Another piranha in the Blogpond. Leeches in the mud, snake oil charmers, smart-ass-sassed college dropouts, beautiful brothers and sisters, too young and unformed to understand anything much about life beyond waking up each day to the immortal hangover that is the voracious spawn of our youthful attachment to greed and hedonism.
‘Be happy, like me, and do what you love!’
Cambrdge UK 1988, Wednesday morning, 08.36. I cycle up the hill past the County Council offices. I am a Kelly Girl, minus the perfect hair and pretty blouse fastened at the cuff. My arms are too long and I have no hair arranging skill. I climb the stone stairs of the brown brick 1960’s style municipal building. A wealth of the most romantic stone spires and sanctuaries dating back to the 14th century all around and my luck chooses this place. I hang up my coat. I enter the open plan room where a man my age looks at me with surprise. Then annoyance. Another temp to find pretend work for, staples to be ordered, stationary to be stacked. Another reminder of the blank wall that is his future at this moment. The office manager not yet arrived will soon be here to share the secret, his day made tolerable with the help of a stiff gin at 5 and the lifted skirt of whichever bullied secretary he manages to capture for 3 sad and wasted minutes.
“Where’s the loo?” I ask.
Averting my returning steps to the coat hook I am soon a blur as I fly back down the stone stairs, feet never touching the ground. A moment later and the walkman is plugged in, and with the sound of ‘Summer Madness’ vibrating through my body I’m gone, nary a backward glance at The Man or Kelly or anybody else who wants to bore a hole in my head.
So I’ve been there, piranhas. I dropped out of college too. I’d had enough of being told what to read, what to think and how to write. I just wanted to find out the point of life. I just wanted to feel it. I briefly looked at the inside of other corporate boxes too and smelled the suits and the ranking systems, the misogyny and the subordination, the smell of slow death and the sheer bloody pointless consumption of time and resources. I couldn’t stomach it. So I embraced transient jobs in retail and hospo, the kind of jobs where you learnt so much by observing. Other people, other people’s lives. Fodder for song writing and performing. That Wednesday moi et ma biciclette was my last foray on the hamster wheel. Big finger.
I realized that the top is always the top. Untouched. Untouchable except by birthright or exceptional dedication to suits, ranking systems, misogyny…….
So I created my own top. And I am happy here. But I wouldn’t try and sell it to you.
Virtual: def: implicit, unacknowledged, not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so. How easy it is to create a life on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, a website, a blog. They are all just another market place. Windowless edifices – literally. Easily penetrated, infiltration is easy and accountability is a shoot out at high noon then exile if you transgress to lose. Rejection from the ether. Structurally perfect and able to withstand everything as long as power is available – even outages cannot remove the happy virtual worlds we have constructed.
Piranhas are happy free creatures doing just what they want, where they want, when they want. With pictures. But they want to bottle it and sell it! The hook is the reflection of the life they tell us they are living. The key themes are living globally in different locations, having fun and….. that’s about it!
Everything changes. As you settle, have children, grow them, discover your parents are retiring, aging, becoming sick – every stage will change you and what you do. When you realise you are no longer the front wave of the set but watching the leading roller crash on ahead of you.
The happiness the piranhas in the Blogpond are trying to sell is but a candle alight in a pretty paper bag rising up up up until it combusts in a glorious instant. Transient, gone without a trace. Light another, and another, send out an armada of pretty paper bags. But fill them with your heart so that when they burst they will shower love. Let other people see your heart. What is real will make you happy.
I get excited when somebody new follows my blog but I am disappointed when it’s just another AWOLler or other species of piranha trying to sell me an empty bottle of nothin’. I blog to explore writing, to inhabit the innumerable corners of the mind in all its glory and gore. I guess you smelled the gore and came a-nibbling.