Wednesday, 11 March 2015


This post is about fictions, and as such, it is entirely real.

Ali is not a real student. There is a real student called Ali. There are many of them, but there is also one in particular. There are also many students who are fictional Alis. These Alis are to Ali what fiction is to fact; an overlay. Perhaps to understand the fictional factual Student Ali, I must first tell the tale of the factual fictional student Calamity Teacher. I will not call this student Ali, because that would be confusing, yet Calamity Teacher is far too unwieldy and unyielding. Therefore instead I will rename our factual, although fictional, Calamity Teacher key to Ali, Ally.

Ally was a good sportsman, and the past tense article there is important despite the very presentness of this article's past. Ally was a good sportsman, and this insured that Ally's presence in lessons seemed more past than present. Ally, though, unperturbed by the tolling bell of exam hell, was safe in the knowledge that he possessed safe knowledge to ensure safety in exams assessing knowledge. In short, he lacked the impetus to drive himself to achieve higher than was absolutely necessary as was mandated by the stern looks of teachers and the government directed scales of improvement. So Ally worked away tiredlessly instead of tirelessly, although with sport sure to prevent a middle-aged spare tire he tired not of dreaming of himself in a future present dreaming of a future present past glory sat among the medals of a schoolboy's present future. So he daydreamed like an innocent Lucia away with faeries concocted, not of real things, but of hopes for real things, leading him further and further way from the concreteness of bits of paper, stamped as were, and instead posted fanmail to himself that read with things like 'you're my inspiration' and 'I dream of being like you' so like a listless wanderer who carries on and on around the world first stepping through ports that look and sound familiar to home but just jar slightly in colour and then sets sail until they cannot see home and lose the concreteness of whether it existed at all and whether it actually happened whatsoever and so lands somewhere that is so different the traveler's eyes lose sense of what they are meant to see, instead preferring to see all that is different as the same and all that is the same as null and void and off through deserts the wondering walks, alone but carried through by ever-fading memories of origin, or purpose, or point, and endless walks the traveller, world-weary yet still walking, sets foot again on boat and finds himself in a new, strange land so different from the one he left he realises that there must be no explanation for it except that it is his home.

So Ally didn't care for school, and nor did school for Ally, but she persevered through testing times and managed through the changes of life, until becoming, average grades in hand, A teacher, not a sportsperson. Because, for all the missing        , and the shouting at teachers with assured, and quite correct superiority, Ally was but a child that didn't know their way and didn't find it until a few kind words from wordsmiths of a certain kind convinced him that he was the talent she always thought she was, it was just for it to work then for it work for it then was the clear and obvious solution. It was realization that mattered so much, not unreality.

So from Ally to Ali and back again to Ally, in a way. Ally falls to Ali as Ali falls to Ally, away from both and still together. Ali was a student, fictionalised in his factuality, that in him Ally saw a version of him so true that Ali could have be Ally, for all he was worth, with a rapacious intellect but not of the impetus to carry through more than just, 'that'll do'. He had that natural turn of phrase that sits and dwells and eats up days in lucid, lingering wonderment, and almost heaven-sent gift of words. And in that package of Ally that Ally saw in Ally he interposed the trueness of his own life. He placed his ever-present past onto the present future of an Ali he saw as Ally, and therefore assumed that this boy who had no time for her lessons, would one day become a caring, compassionate individual, the likes of which Ally saw, or hoped to see, ever day mirrored in the bathroom mirror,because Ali was not Ally, in any frame of mind or time but the obsession had grown and grown bigger and monumental. It became all-encompassing, woefully universal. All Ally could see was Ally, despite the assertions of those that could see only Ali. And, of course, because there is a moral to every tale, Ali did not become Ally. He merely became another Ali, one slightly further into the future of what was now the past but had been the present and this Ali, despite the efforts of another Ally, was no Ally.

Ally's past mistakes were still past mistakes and Ali's present ones did nothing to change this. When Ali did not show signs of becoming a better Ally, Ally blamed Ali for not being the Al that she felt he should have been and blamed herself, her past self, her future self and a trifecta of portraits of a different Ali to that which really existed in the past, present or future. But really it was a mistake to paint an honest face on an already dishonest portrait. It is always a mistake to overlay one's self onto the selves in one's charge because cannot be more than one, as in it can only ever be a singular, and every other singular only a singular and not a plural form and so, either one judges oneself as oneself or one judges another one as oneself; something that is always a fallacy of being. One cannot be more than one man or women, and when children are involved they are not a multitude of ones, or rather, they are each ones in their own right, stood as they are beneath one head and in one's charge. One must remain one, and , that is to say, share one's self by being one's self and knowing that every other self is just as unique and just, but not exactly as unique and just as the self, that is your self, or one self, that views it. Ally thought that Ali could atone for past mistakes, but Ally forgot. The past is past, and the future is a place where other people live.