Sunday, May 14, 2006

count me in

After a discussion with Vaughan, I tried automatic writing. The theory is that one counts backwards from 100 whilst writing. Automatically. Sounds straightforward. Isn't.

What I have mainly discovered (apart from the fact that no words will come out of my pen) is that I can't get past 96 without going wrong. 100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 94 - every time. I have no idea what my brain holds against the number 95, but below 94 it's anybody's guess what number will come out and in what order. Crossing the tens is a near impossibility and I am just as likely to jump down ten numbers as I am to start counting upward. I am familiar with this dysfunction, as I have spent years inwardly wincing whilst the special needs register end of my classes struggled with the very same problem. Admittedly they were only trying to count backwards and I was trying to do something else at the same time, but I am roughly 30 years older than them and feel that by now the concept ought to have bedded in, really.

I have for years blamed a poor conmprehensive education for my non-academic state, but am now beginning to wonder whether the rot might have set in earlier: whilst I was wearing a-line pinafore dresses with tights, hanging my bowl haircut upside-down in playgrounds and singing about the 'Alley-Alley-Oh', for instance.