It occurs to me – when my mind is unencumbered by more important concerns – like “What was that twinge?” – that… I hope to address this issue comprehensively in the future, it being difficult to “bear down” during the summer, I mean “School’s out”, isn’t it?
Now where was I?
It occurs to me – when I am not wondering “Was that there yesterday?” – to ponder the nature of the things we (Read: “I”, but generalized to “everyone”) sincerely believe and the opinions we (ditto, the above) grandiloquently espouse.
In an effort to identify – as they announced on the ancient TV game show “the one, the only Groucho Marx”, replacing “Groucho Marx” with “the one, the only E. Raymond Peemerantz” – it feels important for me to distinguish which thoughts and pronouncements – if any – are generically my own, and which are merely downloaded recollections (followed by parroted regurgitations.)
Why? To determine whether there is an authentic “Actual Me” at all. (More on that during the “school year.”)
And while I am on the subject, exactly whence do those thoughts and pronouncements that inform my (Read: “our”) opinions and trigger my (ditto, four words to the left) behavior, that are not our own but come to feel like our own, which we proclaim with passion and certainty, originally derive?
Well I know whence at least one of them originally derives. (No “from” necessary, “whence” covering the entire territory.)
I have mentioned in the past – and happily mention again, as it makes me appealingly admirable – that although I am an across-the-board seriously flawed individual, there is one activity that, as close to “perfectly” as is humanly possible, I assiduously refrain from engaging in.
I do not litter.
I have been known to carry that unwanted “after-dinner mint” – which sit in glass bowls by the cash register and you take one because they’re free but you never actually want it and now you’re looking for someplace to toss that sugary extravagance away – or that slip of paper you wrote a phone number on and you called them so you don’t need it anymore – I have been spotted walking around, clutching such unwanted items tightly in my hand for blocks, searching for an appropriate receptacle to finally dump them.
That’s what I do.
Sometimes, having failed to locate one, these curious samples of harbored detritus end up in my pocket, extracted, “pre-laundry”, by our magnificent housekeeper Connie, with a skeptical, “What’s this?”
Unhelpful, perhaps. But that’s my “M.O.”
If I can’t toss it, I hold onto it.
And aren’t I a wonderful person for doing so.
I have explained in the past that, being a writer, which by definition means striving for perfection without ever attaining it (which does not mean you stop trying), I found “not littering” an achievable outlet for that visceral quest for perfection, so I tenaciously latched onto it.
This psychological explanation of “displaced compensation”, if you will – or is it “compensational displacement” – rings the bell of recognizable credibility – that sounds like something I would do. But, you know, there are other available concerns – emptying my bedroom chair of habitually randomly discarded clothing, or dislodging globs of stuck toothpaste from our bathroom sink – that I could also easily perform “perfectly” but… how shall I put this?
I don’t care.
Why specifically did I commit my veritable heart and soul to not littering?
Within the bounds of personal safety – for example, if a torn-open cellophane toothpick wrapper blew onto the road I would not feel obliged to race into treacherous traffic to retrieve it for as the Bible says, if not in these exact words: “Don’t be a schmuck!” – what made me decide to commit myself to never besmirching the planet I reside on originally occur to me?
The source of this one, as I mentioned, I know for an absolute certainty.
It’s when I saw this.
One answer to where-an-ideaI-I-believe-in-originally-came-from down.
Uncountable more of them to go.