In a trance of total self-absorption, I have suddenly realized that I am useful for nothing. The adjective “useful” has utilitarian connotations that anchor it to the Platonic sensitive (material) world and, consequently, it is light years away from the intelligible world (world of ideas, my old stomping ground).
I can’t assemble IKEA furniture; I can’t change and fix a flat bike tire; I can’t use a drill to hang a picture on the wall; I can’t play any musical instruments or sing well; I can’t sew; I can’t cook (I just combine all the ingredients willy- nilly, trying to copy the recipes I search on the Internet, with poor results); I can’t paint my nails; I can’t French twist my hair; I can’t fold the adjustable bed sheet (no matter how many videos I watch on YouTube, the only thing I can do is crumple the sheet into a pathetic ball and hide it in the dresser drawer; I can’t classify things correctly, which is awful for a person like me, who loves order so much and equally hate domestic chaos. I am always changing the classification systems I use to organize my everyday objects. Actually, I never find anything, and waste precious time I could employ doing something more rewarding.
I could go on forever listing all the things I can’t do and write several screens, but it makes me feel kind of depressed.
I have realized –to my horror-that I can only think. That’s my thing. That’s what (I think) I do well (there will surely be different opinions about that). What the hell is somebody who can only think useful for? If only those thoughts were useful. What I am now writing, for instance this post, is really useful to me or to anybody else? It is hard to be a permanent inhabitant of the intelligible world. AM I ALONE? If anybody reads this and feels the same, PLEASE DO TELL ME.
As days go by the only thing I really enjoy is thinking quietly to myself. I put some of those thoughts in writing, on this blog and share them with you. Are they useful? Are useful to anybody, I mean? Perhaps if I had been born in Ancient Greece, I would have been happier. I would have been chronologically more adapted (oh! But then I could not search the Internet and I love navigating through this universal encyclopaedia so much!)
To make matters worse, what I enjoy writing is pure and genuine nonsense, a bunch of ideas dictated by the voice that never stops talking in my head. I am not much of a brainy essay writer. Neither am I an expert in any science.
I can’t even write a long novel because I don’t know where to start or how to come up with an interesting plot or how to make up my characters.
So, I have no other choice –not to blow up my self-esteem- than to look some words up in a dictionary (Wordreference.com), just to check if I can fit in any of the entries.
As the adjective “useful” means being of use or service and this last noun “service” is related to the verb “serve”, let’s read what action or state it conveys.
1. to act as a servant to (another); work for: the truth is I have never cleaned other people’s houses in exchange for a salary. It would make me so sick to clean the dirt of others! However, as I am a clean freak, I am pretty sure I would do it successfully. Yes, I love the idea. The ideal cleaning lady!!! That’s me. I would keep their houses spotless and immaculate. They would be very happy with my performance. SURPRISE! I could be of much use to others wiping their filth off,
2. to carry and distribute (food or drink) to (a person at a table): NEVER EVER. I could do it by imitating other people’s behavior, but it is not inborn in me. So, this thin layer under which I camouflage myself would gradually reduce and eventually vanish and the Robinson Crusoe that lives inside me would burst out all at once and destroy everything.
3. to give assistance to; be of use to: is any of the post I write of any use to anyone? What assistance can I give to those who reads my posts? Can they learn something useful from them? Maybe if I write about down-to-earth topics such as weight loss or everyday cooking recipes. But this is not my thing. I can do it, of course, but I would not enjoy it. And the main purpose of having this blog is my own selfish enjoyment.
4. to be suitable for (a purpose); help: how can my writing help other people? The only answer I can think of is this: I try to write freely, to write my thoughts and feelings without fear. I hate my fears and worries, so I would like to free people of theirs. I wish my writing could drive your fears away! But I am not a self-help book writer at all! In fact, I hate this kind of books!
5. to go through a term of service for (something or someone), as a soldier, senator, etc.: Me, a soldier? Well, only if I can be a soldier in the service of myself. I hate rigor and discipline imposed on me by others, that is to say, outer discipline, although I like inner discipline very much. A senator? I don’t think so. The responsibilities accompanying this career don’t match my personality (I’m plagued by mood swings and my phobias and other peculiarities make social life difficult for me).
6. to go through (a term in prison): I have never been to prison, but I usually fantasize about the idea. I even wrote a post in which I expressed my wish to go into a women’s prison, pursuing my desperate search for silence and solitude. But today I dismiss this idea. I think real prisons (not those in my imagination) must be very noisy places.
7. (in tennis, handball, etc.) to put (the ball or shuttlecock) in play with a stroke or hit: I have never liked group activities, but I love solitary sports. I don’t think this entry can be applied to Pilates or fitness routines.
8. to attend the priest at (mass): YESSSSS! I love this entry. I am not a religious person, but I adore the quietness of the temples, the silence, the feeling of isolation and withdrawal from the outside world. I wouldn’t mind becoming a priestess. A Vestal priestess! That’s my thing. A 21st century Vestal priestess, married to God. God is the perfect husband because He is not a pain in the ass and He is madly in love with you.
I don’t care if I am underpaid. I guess that a Vestal priestess’ salary must include meals and lodging. Besides, I would not have to spend money on clothes. A day robe to perform my daily duties and a comfy at-my-cell one when I retire to my cell. It occurs to me that another ideal husband may be the Invisible Man, but I am beating around the bush. I’d better leave it to another post.