Saturday, 7 January 2012
My neighbour M is moving out today and I've been calculating in my head how long she's been here: her daughter M was in a push-chair when she moved in, so was probably around 2 years old, and M will be 20 on her birthday next Autumn, so M has been here about 18 years, which is to say 1993/1994,
In my subjective memory of my own life 1994 seems just a year or two ago, but my subjective memory of M when she first moved in suggests she arrived far more than 18 years ago, perhaps 40 years ago, but anyway a very long time ago.
Perhaps this is because I have a sense of the markers and developments and growth in her life, the different boyfriends, the various stages of M's childhood and teens, M's marriage, the birth and childhood of her second child J, and so on.
With myself there seems to have been only a long undifferentiated period of depressing unemployment, followed by a long depressing period in a tedious job I didn't like, with the deaths of my parents and the trouble with the scrotes being the only emotionally striking events.
It's as if my life ground to a crawl on leaving college and went into stasis from 1990 to my mother's death, and I've only recently been released from the Stasis Pod and my life has resumed. I think I now have only the everyday psychological problems that everyone has, and the psychological problems I did have were - rather bizarrely - problems that mostly came from my being persuaded to believe untruths about myself by my dad and by some teachers.
I feel despite this that my life has resumed too late, and I'm arriving at the party when I'm worn out and everybody else is going home, the music and dancing has stopped, and there's only a few dreggy near-empty bottles and some dry curled-up sandwiches at the Buffet.
I read a comment article in the Times the other week while waiting for my partner C in a Nero's near Albert Square. It was about the level of poverty and deprivation in Salford, and said that as bad as things here used to be, they are now far worse. The journalist said that the area of Salford I grew up and live in has for many decades consistently had some of the worst levels of poverty and deprivation in Britain and is presently the 3rd worst in the country. It's a sort of bleak consolation that it wasn't all my fault, and that mediocrities from more fortunate backgrounds (this means you Cameron and Clegg) did much better due to the usual and long-standing tendency of the middle and upper classes to hoard resources and opportunity for themselves.
There was a quotation in the article that sums up the problem we faced: "an only life can take so long to climb clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never"
That said, I can't say but I contributed to my own undermining and ill health.
I hope my old friend J can either win his former girlfriend back or leave thoughts of her behind and find a nice 35 year old, because I think there's still time and health enough for him to have something of a satisfying life.