Inspired by a long talk with my friends O and Steve who challenge me to take life more seriously and to excel myself.
The motorcade slowly inches its way through the crowded streets preceded by weaving motor cycles carrying men bought to perform stunts. Music funnelled out of half open windows, blaring horns, howling sirens and people massed in grotesque postures; sticking out of open car doors and perched atop yet more cars are the hallmark of the day. A benumbing mix of people is assembled, all dressed in matching black clothes waving black handkerchiefs and bearing a large portrait of a man, who they eulogize in song. Presently the hearse bearing the ornately carved box bearing his remains comes into view surrounded by more men dressed in black and roving cameras ostensibly placed to capture the gaiety of the celebration for posterity’s sake.
Once upon a time, the Man had potential coupled with loads of opportunities to turn them into the building blocks of a difference making life. Great schools, focused parents who spared no expense within the limits of reasonableness, books and people all around who breathed success. It certainly didn’t hurt that a couple of seniors took an interest in the development of the precocious talent that he was. Perhaps it was the ‘curse’ of ability that did him in; having to work little to excel which beguiled him into believing that life would just happen. Or it was the overly sheltered existence that ill prepared him to brace up for the harsh reality that life was. Or maybe it was the particularly heart wrenching break up with her, that finally put the nail to the coffin of his potential.
Whatever it was, Life happened. Time squeezed the essence out of his dreams. One reverse after another forced him to scale back his expectations. His dreams ended up petrified into nightmares and pulverized into broken bits far removed from their original form. He, rather than get off his backside and do something today, chose to hold on to fantasies of a better tomorrow – sacrificing the opportunities to garner little gains for the imagined successes of tomorrow without having a plan for getting there.
The man died; his life snuffed out by that catch all phrase ‘a brief illness’. In reality the Man died when his dreams died and his spirit broke; his only claim to fame being the sumptuous feast put up by his friends, the ones who didn’t have as much ability but made up for it with loads of effort and loyalty.
The Man died and then the man died….