Last night I woke up and finally understood the existential answers to the questions posed by my life. The nature of restlessness and desire to travel. How to avoid hurting those I loved if I selfishly left. I finally figured out what I needed to do to move forward and grow as a person. Time travels slower before dawn. Happy knowing I had attained the knowledge we all seek I dozed off. My alarm woke me at six thirty and my hazy recollections of enlightenment evaporated with the morning mists.
Last week I met with some old colleagues from the fire brigade. A few of them had been pushed into retirement due to health problems. Good men dropped like hot coals as soon as a risk averse government agency gets a whiff of compensation claims. Which is a shame as I suspect they’d unanimously waive the right to compensation in return to being able to continue contributing to their community. Or maybe not, I cannot see inside their heads. What would I know.
‘We only get one life’ has been a mantra inside my head for a good many years now. Turning fifty just turned the volume up. I am heartily sick of it. I for one refuse to abide by this foolish notion. Obviously, I am aware of mine and your mortality, pft… I’m not religious. However, this one life thing is patent nonsense. Some might say, ‘the details of my life are quite inconsequential‘ which may be true when you decide to be boring about it. I could sit under a tree with a flagon of wine and bang on about all the interesting and stupid things I’ve lived through or done. If I did I’d no doubt die from cirrhossis of the liver and early cognitive decline and that’d be boring too. If I was a long playing record you would have just flipped me onto side B. In reality I feel more like an overstretched and much spliced TDK C90 cassette tape.
This life thing is one giant hack. What to do with my chewed up mix-tape life? The damage induced by friends who selfishly and selflessly die; the overstretched ‘tyranny of distance’; old and distant friendships waning and not least my professional life which constantly highlights my increasing proximity to death. Up until recently I was working hard on my fitness, out-running the Reaper. I should have remembered he has a fricking horse and it’s called Binky. Not worrying overly about these external things and continuing with my usual stravages would seem to be the answer. If only I hadn’t dozed off.