It wasn’t my plan to wake up at six. I planned to sleep in, but there was that stupid rubbish bin full of garbage the council didn’t pick up on Wednesday (just like two weeks ago) so we were to put it out this morning and they’d collect it (so they said). The Goblin set the alarm for 7:30, which was why I couldn’t fall back to sleep. So there I was half comotose, staring at the dusty chandelire over the bed (we sleep in the dining room) wishing I could go back to sleep stressing out over the garbage being picked up and Star Trek came to mind. I started thinking about how Star Trek stories has affected my life. And then I started to think about all the stories I’d read or heard as a child and how they’d shaped me. It occured to me (feel free to disagree) that each of us is a sum of the stories woven into our lives. Then I started thinking…what happens when someone has more of one type of story than another told to them as a child? Would a child predominantly raised on war stories grow up to be war focused? Would someone raised on stories that another group of people were evil or lesser creatures grow up to believe the stories and hate the other group? Would people raised on soap operas be able to remain with one partner long term if they’d grown up on stories of people whose relationships never outlasted a pair of underwear? Would a society that focused soley on romantic stories of love (that left out war or of heroes who defended other people) be capable of defending itself in times of war or would they capitulate and lose their stories and identity to the victor?
Thinking about the stories of my childhood I can’t help but wonder if’ I’d never heard Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, the three little pigs, Little House on the Prairie, or The Secret Garden, The Witches of Worm (one of the freakiest children’s story ever put on vinyl) would I be the same person? If I’d never ever heard any version of Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, The Emporer’s New Clothes? If I’d never heard Rumplestiltskin or read Robinson Crusoe or listened to Dr Zeus and his stories of Green Eggs and Ham and Star Belly Snitches…or heard The Rats of Nimb…or watched Star Trek when I was five (when we briefly had a tv) and then off and on when we had a tv. Would I be the same person? I don’t think I would.
The more I think about it…stories are the social building blocks of a society. My friend Anne once asked me if I could imagine a world (inhabited by humans) without stories. I can’t. It’s impossible! Everything we do…everything we are is woven from and into a story.
They never did come to collect our rubbish. I’ll have to call the council on Monday and nicely communicate my unhappiness with the situation. If they tell me (again) that the bin men (Garbage men) said they’d come by but my bin wasn’t out (ie they lied)…I shall nicely further communicate that I’ll write a story of my own and send it to the local paper! Bin men lying about picking up rubbish? Why? What are they doing when not picking up my rubbish? Are they deliberately not picking up rubbish so they can work overtime on Saturdays? Are they off digging through better bins to see if anything salable was thrown away before they return to the dump? Do they just hate backing their giant trucks down our dirt road? Are the people in the house at the bottom of the hill as fed up as I am? I don’t know…but there’s definitely a story in the bin!