Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stranger than Fiction

Reading Roland Barthes' Mythologies and finding myself to be in a situation worthy of his thinking.

I am spending a week at my Mother's house, where in spite of the chaos of my seven siblings, she keeps a pristine room waiting for me. Stepping into it (cleanly decorated, a closet full of clothes I used to wear, unlit candles in an alcove, the strange sensation of sheets always clean and never slept in) I can't but feel that I'm dead. That I'm visiting the room that is a memorial to me, that I am the ghost in my bedroom.

Recently it was my birthday and coincidentally a charity shop in the neighbourhood was going out of business. My Mother and sister bought all the merchandise at a reduced rate, for me, so now my bedroom is also full of some other (dead) people's clothing, mountains of it. One particular fellow's relatives apparently donated his entire wardrobe to charity; in amongst the bags full of 'seventies sportswear and hundreds of neckties, I found three tweed suits, all tailor made for this man. Whoever he was. I am a phantom in a dead man's sportscoat, and most of the clothes are to big for me, but, wouldn't it be fascinating to wear nothing but other people's clothes for a while?

At the bottom of a shoe box I found a section of newspaper from a decade ago, full of funny pictures, dedicated to dogs at the beach. Even the dead have a sense of humour. Obviously here I have to reminisce about Camera Lucida and thus we close the circle.

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