By Simon Barget
In the infrequent moments I am not throwing some poorly cobbled-together object at a wall I am invariably thinking of doing so. I throw cobwebs, cats, tables, chairs, hosepipes, pen-holders, laptops basically anything I can get my filthy hands on. I throw for as long as I can, as long as I can muster. The objects themselves mean nothing to me; I watch as they bounce haphazardly off the skirting, careen of the cornicing, I have little to no regard to all the stupid things I fling randomly at the wall for the fate of anything that’s bound to come off it.
I have been hurling objects at a wall for some months now. After a lull I am vehemently back at it. I don’t remember such prolific and prosaic throwing in all my years as a thrower. Before this wall it was the one opposite; one wall is as good as another. There is no shortage of walls, nor is there a shortage of objects even after they’ve been completely fragmented. When the object is broken it just breaks up into smaller pieces and I just get to hurling those pieces at the same wall, they’re as good as the whole bits, there’s no weakening of the brand just because the cat is now four legs and an arm and not a whole cat, it makes no difference to the act, nor will it make a difference to the result, the things are just going to bounce off and fall down like normal.
Now I don’t know why, and I really don’t know how, but although every single thing I have thrown at any of the particular walls I have thrown them on and towards, none of the objects have ever done anything but bounce off and plop to the ground. After all this throwing I don’t expect another result. But if I look into myself in the moments before, in the very instant just before hurling, if I manage to infiltrate my defences and take a look at what my deep-seated drives are, if I can let myself into my unconsious, then I will have to admit that the reason I am throwing all these stupid plants, nuggets of mud, wine glasses, half-eaten bags of crisps, these Bodum cafetiere/ percolators, the reason I do this is that I want some to stick and the reason I want some to stick is that my walls are bare and I need something on them.
I am too lazy to paint, too poor to buy glue, too pig-headed to hang art, too absent-minded to do any or all of them in tandem, and I am left with a wall that is bare and white and blanched and not very appealing.
I am throwing things at the wall right now. Right now as I speak I’m throwing random irrelevant boring crap at one of my walls, would you Adam and Eve it. I can do one thing and throw while I’m doing it. The other thing does not act to the detriment to the throwing and even if it did it is not essential that I put my full shoulder into the throwing, the throwing doesn’t make any difference to the chances of sticking, I could basically throw it any which way I liked and whether the thing stuck would have had nothing to do with the mechanic of throwing, what it would have had to do with I really don’t know, because I have never seen a thing that has been thrown do anything but fall back down to earth.
Take it from me, it makes no difference how you throw it, equally let me stress, it makes no difference where the wall is and what shape, whether displaying curvature or holes, whether papered or bare, cracked or unblemished, neither the wall the manner of throwing make a jot of difference to the chances of the object staying on it, that much is certain. I could do away with the whole throwing bit and just unload a dump truck of stuff upon it and it still wouldn’t help. And right now as I’m throwing I’m just hoping that one of the things, one of these pieces of paper will defy gravity and perfunctory physics and not just fall down to my parquet, will not just ping off and drop, will not indicate by its thump that it has failed to stay in place and stay on my wall.
Now although I’ve yet to see one of the thousands upon thousands random bits of crap not fall down to the ground and either remain extant or break into pieces, I am still somehow convinced that the pattern will be broken, I am still sure that not everything can just slip off, and although I am not stupid, and although I can see why it seems to be more likely than not that this will not happen, I still have a misplaced faith.
I had an idea just now that I could apply some sort of adhesive to the object before I threw it and then it might stand a better chance. But then again I don’t want to work, don’t want to put in the effort. But then doubly again it wouldn’t necessarily have to be glue, bought from a shop, necessitating a trip, it could be spittle, or stuff from my bum, it could be anything with an adhesive quality, and now I wonder to myself why I’ve been throwing all these years unaided, naked, when I could have been using saliva.
If I had known that the object of the exercise was not only to get anything to stick just as it is but to stick any which way possible, then I don’t think I would have spent all this time hurling things as they come. As undaunted and enthusiastic as I was in my pre-gluing endeavours, I don’t think I would have bothered any longer without it (adhesive) and I think that all the stupid stuff I hurled would not have been hurled, it would not have been broken, I would not have made all this mess and my house would have been a much tidier place for it.
So when you realise that you are allowed, entitled, even supposed to apply an adhesive to any of these manifold crumby superfluous objects that you choose to chuck at your wall, it’s a game-changer and the fact that some of them do actually stick, that some of them are actually sticking, that I cannot deny the unbridled joy that that moment is bringing me, when I realise that the object is going to hold tight to the wall, after all these years, well what a turn-up for the books, not only that it can stay up but that it will -- because there appears to be some sort of unindividuated willpower exerted by the object itself -- then I cannot deny my excitement and my joy and those years of throwing things at the wall seem to have paid off even though I spent almost all of them not using saliva even though I wasted the bulk of my time.
But what I didn’t account for is the aftermath. Eventually, whatever sticks for a short while will make its way off. It might take a few minutes, but it will. And then most things hardly stay for milliseconds or bits of them stay and then other parts break off and leave the sticking up bits stranded. A half-bit is not the same as a full-bit. And you cannot allow yourself to get used to the wall being ornate, to it being emblazoned. You’ll just be disappointed. Not to mention that the haphazard arrangement of a few things on a wall, despite the jubilation in having achieved it, is never that aesthetically pleasing. After a second look you wonder whether it might warrant you getting out of your chair and walking all that way, wondering what will strike first, your hand on yesterday’s leftover linguine or gravity, and you hope the former because what a waste of a journey it would have been, from this chair to the wall, all that effort for practically nothing.