Amateur Psychology


  Have you ever just stood back from it all and observed? Audited, even. Your own life that is. Have you ever sat down – and I think the sitting down is vital, here; this kind of introverted inspection benefits from – no – demands a comfort that standing up just can’t provide. Where was I? Hold on. Right, so you’re there – sitting down – and perhaps the television is on, some movie on cable that’s inspired by true events, maybe you muted it. Maybe you’ve a book in your hand – but it’s closed. Closed on your finger at your page, but – for all intents and purposes – closed. I personally do my best introversion with a handheld videogames console on eternal pause between my palms. It’s these frozen moments, these ‘life on hold’ instances where you can really get a good view of the plains of your psyche.

  When I was a kid, I don’t know, seventeen? Eighteen? Whatever. When I was a kid my mother used to say she could tell if I was bummed out by the state of my room. Not like that, she didn’t say it, but in so many words. I’m pretty sure she used the word barometer. If I was happy, I kept it clean, all my shit tucked away in its respective shithole, but if something was bugging me, if I was ill or just plain morose – again, her word – I’d let it be. Slowly stuff would start piling up. Little pockets of laundry. Mugs with dark swirls staining their innards. A DVD left out – upturned – on a stand instead of in its case. A mess of wires that I hadn’t bothered to tuck neatly away when I set up the Super Nintendo for a comforting game of Super Mario World.

  It was easier back then. I could tell when I was cheering up because I’d set an hour aside, stick a record on and blast it through the shitty speakers I was so proud of, and clean up. I’d always feel better afterwards – cutting the deadly cycle of I’m bummed because I live in squalor, I live in squalor because I’m bummed. Now? Now I’ve got to set time aside in much the same way, in a solace of ignored distractions, to look inside and check the dials myself. To tap on the glass and make sure all the tickers are ticking, and ask myself – how stupid, right? – but ask myself “Hey! You okay in there?” and hope that my insides reply with a thumbs up and an all clear, because I’ll be damned if I’m paying for a shrink.


~ by Joseph Blame on January 26, 2011.

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