Everyone loves epiphanies! Those moments of clarity, the consequences of which are usually negligible. I have had a few. I remember once, I think it was my birthday actually, and I was lying in my bed staring at the light-shade hanging from the wall. I’d been staring so long that my brain had got confused re perspective, and had allowed the image to appear as if the lamp-shade was balanced atop an erect wire, planted on a white emulsion floor. I rolled over, hugged my pillow, and I thought to myself: I’m only going to do things that feel nice from now on.
Yep: no more bullshit for me. So I drank like it was a competition, smoked enthusiastically, and ate until I had heartburn. I slept in every day. I stayed up late. I was doing everything right! But life somehow wasn’t that good. I found that I was often sick, physically even, and that I was unable to keep appointments, had no money, and my clothes didn’t fit.
Fuck epiphanies. But there is a charm to them. I think I have distilled that charm into an easily digestible lump: naivety. There is nothing like an epiphany for showing one up as a bit of a failure. Because when you have an epiphany, either you have been seriously misunderstanding something pretty simple for a long time (“Then I realized you’re meant to indicate before you exit the roundabout”); or you’ve just come to a wrong conclusion about how to improve your life (“Smoothies will make me thin and healthy!”)
And okay, this maybe isn’t quite an epiphany, but my favourite example of dumb logic is from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis: “There was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones.” I like to imagine David Cameron realizing this and begging Sam Cam to let him repeal the bedroom tax. “That’s not what we got into this shit for Dave,” she says, and pops him one with a stolen crutch.
So anyway, today I was walking down the street and it suddenly struck me that all epiphanies are bullshit, so I decided to set up a new twitter called Bullshit Epiphanies, and I’m going to try and remember to post any dumb things I think, and also retweet other people’s examples of simple profundity. I am @BS_epiphanies (and also @nikxn).