Thursday, May 04, 2006

Peanuts.


People disappear every day. I imagine it’s very easy to walk out of your life, seeking the reinvention of personality and removal from obligations that most of us crave at one time or another. As a simple solution to seemingly unbearable situations it does have an undeniable logic.

It’s not as though it’s difficult to disappear. The Unabomber managed it for years, and everyone is still chasing a lanky bearded arsehole safely ensconced in a cave in Afghanistan. Hellfire missiles, pilot less drones, entries in the Evening Post, pictures on the side of milk cartons: you name it, if people don’t want to be found they can be extraordinarily resourceful in concealing their existence

Awful things do happen to people, but mostly I expect it’s an option that presents itself during a period of despair, and assumes its own logic subsequently. It’s not as though they don’t mean to contact their loved ones; they mean to do so every day, maybe tomorrow, or perhaps the next day. Somehow they exist in that limbo and it becomes habitual.

I’ve never run away myself. I remember a Charlie Brown cartoon, in which Charlie sat under a tree, and considered moving somewhere different where no one knew him. Lucy informed him that there was no point as he was Charlie, and everyone would treat him exactly the same once they got to know him. I believe that Linus was sucking his comfort blanket at the time.

8 comments:

Sniffy said...

That's wonderful. In an age when your every move seems to be tracked by CCTV or electronic means, it's hard to remember all those who do disappear.

Perhaps just losing yourself for an hour or two of solitude and reflection is sufficient for most of us. Perhaps that's all we dare do.

First Nations said...

I have an ex-husband I wish would dissappear, provided the method involved seeping rashes and paramecium.

That said, is everything ok? Don't you dissappear, please!

Wyndham said...

Dashiell Hammett once wrote a fascinating article about a guy he knew, a salesman, who had a big family and he just walked out on them, never looked back. Years later someone tracked him down and discovered he started a whole new family. And then he did it again, disappeared into the night and started his life over. Trouble was, it was always the same life.

S.I.D. said...

Where the fuck am I?

Rowan said...

I never saw that peanuts' episode...but ya know? thats a fucking dreadful thought....that no matter where you go, you'll always be yoruself. damn it!

Kyahgirl said...

I have a terrible confession to make, when my kids were babies, things were so hard that I could begin to see how someone could want to disappear. My husband and I talked about it and he felt the same too. Not whining, just saying that sometimes things can just be unbearable. I suppose if you don't have any support or enough guts you can just fold. That would be an awful thing to live with.

Arabella said...

I like this melancholy post.
A walk along Haight Street any day and there they are - the new arrivals, as far west as they can get, and the old-timers, circling.

Faltanus said...

a dreadful thought, but ultimately absolutely true. you may be able to escape your surroundings and circumstances but you can never escape from yourself. and more often than not, that's what the people who disappear are trying to do - escape from themselves.