There's always room for one more soul down in the Human Zoo*

* from "Wishing the Days Away" Billy Bragg, on Talking With The Taxman About Poetry

Sometimes it's the small things -the accidental things- that make you stop and think. It could be the glimpse of a headline on a newspaper, a certain colour of sky, a perfume of someone half-remembered as you walk through a crowd, a passing word or phrase, anything.

During a civilized afternoon of drinking delicious liquids and indulging in idle yet meaningful chatter, Fuzzy made the comment that I saw my relationship with Mrs Gripes as being like some sort of welcomed "cage"- and at the time I think I probably nodded, sipped my Thé Saint Géran and- being me- changed the subject.

But it has troubled me; caught me full square in my soft underbelly and winded me; made me close in on myself and wonder several things: is she right and -regardless- is it a cage protecting the world from me, or me from the world?

(I'll wilfully ignore the question of accuracy for now- perception is never reliable, after all- but the implications of being caged in some way have stuck in my mind like a burr in the pelt of a thick-furred beast.)

-If the latter, how fragile and damaged must I seem that I need to hide behind someone else, how mealy-mouthed and timorous, how cowardly? If the former, what hazard could I present, what force or storm could I stir up, what appetites could I need sated?

-Worse still, if she is right (and I'm not sure a metaphorical cage is something I want to live in) what does it say about me that I choose to live encaged? How long can I survive in captivity? What would I be if let loose?


C'lam said...

i have tried to comment on this poist a few times, but i have no idea what i actually want to say...

but the post struck a chord, so no doubt i will try to comment again at some point!