"July made of Sellotape."
-note found this morning
on my bedside pad of paper
What am I supposed to do with that, how did my semi-dream state mind imagine the waking me would benefit from that assertion? July isn't made of Sellotape. Not for me anyway, I almost never use Sellotape in the month of July. The vast majority of my annual Sellotape usage is in October and December. The rest of the year is a nine month desert empty of Sellotape, and a second smaller patch covering most of November. Mine is just not a life with a significant role for Sellotape. And do you know what, I do pretty well without for the majority of the year.
In all the times in my life during which I have developed an obsession with stationery, of which there have been many, Sellotape has never taken a prominent role. As a child, bare-footed with constant splinters in my soles and toes from the untreated wooden floors of my childhood home, I had a wooden desk constructed by my father, painted blue and with a slanted fold-up lid concealing storage space for stationery. In it was, probably, for I cannot really remember, paper, pens, crayons, coloured paper clips, and possibly some Sellotape, or an un-branded alternative, kept in a dispenser. The dispenser may have been novelty, a dinosaur for example, or it may have been a serious, weighted, black office affair - both of which would have been equally attractive to me. I would not have got much use out of it, but just owning it would have given me pleasure.
As a teenager stationery was less important. My school pencil case would usually have been years old and in tatters, scrawled with band names and stinking of weed. My pens would either have been none existent or inadvertently (or, it pains me to admit, advertently) stolen from a hapless classmate who trusted me to return the pen at the end of the lesson, but whose trust proved unfounded. My respect for stationery, and those people rightfully claiming possession of individual items of stationery, was at a lifetime low. Sellotape, or any forms of tape for that matter, was entirely vacant from this era of my life. And to be honest I don't feel I was missing out on anything. Of all the things I regret doing or not doing as a teenager, ownership or usage of Sellotape is not one of them, one way or the other, it just didn't and still doesn't matter.
Three times in my life after leaving school I have worked in stationery shops. The first time I had the invented job title of 3rd key holder which meant I had to open up and close on Sundays when the manager and assistant manager couldn't be arsed. A few years later I returned temporarily to the same store as a generic customer service assistant. Further along in my life I worked in a different stationery shop, first as assistant manager and then for a short time as manager before I quit in sudden and rather dramatic fashion. As someone who likes drawing, painting and writing I couldn't help but build up a little collection of inks and special pens and drawing materials during these times, but never did Sellotape gain a special place in my heart. I'm sorry Sellotape, but you're just not adorable at all.
Having said all that I do like duct tape, a lot, and masking tape is very useful when painting, plus those multicoloured electrical tapes are awesome, just crying out for use in a collage or something. Sellotape, however, functions well in wrapping presents, but that's it - merely practical, nothing lovable.
What any of this has to do with July I really don't know. I'm not that imaginative. I don't write poetry.