“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Sunday, February 15, 2015

on hiding

Hiding, as Aristotle might say, is said of two different class of actions. One class is uniquely aboout hinding oneself. The other group is about hiding other things, which can include other people, or, more often, semi-people: the stuffed Mickey Mouse, the stuffed ant-eater, the plastic giraffe.
Adam is now old enough to recognize that we cut down the wildernesses, lay the railroads, plot the land, pave the roads, and build the houses in order to create congeries of hiding places. His two favorite places are in the space between the wall and the refrigerator, in the kitchen, and pappa’s closet, a storage area next to our real closet that has been carved into the wall space about three feet above the floor. The latter has a real negative, in that to hide there, Adam has to ask to be lifted up to it. This broadly signals that one is hiding. On the plus side, it it s perfect cubby, with an odd interior angle to it – this storage space was definitely a Los Angeles after thought – and a door – oh heaven – the closing of which you can impress upon your parent is a very important matter that has to be seen to right now. The door has several advantages. For one, the cubby becomes all dark. Dark is the color of hiding, For another thing, the world outside the hiding place becomes another sort of hiding place. This accomplishes, in a semi-quasi way, the second class of hiding. 
Once established in one’s hiding place, one faces a choice: either signal that one is hiding – which creates a game – or not. Adam is not quite old enough for the second, more contemplative form of hiding. The latter kind of hiding was once my favorite type, because it allowed for either spying or contemplating the world, the sky, a tree, a bird, a book, or some errant ramification of the usual scene. Spying, of course, requires a particular kind of hidey hole, or sometimes just quiet trailing, with the ocassional sudden ducking behind a bush or a tree to avoid detection. In reality, it was the ducking that one spied for – otherwise, it got rather dull. 
Adam’s version is to crack open the door. Sometimes, he finds, as he expects, his mom or dad standing there. Sometimes, though, they are hiding, or at least doing something else. Usually Adam can’t hold out and says something like Adam’s here, or I see you.
The kitchen hiding place is more of a getaway. The kitchen was forbidden territory. But, just as those settlers who cleared the wilderness drifted into territory forbidden to them by the state or native powers regardless, so, too, Adam has so often disobeyed the law of staying out of the kitchen that the powers that be have given up. So far, he has not completely wedged himself into the space between the wall and the fridge, but he’s come close. After a while, he’ll withdraw and just sit in front of the passage. Here is where he takes loot – from some disgusting object he has illicitly taken from the garbage can he is not supposed to look into to an odd fragment broken from some toy. I’m not sure what he does, communing with these things, but I think it has to do with inventing science.

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