I hate how the swapping of narwhal tusks and shiny seashells have morphed themselves into the infinite transactions of invisible numbers. How our quality of life is in some way unavoidably determined by the number of zeroes stocked away in our bank accounts, and solely zeroes in the bank account if you’re me. Like mahogany stained chestnuts to a squirrel, we pace frantically across our forest floors. Rummaging, hoping and praying that the mighty oak drops yet another cash conker on the domes of our furry little heads. Fighting and thieving from others, who can become the largest the fastest before the bitterest of winters sets in? Are we foraging squirrels, or is being rat racers more our style?
This is not a bitter rant, a swan song or sob story, so please pack away the violins. It’s simply an observation I notice on a daily basis, as probably do you. That there are those amongst us who are either blessed by wealth or damned by it, with the vast majority teetering tentatively through gritted teeth on that tightrope inbetween the two.
If you’ve visited London, much like many another city you’ll notive the beggars. A frequential visitor of my 5.45pm train is a women in a charcoal coloured duffle coat, wearing off white converse shoes which seem more child-sized than adult, scratched like an arm riddled in chicken pox. She looks around 35, with tired purposeful eyes. Her hand trembles as she holds out her styrofoam cup, and rattles it, the chime of loosely settled shrapnel alerts me to pay her the attention most others on the train do not. One day last week she shakily repeats the same sentences as she did on the day before’s journey, apart from the last few words – “could anyone spare some change please, or even just a hug.”
At this even some stoned faced commuters softened their gaze onto her sunken saddened expression. A seated women stood up and embraced the stranger for a length of time seen only between a loving couple or parent and child. The homeless women began sobbing uncontrollably and with this I knew her harsh reality was indeed that and not some sort of facade.
We like to think that human rights are accessible to all, that everyone is equal, but when you have someone lying on the street on a frosty night as another is chauffeured past them, how can be kid ourselves, really?
Apologies for the rather sombre post, I think looking at my bank account today struck me like a bolt of lightning from Zeus himself, with this came the twitching thought that although we all are mere mortals, what must it really take to live like the Gods?