Habitually I see my townsmen at work doing penance, for why else should they commit themselves to such drudgery, if not for a higher cause? Certainly not for a 1998, nor 2008, nor certainly a 2018 Ford powered carriage? For who thinks upon the carriages of 1898, and who will think upon the carriages of 2018 with any more grandeur in the next era?
So I can only assume it is with the holiest of thoughts, the purest of intentions that any would carry on in this way, like carrion upon the corpses of the corporate back roads… often for 40 years, or 45, or still longer intervals of servitude.
Imagine my shock, if that word hits hard enough, when I see rather it’s for a detached stable of carriages each larger than the last, and a collection of retina displays each thinner than the last, that is the force majeure.
I can hardly believe my retinas, and in fact rub them quite vigorously, as if I can urge them through the vigor of my hands, to see otherwise.
The Social Media Drive-thru
When I peruse the life stories of the masses ‘making a living’, so eloquently presented on social media, one begins to wonder if they themselves own the possessions or the other way around. When the other half of the visual treats are their dinner you realize the genius behind the advent of the drive-thru.
It’s as if they were chasing after something they can never get ahold of, like the adult perpetually one swing behind in a game of whack a mole; whom at long last connects mallet to mole, only for two more to spring up on either side.
Wanting for means to strike them in a stroke of brilliance he lifts both legs as if giving birth, only to fall to the floor, six pence the worse. Now further in debt and looking the fool, he gets angry at the game, spurring forth great vitriol at the system, as clearly this game has made folly of the working man’s attempt to conquer it.
His time spent looking at his phone, a metaphor in itself for ill mannered ignorance, has left him wanting for words to express this angst, so with much haste he copies and pastes. Thereupon with solemn duty, with a diligence seldom achieved at work, he checks upon it each quarter, every waking hour, for a blue thumb of approval, living vicariously through someone else’s prose.
On Our Efforts to Save Time
8 yrs a slave, a self-subjugation, the common vassalage required in recompense for the 2020 model year of carriage; fitting I suppose, as it now comes with three hundred and ninety five horses to pull it. What once would have carried 395 men now pulls a single one, with room for four others. A life of loud, rumbling solitude the apparent end goal.
The carriage, of course, purchased so one can arrive at the proper time for his servitude. He dare not leave his post early, for he might lose the means to pay for his ride there. 8 years!
One dares not tally the sum, for it invariably equals the effort to push the chariot back and forth, to and from work for those very same eight. And certainly we would need to insure these grand carriages, for if anything should ever happen to them, why we shall not be able to go to work to pay for our means to arrive there. This brings our total to 9 years.
Have you ever noticed the wider the smile, the shorter it is held? For their thoughts are soon to be on other matters; financial, and the time required.
If only we had the time to think; the laments of forfeited time gone astray and the fruits of fewer thoughts we need not bear.
And what to do if we fall in this pit, through some deceptive parlance of a peddler? Has our carriage become our outward appearance, our identity, as if our very being follows it; like a delicate bubble follows the blower of the soapy wand that created it.
Look to the clever snake who sheds his old skin with no damage to his own character. Surely, it may be a bit rough as he does away with the former, but he comes out as energetic and well-made as before, if not moreso. What may happen to his already forgotten past he cares not, instead sliding happily to his next adventure, faster for the lack of encumbrance.
In Irons for Steel
They fabricate their own chains, made of the latest fashions and newest trends. As they age they become ever the more so filled with the knowledge that these chains may be stolen, or lured away from them in some devious fashion. Thus they fashion many locks and keys and passwords.
Locks for the keys and passwords for the locks such as they might hold on to the chains but a little longer, yet failing to perceive the anchor at the end of their chain, their efforts as tears on a river. Always on edge, like a goose on guard for her gander, eyes darting from perceived threat to her prize and back again.
And who’s to blame them for this is the summation of their life’s toils? When they whip the reins and drive their carriage from the lot they leave with a promise to pay for it; not with today’s money but with tomorrow’s time.
And when they are, at the end of their days, finally put to rest with coin still owed (as they had not found the time before it caught up to them), it is asked from the estate, duly dealt with, of course, out of the next of kin’s time, or shall we say the next to sin in this dark dance to the grave.
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it”Henry Thoreau