Today is Someday - Book 2 A Clockwork Orange

          I'm pleased with the 50th anniversary edition of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange (2012, Nolton & Co) not only because it includes the original last chapter which has been omitted from earlier US editions, but—more importantly—because it contains the 17-page nonfiction article, The Clockwork Condition, written after the Kubrick film catapulted Burgess onto the international stage in 1973.

          Burgess's nadsat 'teen-language' caused me to quit reading this book when I, myself, first attempted it as a teenager and, later, after I saw the film, I chose not to re-attempt reading it.

          I'm glad I (finally) chose to read it.  Reading nadsat seemed to speed my reading rather than slow it.  It entered my brain in this manner:
          My nouns and I were verbing at the adjective bar when an adjective noun, who'd previously been sitting with a group of rather odd adjective nouns across the bar from us, stood, and began to sing in the most adverbially adjective way imaginable.  Her voice sounded like it came from the adjective noun.  My friend Dim made a adjectively-noun noise with his noun, which displeased me in an extreme way.
          Rather quickly I began to intuit (without a glossary) that what I was reading was:
          My friends and I were getting stoned at the local bar when a beautiful woman, who'd previously been sitting with a group of rather odd older men across the bar from us, stood, and began to sing in the most amagingly wonderful way imaginable.  Her voice sounded like it came from the topmost heavens.  My friend Dim made a rude-raspberry noise with his lips, which displeased me in an extreme way.
          While the book's story adheres to the film's plotline reasonably close, there are a few important points where the film failed and those failures affect the intent of the author and deserve comment:

          1 - Burgess's teenage gangs are all between the ages of thirteen and fifteen.  Burgess's main character is in High School and the two girls he picks up at the music store are 11-year old tweens.  Kubrick's gangs are all young adults and so are the women he has sex with.

          2 - Burgess's main character spends several years in prison, but is still only about 17-years old when he's released from prison.  Kubrick's character seems to be incarcerated a very short time and when he is released we wonder why a 24-year old is bitching at his parents for renting out his room.

There is nothing to see or hear except what is not here to see

          Sometimes it's more important to note the absences, what's missing, than to focus on what is visibly present.

          In 2002, within a few short months of each other, I stopped investigating and stopped husbanding after twenty years and ten years of service, respectfully.  That was the year I let my hair down for the first time in my life (literally as well as figuratively).

          Before I retired, my latter years as a military investigator was spent supervising (an essential element of which was inspecting case files).  One way to review closed criminal cases is to look for what the first-echelon investigators and supervisors overlooked.  

          Example criminal case:  accident or suicide - after ingesting a relatively large quantity of intoxicants (legal and illegal) the victim apparently disrobed, placed his folded clothes on the hallway floor outside his hotel room, opened the window and stepped out (or fell, or was pushed).  The scene (in Amsterdam, Holland, The Netherlands) was described, sketched and photographed in detail.  Witnesses were interviewed thoroughly.  Autopsy, check.  Toxicology, check.
          The only important thing I discovered missing:  the height fallen.  Nowhere in the file was there a distance from the second floor windowsill to the sidewalk.  Added confusion:  the European second floor is the third floor in the US (the ground floor in Amsterdam is 0).  The investigators and their immediate supervisors failed to determine how far the victim fell.

          Most people let their hair down when they first move out of their parent's house.  I didn't.  With never a pause, I morphed from overly responsible teenager putting himself through college to young soldier taking care of an unplanned family to adult with two cats in the yard and we'll get-together then, son, you know we'll have a good time then.  So...when I found myself retired and single in Prescott, Arizona at the age of 42...I dove head-first into a auto-didactic double major of meditative self-awareness and immersion in nature.  During which, I experimented with—among other things; some foolish, others less-so—automatic writing.

          With my eyes closed, in a light meditative state, I spoke questions aloud and my hand scribbled answers on a large sheet of paper.  After a large much of nothing memorable the following happened:

Me:  How old will I be when I die?

My right hand:  Fifty three.

Me:  What day of the year will I die?

My right hand:  31 December.

          Even at the time I never paid much heed to it.  Over the past decade, I mentioned it, jokingly, a few times when a conversation topic turned to "weird experiences."

          Around 2007, when the 21 December 2012 Mypocalypse began to hit fringe people's radar, I again recalled my own faux-ominous date.  One which was only ten days later.

          All of our heads, including my own, are still snapping.

          I'm fine.

          How are you doing?