diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 25, 2004

inertia, n. inertness: the inherent property of matter by which it continues, unless constrained, in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line.
I suffer from inertia. It's not terminal or anything, but it affects every aspect of my life. Given the chance I tend to carry on doing the things I've always done, and not veering off the straight and narrow. My life rolls forward uniformly in a straight line without deflection. I am inertial.

I'm happy in my job and am not actively seeking a new one. I like my flat and I'm not looking to move on. I really ought to sort out my endowment mortgage but I can't quite be bothered. I feel no urge to spend my weekends at the garden centre, the department store or the furniture warehouse. I could repaint my bathroom but what's the point? My mobile's more than two years old and I'm not interested in a hi-tech replacement. I wait for my phone to ring rather than taking the initiative and ringing other people. I've not changed one of the 39 tracks on my portable mp3 player since last summer. I sidestep the question 'where are you going on holiday this summer?' at work because I'll probably stay in London. I've not been to the cinema for over a year. I've only had one evening out so far this month, which is a bit rubbish given that there have been 4 weekends in May already. I wake up, go to work and come home, repeatedly. I am, essentially, inert.

I am a snooker ball rolling slowly across the pool table of life (ok, I know I'm mixing my metaphors here, but bear with me). There are very few other balls around on my table for me to bounce off (hmm, maybe this is rather more like billiards). I know a few talented snooker players who used to deflect me on a regular basis (they'd ring me up right on cue and invite me out somewhere) but recently they've been too busy playing doubles instead (my table has been cleared). I expect I'll carry on travelling in my straight line for a very long time, until eventually I rebound off an unexpected cushion into the outfield or some deep dark pocket opens up ahead for me to tumble into (I'd better take a rest there before you start to baulk).

But let's view this another way. Most people strive throughout their lives to reach a state of inertia. They'd love to lead a steady and secure existence, heading forward on a well-defined path. They'd rather not ricochet round the green baize of life, being hit randomly by black after red after blue. Most people long for the safe, the predictable and the uneventful, because the alternative is stress, struggle and uncertainty. I think, all things considered, I rather like having inertia. But then I would say that wouldn't I?

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