Friday, July 07, 2006

The past

Why do we cling on to the past so? And why are we always looking back? I know, we must look forward, and I try to do that, but why do we ever look back?

When we're alone in the wilderness, all we have are our memories, I suppose.

I was at the Post Office this morning. I saw the van roll up, delivering money. I remember when I worked for the Post Office. One of my tasks was ordering the money for the following week. Asking for such huge sums used to freak me out in the beginning, but then I kind of got used to asking for twenty thousand on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, forty five thousand on Thursday (for that was old biddy day) and sixteen thousand for Friday.

We'd get given packets of fivers, tenners and twenties, sometimes the occassional bag of fifties, count it out to make sure it was right, then carry on with our work. I'd sometimes have five thousand pounds in my drawer.

Isn't it funny, how one can get used to the most outrageous things, dear reader?

But how do you exercise the ghosts of the past? Get used to them as well? For they never go away, do they. You either get used to them or forget about them.

A woman I worked with was fiddling the books. She was making off with about three hundered pounds a week - and she was doing this for almost a year. When she was caught, she tried to blame me! But there was no hope of that, for the silly cow had continued to fiddle after I'd left and started work at the building society!

I still can't get to grips with the fact that she did that to me, though. I thought we were good friends. I was forever at her house for meals and parties. We went to the cinema together. I even baby-sat for her children. Then she tries to label me a thief.


I sometimes look out into the night sky and wish upon a star. I really do. I wish I could see her again, that she'd say sorry, we'd have a laugh and go out for a curry. But I know that will never happen.

I wish a lot of things were different.

Wouldn't it be nice, when you're old and grey, to sit back in your chair, look back upon your life and have no regrets? Seriously!

I don't think anyone could genuinely do that. Or could you?

Every child loses something a whole life can't fulfill. I wish my Father hadn't treated us so badly, beat us up, left us with no money, but that will never change. So there's no point wishing for it. But I do wish things could have ended amicably. I wish he could have changed. I wish he could have given me the opportunity to accept his apology.

He'll be dead soon. It'll never happen. Why do I even let this bother me? Weirdly, I worry for him, too. He knows he's dying. Doesn't he wish he could pass away with a few things resolved? I know I'd like to die with nothing on my conscience. This is no pun, but I just couldn't live with myself.

Still, it wasn't all bad. Mum and I had each other. And for everything that I lacked, Mum had, and for everything she lacked, I had. We made up for one another.

I've never known loneliness, but I should imagine you could be very lonely when alone with your thoughts, looking back on a life of regret, unable to change anything or say you're sorry, if only for pride.

My own sister is just like her Father. She's done and said some very wicked things over the years. Everyone in my family knows what she's like, what she's done and what she's capable of, so it's not as if she can deny these things and pretend they've never happened. She'd feel better and look a better person in the eyes of others if she tried to make amends, but she doesn't. Even at my niece's eighteenth birthday party, she could have come up to me and said she was sorry. But she didn't. She just blanked me.

She's my sister, and, weirdly, I still love her. I wish things were like they were before, but they never will be. But I still wish things could be right between us now.

I'm forever looking back into my life, hoping for resolutions to come that simply never will.

I hope I can either get used to the fact or forget these episodes ever happened.


Blog Off said...

They're them. You're you. And you're fabulous. And they're not. And don't you forget it.

Minge said...

Aw, you sweetest of all peas.


graham said...

I think everyone has some regrets, but I find that I don't ever regret doing or saying something. I think it's really been when I haven't done something, or haven't said something, that I've lived to regret it. For that reason I think it's important for oneself to get things off your chest, even if it means wearing your heart on your sleeve when you know it will hurt.

I don't really know you, but from your writing I think you certainly are fabulous and I don't think you should ever doubt that :-)

Brian said...

We cling to the past because it's solid, immutable, and unchangeable. It's the one sure thing in our lives. Our futures are uncertain and slippery; nothing to grip on to.

Lex Ham Rand said...

This post is so heartfelt, sincere and well-written. And it describes a process that we all have to go through, so even though facts may change the underlying emotions we all share.

If it's any consolation, you appear (in your blog postings, anyway) to be quite well-adjusted and happy, funny and comfortable in your own skin. That in itself is an achievement.

Minge said...

Graham - I know where you're coming from. I think it's better to regret having done something than to regret having not done it.

Minge said...

I know what you mean about the past being unchangeable, Brian. In some ways, I wish the future was as certain as the past. Wouldn't it be great to have a book and see what's going to happen to you next week? It would still be exciting, you could read for Thursday:

Today, an elderly man will pinch you on the bottom in the supermarket.

Perhaps not that exciting, then.

Life's tough, isn't it!? I try to make light of it so it's easier to stand. I hardly ever pull it off, though.

Minge said...

Lex ham rand - I am comfortable with myself - usually... But I get a bit uncomfortable when people aren't comfortable with me and can become paranoid! It's a bit of a viscious circle, if you like, or a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I sometimes wish I were a dog. They really don't have a care in the world.

alan said...

You've hit the nail on the head Minge, in the comments. We cling to the past because it is certain. We've seen it. We've experienced it. It might have been shit at times, other times it might have been brilliant, but we got through it, and we realise that if needs be, we can go through it again. We do this rather than focus on the future, because the future is uncertain, and unknown, and we need to know. We feel we need to be prepared, and perhaps the only way we can be prepared is to remember how we overcame stuff in the past.

We share this planet with 6 billion other people, so it's clear that we're all not gonna get along all the time. It's just extra shit when it's someone we should be getting along with, like a family member. Obviously it'd be great to right the wrongs, but sometimes that isn't possible. Instead we must realise the friends and loved ones that we have, and hope that these make up for it.

I have a feeling that your friends and loved ones keep you right on track, and vice versa :)

Just my humble opinion.

Minge said...

Thanks, Alan. It's good to hear. And thanks, everyone. It's nice sometimes to have confirmed what you're thinking, that you're no mad and that perhaps other people think the same way.

Perhaps I'm not weird after all. LOL.