Duct tape doesn't really patch everything; it sort of helps things hang in there while we make up our minds what to do next.
That's what my life's been like for ten years, one duct taped (mis)adventure after another.
I generally like to keep at least one roll of the good grey sticky stuff in my home at all times. It has solved many an issue. I've used it mostly for the odd quick repair job, but also in artwork, one piece of which is still in a permanent collection at a University.
But more than that. There is a pathos to the duct tape strips we've already used which can never be redeemed in that there simply is no way they can ever be put to good use again. Duct tape's transitory nature and somber tone (barring the more cheerful colors now common in today's market) have always struck me as seriously sad.
The reference is sincere; you see, I used to move a lot, from place to place, a gypsy without ties to any one spot, all while ill and trying to either be well enough again to take care of all my own needs, or find a way through till I could strike that uglifying bargain with SSI/SSDI which now ties me down (though I am fully fledged in many respects).
Duct tape.....big brown envelopes full of gritty, tiring paperwork....hours spent re-packing, moving on yet again...hours spent poring over the papers which would finally set me free from a wandering state and give me at least rhizomes, if not actual rootedness....
As moving day looms ahead yet again, I am struck by the similarity in the inflected mood this grey security blanket in long, sticky strips brings me. And I hate having to move. It always makes impermanency seem even more palpable than it generally would.
Often, I've bivouacked where I felt as awkward as a butterfly in a windstorm. It's dodgy, being unwell and requiring to change one's residence. A new roof might cost me a veritable ransom made up of most of the better quality objects I've collected about me. I know it's only stuff. But it's good stuff, my stuff, stuff tenderly preserved so that it might be continually enjoyed.
What I miss most about my life from before is a sense of home, of real family life. Those of you who've read my column for the past few years may remember that I can never go back to being innocently unaware again. Nor would I choose that over stark staring sane awareness.
I recall holiday times of nervous tension among family members, a frisson of guilt, ugly, shrugging lying from another family member, and dumb luck at being released.
That keeps me sane. As sane as anyone can be once they hit the tripwire that is sanity's release of everything unclear.
It's all blown to smithereens now, the old way of being.
Everything has to keep being replaced by its better components today.
But that would be about par for the course considering we cannot have our lie and real peace of mind at the same time.
Thanks for reading, all.
Image: Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons