What goes on behind those eyes?
The intermittent rush of the air conditioning, the hum of my Macbook, and the rattling of my keys are the only sounds that are coming from these four walls.
Beyond them I can hear the rumble of thunder, the patter of rain and the depth charge like explosions of fireworks. It’s the Fourth of July. American Independence Day and I am in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I find myself in a situation of my own making. I created the beast and now I can’t control it. My son’s diet is one that has been created by me. I am his parent and I am responsible for the foodstuffs that he likes to this day.
But my defence sends me into a spin. I feel like that lost sock tumbling around in the machine. Please stop spinning…please stop spinning. You see a good sturdy defence is supposed to save you from harm. My shield stands strong and yet splinters have invaded my skin and sink into my heart with a snarl. Where did they come from? I don’t understand. Please stop spinning.
It’s not the most convincing explanation I can come up with – and probably very unlikely – but I am somewhat perplexed all the same. The train has come to a grinding halt – in the middle of nowhere – and the conductor has just explained that we have hit a big bird causing the air pipes to fracture. The air is leaking meaning we can’t generate a brake, meaning we aren’t moving.
Then before you know it there is another fire lit inside my belly. It’s the same formula as the last, and I am now trying to fan both sets of flames in order to keep the pyres burning; keep my interest solid. Before you know it the first fire has been extinguished and it becomes a great idea that now rests in a pile of ashes known as the back burner. I move from ashes to ashes, from dust to dust, and that’s how I live my life.
When I was 10-years of age I won my first ever trophy when my beloved 7th Reddish under 11’s football team came runners-up in the Supplementary Cup against West End. I can still remember the size and shape of the trophy as if it were in my hands right now. I won many more trophies for football thereafter but none were as special as that first one.
During my time on the rail roads our CEO created an EWS Awards scheme. It was our Oscars, with the very best in the business being honoured for exceptional work over the previous 12-months. I was nominated – and won – an award for Excellence Towards Cost Control. It was an amazing experience to be honoured amongst your peers in an awards ceremony and once again I was a very proud and happy person.
My mind has been swept away so often in the past few years that I really do need to start being careful. I can get carried away with the words of an author to such a degree that I become an instant believer. I then have a tendency to believe I have then been chosen to pass the information onto as many people as I can. I try to become a master of knowledge that I haven’t even comprehended myself. Then sometimes I come across differing opinions and I get confused. Who is right and who is wrong? Of course, often, there is no right or wrong – simply opinion. The beauty of which is summed up marvelously in memories of two very different books sparked by the death of my Nan.
When my Nan was recently admitted to hospital after suffering a heart attack I assumed that her sand was slowly disappearing down the glass. I was morbidly curious about how she was feeling. I really wanted to know if she feared death, welcomed it or didn’t even think about it? Did she think she was going to meet up with her late husband of 58-years or did she think she was going to close her eyes and that would be that?
I would lie in bed, underneath my three quilts, dreading the cold. My mind would race forward to the day ahead and it would upset me. I reach over and kiss my wife on the back of her head and summon up the courage to leave. Almost in unison, the first sounds of the creaking pipes bellow from under the floorboards as the central heating kicks in. The cat, that I hate, brushes itself against me and walks in front of me trying to deliberately trip me up as I walk. Every few seconds it cries this horrible little cry.
I am starting to become convinced that taxi driving is an occupation that people undertake when they are moving from one life to another. It’s almost like a serene pasture for them. Somewhere to earn a bit of money whilst their mind is free to discover what it is that they want to do next. I don’t own a car and I travel a lot, so I meet a lot of taxi drivers, and a lot of them have a great understanding of what life is all about. But as is the case with a lot of people in life, they still haven’t managed to move on from thinking to acting.
This morning I left my home in South Wales, UK, to travel to Monte Carlo, France, I rang a driver called Jeff to come and pick me up because I really enjoy talking to him. We are strangers, after meeting once before, but the intimacy that a cab journey offers you accentuates your relationship and I feel like I have known him for years. The first time I took a cab with him the journey flew by and when we had reached the airport we were still deep in discussion. This morning we continued from where we had left of previously.