Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

A letter for my friends

Lonely Crocodile loved receiving letters. Every day he would open his dark blue front door and walk briskly down the short cobbled path that led through his neatly kept garden to his small green letterbox, prickling with anticipation.

Once upon a time, Lonely Crocodile had many friends and would receive many letters from them, though they lived close and visited often. Sometimes, there were too many to read over breakfast. Lonely Crocodile would receive so many letters that sorting through and replying to his many letters became a chore, though deep down he still enjoyed reading them. Time passed, and Lonely Crocodile and his friends grew older and though he sometimes tired of their company, he'd never admit it for he still loved them.

Eventually, both Lonely Crocodile and his friends grew apart, though not from spite; many of them moved to distant places to pursue new lives and explore new regions. Travel did not interest Lonely Crocodile; he liked his little house with its blue door and green letterbox and neat garden. Though his friends were now far away, they still sent their many letters. Lonely Crocodile would still read their letters but became complacent about replying to them; tending his garden and cleaning his little house kept him occupied and he would forget about his friends and their letters for a time.

After a while, the number of letters Lonely Crocodile received began to dwindle. Eventually, only a handful of letters would arrive every few months or so. Suddenly, sorting through and replying to those many letters, something that had become mundane, a chore, became something that Lonely Crocodile yearned for. When a letter arrived, Lonely Crocodile now became quite excited; if it was from an old friend, inner delight bloomed and spread his smile wide, though there was no-one around to notice. He would rush inside, sit by the kitchen window that looked out over his manicured garden and in the warmth of the morning sun, he would read and re-read and re-read again.

At length, when he had repeatedly read the letter through, he would gather his stationery and dwell on a suitable reply. He would carefully compose his response, ensuring he answered any questions the sender had asked and in turn posing queries of his own; how was so and so, have you traveled anywhere interesting lately and so on (Lonely Crocodile had noted that his friends never enquired as to his travels for they knew he was not interested in leaving his little house). When he did receive a new letter, Lonely Crocodile noticed something else; his friends no longer answered the questions he asked of them.

Yet more time passed and the letters became rare. Lonely Crocodile had not received a letter in a long time, so long he could barely recall. Still, every morning, Lonely Crocodile would open his dark blue door, trot down his neatly kept garden path to his green letterbox and, slightly dry of mouth, open the wooden letterbox lid.

This bright morning, tickled by warmth and a mellow breeze, Lonely Crocodile approached his letterbox. His heart leapt as he unlatched and raised the lid; a white flicker from within. He stuck a scaly hand into the letterbox and eagerly withdrew the letter. His heart sank as he beheld the words on the envelope: YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY WON!

Lonely Crocodile trudged back to his front door and quietly slipped inside. His green wooden letterbox remained unopened the next day, and the day after that. Lonely Crocodile would occasionally check on his way out to run an errand, but this too became rare. There were never any friendly letters anyway. Lonely Crocodile thought less about his garden, his house, his green letterbox. Weeks passed, then months, then years.

On a particular morning, a rather bleak and grey one, damp with drizzle, Lonely Crocodile sat at his kitchen table and thought. He thought for a long, long time; were you to see him, you might think him asleep despite his wide, distant gaze, so quiet and still was he. Eventually, having apparently come to a decision, he rose from the table.

A few months later, three crocodiles arrived at Lonely Crocodile's front gate, chatting happily amongst themselves, knowing laughs at private jokes. They swung the gate open, surprised at the rasping squeal of the hinge. They regarded this house they had visited so often; the green paint on the letterbox was peeling, the garden overgrown. A few catalogues sat by the letterbox; they collected these and walked up the cobbled path, weeds crunching underfoot.

They reached the familiar dark blue front door and knocked; once twice, three times. They waited for one minute, two.

Perhaps he's not home?

Perhaps he's moved!

Moved? Lonely Crocodile? Even if he had, he'd surely have mentioned it, though it has been some time since we last spoke. It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we let him know we were coming though would it?

They made their way across the garden to the kitchen window and peered through the layer of dust that had collected on the once gleaming windows. The kitchen appeared dark and quite empty. A small white envelope lay on the table.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thought for the week

Thought for the week: beware that which unduly occupies the mind for any length of time. It has an agenda which may not become apparent until said agenda has been unfurled and is in motion, you the catalyst. Don't act on it. Analyze, deconstruct, reconstruct then rationalize. It's what separates us from the violent chimp, the cunning weevil, the obfuscatory pikey.

Dwelling on negative thoughts has a peculiar feeling of empowerment, though; unsurprisingly though, this empowerment is borne of the resentful Dark Side, diametrically opposed by the ever positive Good Side, typically engendered by acts of creation and interaction. Positive stuff; you know, nice-nice. Flowers and kittens and pussywillows.

Maintaining control of these potentially malefic thoughts is tricky, as any thoughts which harbour a desire to perform impartial analysis of said naughty thoughts are immediately deemed the natural enemy of the eve-yil thought (known henceforth as EFs).

When EFs detect a rogue analysis thought (known heretofore as AFs), they launch a calculated assault, knocking over desks, lamps, flipping books from tables and flailing at inkpots in the hope that incurable disruption will ensue and that they might continue their nefarious plot to unbalance the mind's, er, balance of power.

The trick is to remain steadfast in the face of such an onslaught. Constantly reassess your approach, think around the insurgent cogitation and never lose your nerve. They are just thoughts after all; neutralize them before they become manifest and cause you to do something irreparably fucking stupid.