Slapped flat by the realisation
that the Darwinian top-shelf isn’t your bag, the urge to
slink back rolls in, strong as waves, but with more liberty, one
resorts to fatalism in the face of too little shifts at the
restaurant and too many bills to pay, walking is free
and it clears the head but the high rises
at the sea edge tease and torment. The voyeuristic
prying on unrestrained wealth curls into obsession
study hard, you’ll get a better job if you make it
on that diet of 2 minute noodles and toast.
A series of thoughts obeyed blindly, he knew misfortune well.
Glass and knives in the parking lot, crowbar clashes, whatever’s
on hand. Fights climbing up from the gutter for a fix, rage fueled
and ready for knuckles, tornadoes of fists many against one, to our
knowledge he never killed but fought underground for cash
high on power, the absence of guilt, staggering. Across the
Cross, trawling for hits, governed by a certain code, he never punched
a man who wasn’t looking. Never with guns but he faced one
screaming “Kill me! I have nothing!” and never faltered once, wanting so much
to avoid becoming the coward father he never knew, face flowering angry blues,
one eye swollen shut, he met a mixed martial arts champ on the train and
almost lost, jumping platforms, running the stairs, a thought in the mind
rolled over twice, perhaps he’s not the Invincible Man.
The student shudders under his book at her dashing entrance. The blue dress, the white under skirt, the strength of her sexual enthusiasm wafts over on her perfume.
She takes her dress off on the train and parades around in her yellow underwear, six sequins on her bra straps. She says her boyfriend is a liar.
A man up the front hides a long neck VB, drunker than Christmas. He hollers at her to “put her clothes on, there are children on the train”. The student marvels at her almost endearing insolence as she gives him the finger and spits on an empty seat. A certain triumph in her bleary eyes. The suit by the door avoids her stare while the man with the little trolley smiles with pitying condescension.
She has an animal joy, burning with damaged self-esteem. The traffic cops pick her up descending like the gods of war. The drunk laughs and laughs and spills his beer, having avoided a fine. She laughs too, as the cops take her by the arm, swinging her arse as she saunters on, singing in Russian. The student watches as the train moves on.
This post is brought to you by ‘book dipping’. Which unfortunately doesn’t involve wading naked through piles of loose leaf paper.
Though I’m sure there is a blog post somewhere that covers that niche if you’re into it. ‘Book dipping’ is like ‘Bible dipping‘ but less creepy; flip to a random page, scan it and pick a word that stands out. BAM subject acquired.
No, it’s not a disease commonly found in domestic cats. It refers to the idea that a person’s given name reflects aspects of their personality rather than being an arbitrary word (but the theory extends beyond proper names to encompass all language)¹. According to the Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory the word is native to Plato, appearing in his dialogue Cratylus.
¹Cuddon, J, 1999, Cratylic in Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, Penguin Books, London, England,p191.
As I’m off being an obnoxious tourist, this episode of Mind Food Monday will be slipped into your acoustic canals by Philip Zimbardo (@PhilZimbardo), professor of psychology at Stanford University. Here he discusses different attitudes towards time and how these attitudes impact our lives. Video courtesy of the gorgeous people at RSA. Visit their website to keep up to date with new lectures and articles. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel (highly recommended), follow them on Twitter or catch new content via their Facebook page.
Past, present or future orientated, which are you and how does it impact your quality of life?