My Brilliant Career

As a sub-editor writing headlines I will learn to let a few words speak for many.

As an interviewer I will finally learn to say you and yours more often than I, me and mine.

As a programmer I have learnt that code is the least encoded of all men's language.

As a chef I will learn that while the eye may like what it has never seen, every other sense prefers the familiar.

As a potter I will learn the patience of the kiln, where things must burn if they are to endure.

As an activist rather than as a lover I will learn that nothing is brought into existence without passion.

Or maybe as a bricklayer. Activists bring little into existence except their own passion. And banners and standards. And, well, chai.

As a train driver I will learn to love the lateral.

As a filmmaker I will learn that at 24 frames per second, a picture must say at least 129,600 words, but it is better to keep the number under a couple thousand.

As a conductor I will learn how to predict the shiver of an audience, and still know I lack their genius.

As a bathroom attendant I will discover the many, many ways you can wash your hands of me.

As a librarian I have been so disappointed in you.

As a tattooist I will learn that one false move lasts a lifetime.

As a dancer I will realise the next beat promises redemption.

As a poet I will learn to make much of the little things.

Probably it will be as a traveller, a comedian or a tv reviewer that I learn to make little of the big things.

As a soldier I will learn how to polish your boots, and how to hate you. Either that, or I will learn how to get out of the army.

As a bartender I found out that pretty much no-one tells a good story.

As a checkout chick I will learn your innermost twenty-first century secrets, and your least interesting angle.

As a marketing director I will embrace the lowest common denominator, and discover at last why we make the best novelists.

As a researcher I will learn to tell stories I have not lived.

As an academic I just fell for my teacher.

As an undertaker I will learn how to put your make-up on, and how to put you to bed.

As a butcher I failed to become a vegetarian.

As an actor I will forget why I exist.

As an alcoholic I've already forgotten.

Like a philosopher I keep on drinking.

As a writer I swear I will piece all this together.

As an old man I will.

Not until I am an old man will I.

If I am an old man I might. Know enough to begin.

Joseph | 17 Jan 2005

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