71. If my friend were to imagine one day that he had been living for a long time past in such and such a place, etc.etc., I should not call this a mistake, but rather a mental disturbance, perhaps a transient one.

72. Not every false belief of this sort is a mistake.

73. But what is the difference between mistake and mental disturbance? Or what is the difference between my treating it as a mistake and my treating it as mental disturbance?

(Wittgenstein, On Certainty, tr. Anscombe)

Tomorrow morning i go to Ultima Thule; i’ll be staying with Morgana, my sexy evil elf boss (pictured above), till i can find a flat of my own. i find myself with almost no idea of the future, except that it will be dark and full of teaching and Germans and coffee and masturbation and apples and whores and splendour and pain and nazis and pizza and things like that. Today i carried a huge metal clothes hanger across town, a loan from my first employer in K___, given me when i said i was thinking of getting a clothes horse. It was borrowed/stolen from a nearby clothes store – i got the feeling the store wanted to get rid of it, as my first employer didn’t seem interested in getting it back. i was tempted to just leave it and let my landlady throw it out, but i had the feeling that i would end up with an invoice from my first employer:

ONE

METAL CLOTHES HORSE

PRICE: 1000 €

And so i decided to drop it off to be sure. Bloody heavy bastard, my arms were aching for hours afterwards. i remembered the last such ache, just over a decade ago at university, when i carried a friend’s young & poorly daughter in my arms for about twenty minutes after we picked her up from school (can you imagine anyone trying that today?). Strange, these physical moments that join us to the past.

Had i asked that younger Elberry, “where will you be in 2010?” he would probably have said something stupid like “working in an interesting Arts-based job in London, without financial cares”. The problem is, even then, i regarded such a future without the slightest interest. If i could go back in time, i would tell this young, foolish Elberry:

Hey. You. Yes, you, motherfucker. That’s right, stop laughing and listen. Stop looking around in that stupid scared way, this is a real voice in your head. It’s your voice. From the future. Jesus you look dumb. So happy. In this stupid innocent way.

You dumb motherfucker.

You think you’re going to actually, like, get a proper job and have enough money for rent and food?

You dumb motherfucker.

In 2010 you will owe more money than you will make in a year. You will have nearly committed suicide twice in six months. You will be about to pack up your earthly possessions into a couple of suitcases and a manbag, to accept a hellish job teaching Nazi numbskulls English in some appalling village in rural Germany, home to incest and the occasional bout of cannibalism.

Oh you dumb motherfucker.

The list of people who’ve saved your life just goes on and on. The latest additions are an Australian in tweed and a sexy bad elf maiden of death.

That’s right. An elf.

Oh you dumb dumb motherfucker.

Oh, and also you now remember three deeply fucked-up past lives that suggest you are even more of a motherfucker than anyone would ever have guessed, you dumb dumb motherfucker.

However, i can’t so i won’t. While my present state is unexpected i feel this is also good – certainly, it is discomforting and i fully expect Morgana to chain me to her radiator and whip me to death, but that aside i think it is far better to be surprised by one’s life, in gruesome and horrible ways, than to live a predictable, tame life as some office drone, albeit one who isn’t constantly broke. So even if i do expire tomorrow, tied to Morgana’s radiator, i should still say this is how life should be, this is, indeed, a good life.

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