It wasn’t just the nature of nothing that kept me away from the docks but also the confounded decision about what to wear. I had my whole wardrobe out on the floor and nothing seemed cool enough or seductive enough to snag a pirate in full daylight and not look like mutton dressed as lamb. I then made the mistake of googling pirates and came up with a video of the delightful Norah Jones off on the self-same hunt , in just the right outfit, namely a cheeky little skirt, belt and fold down suede boots. Now it’s been quite a while since I was able to get away with cheeky anything, so I played the video three times, while thinking sad thoughts about the ageing process and wondering when the urge to do daft things will leave me in peace to spend my days in idle contemplation.
In the end I phoned Margery, who is often my helpmate in times of sartorial confusion and she suggested my brown leather trousers and one of those longer blouses, that everyone is selling this Spring, with frills at the neck and that thick brown belt I bought last season in Prada. So I had to catch a bus to town for a quick visit to Primark. I didn’t think it worth making a serious investment in this project. And there, I fear, I made the big mistake. We are, after all, what we think.
By the time I actually got down to the docks, the project had lost a fair amount of its vitality, though I quite liked the insouciance of the outfit and the sun was shining and people were out, all in couples of course, like cruet sets. I walked around a bit and looked hopefully into the cabins of boats but not a pirate did I see, or anyone with even pirate potential. So I sat in the sun and comtemplated the archetype and why it might have hit the zeitgeist with such a thud at this particular time.
Pirates represent freedom, danger, theft, Dead Man’s Chests(dreams), limited vision and escape from the straightjacket of modern society. But the archetype also represents a flawed vision, for the only freedom lies within, not out there on the high seas with the marine police after you. No, by the time the sun was setting over the yardarm, I was off pirates and on thoughts of a bag of popcorn and the flicks. As I was making my way to the door of the cinema I heard a rough ‘Oy Missus’! and thought for a moment that my luck had turned but it was a Big Issue salesman calling my attention to the fact that I had dropped a glove. Oh how the times have changed- he didn’t even bother to pick it up for me!