Three things there were,
Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh
brought before a sham god or king
(after the magi had been a-hawking)
and they fetched a very fine price:
eternal insurance was on their dice
For those who know less than they ought
a bottle I’m drinking of finest port
if you think, for alcohol it’s a touch late
insight that provides of my mental state
Three more things I present
Of times past, thoughts long spent
Frankincense. Last night and this morning Bath was shrouded in fog like frosted glass. Every light glimmered as if through a new medium, my love for neon was renewed, and the thick gray curtains engloved every sound. I sat in my apartment after all were long asleep, and started thinking about where I was going, and my niggling fears. Very mobile is the fog, it seeps into every part of me.
Gold: all that glitters is not. Looking at the cult of celebrity again (which I promised to do, sometime long ago) I came upon Celebrity Big Brother, the tribute to our moden heroes and heroines. In olden times the hero was king for a year, at least ceremonially, during which time was treated with due respect and deference before the end of his arc Then he would be sent to join his god. The method for this is surprisingly humiliating: he might be defeated in a chariot race by his rival, sacrificed on an altar, or be cuckolded by his wife, the high priestess. Nowadays our modern heroes are retired to public humiliation, crushed by the expectation of their failure, and this program is the culmination of this, the recreation of the endless cycle. This half of the show kills careers: the normal Big Bro generates them, so they’ll never run out. A great program idea, being eternally self-maintaining.
Myrrh is hardest to write about. I was profoundly disturbed tonight when I picked up an old dictionary of mine for a browse (I was eating linguini, scotch salmon, and bored) and found it was one given when I left junior school. It had been signed by many people who I don’t remember, and three times by my first girlfriend. I remember nothing of that time, and only a little of her. Now this could turn into a sad lament for lost love, but there’s another time for that. What I’m worried about, o mio, o mio, is that I realise now my memory is kaput. Shot. gone. I remember nothing of two days ago, let alone ten years ago. It’s like I don’t really live here. Facts I remember clear as day, or at least can make up clear as mist: 1989 Berlin wall. Spinoza was a lens-polisher. As demand decreases, so does price. But friends of ten years ago? What I had for lunch yesterday? Nothing, nada. The little deaths of ideas and people happen constantly in my head, drawing the big one nearer. Myrrh. We all know what it means.
Remind me sometime to tell you about memory-palaces. They’re worthy of anyone’s attention.