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