Saturday, 25 April 2015

The weather is warmer, the sun is up longer, my curtains are now open -- and I'm still wandering around in my briefs

The weather is warmer, the sun is up longer, my curtains are now open -- and I'm still wandering around in my briefs.

In the age of central heating you can go from one season to another and barely register a change -- if, like me, you only leave the house to go sit in another building. The only real sign that the Earth has drifted through space is that when you get in from work there's sunlight streaming in through the curtains.

And so you open them. Leaves, flowers, birds, sunlight. Lovely.  But then your whole routine is disrupted. Before, with the curtains shut, you could walk around half-dressed or even undressed and do whatever the hell you like. Being winter, you were probably dressed in some slob-configuration of Buzz Lightyear onesie with a Ninja Turtle onesie over the top, with your arse somehow peeking out. No coming in from work and throwing off your restrictive work clothing for you anymore. Now that the curtains are open, you have to be dressed at all times.

Walking around naked in your own home should be part of the unwritten rule of the Somebody Else's Problem field. Obviously, your neighbour across the street CAN see you swinging your genitals about in the living room, and your neighbour at the back CAN see you gamely trying to cook tea without heating up essential parts of your own body. But they shouldn't acknowledge it, lest they find you staring back at them, all judging eyes and nipples framed in a yellow-lit kitchen window.

I believe all neighbours should follow the time-tested rules of the invisible ignorance field, best exemplified when someone walks past your living room window. They can see you, you can see them, but, so long as neither of you acknowledge this hideous fact, the field of ignorance is intact and we can all go on with our day safe in the knowledge that we are the only human beings on the entire planet.

However, this precious field is easily broken. All it takes is a passerby to -- god forbid -- wave at you while you're sat in your own damn living room and it's gone. You're no longer in your house, you're on display, in an exhibition, in a glass casing. They might as well kick in the windows.

This field is also in effect within a single dwelling. The flatshare tends to have multiple fields working at any given time. A flatmate exiting the shower can expect to make it from the bathroom to their bedroom without their hair, body or choice of towel being commented upon, because the field says they are invisible. People in flatshares don't go to the toilet, they simply cease to exist for the duration, and then return to the living room and our plane of existence with no questions asked. This is a delicate formula and, like the rubbernecking bastard ogling in through your living room window, can be easily broken. When a flatmate is in their bedroom with the door open, another flatmate cannot talk to them, or comment on their room, or even assume that because their door is open, they're available for any immediate appointments. The invisible field of ignorance is at play, and if it's broken, a flatmate in their room with their door open is suddenly turned into a kind of life-sized advent calendar, simply waiting in a little closet for someone to walk past and strike up a conversation. They now have no choice but to move out and seek more ignorance-field-attuned flatmates elsewhere.

Since most people have had to endure the flatshare situation at some point in their lives, I don't think it's too much to expect that they can re-engage with the invisible field of ignorance during the warmer months. It is a mutually beneficial understanding that works both ways, allowing us all to enjoy imaginary privacy in our crammed together homes, as we traipse about in front of the windows, all cheery summer buttocks and breezy spring genitals.






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