Monday, 29 October 2012

The constant piling up of things

How much of our everyday is compiled of piles? Piles of bills to pay, piles of recipe cards never consulted, 'to do' piles in every corner, piles of versions of to do piles... Wodges of old log books and lost paper counterparts. A diary and real time stacked with appointments and engagements, a planned pile of timed commitments, of enthusiastic nodding and improvised inspirational talks. Allocated slots for pint-drinking and gin intake, mental schedules of things to do before work. A pile of this is who I am and a pile of self-importance.

I am gathering piles of materialism, iPhone notes of desired interior decor, Post It notes of taste piling up statements to the world about who I am through my aesthetic. Piles of dust gather on my piled-up jewellery, listlessly listing how much I like it but never wear it. A pile of existing somehow more in the world through stuff.

Acquisitively I pile up friends and acquaintances, we must do lunches and sorry I haven't been in touches. I cram my emotional space and make piles of memories recorded and forgotten. I pile on long squeezy hugs and unbridled kisses to a pile of people in closest proximity. A pile of the best stuff where none of the other shit really matters.

And as the years and the wrinkles and the grey hairs pile up, and the wisdom of piles somehow eludes me, somehow it surprises me that time passes and change happens; I look at a photo of myself at 21 and don't feel any different, despite the experiences and friends and things I knew once come and gone. And someone says "Bloody hell, you look so young, I don't even recognise you!", forgetting that beneath the palimpsest of piled up memories, possessions, diary slots and old flames, the fresh-faced Kate is still there, along with painfully introverted Kate, stick-her-hand-down-the-drain-cos-she's-no-girl Kate and vulgar Kate of pub fame.

She's there, being confident and revelling in the fact that she grew her fringe out and learnt to make jokes in public.