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  • Writer's pictureJames Kidac

Punch Up Time!

In this life, Deck knew all about the ins and outs.

There were always going to be gutter periods, he told Stan, for those are the most crucial of periods. What do you mean Deck old pal? No one, and I mean not even Sloppy Joe could be convinced that life has to trod into such lows. Indeed, it is unthinkable that a few simple falls would cumulate like a snow ball rolling down a steep slope. Downing the last bottle of kilkenny, Stan passed out on the worn leather sofa in the pub. Deck looked into his glass of bright red cocktail, thinking absently, it was not yet those legendary troughs and pangs. It should work out.

Sometimes though, even avalanches are short work and easy prods.

It was raining badly outside. Umbrellas were all snatched by unsavoury types and perhaps Stan would be best left on the chair in the care of Bill, the bartender so old and endured he should have been the owner, either by killing the man or buying him out years ago. He's a stinker, Deck opined, pointing at the passed out fool. Bill chimed in, you know he doesn't pay the bills too, and I am not up with that normally... still Stan is a good lad chum, he just never cared.

The fool had told one too many tall tales that day and got himself a world of hurt that no one could help him, even if they cared more than he ever could imagine. The aproned bartender wiped the glasses dry and placed them beside the tap meticulously for a worn down conformist. Yea, yea, the man had won, he would always interject into our "So what happened to your bullshit" discussions.

Bill never was the most ambitious type, and perhaps that was it to a short life. Banter aside, it was stuffy and stifling inside any pub, even one ran by irreverent men. Deck wanted more intellectual escapes, but he took opinions as well as a stubborn mule after a few shots. It was best for thoughts to run, and so he opined about the fate he endured alone outside neon lights and jazzy blues.

This fate that plummets into new lows every time there were new highs. Perhaps, it was better that a monotonous one would serve his ailing enthusiasm about the ins and outs. Years ago, when optimism meant everything, it was easier because renewal was cold snap! Today, the money was less, many bridges were burnt and a few eternal morasses were all what's left for a mere man to have to live with. It was always hard to add anything even insignificant into that living with something your entire life theory, but we all try. Some words come together in muddled heads easily for a refuge of excuses. "Sometimes I feel there is no such thing as forget, only forgiveness one can give oneself and, perhaps, dark humour to ease his fraying conscience. Instead, you never truly forget the stupid person you have to be in order to progress. You never truly want anything else, but there is always hope that things will suddenly make sense."

It never did for most, and so how did a highly sought after analyst fall into this spiral that seems to break away from the cycles of the past?

It was easy to rise, and easier to fall, I must have been such a snob at the top to deserve this unsightly demise. The same man whose hair refused to turn full grey with each experience but only streaks, he turned back and looked into the tainted glass, and he saw the outline of a passed out Stan and busy Bill. They were all his friends, and they meant the world sometimes. Other times, they didn't matter as well in some ways best left unexplained. It was then a relevation hit the man, that perhaps it took a big heart to accept the fragileness of humans. We matter to some, we matter to none. It was only a few moderately bad stock picks, fanned by dastardly cunning plan-it-alls, perhaps it wasn't a time to give up on finance after all. After all, the stocks were good. It was only time that erred, and then it was all their 'genius' in damage control. Needless to say, those same people were never going to be better than what they knew for they reject everything else.

Drizzle felt like a sign, and in his straying gaze, in all coincidence he saw a certain Anna walked past in the rain, with a brolly and a man he despises so much that that man got a pass to a great woman. They were never close enough, Anna and Deck, but he was still cynical for that very brief moment only. After all, there was not much at that point to look forward to, having given up on everything, so a stray moment of cynicism to kill time probably was poison medicine to his bitterness. Self pity, what a shame. The fallen analyst laughed at his humanity, what an ugly thing. People have greatness in them, as well as the worst of cards. All it took for one step to be larger and larger incarnation of either. To be fair, all this negativity, the gutter period, it never was something a guy like Deck could endure for long. Such indulgence in weakness was just too far from the idealism of that great analyst he knew he always was meant to be. Of course, half of the people who "knew" things were probably small headed people wearing a bigger size hat, and for all the circumstances Deck could be one to strengthen that notorious myth.

Deck was happy for Anna, and he wouldn't have it any other way, that she married a guy he will always despise. Someone's happiness never affects yours unless you let it, for that's the power of the mind, and its greatest weakess. Perhaps one day he would be comfortable and considered enough to be in the shoes of the undeserving piece of shite who gets a break in career or romance. But for now, it was punch up time. a pig which wallows too long will always be first to slaughter. A man who wallows too long just exudes an unmanly stink. It was always time to continue, and he would find a job to start, or a beginning to begin. In any and every case, life was good, and when he thought about the things he had, and it cumulated upwards all the time like a tick. It is unthinkable sidestepping the troughs that lay awaiting, but it was always punch up time! The fallen analyst could never be the washed up drunk for more than a few days, maybe weeks. Not when there was still so much life to win and lose. Not when it was a new day, and a new joy to learn about everything.

Inspired by George Carlin


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