Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Chapter 18

Chapter !* (18): the perils of living with a hoarder.

It was at the last days of January that this story took place in Mr BooHoo's small apartment. The living room was the warmest room and Mr BooHoo and his partner were sleeping there. It had all started one night when the partner fell asleep on the couch. Mr BooHoo brought all the bed covers and he slept there as well. It was nice sleeping under the Christmas tree, for a change. They agreed that it was as if they were on vacation. The Christmas tree was there for almost a month and so were they. The bedroom had slowly turned into a cold storage/guest room and they avoided it. But then one morning Mr BooHoo's partner woke up rather pissed-off and announced it, saying that there were trees and bottles everywhere and that they should throw some things away.

There was only one tree and Mr BooHoo planned to remove the decorations and store it for next year the following Sunday. There were also a couple of bottles in the room that had been left there since the previous night because they had had guests. None of this things belonged exclusively to him. From his point of view non of his cherished belongings created a mess in the house. They were all neatly packed in small boxes, stored under, over and at the sides of his desk, his bed, in his closet, on selves in the bedroom and under the kitchen sink. All right. Mr BooHoo had a lot of things. To be more precise he had a lot of materials waiting to be transformed into things. He also liked clean rooms but he desperately needed storage space. From the partner's point of view they were a lot of junk neatly stalked but creating an over-all chaotic impression.

At this point it should be mentioned that the partner was not less of a collector, as in the other closet and the other desk and in the bathroom and under the kitchen sink one could find multiple computers and computer-related stuff like hard-drives, mother-boards, wires and lots of other stuff for which Mr BooHoo did not have a name. Most of these things were also collected from the street and waited patiently to be brought to life.

So, the main dispute was whose junk was real junk. Of course, you don't classify as rubbish something for which you have a use. But they had rather different stand-points on what was useful and what wasn't.

The other great difference was that Mr BooHoo absolutely refused to throw things away unless they were really useless and ugly, but his partner occasionally threw everything away. This resulted in constantly buying things and Mr BooHoo was against consumerism. His partner on the other hand did not consider his behaviour consumeristic.

On that special morning Mr BooHoo did not respond to his partner's arguments. Instead, he got out of bed and made coffee. When they woke up properly the dispute was no longer there. Mr BooHoo's small fortune was still safe. The disagreement was not over, simply postponed. Mr BooHoo promised to himself that he would try to collect less and work faster. Maybe a re-arrangement would help to make them look less. And after-all, his partner was a nice person, he would not start secretly throwing his things away, would he? The worst was that even if he did, Mr BooHoo was not sure that he would observe the losses right on.

To stop collecting for some time was a great idea, but once a hoarder, always a hoarder.         

Chapter 17

Chapter !&(17): The Mother

"How often does the resemblance between the words "smother" and "mother" come into your mind?" Mr BooHoo found himself asking himself.

Mr BooHoo had a mother...sigh...or if you prefer it would be better to say that if Mr BooHoo exists, well, he has a mother. At the time when this story takes place the mother is alive, therefor it is not her absence that causes the sigh but her very existence. Mr BooHoo thought very dearly about his mother. He could not even grasp the notion of a universe without her. No matter, though, (or is it due to) how much he loved her she could also be a source of great distress. She came from a generation of luke-warm rebellions, people that praised actions and not words but were all words and minimum action. These people were so much into words that they had developed a totally unnecessary colour of voice to speak of big things they did not really understand. To be perfectly honest, some of them might have understood what they meant but Mr BooHoo would say that the base-subject was not exactly basic. Actually Mr BooHoo believed that the world was a pretty much shitty place because people were taught to be shitty and not really think adequately on their own. But that is besides the point here and anyway, there are people that can speak so much better about politics, so we'ld better talk about the issue of the mother.

Mr BooHoo's mother had provided him with a bunch of good qualities. She had raised him not to be a thief or a cheater or a sneak and care about other people. She had also informed him that most people would treat him badly, that he would have to meet a lot of assholes during his lifetime and to fear men in blue uniforms (the last one unintentionally). In addition to the above, he was led to believe that it was very difficult to make decisions, that the great majority would probably be more successful than him when pursuing something he was actually good at, that he would never have enough (that was a good thing sometimes, not actually having less but feeling less as enough) and that the sky would eventually fall on his head if he dared to be happy for prolonged periods of time.

She could be such a grim figure. More often sad than happy and it is admitted that even her happiness was somewhat miserable if scrutinized upon.

Once they had a big fight because Mr BooHoo got fed up with her destroying his very much achievable dreams, by adding implausible details to them. For example if he wondered, say, how it would be to go on vacation his mom would say that he deserved to go around the world seven times, someday. Then she would fill him with guilt for thinking about vacation by mentioning that she had started to forget what this word meant.

The situation was tragelaphic when she spoke about how her mother used this sort of tricks and promised that she would never try to manipulate her children in this manner. And she didn't do it intentionally. She never said "do that or else you will be a bad boy", but "do that and then I will be so proud of you, me, your dearly beloved mother that gave you life, my life, and now that I have no life left for myself you are my only source of happiness". Yeap, this is how it went.

And then Mr BooHoo grew up and stopped living with his mother (they still spoke once per day, everyday, on the phone). And small aspects of his life seemed to be improving. As a student for example he did not have much but going to the supermarket was somewhat fun. And then he stopped being a student and then things went downhill for lots of people and Mr BooHoo that had being raised as a real looser found it really hard to cope. And his mother was as miserable as ever. There were times he wished he could not pick up the phone but his guilt-fed consciousness always did, only to start the same dialogue again and again.

Now, Mr BooHoo was a rather reasonable person (with a lot of peculiarities but this is besides the point) and he knew that blaming your parents does not really solve much. Still, he kept thinking of how his life would be had he been a bit more daring and confident. This is what his english teacher always suggested to all of her students. She said "chouldren, be confident". Best advice ever. As a target, on the other hand, it kept getting further and further with the passage of time and the by now familiar big imaginary L (see previous chapter) kept increasing in size on Mr BooHoo's forehead.

Well, that's the story. Sad but true.