Bianca’s arsebundle

The very first time my work imac backed up to the time capsule, it
created a file. The file name was too wide for the column width I had
set in finder, and so the file name was shortened to
‘Bianca’s…arsebundle’. I had a good laugh about that with my
colleague, who had his own arsebundle.
Since then, I’ve had this notion of my arsebundle as the place that
random things go to to be stored. Fancifully, I imagine all kinds of
things that might form a disparate collection of thoughts, habits,
tendencies and memories that I would probably never think to mention
about myself, and yet that make up a huge part of my ‘essence’ –
making me who I am.

In my arsebundle is my irrational fear of small fast-moving insects
(especially arachnids) and my belief that it’s harder to breath when
your eyes are closed. There’s a vain image of what I’d really like to
look like, with perfect teeth, a much smaller nose and a sense of
effortless elegance. There’s a raft of things I really like to
own/wear/look at, like stripey tights, cutesy frogs (illustrated,
bright green), shoe shop windows, long socks, rows of individual
chocolates in my favourite chocolatier’s Chocolate Utopia, and images
of the interior of Bromley House library. There are quirky memories –
like one of the first times I played badminton with Alex’s work
colleagues, when I returned a serve that was clearly out (on my side
of the court, rather than my partner’s). There are absences, too:
great voids where I know there should be something – the memory of
seeing The Fellowship of the Ring at the Tunbridge Wells Odeon with
Alex has been obliterated by my subsequent obsession with the books
and the extended cut of the trilogy. There are memories of things I’ve
made, with my own two hands, like the crane’s pictures, that I was so
proud of (they were a house warming gift for my friend the Rainbow
Otter). There are also memories of really special times – not always
happy, but times that I hold onto as though my life depends on it:
being there for my Dad at the funeral of his best friend (Dad had been
best man for him less than a year before); Mum’s words in my birthday
card at 21; my younger sister writing ‘remember the good old days,
pea?’ in my birthday card at age 9; my youngest sister sharing
confidences with me in a handwritten letter; Alex buying me a
‘disengagement’ ring in secret that was somehow a perfect fit. And, of
course, I remember some characters in books as though they were my
friends, and can recall the bite of a painfully sad story, like what
happens to Fandorin at the end of The Winter Queen.

Another person’s arsebundle is hardly the kind of thing you’d want to
share, but in a way, that’s the point. It’s about all the stuff that
matters to you, that nobody else would ever think important.

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