The Big Promotion

The cuts on his hands told the tale of an individual unused to creams and unguents, and man for whom shaving was an occasional necessity and bathing a luxury. He smelled. It was hard to see the cuts on his hands and arms for the thin but extensive layer of dirt and the matted hair which covered much of his body. His eyes could be seen though – jewels shining from murky recesses. Not shining brightly. But shining. A glimmer. Less a glimmer than coloured embers: yes, that was it. Fires almost put out, but persisting, just, refusing and protesting and fighting. Persisting through a weary battle.

He had seen so much. He would have talked about it if he talked about anything. He had seen greed and stupidity and selfishness. He recalled his previous life, the life he lead before the big change – and there was always a big change, all his friends had experienced one and would even talk about what happened to them, early in the morning, sometimes, if there was no-one around and other circumstances were right – he had just been granted an office, with nice view, and his shirts were crisp and new and he spent the day alternately thinking about how much he could earn and what cool things he could do with the money, and which of the secretaries he would bone, and in what order. These thoughts made him happy. They occupied his mind for many happy hours as he overlooked the park and considered his options for the next meal to come. Friday lunch with mates? Something special with Ticky? Solo dinner in the Cross, followed by a lap dance? Each questioning thought had a good answer, an answer that made him feel good.

He smiled a lot.

The park was a constant fascination. What people were doing down there – to each other, to themselves, what they were planning to do. The park was society in a microcosm: the whole world, with fountains and paved walkways, and trees and shrubs and petals, and laughter amongst and between friends and happy strangers sharing the park and rejoicing in the sunshine. It was good and bad, the park. He liked to think of the good, but he couldn’t ignore the bad.

And now he lived the bad. In the same park he used to overlook. And he was not happy – not in the same way – but he was free, and that was a release.

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Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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