I LIKE new things; new shoes, clothes, jewellery, boyfriends, houses and experiences.
I get bored very quickly and I like to believe that I am continually moving forward, or running away as some may say (but not to my face as I am invariably already out of the room and scuttling into the shadows like a demented spider).
As a child I would pretend to look upon the world with new eyes; surprise myself by re-noticing my mother or father or the dog. I once re-noticed my brother, but he told my mum and she sent me to bed without supper. So I pretended to be locked in the cabin of a pirate ship, and then re-noticed how the big yellow flower on the wallpaper looked like a laughing witch and scared myself so much that the new eyes thing came to an abrupt halt.
That is until my teens, at which time all hell broke loose and my powers of re-noticing failed miserably when forced to look upon the gangly, ginger, freckled, hideous creature that appeared each morning in the bathroom mirror.
At this point in my life I had to content myself with making the tube train go backwards (surprisingly easy really, you just have to focus on the tunnel rushing past and ignore everything inside the train, and then weirdly it seems as though you are going in the opposite direction).
I also began to imagine I was other people. It seems my empathetic compass was all over the place. I developed the ability to step inside someone else’s head for a few seconds. I would adopt the person’s mannerisms and begin to emulate their speech patterns, which annoyed my sister. She would snivel: “Mum Suzanne’s being me again,” and my mother would roll her eyes and wish she had normal children instead of the four creatures who looked like her but were complete strangers in every other way.
If I had been my mother (which indeed I could have been if I had tried the empathy thing on her, but she forbid me) I would have taken to drink (like a duck to water), but my mother was made of sterner stuff having been born in the East End of London just before the Blitz. Instead she did what every other right thinking woman of the time did, she ignored it and hoped it would go away; which of course we all did eventually, including my father, although his desertion was not in order to attend university.
Fed up of my constant quest for the new, my son has forbidden us from moving house again; he feels that five different dwellings in the space of six years is a little too much, so I content myself with re-noticing the things around me.
We recently had an argument when I told him that the house on the corner had a new roof and the ancient amphora in the communal gardens had been placed there only recently. He shrugged his shoulders and loped off ahead of me tossing a careless “whatever” behind him.
So I’m off to the Chinese shop to buy something I don’t need, a little trinket or a plastic novelty to keep me amused, as long as it’s new I don’t mind.