supermarket in this aisle with the teas, but you see, this aisle is never this aisle, your cups and your saucers, your plates and sinks and toilet seats and the bath with the stain and the lime-scaled taps. How it’s never ever once the same. And the pain from stubbing your toe or the slight indigestion and fullness and just at the beginning of starting to feel hungry, never once the same, all experiencing tiny variations, if you paid attention, you’d notice the difference and how your lounge door feels on the points of your fingers as you push it, how familiar to the touch the slightest ingressions and grains and bobbles, and your omnipresent telephone and how you hold it right thumb pointed up securing it against the flesh of your inner palm open this App or swipe an App away or put it on charge or click the case of your glasses closed having put them back to rest. Just nothing the same. That’s what the guy said, and you never know what’s coming. The tube and the rain and the gutters and sirens starting off but not finishing and even something seemingly new never before experienced, someone’s house you’ve not been in before which you scan instantly comparing it, pigeonholing, rendering it defunct. The way your watch drops onto your wrist when you bend down to pick up what you dropped. And you will never know what it’s like to have experienced what went because it’s gone and you can only hope, and then maybe, you’ll get what’s coming to you.