… because that f*cker ain’t ever going to come.
Warnings for: swearing, whinging, self pity, & a near death experience
I had planned to write about yesterday, when two cars nearly hit me on a crossing near our home. Whilst I was in the middle of the crossing. With the green man on. (1)
The driver of the car between me and the pedestrian island on the other side decided that a flashing green light meant, not “proceed with caution”, but rather “clog it”. So, it appeared, did at least one of the drivers whose cars were heading toward me.
Fortunately, they stopped. But not until I stamped my feet and screamed something like “Stop, fuck you! I’m in the middle of the fuckin’ road for christsake!”
Am I apologetic about my bad language? Am I hell. I had an operation on Thursday (2), and I’m moving more slowly than usual. Of course, I didn’t really have a near death experience: not only was there no white light or welcoming relatives, I probably wouldn’t have died, just ended up in hospital and on crutches and sticks for months, years, and/or the rest of my life.
But this isn’t about careless drivers, or even those bloody cyclists who think they can cycle, at speed, on a footpath – the footpath, for pity’s sake! – and come up behind a pedestrian, without ringing a bell, saying “Excuse me”, or anything else. Not that ringing a bell would help people who are hard of hearing, wrapped up in their own little worlds, or not fast enough to get out of the way of an arse-up-their head bloody cyclist.
No, this is about the seemingly endless desire we stupid humans have for approval. And no worries, I am most definitely one of those thicko humans, so if you feel insulted, remember, I’m insulting myself, too.
I loved my mum & dad to bits, and I know they loved/love me. And, as well as lessons in manners and other useful stuff, I received praise and approval as a child.
Then, after awhile, it dried up. Because, more often than not, that’s just the way these things go.
You want to do something? Then do it. Be it art, writing, being the best knitter this side of Milton Kenyes, the ultimate in extreme ironers, the fittest you’ve ever been, just do it.
Dye your hair for you. Bake that cake for you: yes, even if you end up giving the whole damn thing away, because it’s a present and that’s what you always planned to do. If you stop eating cake, stop it for you, not some tosser who thinks you should be slimmer. That goes whether the tosser is a friend, partner, relative, or some idiot you saw on the telly, or in a magazine.
Of course, you probably do have (some) relatives and friends who celebrate your achievements, and realise what’s important to you, is important to you, because it’s important to you. I do, too. Damn it, the playwright Robert Bolt said it so much better than me, in “A Man for All Seasons“, but I haven’t seen my copy of the play in years, & I don’t have time to stop and look for it, because I have a short story collection to be getting on with.
Because I want to. Because it’s important to me. And because I can’t hang around for the approval ship to turn up, just in case it’s hit that big bad iceberg of indifference.
And I need to get a move on because death doesn’t hang about, either.
(1) For those who aren’t familiar with British traffic signals, the green man is a light which tells pedestrian it’s safe to cross the road.
(2) I do wish I could apologise to the postman who was in earshot when I later shouted, “I’ve just had a fucking operation, for fuck’s sake!”