Claustrofest, Marchipelago 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 well.  
     How nice to once again put all that behind, to the sides, and on top of me!

     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
Post-Claustro Blues

(©Claustrofest 2000 by Scrunched Birtcher)