iLL but Legal
The author is aware that there are only two ways for the suffering protagonist to go. She or he dies tragically, preferably by their own hand. Alternatively, if the author is particularly fond of the hero plus the imagined circumstances are super tricky to allow a decent ending, the character is endued with madness:
Hey, God, here’s your ticket!
The absurdist philosophical problem of suicide in my life is so yesterday. I simply doubt I could succeed. My madness (depression and social anxiety) were exhausting. I disappointed those around me. What has someone’s rape or far away war to do with me? My constant pessimism and guilt brought nothing but misery to my family. Is my insomnia caused by a poisoned cheap night shirt of Nessus made by a Bangladeshi child? If I am the author then who imagined my super tricky circumstances?
At a very tender age of ‘what’s Auschwitz mum?’ I went through a metamorphosis (adjustment) of my infant mermaid tail into a pair of bleeding feet (‘walking on sharp knives’ or whatever). Pavements — a pedestrian heaven, all those yellow brick roads leading others straight home for supper, lighted sidewalks from Billie Jean which make others dance dance dance while with every step I take I bleed bleed bleed.
My super tricky circumstances would make K Vonnegut laugh. Take, for example, my money earning activities. As a secular humanist and anti-horoscope type of person I work for a Catholic charity Monday to Friday and in an esoteric bookshop on weekends. (I have to add that the comforting smell of books and, foremost, the privilege of working with people with intellectual disability - the most brutally honest, joyful and the kindest human bunch on this planet — sweetens the deal big time). In order to embody the tragicomedy of my super tricky circumstances I borrow from the mean image of a thin person trapped in a fat one, which in my case is a revolutionary trapped in a body of a coward. Instead of joining the mighty Zapatistas (nobody sings about them anymore as they are not on a ‘trending now’ list), with my sissy addiction to long baths and flushing toilet, I chose to be a member of the British Humanist Association, enjoying all those lectures and events where, if I wished, I could shake hands with the British humanists and BBC Two broadcasters. Yet, I choose not to say hello, going easy with that accent which might expose me as a recent naturalisation experiment, not quite the uber-Brit, more like the pseudo-Brit, enhanced with the answers to all those impossible Life in the UK test questions such as:
A lot of people carve lanterns out of …….. and put a candle inside of them during Halloween
A casual conversation with Bettany Hughes involving my accent could dismantle my fragile persona unzipping my middle-class suit hired from Angels in Colindale out of which an Eastern European cleaner, complete with a pair of yellow M marigold rubber gloves, will emerge. The very same initial fragile form of Little Miss Nobody who came to London from Rightist Paradiso twenty years earlier leaving her poetry and Nietzsche studies behind to dance dance dance on the rooftops of London step in time permanently soiled by posh soot of W11.
I cry a lot. While the not at all Nice police is embracing the spirit of France de Vichy and the group of Asian youths in Watford is ‘suggesting’ I should go home, I can only propose a come-back of the ever so useful Yellow Badge. In our already colour-coded world a cloth patch would surely resolve any doubts about who is who. The STAR AND CRESCENT patch, I STOLE YOUR JOB patch for migrant workers, CANCER patch for women who hide the loss of hair under the scarf, in case someone mistakes it for hijab. Asda could sell them cheap.
I wish I was born in Suffolk, sir, I wish I had Asperger’s. But I’m not special. I’m just scared. And, ah, yes, my feet are killing me… Am I a super tricky protagonist or an imagined author?