Pleasures of ischaemia

During my last twenty years as an imaginary sailor, through which the High Doganate has been my port of call, the world has grown increasingly unfriendly. When I moved in, to begin with, after I had been exiled from my old home and family, and impoverished at the command of the state, it seemed that the world had changed, perhaps not for the better. But I could argue that only my circumstances had been transformed. Now, with the expansion of powerful new gizmos (“social media” is just one example of what they are capable of doing) it seems that the spirit of this planet has also … “evolved,” as they say.

Privacy has been or is being progressively deleted, and human freedom has been therefore cancelled, to accommodate these new inventions — about which no one may complain, for they have proved very popular in the marketplace. In a similar way, silence was deleted by the imposition of previous innovations. The world at first remained potentially free, but became intolerably noisy. Then, as consumers acquired the new products, from motor cars to motor boats to motor aeroplanes, freedom had to live with the abandonment of peace.

Things seem different now. The conformity of death, or of the simplest and most primitive living creatures, is now promoted as our two remaining options by the woke-environmentalist generation of our worldly masters. “Saving the planet,” we are compelled to agree with them, will require us to stop eating, and moving about. The authorities may also close our bank accounts. All are placed under medical supervision.

My own situation is complicated — enhanced — by my medical condition, since indulging in a heart attack and stroke last year. The doctors left me (involuntarily, I suppose) forgetful of names, and staggering like a Parkdale inebriate. This dizziness, in the time since the surgical operation, could have been regarded as a nuisance, for the constant inclination it gives me to fall on my face. Indeed, twenty-two months of “that old vertigo in his head” (Swift’s description) sometimes seems quite enough.

But that is where my calling as an imaginary yachtsman comes in.

You see, I live in a flat which is about thirty feet in length, by nineteen in width. By interpreting this as the deck of a catamaran yacht, I am able to appreciate the action of current and waves. Also, through the door to my balcony, the winds, summer heat, and winter cold, can be admitted. I have re-imagined a life in which, for instance, I am able to escape the Liberal Party of Canada simply by sailing away.

Readers should be advised that I’m an old-fashioned sailor: please do not send any navigational devices nor other gizmos to me as a gift. Indeed, the wonderfully efficient format of the double canoe with platform between is an ancient Polynesian innovation, not a modern one; rather more clever than our cumbersome galleons. They sailed by the stars and by the subtleties they observed at each of the sea’s locations. And they flourished in a great region that was temperate by nature, on little islands in the gentle breeze, avoiding extremes of north and south entirely. What use could they have for our modern gizmos, who already knew what they needed to know?

For note, the next best thing to imaginary sailors, is real ones.