Post XVII

I’ve Got To Stop Getting Off Tra – Aww, Look At That Squirrel.

I remember it like it was yesterday. In reality, it was actually the day before yesterday, so my knowledge of remembering it isn’t really significant in any way other than to fill some space in a rather mundane, ordinary, chocolate filled life. I like chocolate. You can never get enough chocolate. People like to think you can. ‘Death by Chocolate’ is a great example. It’s never actually killed anyone so it has the least threatening name of anything. You’re more likely to die eating ‘Coco Pops’ or trying to get your friend to blow your head up like in that awesome movie. I tried that once. He said he felt slightly queasy. I think that justifies a full scientific study. Mind you, he did just have a huge chocolate cake. Might be something to this ‘death by chocolate’ malarkey. I mean, he didn’t actually die but he was nearly run over. I think the world of ‘nearly’ or ‘slight’ science is a burgeoning wonderful new field I’ve just founded there. Or it could be a coincidence. But there’s no such thing as coincidence. Or maybe that’s a coincidence. Hmm – fate or coincidence. Which came first?

I was on a course this week. Not a driving course. Or a white water course, which was a brilliant out-of-the-box suggestion from others. Why would I go on a white water course? Seriously. I cannot swim. I don’t care if I have a lifejacket. I was on water once with a lifejacket on and the bloody harness snapped and I nearly drowned. All my life I’ve been trying to swim and I keep drowning. I end up in some water, told I’d be fine, and the harness snaps. I think this is a great example of God not wanting humans to go in the water. That or it is a coincidence. Or fate. Hmm – this sounds familiar.

It was a retail-training course, and it involved lots of paperwork. I mean, bucket loads of paperwork. Nobody likes doing paperwork. When you think of retail, ‘paperwork’ doesn’t jump to mind. You think of angry customers yelling at you. The British consumer is incredibly savvy when it comes to retail. We haggle. In major electronic stores, we do something no other country does. We haggle for a lower price. It’s all based on market research that suggests it works. And it does. It’s not illegal. It’s a shop after all. It’s not like the USA. They’re all far too friendly, they have high-pitched accents that always end in inflections, and they don’t really communicate. In the UK, they put their arm around you. In the US, they make you feel like you’re not American. They avoid you like a disease. I’m not criticizing – I’ve been to America three times and they are genuinely the nicest people on Earth. I think even they must admit, though, that their shop workers aren’t doing the rest of them justice. I hear English people, who have a natural tendency to not like the USA anyway, talk down on how terrible their shop workers are. Too friendly, too pushy – just generally annoying. I know different. Others don’t. I’ve always been fascinated by differences in cultures. But I have given up defending the USA. It’s a pack thing. Hate them and you’re accepted. I’ve lost a few friends for strong opinions against what the majority believe. That was part of it. I’m going back to the USA one day in the future. New Yorkers made me feel very welcome. I think that’s the primary connection between the two cultures. Both countries have a negative image that isn’t true.

One thing about our stores is this – there are lots of them on many high streets. We have big stores but not only big stores. There’s one in my town that hasn’t changed its interior and exterior since the late 1800s. And the guy running it, in his 80s, has worked there as an engravers for more than 50 years. You just don’t get that anymore. The times, they are a-changin’ wrote Dylan. I’m not such which one. I don’t think it was Dylan Thomas. Although that song would sound hilarious in a Welch accent. It’d actually suit Wales. They’re always moaning. What was my point? Oh yeah, life aint easy. That’s obvious. I just need a home and a job. Not in that order. If that were the way people functioned in life, it’d be a very strange world. “Okay love, get the house then find a job. Then buy some goldfish food, then buy a goldfish”. Stupid me.

My point is thus – this retail training, no matter how much I’m going to struggle with it, no matter how hard it becomes, no matter how tedious, it could lead to a job. Okay, the job is mediocre. Yeah, it’ll be hard. But there comes a point when everyone has to grow up. I’m always going to struggle in life, I’ll never conquer my shyness except when I’m talking to you pixel people, but my own home? A life to lead? That’s not too much to ask. I suppose what I’m saying is this: three years ago, I fell for a beautiful ginger haired girl with a ginger attitude and I didn’t tell her. Two years past, and we said goodbye and something, perhaps optimism, has been lost since then. Now, I feel, even if it is a brief flicker, that there may be some optimism on the horizon once more.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending” – Maria Robinson. Truer words have never been spoken. Now all we need to do is find out if fate came before coincidence.

Peace out :|:

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