A Thinking Man’s Thought

Imagine actually having time to think, do people really do get actual time to think? Do they really get five minutes to actually get to think and thought upon the great inner most mysteries of life? What do they take out? Between getting up in the morning, making sure that you have the best possible out fit for the day ahead, doing a good honest day’s work and coming home to dinner and television, where do you get five minutes to think and ponder on life’s dilemmas?

Maybe it’s a college thing, guess that’s what it has to be. Forget doing real busy people work. Just drink, smoke, have sex and above all think. That’s what students do these days. Never mind actually studying for their degrees and worrying about getting a real job, while they piss about in some coffee shop that no one gives a shit about when they also try and make it with a broken guitar and a band who really are only in it for sex. Nobody cares about the art anyone in it, about making good music. If you can sing Wonderwall and get your hole; it has been a very good day.

After I retire I might think. When I finally don’t have to worry about some balance sheet or some non-existent current account and I get to stay in bed all day. Those will be the days when I get to think and get to “open my mind”, like really when you look at our lives today, and I’m being really nice about this, when you look at the people around me in their small cubicles, do we every get actual time to get to split and break apart from this? I’m not saying go all American Beauty or anything like that, those people can drown themselves in their designer coffees and over prices shirts, but do they ever get to sit back and think?

My son asks me to all the time. Dad, who do you vote for? What do you think of the same sex marriage referendum? Fancy the Liverpool manager to keep his job next season? Does he really think I have time to think about that? Will stopping all day and pontificating over a man who will never know that I even exist while he earns three hundred grand a week.

Back when I was younger alright I was into it. But back then the players would be playing with passion, throwing themselves into tackles and putting their heart and souls on the pitch to try and win the big honours. The FA Cup was something Godlike, something wish you dreamed of reaching. These days it is all about the money. Me? I prefer rugby mostly, something where likeminded people who you would recognize from working in the offices and around the city can meet up and talk about lives most inner most issues while hopefully Munster can get a result. That’s what I enjoy over your Premier League shite.

I even gave my paying for my box for the television. What was the point? The only thing it was good for was taking up space in the front room. Recently I discovered the internet so all my favourite shows and whatnot are online, whenever I want to see them. Absolutely fantastic idea if you want me to be honest with you.

That’s one of the few things I can say I do really enjoy about the changing of the times. Footballs gotten shit, my phone has gotten bigger and harder to use, and my wife is certainly harder to please, but every night when I go home I know waiting for me at nine is the new episode of Blue Bloods on my laptop computer and all I need to do is flick a button.

Medicine is coming along just as well too. I remember when I was younger when my Granddad (God rest his soul) was sick and told to cut down on his smokes that things where against him; he was basically being told to go off and b a coffin. Now there days they have tablets to make you feel better and to make the whole thing as easy as getting up in the morning! Amazing if you ask me! In fact, my GP was even saying during my bi annual check-up last month that they may even have found something to solve my hair problem.

As much as I love my Granddad, really wish he didn’t give me his hair! I’m only 45 and I have the hair of a Muppet, I think Dr Bunsen or something along those lines, never cared too much for cartoons growing up. Al my family loved them, my Nan too, Saturday nights would be spent down in the front room all of them watching television, laughing and joking about the mishaps of some poor man while my Granddad deck after deck of his smokes.

My Granddad, there was a man for you! He would be up at six, even on the coldest most frosty winter mornings with his tool box doing bits and bobs for my Nan around the house. Against the harsh winter rains e would be out cleaning and fixing things for my Nan. Originally he was an army man, braving himself in the army, in the Congo. He never talked about it though. I tried to draw it up to him, for some project back when I was in school, but he just shrugged me off saying that he wasn’t a real soldier at all. My Nan told me shut up about it and don’t bring it up anymore. Being six and seven, of course I pressed for the tiniest pieces of information.

Eventually when he was old and grey and even he himself knew that the gutter wasn’t going to get fixed he told me. All my childish dreams and thoughts couldn’t have prepared me for what I heard. There were no heroic adventures of killing fourteen evil soldiers or saving a small family from a burning building under heavy gunfire; just a small story of a burned out hut and bodies sizzling under the midday sun.

I never had an adventure like that. I was never off in a far off country away with a machine gun and set of rules to keep myself alive. The closest thing I came to that was when I was in final year of college trying to get out a nightclub when I knew I had too much to drink. Regardless of all that though, when my Granddad was dead and buried and everything was laid to rest, my then girlfriend Angela asked me through her rattling teeth in the graveyard, “Do I regret not being like him?”

In all, it is a question which I have thought a lot about. Whenever I do get a chance to think my mind drifts back to that question over the headstone. What do you want me to say? That it was nice being safe? That everything was worth it in the end with a well-paying job, knowing that I never had a decent story to tell and I could never fill the room with a great tale of death, destruction and heroism.

In truth, every time the thought beckons, no matter if at Christmas or Easter, I could be after winning the lotto and my head swimming in euphoria or away relaxing in the west, I crash. A shovel tears through my middle class cushion I have built and struggled for over the years and I can hear him laughing at me and sneering. I have spent a lifetime playing it safe. While he had a lavish collection of medals to his name, what do I have; a growing collection of bills and a bitch of a wife who doesn’t give me as much as an inch.

But I tell you: things are going to change. You better mark my word. When the weekend hits, I’m going to go out there, find a nice pub or spot and meet a girl. Maybe even get stuck and actually hit someone. Going to take a few pints and not show up for work in the morning THEN come in and tell the story. My wife will wonder, but they’ll be another story there for her. Things will add up, my son will try and snap and give out about something that I surely don’t care about, and do you want to know what I’m going to do…

I’m going to…

I am going to…

Show up for work. Do my little bit, collect my pay check and go home to a loving wife and son and forget about this whole insurrection. Why should I be like this in the first place? Stupid television, thank god I got rid of it.

But someday I’ll have a story to tell and when I have grandchild of my own, they can look up to me and say with glazed eyes, “WOW” and instead of being a satire on everything, I’ll be hanging up on my fridge with a little drawing. Like my Granddad was, before the funeral and growing up. Before turning 45 and when I could think.


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