As the damp creeps to the sill, born of this wet day, Sunday yields hours of steady achievement. Plans are afoot to continue practicing for tomorrow’s performance (open tuning of guitar needs work, chord progressions still not right, cassettes have to be selected), and then go somewhere. Cara would like to go swimming, it might be a good way to release the stiffness caused by yesterday’s football.
Last night, she and I went to a house-warming over in the nice streets all lined with trees. Our hosts’ house is picture perfect, an expo of tasteful renovation. Period claw-foot bath, original high cistern toilet, ancient propped ladders, vintage mirrors, huge old battered white and green gas oven – I left that place jealous, resolved to find somewhere equally as impressive for my living arrangements in Berlin.
Sociality has been an issue recently, especially in the context of moving away. How is it possible to initiate friendships with uncommon language and no introduction? Last night, there were those people that have known each other for a long time. As is not untypical with long established groups of friends such as these, there is what can almost be described as a telepathy.
Signs and signifiers become irreducibly efficient for them – language takes on a new set of meanings that require no qualification. This becomes manifest in a dense, impenetrable humour, one that holds no punchline, nor rises any laughter. Out of context, conversation seems like a set of non-sequiturs, but is in fact a highly complex set of references to previous shared thought and experiences. Simplified, these conversations are little more to us than in-jokes and the people little more than cliques.
But there is more at play here, a silent communication, a secret passage of call-and-response held beneath seemingly meaningless words. How might one begin to translate from the outside, without language?
Let us journey, Levi-Strauss like, clad in khaki with field journals at the ready, to where these conversations take place. Let us arrive exclaiming outsiderdom and ignore all petty accusations of eurocentrism! To the tribes! To the repressed and simple! To loneliness and many a solitary night! To bed!