Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The I's We Were

"Oh, aging is ruddy unbearable! The I's we were yearn to breathe the world's air again, but can they ever break from these calcified cocoons?"
Timothy Cavendish in Cloud Atlas
So ponders one of the protagonists in David Mitchell's must read - Cloud Atlas: A Novel.

Calcified is right. I remember the apple-eater, an old date, who I wrote about in She'll be Apples. Until I met him again many year's later, he remained in the outreaches of my memory, as a young slender law student. When I met him thirty years later he looked, as another Mitchell character remarked, as if he must have a portrait of himself in his attic that became more beautiful every year.

I'd written a rather brief portrait the gentleman, and so I was most surprised to receive three days later, no fewer than THREE emails from women - all of a certain my-age - who correctly identified the man.

Now my home town - mine AND the apple-eater's is now around three million strong. And my blog has a loyal but small following. So what are the chances of three people recognizing Mr. Apple as the apple eater of the story? I also (as an aside) wonder, if he thought that exhaling apple breath on young women was somehow erotic. Surely not ...

And this got me thinking. There must be millions of people who remember former dates, lovers whatever, as they were. Both of them. The remember and the remembered.

Who was it who wrote,

"O wad some Power the giftie give us
To see ourselves as others see us!"

Some Scottish fellow by the sounds of it. But he really SHOULD have said, "O wad some Power the giftie give us
To see ourselves as others SAW us!

And then my mind ticked away.

I've been looking at the way the web has expanded to reach into the homes of even the most computer-unaware people. I nearly had a heart attack the other day when my old friend Carolyne sent me a message via Facebook. Carolyne who is far too sensible to use a computer, let alone Facebook - or so I'd believed. And I thought to myself, if the web has come to Carolyn, then perhaps even George Bush II knows by know that Internet can only be a singular noun.

Thinking of George Bush II I'm reminded of King George III of England (1738 1820) and his loss of the American colonies, and it struck me that Georges have influenced the nation of America out of all proportion to the popularity of their given names. There was also George Washington, who we should perhaps number as George 0.

But enough of these ramblings and back to the apple-eaters. I've decided to take the idea of memories of dates past and to run with it.

By George, I've got it. I'll make a Facebook app based on it. Which past date are YOU? I do hope this hasn't been taken.

It will appeal to people who HAVE heaps of past dates, so that'll rule out the youngsters. This will give me an advantage as there are more old people than young people and I might even have my "app" go viral.

Now, all I have to do now is to think of a name and to code it.
Inner Roo, Roo Mondrian
for people who compartmentalise
I did write an app once. It was all about finding one's "inner roo". A dismal failure.

I've got more hope about for the date-of-years-past, or should it be "past lovers I have known biblicaly"?

I'd need a variety of 'activities' and 'gifts'.

I could have the app players (is that what they are called?) tend each others memories.

"Here is a message from a past lover for your Memoirs. Could you help me by sending a memory back? Together we can fight off Alzheimer's" Non?

"Rachel slept with 10 lovers in half a decade in the "WENT TO BED CHALLENGE", and wants to see if you can beat her score, or even just, score."

And so on.

Suggestions are welcome.

Oh, and following from the LoL blog of last week, I noticed in an anti-AIDs ad today the following slogan,

"There's no LoL in HIV"


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