21, 41 A.B.
Ahhh, once again it's Claustrofest - and not a moment too soon! I
was starting to feel too exposed, you know. Too naked and open as
How nice to once again put all that behind, to the sides, and on top of
Amazingly, I might have forgotten Claustrofest altogether had my wife not
mentioned the other day that her friend with the cool online site (Anthony) just happens to be claustrophiliac.
You know - someone who loves small, enclosed places. Turns out that
I'm not the only one who dreams of one day sleeping in a four poster canopy
bed with heavy velvet curtains that block noise, drafts, and light.
I've personally not yet gone so far as to fashion a substitute out of couch
cushions, air mattresses, and the stray refrigerator packing box, but only
because there are only so many hours in the day.
If there are, in fact, an unlimited number of hours in the day, please
don't tell me now.
Fortunately, Anthony's casual sharing of the delightful term claustrophiliac
managed to remind me not to let Claustrofest slip by unobserved yet again.
Although learning the precise origins and other details of the holiday
has been hindered by the fact that its most dedicated celebrants are completely
incommunicado, anthropologists have been able to discover a few of the
basics from scribblings on cave walls, notes left in bottles, and faint
etchings left on the interiors of hummingbird eggs. Much of the rest
can be deduced - or outright invented, for all the difference it makes.
The most important thing to remember is this: When the first shrill scream
of an agoraphobic soul is heard at dawn rolling over an endless expanse
of ocean, sailing up unimpeded into the wild blue yonder, or merely reverberating
endlessly between distant canyon walls, it is time for all true celebrants
to find the smallest, tightest place they can possibly squeeze into and
stay there until a sense of profound peace and safety comes over them like
a thick, warm mitten over a cold, exposed hand.
Indeed, many find that actual mittens considerably hasten the arrival of
this sense of peace and safety, as do ski masks, multiple hats, and (oddly
enough) stuffing the complete works of Leo Tolstoy into their pants (with
those editions in the original Russian allegedly working best of all).
Extreme claustrophiliacs go so far as to fill their excess interior
spaces with wine, whiskey, or other intoxicating liquors with a name buried
deep within any handy alphabetical listing. Others find it enough
to merely slip a Yanni tape in their Walkman and go about their day as
normal, but this is generally frowned upon.
In recent years the sardine-can-on-a-strait-jacket-strap necklace has become
a popular public confession of one's intention to celebrate Claustrofest.
Alas, I utterly failed to find a single one left at the Wal-Marts I checked
with, and now it's impossible to make my own, since I barely have
enough room to move my fingers and type as it is. Next year I promise
to do better - or at least assume the fetal position trying.
That's really all the time I have to spend writing today. I need
to squinch up my eyes and get back to my rocking and humming.
Hope however you chose to observe the holiday, you find as much satisfaction
in not falling through infinitely open spaces without a leash as I am!
Back To The Excitement
Of Claustrofest Eve
Forward To The Inevitable
(©Claustrofest 2000 by Scrunched Birtcher)