Salty water stings my lips as the sunlight warms my skin.
And the man selling water stumbles on a girl who rolled over to quickly.
The child and his dad bury a jelly fish, as their mother takes picture on her iPhone.
And a tanned girl does a handstand, hoping one of the boys nearby sees;
All the boys see.
And nothing is wrong and that’s alright.
December, ah December.
If the year was a pizza, December would be the fun filled stuffed crust, just waiting to be dipped into the last bit of garlic sauce and greedily gobbled up; washed down by the heady excitement of the New Year*.
The year has flown by; much has changed, much has not. I examined my face in the mirror this morning (something which normally terrifies me), hunting for the extra wrinkles and the receding hairline that I hoped would prove I was indeed one year older, and by inference (and more importantly) one year wiser.
Unfortunately, there was no clue, no evidence. If anything, the very fact that I was standing in my pants and socks and singing Christmas carols whilst tying to find traces of ‘wisdom’ in my own face belies what I’ve suspected for sometime now – that I am in fact becoming simpler, more idiotic as time passes. This isn’t so bad – if only I could grow younger at the same time.
*I have no idea if this metaphor has any value or not – I bought it online, along with all my other presents, and there is a ‘no returns’ policy
-Photo – Celeste Hibert
This morning when I woke up, I realised that when I get tired of work, women, London and takeaways, there is nothing better than to go back and home and swim in the river of my youth.
That would be an awful metaphor, but, luckily, it’s also the physical truth.
I hate time. I hate the way it taunts us. The more of it I live through – and therefore the less of it I have left – the less I understand it.
Whilst waiting for a special moment, a special day, whole months worth of time stretch out into what feel like years, only for that moment to flash by in an instant when it arrives. I guess that’s why people say live for the moment, live in the present. It’s something that I am just really coming to realize, that to truly value you life, you must truly value your time. I spend 8 or 9 hours a day at work, which – baring a lottery win (doubtful if I never buy a lottery ticket) or marry some rich old spinster (I’ve had pitifully little interest, despite being open to all offers) – I am likely to have to do for possibly another 30 years of my life (70,200 hours). Taking away time spent asleep, time spent doing all the stuff which one doesn’t want but needs to do (laundry, cleaning, shopping and stuff) and time spent explaining to my parents how to log on to internet banking, I suddenly realized that I don’t have that much ‘me’ time left. As the slow cold chill of my mortality slowly creeps up my spine, I realize that I have 2 options:
1. Get off my ass, and get out there. Seize the day and live for the moment. As Carl Sandburg wrote -”Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you”
2. Get off my ass, get down the cornershop, spend all my savings on lottery cards, then get my self on hotrichcougars.com to find a sugar mumm…er.. my one true love.
I think we all know which of the 2 options makes more sense, so, excuse me – enough with the procrastination I have photos to upload and numbers to pick out.
wake with alarm
try to comb hair
catch the bus
miss my cat
Yesterday I bought the groceries from the supermarket, scanning the items myself and paying for them without even swiping my card. As I shopped, I used a device that fits in my pocket to view a photo, posted seconds earlier, by a friend on the other side of the planet. A device that is hundreds of times more powerful than desktop computers I used at work less than a decade ago.
For some of us, the future arrived a while back. I don’t think we even noticed; as we were impatiently waiting for flying cars and teleportation devices, we actually got robotic limbs, 3D printers and radio controlled cars on Mars. At times, even science fiction fantasy can’t keep pace with our science fiction reality.
Unfortunately not everyone benefits from life in the future – we all know that billions still live in abject poverty, lacking even the most basic health care or sanitation. What makes it worse, some of these are forced into virtual slavery to build our latest must have gadgets. To think about this makes me feel a weird mix of self hate and sadness. At times it’s overwhelming.
William Gibbson once wrote – “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed”.
He was right.
The TV drones away in the background as I try to sleep. I am uncomfortable. I’m too hot, and my pyjamas are twisted under the bed sheets. I never could sleep in the same room as a TV. I feel like someone is watching me. I get up, stretch and walk over to the open window. I glance over to the TV as I light up my last cigarette. I should have quit years ago, like all my old friends did. Me being me though, I continued secretly smoking away, whilst announcing to anyone who asked that I barely touched them – ‘Just when I had a drink’. Now though, I couldn’t care less. Those who quit had a reason to do so – they developed hobbies which required them to be fit, or met partners who encouraged them to quit. Some had kids.
Staring out of the window, I saw an old fox trotting up the empty street. It stopped to sniff at an overfull bin, then looked over in my direction. I stared back. In that moment I felt a connection. Something under that moon linked me and this old fox. Out there, in the street fending for itself, living day to day. I thought it was about to reveal something to me, a secret of this world. I waited. Then the fox’s head moved slowly. I realised that it wasn’t staing at me, but an empty polystyrene takeaway box beng blown past my window by the gentle breeze.
I cursed, threw the stump of my cigarrette out of the window, flicked off the TV and went back to bed.