I have to admit, there’s nothing quite like realising you have absolutely no fucking idea who you are anymore.

I think one of the best places to start to explain this is with a vague branch of “Criminal Law Science”- that of handwriting profiling or analysis.

I’ve always known something was up with my handwriting. Doing cursive or even printing required so much concentration to keep all the letters conforming to those around them.

I could start out a paragraph sloping forward with my letters, and by midway the letters would be leaning backward, or standing straight up. There was nothing wrong with my word formation, I knew which letters I wanted ahead of time, and knew how to form them, but the act of doing so was difficult and often my hand would run away with itself and create a sloppy looking text with letters that were awkwardly different from each other in style. A fat “d” followed by a pointy slash of a “y”. Circles and triangles and thick lines and elegant curvy loops.

I’ve largely ignored the problem since I learned to type in high school. (I learned to type on a manual typewriter with a ribbon, like Steven King’s Paul in “Misery”, and I’d love to be typing on one now, just for fun.)

The thrill of flinging that return arm across during the class speed-typing test!

So my point is, if I believe what the FBI says about handwriting analysis, I’m probably a criminal and most certainly have more than one personality.

I’m just too damned inconsistent to trust – lock me up – prob’s gonna go postal at some point.

At the other end of the spectrum is my suspicion that my problem is physical, caused by Magoo or an older sibling crushing my hand in an attempt to control my habit of sprinting into danger.

I once jumped out of the car, and ran full speed to the edge of the swimming hole in which my parent’s planned to take the family swimming. As a four year old non-swimmer I probably should have stopped there instead of jumping in to the deep water.

The car was still running, Magoo still undoing her seat-belt as I sunk slowly to the bottom, looking up through the crystal clear water.

Suddenly Princess appeared at the edge! Looking down at me with that same look she always had for me –

“You fucking spastic…”  she told me with her eyes, as she leaped, shaping her long elegant limb’s into a perfect safety jump and dragging me up out of the water.

Whatever the reason, my handwriting is suspect and 9 out of 10 FBI agents would shoot me on sight as a preventative measure.

For now I don’t think about that. Sometimes I imagine some random picking up a birthday card I have meticulously printed and smudged with fucking ink, thinking what a great effort some five year old has put into printing the card…

So this obviously relates back to me not really knowing who I am, right?

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about all the “Magooism’s” that have shaped my beliefs. Magoo is one of the many wonders of the world, baffling her children time and time again with her radical dives from far right into ridiculously left territory.

She is grey matter. There is no end to the convoluted logic that shapes her thinking. You cannot win. You will not win. You may as well just live with it and enjoy the good times? Luckily Magoo has the ability to laugh at herself, but only if she gets the joke, don’t even bother with sophisticated wit, she will eat you.

So Magoo believes that women her daughter’s are basically tarts who enjoy sex too much. (Women didn’t enjoy sex back in her day, they used it as commerce to get the lawn mowed and the garage cleaned out.) If you enjoy sex there must be something wrong with you, she didn’t raise any of her daughter’s to enjoy sex, and how dare we?

This from the woman who once held up seven fingers when I boldly asked her “..when was the last time you and dad had, you know….. sex?”

“7 months?” I said, incredulous that it had been that long, but then, as a young teenager, I knew their marriage was in trouble, and I considered that to be about right.

Shakes her head, “no”.

Turns out the dirty mongrel’s had been at it just seven minutes before I arrived home.

I reckon I get my honest nature from Magoo, I’ll give her that, she’s mostly very open and honest with me. (If it suits her. I’m sure you can see the enigma I grew up trying to understand?)

You can’t dress like a tart, you have to be charming and elegant and only wear colours that don’t make you look “sallow”. “Sallow” is Magoo’s favourite colour. She will tell me I look sallow all the time if I don’t stick to the colours she knows suit me.

You can’t be a slut. Only virgin’s can live a virtuous life and find a good man to marry.

Thanks to the Universe for providing me with my father, who took one look at Magoo’s stunning beauty, disregarded her inability to settle in one place, disregarded her many complexes and insecurities, and continued to disregard her until well into his later years when he finally admitted he might have paid her more attention if she hadn’t whined so damn much.

I think Magoo whined so damn much, because he always had his head stuck in a book and a haze of cigarette smoke clouding around his head – which pretty much describes who I grew up to be. “Smokehead Bookpants.”

He also had some fairly liberal views on human sexual relations. He talked about the fact that women in different cultures are sometimes brought up to value their sexuality and that the onset of menstruation was seen as an indicator of sexual maturity. Which meant that I was already “sexually mature” in some cultures, both ancient and modern.

He told me that our cultural evolution had shaped social behaviour in a way that made it difficult for a young girl to experience all the feeling’s of puberty, and observe the rules of her society at the same time. (My dad was a lot like Fitty is now, in that if you ask a question, you are going to get four hours of answer!)

My dad was brilliant, and not a month goes by when I don’t wish I could phone him and run a problem by him just one more time to hear his three point response.

  • What he would do?
  • What you will probably do?
  • What a complete dickhead would do?

It was genius, and you always knew what to do by the time he ran through his points! Of course sometimes I did what the dickhead would do… that’s why we do “teenager” isn’t it? To learn how to not dickhead?

I’m now a couple of year’s shy of my 50th birthday. Probably time to figure out that what my parents did or didn’t do, or said or didn’t say really has nothing whatsoever to do with the person I am capable of being now.

It’s amazing how many people who are around my age are having similar thoughts. Looking backwards for the answer to today’s issues or problems.

So to sum up, basically I believe that the opposing personalities of Magoo, added to the intelligent and thoughtful way Dad “adjusted” her theories, has resulted in me growing up with two complete sets of ideologies constantly asking each other “Are you for fucking real?” – As evidenced in my handwriting!

– Just your common garden variety confused person, who’d really like some more time to think about why I forgot to think for myself for around forty years, and does red really make me look sallow?

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