If I run uphill I’m out of breath
If I spend all of my money I’ve got no money left
If I place all of my chips on only one bet
I’m all in

Wandering in the evening with mental puppy dog allows for my brane to think on many things, and no things. Sometimes influenced by events, sometimes by the environ, sometimes by the whimsy that is my life. And as the time has come for me to move on, once again, to reinvent myself, once again, to wonder if, once again, I have overstretched myself, I look at what I am.

And it’s a surefire bet I’m gonna die
So I’m taking up praying on Sunday nights
And it’s not that I believe in your almight
But I might as well as insurance or bail

What do you think, in your old shorts and older teeshirt, when you see him, in his effortlessly scruffy trendy attire, the jacket at just the right angle, the stubble of the regulation colour, consistency and length? What do you imagine, when you see her, the twin triangles of daylight shining through the perfect black stilettos that hold her aloft, the perfect one-piece off-the-shoulder dress that ripples beneath the expertly curled perfect hair? What can you think other than you aren’t part of that lifestyle?

Cause institution’s like a big bright lie
And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fight
And you’ve been in the desert underneath the charging sky
It’s just you and God
But what if God’s not there?
But his name is on your dollar bill
Which just became cab fare

And these bright young things are hardly a one-off, either. The taxis pull up, and the beautiful people venture into the night, to engage with their beautiful friends, to party with the beautiful folk, to drink with the beautiful set, and indulge with other beautiful types. Cambridge-Town is full of them, the noveau riche, the trust funders, the old money, the right-place-right-timers, too old to be students, too young to be anything of substance. Their passport to the lifestyle stamped long ago.

For the Evangelist, the Communist, the Lefts and the Rights
And the hypocrites and the Jesuits and the blacks and the whites
It’s in the belly of the beast
In the Atlanta streets
Or up in Laurel Canyon
The verge of Middle East

The thing is, I have always knows such types. Always away skiing, discovering snowboarding, the latest fashion, the latest trend, the latest way to spend their stack of disposable cash. On the flip side, we have those who do nothing, never have, never will, no aspirations beyond that which the State give them, that which they think they deserve. I think I despise those more, the ones who think that they are owed a living, and get all the help on a plate but still make nothing of themselves, and in the end expect all they are given for free.

Still they’re dying on the dark continent
It’s been happening long enough to mention it
Have I mentioned my parents are getting back together again?
It’s been 25 years
Of spreading infection
Somehow we’re not affected

But I can reign in my bitterness, and my jealousy. If I could afford to do two skiing holidays a year, I would. If I could afford to send my progeny to private school, I would. I aspire (at least to the former, I am running out of time for the latter, and besides, schools round this way are fine). I strive towards it. Sure, I get the jealous pangs, but one day. So that is that emotion dealt with. The bitterness is harder, because I see how much the State steals from me, to no decent effect. (And in my new reinvention, I will be paying more tax than I earned a year in my second, third and fourth jobs post-university. Not combined, mind.) I will hold on to the bitterness. That is easy. There are plenty of examples to quote, but why bother? I evidently don’t understand, not living on benefits, not being illiterate nor innumerate. Just another (soon-to-be) middle-aged white male snob. sigh[0]

So my mom, she brushes her hair
And my dad starts growing Bob Dylan’s beard
And I share with my friends a couple of beers
In the Orlando streets
In the belly of the beast

I amn’t part of The Machine, though. Sure, I play by some of the rules, but not all. And as I do get older, and the chances for all those things I never did, never tried, slip away, I am paying less heed to them. But not all of them. We all still have our obsessions.

So I consider getting my hair cut, dressing better, and smoking a pipe. Why not do these things? Do I think I will become just another anonymously average normal in the grey commuting cloud? Just another mindless, faceless drone being sucked into, and spat out of, the machinery of London? Too old, too inconsequential, too bland? Actually, yes.

Stock and photographed

You are just damage control for a walking corpse like me

[0]You know, I am not really as stupidly self-obsessed as this sounds. Just another brahma queen.

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It is a well-known fact that the Stray Taoist (nee Toaster) isn't as internally consistent as he thinks he is. Welcome to his world.

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