20 Feb 2012

White People Problems

The sibling and I have an off-on relationship. Sometimes we don't talk for months at a stretch. Despite which, we are completely in sync whenever we get back in touch, like it was only yesterday that we were chasing each other around our family home.

There is an unwritten understanding between us that the caller is the one who needs to vent, that the role of the receiver of the call is simply to listen and occasionally offer vaguely comforting truisms. Neither of us are  particularly averse to suffering, so it would be counter-productive to actually try to help.

Bearing this in mind, I call her and launch straight into a vicious diatribe on the pointlessness of existence, the failure of the education system,  the price of alcohol and cigarettes, the loneliness and the despair, the lack of ambition, the depression, the ghosts of childhood.

She listens with the practiced silence of one who knows the narrative all too well. Throughout my rant, I have flashes of her clipping her nails, flipping channels on the television, making faces at her eldest, steering her ridiculous Volkswagon, her phone balanced precariously between ear and shoulder at all times.

Suddenly, I'm flummoxed. The Listener has just pulled a meta, and spoken! We have not reached her scene just yet. Her's shouldn't even be a speaking part. Any leeway on this front is an act of charity, of generosity of the Sufferer. "What?" I splutter.      

"I'm just saying," she says, "seems to me you're an Indian man with white people problems. And you're living in China for fuck's sake. That can't be good. Come home, bro."

13 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

This really made me laugh. There's the germ of a short story here I feel :)

Shazaf said...

Go home, icyhighs. i agree with sis.

icyhighs said...

Thanks Jenny. I was worried it sounded a little racist, I'm glad it (presumably) doesn't.

icyhighs said...

If only it were that easy Shazaf! Afraid I've burned too many bridges to the Motherland.

The Angry Lurker said...

Same her with my homeland and I'm a lousy bridge builder....

icyhighs said...

Yeah, not for the opinionated, bridges.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Your sister offers sage wisdom. And whether or not it's true, it was fucking hilarious.

red dirt girl said...

"I don’t think a writer knows his feelings, though. That’s why he writes. I would say that he probably knows them less than anyone else. Generally speaking, a writer is more confused, more bewildered, than other people who aren’t writers. One of the absolute qualifications for a writer is not knowing his arse from his elbow. I think that’s where it starts. With a lack of knowledge. The sense of not knowing what is happening and the need to organise experience on the page or in the song is one of the motivations of a writer.”

~ Leonard Cohen

I'd say you're well on your way, Icy...!

xxx

JOutlaw said...

ah the insight of our sisters. Sometimes it is far too true

icyhighs said...

So the consensus would appear to be "go the fuck home!" I'm considering it myself.

icyhighs said...

That's an ace quote, Red. Cohen's the man. Though it does makes me sound like a dunce. Gotta say I've been accused more than once (and not in a good way) of just pushing stuff to breaking point simply so I can see what happens, and then write about it. My constant worry is it shows a lack of imagination. Why can't I just make shit up?

goatman said...

This is a wise person.

icyhighs said...

Hallelujah soldier!