Friday, November 14, 2003

Responsibilities...

Why I should have an issue on this immediately after waking up I'm not sure. Other than being prompted to tie up what I thought was a fairly minor issue last night, there's nothing that should have brought on an issue with responsibility. But why, oh, why can't people take a hold of it and say "Look, I did it. I'll take care of it"?

On a superficial level, you have my flatmates. The kitchen is a shithole. Given that the only thing I've cooked in there over the past week is a stir-fry [which I did only last night - and the hall supervisers had already complained the day before], I see not why I am the cause of the mess. Except the mess hasn't been cleaned. There's melted cheese on the cooker top, along with a delightful brown stain and what appears to be soup. There's orange peel on the carpet that covers the floor of the dining room, along with other numerous crumbs and bits of that little whatever they've decided to litter the floor with.

On a corporate level [if you can call the Student Union a corporation], you have the cloakroom attendants. Sample of an exchange:

Student: I've lost my ticket.
Attendant: Oh. Okay, which jacket's yours?
Student: [in drunken stupor points at any old jacket] That one.
Attendant: [collects jacket] Here you go.

Another of my less messy flatmates [his girlfriend's been down for the week] loses his jacket later that evening. He gives in his ticket, but his jacket can't be found: an £80 fcuk jacket. The attendant's response: "Nevermind, it'll probably be returned". Yeah fucking right. If I made off with an £80 fcuk jacket, I wouldn't return the bastard. Ironically, of course, that would be hypocritical of me, but then, I never said that I took responsibility, I was just criticising those who didn't. At the end of the day, I don't want to have to take responsibility for anything. If it's necessary then I will, because that's what should be done. But I ain't going to go out searching for 'em.

I think that if this sudden finickity on responsibility and commitment probably arises somehow from the actions of my estranged father; even if I have learnt to pass the general, everyday life that people might call my 'existence' - it's fitting, because that's all I seem to do: 'exist' - I most certainly still have issues with his irresponsibility. I'm sure it doesn't say in the 'Happy Families Cookbook' that a father is defined as the man that sleeps around during his marriage [I was blisfully ignorant in my childhood innocence], hooks up with a 17yr old [she was only 3 or 4 years older than me at the time] in the periods before, during and after the divorce of my parents, virtually disowns me because, in the early stages of adolescence, I stubbonly refused to accept his new girlfriend/hussy, and, finally, by the time he's got through his apparent drug addiction and fall into depression, expresses the every now and again wish to reconsummate the father-son relationship. This, of course, amounts to nothing, because where as the stereotypical father [if you can stereotype a father - surely it's something that's laid down in the book of impregnation] would be more of a leader or mode of moral idol and take care of the son, this flips over, and the buck falls on me to keep the 'relationship' going. Seeing it as no responsibility of mine, I, again, refuse to comply, culminating in the showdown in which I told him to "bugger off".

If a father's duty, or, at least, supposed duty, is to ensure the care and nourishment of his son, what is the duty of the son to the father? Appreciation and respect? I know the bible says that we should respect our elders, but when they commit such debauchery, are we really being true ourselves, so-called religion, or, indeed, any kind of spirituality, by conforming to that rule. Should I doubt in myself whether I did the wrong or right thing - I don't think so, but still I do. But what's done is done, what's passed has passed. Having attempted reinstitutionalising myself into their family in a series of higly artificial Christmases, I know that there is no way back. Unless I get hit by a car and become amnesiac [don't ask which one, but at present, I cannot remember which], there is no way that I can possibly forget everything I've learned, and enter into that highly 'innocent' son role again. All I do feel, and all I will ever feel, is contempt towards my father, his parents, his brothers and sisters, his nieces and nephews.

So, how does all this retrospection at all contribute to the email that I felt I had to send last night? I'm not sure. All I do know that is when met with the face [albeit not really her face, rather a representation of herself on a computer screen] of somebody that I'd avoided for such a long time after the realisation that any hope of forming a relationship based on foundations love, I felt the sudden urge to unload all those feelings onto her. Does this show a lack of responsibility? Technically, I am responsible for my feelings or reactions towards something, so was I being irresponsible, perhaps even careless, by mailing her those introspections? I'm not sure. I certainly wouldn't have felt that way, at that moment, if she hadn't turned up, but then that in itself wasn't her fault, more the product of two of my friends, ignorant to the fact that it clearly made me uncomfortable - not to mention that the conversation was inescapable: I considered signing out, but that would have meant not being able to chat with other friends. Perhaps I was careless, but again, what I can do now to stop myself from doing it. Perhaps if I could time-travel, I would go back and tell myself to be a little more considerate, and leave her at peace. Perhaps she has a right to know the way I feel, to make her own judgments. Perhaps she shouldn't have to know. Which leaves me waiting for a reply, if there will ever be one.

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