I loiter near Current Events


“In the longer term there is no such thing, as dishonest happiness” I suggest  to some gentleman caught with me in a lift. “I’m sure your right” he says uneasily aware of the worn out shirt and slightly cultured voice. I start to grin , losing my grip, and finally cannot resist the impulse. I hear my voice saying; one gentleman to another, in a tone which still resonates with some authority “Do you have the price of a large scotch”. Rattled now, and longing for the doors to open, he scrabbles in his pocket for some change but only finds a note of decent value. Caught in the headlights of naked sensibility he pushes the note towards my unclean hand then vanishes through doors which finally release him.

I have a smile , normally torn from me in brief unguarded moments, and this is one. That I, a clawless vulture, should have stumbled on some prey in this unlikely setting. Normally I loiter somewhere outside current events. Read up on life through newspapers.  Shake my head and talk to passing trees about  indifference. Talk about the history of vanity: cultural or personal, or just me. I’m not that sure. Someone blown along the street by random impulse :a voyeur at the doors of  chance .  “Would sir enjoy a drink before the meal”, suggests the waiter in some restaurant,”  “Yes, I might, and do you have a roof as well”. My reply is unusually sure-footed.

I smile again, and celebrate the power  granted  me by embarrassment through perception. This though, is not the time to dwell on my lack of manners. That was some time ago, and in another place. I wonder once again, how I, who crashed through life as if an  untamed bear, should pause in mid stride now to ponder on a point of etiquette. And yet I wonder, once again about my level of  sanity.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Environment, Fiction, humour, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to I loiter near Current Events

  1. Jane says:

    Your writing creates the most enjoyable wonderings in my mind as I read.

    Like

  2. Another gem!

    I like the way you wonder about the level of your sanity, so gracefully expressed, as opposed to my reference to this state of mind in my latest post which says “I actually think I may be going loopy”. :). different words – same thing 🙂

    I have begun an attempt to delve into the world of prose; I am learnibg much from you.

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  3. Happiness is indeed dishonest.Sigh.

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    • It’s a point of view certainly. I consider that a dishonesty may matter little initially, but will grow to haunt you in time. Any sense of release or euphoria built on it will always be threatened.

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  4. Al says:

    I tried this once in an elevator. All it got me was handcuffed.

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  5. Julie says:

    I don’t know if I caught the full meaning of this Peter, but I think I did. It’s a sad story actually yet at the same time sort of hopeful and full of humanity. I thank you for sharing it with us.

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    • Always so nice to hear from you. I was trying to write in the mind set of one who has become disconnected from events, and whose mind now dwells on nuances and trifles amidst the wreckage of his circumstances. It’s not easy to pull off, and I’m not saying I did. I only added the line about sanity right at the end for those who had missed the point earlier in the story, including me probably. Ha Ha Ha

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  6. I wonder who was the inspiration for this. I am, for some reason, visualising a down-at-heel Boris Johnson, which makes me smile.

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    • Should I hit the jackpot, and Spielberg phones me with an urgent request to make a film with the character, I will certainly suggest Boris. Lets face it, his hairstyle is made for the part.

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  7. For whatever reason WordPress seems reluctant to allow me to “like.” Lovely way to start my morning and a delightful approach to the irony of perception.

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    • Very nice of you to comment. Yes WordPress have been a bit slip shod recently with the ‘Like’ button, and I’ve had the same problem. I’m glad you got some enjoyment out of it

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  8. Oh yes, I did enjoy this! I do often wonder what the ‘others’ think of us commuters, office workers, home owners and the like, and how they feel about our (obvious or desperately hidden) embarrassment….

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    • I agree with you. They live, almost on another plane amidst our ‘urgent journeys and meetings’. There lives have neither.

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      • Absolutely – when in fact they are dealing with the most urgent issue of all – survival. Against that backdrop, the rest of us with our constrcuted definitions of ‘urgent’ don’t know the first thing about ‘urgency’….

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  9. Interesting take on pan handling but so much more too. I’ve wondered about myself sometimes, like I’ve been disconnected. Write on! Oh, and thanks for visiting my blog, I appreciate it.

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  10. “Yes, I’m a bum. But I’m a Harvard bum.”

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  11. Peter,
    your words, descriptions, and whatever’s melt inside my mind. Xxx

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  12. sharipratt says:

    The title is provocative and the article a strange journey. Like life.

    Like

  13. mothermi6 says:

    ‘Dishonest happiness’ seems to happen all the time, & doesn’t count if anyone is injured by it. Of course, I am a purist & believe that honesty to those we say we care about (or even don’t care about) does honour to ourselves.
    Evangeline

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    • Firstly, I absolutely agree with you about honesty and it is lovely to hear you say so forcibly. I am suggesting that any happiness bought through dishonesty is tarnished, and gradually gets destroyed over time. A bad conscience makes a poor sleeping companion

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  14. In some respects we are all “untamed bears” some just hide it better than others.

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  15. Purely.. Kay says:

    This line “celebrate the power granted me by embarrassment through perception ” is absolutely phenomenal and says so much. Love

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  16. barbara says:

    Sometimes I wonder if these are people who’ve wandered through your life, or if you just conjure them. Either way, they fascinate me!
    b

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  17. Another thought provoking insight as to what goes on in the minds of others. I was prompted to think how this individual had found himself in this place and who he had been in the past.

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  18. fabulous piece of writing!

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  19. I must say, I’ve never seen life through the eyes of a panhandler. This was fascinating.

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    • I glad you enjoyed it. It’s interesting to think of people who think and act in a rational manner but slightly off the path of normal if you follow me. They have parallel lives in some ways. Appreciate you’re commenting

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  20. 1WriteWay says:

    I love this line: “I smile again, and celebrate the power granted me by embarrassment through perception.” Clever, you 🙂

    Like

  21. nelle says:

    Reminds me of a song, however tenuous the connection… Living On A Thin Line by the Kinks.

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  22. A narrative poem is how I’m reading your work. Very good! And thanks for following my blog.

    Like

  23. araneus1 says:

    I too often ponder on my ‘level of sanity’.
    Nicely done.
    Terry

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  24. Ah, it’s good to be back! I’ve missed your eloquent tales during my internet holiday. Hope you’ve been well these last few months 😉

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  25. That’s very amusing. I wish i could ask these questions in lifts! How very much improved would the lives of waiters be, huh!

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    • I was amused by the idea of either asking some acute question or making a profound observation to a stranger. Too profound for him to be able to dismiss you as a nutcase, but intrusive enough to make him uncomfortable. The fact that you ask for money as well is the final killer poor chap.

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  26. I think standing on the opposite side of where we are normally is a very good way of removing any judgmental attitudes and open us up to other perspectives. That is why I think we are as blessed as cursed to be writers – there are so many less right or wrong answers. Once again your writing is real and thought-provoking … but also from the heart. Diane

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