… I decided that snow-covered bamboo is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
What is the body in this text?
Next, the film. While I’m worried that this will spoil the image of the book that I have in my head, seeing another interpretation I think will help me work out how I feel about this and how it can be interpreted. Because this novel brought up many different ideas for me, and the idea of whether or not he was crazy was least among them.
*Easton Ellis, Bret, American Psycho, (London: Vintage, 1991), p.176
** Easton Ellis, p. 245
*** Easton Ellis, p. 24
**** Easton Ellis, p. 247
***** Easton Ellis, p. 214
I saw an angel by the railway track
And she waved and she smiled but she never looked back
As she hopped off the platform and with the tiniest feet,
Along the cold iron bars she began to creep.
Her pace picked up, and she ran and she flew,
Until cartwheeling away she sped out of view.
I leapt down to the ground and I followed her route,
Rushing and stumbling, I did not want to lose.
When all of a sudden I heard a familiar lowing,
And as I turned away from where the girl had been going,
I saw the bright light of a locomotive train,
I and knew that my chase had all been in vain.
And before I could turn back to where the angel had been
I always thought it would be quite nice to get married at the age I am now. I feel the need now to justify that statement.
It isn’t because I don’t aspire to much, or even because I aspire to be a wife. It’s the desperate romantic in me that makes me think it would be lovely to be that sure. 22 is still young. It is young. It’s the first ‘proper’ age I’ve ever been, but I’ve never felt younger. So when I consider this thought of mine, that an early marriage would have some kind of beauty to it, then my mind boggles.
I’m not there. No way in hell am I there. I mean, it’s not as though it’s impossible – all that’s necessary for a marriage are two willing people (motives undisclosed), a registrar and two witnesses. Job done. But, it’s not the ceremony I’m after. It’s not even the honeymoon, the cake, the married life. It’s that simple thought: that I was sure.
However, it seems lately that people are less and less sure. The National Office of Statistics tells me that the number of marriages registered in England in Wales in 2008 was a mere 232, 990. Yeah, didn’t seem that small to me either. But, they also reliably inform me that this is lowest number since 1985. Yet, the rest of their statistics appear confusing. In my search for some romance among these figures I read that 91% of marriages were first marriages for both partners. Aww. And that divorce is also at a 29 year low. (I also, through some quick clicking, discovered that civil partnerships have fallen 12% from 2008 to 2009.)
So, does this really mean that people are less sure? All it really seemed to tell me was that more people were staying together. And, oddly, that’s not the nature of my post. My feelings about marriage are vague, at best, at it is my attempt here to come to terms with what it is that I believe when I say it would be nice to get married at 22.
When I was 15, we studied Pride and Prejudice at school. I thought it was shit. I decided that my life was worth more than just waiting around for a nice man (especially the nice man everyone knew you were going to marry apart from you – although I now see the irony in the novel, it has to be said). I proudly told people that I disliked Jane Austen and had viable, socially relevant reasons for doing so. Then I read more literature. And, at the same time, met a couple of 21 and 22 who were getting married. Since then, since this mythical, one-encounter pair, I have found early marriage a lovely thing. I still hold onto that feeling that Mrs Bennet had it all wrong: life isn’t about wearing big dresses and piling your hair correctly and waiting to attract a Darcy or a Bingley, it’s about making choices. Oh, but wouldn’t it be lovely if that choice was to marry a nice, respectable, respectful man!
And therein lies my contradiction (one of many). I want it to happen unexpectedly, I don’t want to wait around for it. But in doing so, I kind of make it impossible for myself. While talking to a friend at work today, she said that she always wished that she had gone to uni when she was younger so that when she got to my age she would be considering how to start her life, but instead at 22 she was planning a wedding. “Stupid!” she trilled, happily, and we shared a laugh. So, there seems their ought to be some sort of sacrifice in place for marriage? And by going to uni, getting a job, not waiting around before I rented a home – I’ve scuppered it. My lovely, poetic, early marriage of security: gone. Well, at this age anyway.
It wasn’t my independence that ruined it, either. It was my determination to make my own way. Not to say that married women, and women in love, are not independent – but in my eagerness to make sure something was always on the horizon, this could never happen unexpectedly. Not the way things currently sit. A worrying man I met lately encouraged me to plan my life to the year in order to get what you want. But my plans are caught up in other things. The unconscious sacrifice I made was to go to university, and make a life right now, and that meant that I wasn’t ready.
So, although I don’t quite believe it, this early marriage still smacks of Jane Austen. 22 has snuck up on me, and I remain husbandless. Does this mean, then, that I’m unsure?
Well, while it’s rather late in the day for me to jump on the ‘Oh my god I graduated, now what?’ blogging bandwagon, I felt as though I should give it a go. Just because all of my creative writing ‘colleagues’, as it were, have one, I feel as though I’m missing out. And I’m not too ashamed to admit that. However, I also don’t think it’s that bad an idea. Imagine if I could get into the habit of recording the things that happen to me, sharing my opinions – dare I say, my voice – with others, then perhaps I could get into the habit of writing something longer-lasting, something which really actually could be read and which could speak?
The only way to become a writer is to write. And so here is my start.
I’d like to be able to share everything that happens to me, and all the thoughts that I have. Hence the name. One definition of ‘panopticon’ is a place where everything is seen, and I’d like that to be what this is about. So here is my blogging manifesto. To include any and all writings, snippets, thoughtlets and processes which would otherwise be lost between the cover of my Moleskine. To include photographs, reflections, memories, worries – anything to do with normal life. When these two become too great to co-habit, perhaps I can split the writing off into it’s own little prison-panopticon, but until then let’s just get the practice right.