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Nirvana anyone?

 
 
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Author Admin
Admin


#1 | Posted: 22 Oct 2020 09:54 | Edited by: Admin 
We are driven people, as are all that take part in this game of life. Survival of the species is of this sort, a right royal battle of existence all the way down to a molecular level. These drives manifest themselves in a multitude of ways, being an endless barrage of them, a constant, unending assault on the senses as a result. We pander to them, we seek them out, we bask in them. To exist without them never crosses our minds, but are we right to chase that which ultimately destroys? Are we not facing oblivion because we cannot rein in the 'primitive' inside us? Is the human race to fail because we cannot rise above our own innate dispositions? Surely not. Then again, what kind of life would a person lead without them? Would it be a life worth leading at all?
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Author Admin
Admin


#2 | Posted: 22 Oct 2020 10:23 | Edited by: Admin 
Bartholomew was of prime stock. The family ancestry was proudly displayed on very fine walls indeed. Each illustrious, ancestral personage had held their chin aloft and had looked down upon even the artist with disdain. Bartholomew though, was a cause for concern. It appeared he wasn't as forthright as those who had shaped him, had passed on their genes to him, being somewhat sensitive. His parents were aware of this sensitivity and had tried their damnest to cut it off at the source, to effectively drive it from him. It had worked, up to a point - outwardly that is, but appearances can be deceptive. Bartholomew still hankered after a different way of life entirely, one less constrictive, one he had some control over and as a result he began to hate his life all the more.
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Author Admin
Admin


#3 | Posted: 22 Oct 2020 10:55 | Edited by: Admin 
What is it like to have your life planned for you, right down to the smallest detail? Are all such people rebellious when they become aware of this imposition? Apparently not. Some would say it was an imposition, yes, but when such an easy life was there for the taking was it an imposition at all? Surely not, but to Bartholomew, it was, to such an extent he felt smothered and unable to breathe properly, the effect being claustrophobic in its intensity. Each day was a drudgery he wanted to be free of and becoming all the more so as his role in the family firm was beckoning. It was expected of him to take up this role, as it was expected of him to have taken all the steps necessary to be molded to fit the vacant position, one that was ordained for him from the moment of his birth. It was a weighty consideration that rested very precariously on his shoulders, yet another he considered a burden he could well do without. Bartholomew's very soul was restless. It was all he could do not to squirm in his seat when in the presence of his dominating parents in whatever capacity he found himself, be it simply sharing the same dining table as them for that matter, as they seemed to exude emotionally restrictive tentacles that wrapped themselves around him to such an extent he was in danger of choking on his food. It was obvious then, that Bartholomew would do something completely out of character in an effort to break free.
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Author Admin
Admin


#4 | Posted: 22 Oct 2020 14:07 | Edited by: Admin 
A cog in a wheel. A cog in a machine. Both mean the same thing, though the latter implies a greater capacity, a greater involvement in something of greater numbers, of greater expanse. Are we each of us then, a cog in something or other? It appears some are more cog like than others. Bartholomew was being groomed as if the machine could not function without him at all. He was the machine by all accounts. He might as well have been a marionette, or, more machine like, more cog like, an automaton as he had little say in the matter, little say in this or that, or anything of much worth, not to him anyway. His life lacked real meaning and it was telling on him, playing on his mind all the more.
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Author Admin
Admin


#5 | Posted: 22 Oct 2020 14:28 | Edited by: Admin 
Life went on in all its splendid complexity, but a great deal of it the likes of Bartholomew would not become privy too, not as things stood, and it grated on his nerves. A full life would not be experienced by one so confined, as well he knew. This was heartbreaking to a sensitive soul. His body and actions might well be following some prescribed plan but his thoughts were his own and they flew far and wide whereby he imagined living a different life altogether. Such a thought become commonplace, to take root eventually, to burgeon, to flower, to become his means of escape, lacking substance maybe but being far more than just a fleeting fancy.
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Author Admin
Admin


#6 | Posted: 23 Oct 2020 09:45 | Edited by: Admin 
The pressure kept increasing. So much was expected of him. What added to the discomfort was the sheer tedious office life he was forced to endure each and every day. It also afforded him too much time to daydream. Staring out the window became a habit. People going about their business with real purpose held him spellbound. Here he was, trapped in effect, with no real purpose at all. Everything laid out on a platter. It was never really expected of him to do much of anything. Of course, to balance the equation, he imagined what it would be like to live without all the finery, without all the trappings, without the responsibility, without much of anything. At one time his heroes would have been firemen - mechanics - a whole host of blue collar workers, but overtime his attention shifted to those on the fringe of society - vagrants, tramps, down and outs, those seen begging on the sidewalk. What would it be like to live in such a manner, free of interference? It was a romantic vision he applied to such a lifestyle and it was one that played on his mind all the more.
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Author Admin
Admin


#7 | Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:01 | Edited by: Admin 
Bartholomew was not a stupid man, just not fully formed as of yet, more a child than a man. The one thing that made him stand out from his peers was his innate sensitivity. It really had no place in the hustle and bustle of corporate decision making. His peers could be quite heartless to others, both in and outside the office environment. Neither could he fit in with the macho ribaldry that invariably permeated the corridors of powers - or bathroom for that matter. To be alone among others is to be very alone indeed. The office window and his imagination drew him in then as a spider to a fly, becoming all the more captivating as time went by.
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Author Admin
Admin


#8 | Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:24 | Edited by: Admin 
The straw that broke the camel's back. Such a meaningful phrase and an apt one at that because Bartholomew's back did indeed break, maybe not literally but figuratively.

Girls, women, it had always been the same problem - Bartholomew simply had no idea how to behave in their presence. His small talk was non-existent. His wooing capabilities were practically zero. There had been no need for him to be in their company whilst growing up as even this aspect of his life was to be organised by those who knew better. His choice of spouse would not be his for the asking. She would be found from a suitable line of applicants. Someone who didn't love him, didn't know him, probably wouldn't care for him but was willing to spit out a progeny or two, the reward being prestige and limitless bounty. And there she was, sitting opposite him on the dining table. His future wife, or one that might well fit the bill. Poor Bartholomew was frightened out of his wits.
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Author Admin
Admin


#9 | Posted: 23 Oct 2020 11:01 | Edited by: Admin 
Bartholomew's hands were shaking the next day. Even handling a pen had become an issue and he had to be careful not to show his work colleagues the obvious unrest he was suffering from, even so it had not escaped those who knew him well. Office diplomacy and the 'stiff upper lip' held their comments in check though, again, adding to his discomfort overall as it would certainly have helped to have a shoulder to cry on. What was he to do? The weight on his shoulders had become unbearable. Suddenly, out of the blue, as if a switch had flicked inside his head, he knew exactly what he had to do. His hands stopped shaking. He looked around the office one last time and strode out the door into the great big world beyond. Bartholomew had broken free.
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Author Admin
Admin


#10 | Posted: 24 Oct 2020 11:19 | Edited by: Admin 
He stood on the forecourt of the family firm's skyscraper and breathed in deeply. His past began to fade from his memory more or less instantly. The relief of casting aside all that had assailed him for so long was liberating in the extreme. He shut his eyes and listened to all that was around him. Cars beeped their horns, a multitude of sounds floated through the air, the likes of which had been denied him until now. It was intoxicating. He wanted to breathe it all in, to drink his fill of the rich tapestry of life itself, realising his immediate area was but a crumb of what was on offer, and he was hungry for more. So there he was. A man in a suit demanding attention of the sort he had little experience of, yet, by all accounts, his appearance said otherwise, contradicting his new stance in the world. Most definitely a man in a suit, a well tailored suit, with money in his pocket and a wallet stuffed with gold credit cards. Not exactly a man down on his luck then. Nor a man likely to taste freedom of the sort he yearned for. It was time to cast aside even these ties to his former existence, essential though they might well be to sustaining life itself, as he would find out soon enough.
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Author Admin
Admin


#11 | Posted: 24 Oct 2020 11:54 | Edited by: Admin 
Each step he took opened up new fanciful opportunities, or so he thought, and with each step his former life receded from his conscious mind, strangely enough, without care of consideration for those left behind. To go AWOL in this manner wasn't planned, but Bartholomew couldn't have chosen a better time to venture out into the steamy world at large. The sun was shining, the air was warm and inviting as it was the middle of Summer. People were happy and smiling, as spirits are always uplifted by such natural conditions. Bartholomew felt attuned to the same natural phenomena, striding forward with a quite inane grin spread across his pampered features, feeling more at home than he had for many a year. He soon became aware that he needed to not only 'feel at home' but to look the part too. The shop windows reflected a Bartholomew that no longer existed, or at least represented a being that was garbed in clothing unsuited to the life he now wanted to lead. But what did he know about shopping? Shop he did, nonetheless, but his choices created but a parody of who he now thought himself to be - still a rich man is how he actually appeared to others. With money jingling in his pockets he cruised the sidewalks, surveying all around him with childlike innocence. Something else rattled in his pockets - his credit cards and mobile phone. To the astonishment of quite a few onlookers, he defaced them, damaged them and dumped them in the nearest bin to hand. He was ready to be who he wanted to be - free of nearly all worldly possessions and anything that would tie him to the Bartholomew of old. Life beckoned and he now felt ready to receive whatever it had to offer, come what may.
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Author Admin
Admin


#12 | Posted: 25 Oct 2020 10:30 | Edited by: Admin 
A tramp-like existence? A life free of material possessions? Free to go here there and everywhere? It was apparent Bartholomew wasn't completely enamored with the concept else money wouldn't still be on his person. He felt more like a student on vacation if anything, on holiday so to speak. Suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks. Those in close proximity, and some of those who had to maneuver around him, observed a young man in deep thought. A young man seen staring at coins in the palm of his hand. Deliberating over something of great importance. It was obvious something profound was to take place with this absorbed individual, and it did, Bartholomew finally twisted his wrist and dropped all the money on the floor. He watched it falling to the ground as if in slow motion. It was an effort to let go initially, but as it left his hand and journeyed to the ground below he felt all the lighter for it. Finally, he was unencumbered, divest of all that had governed his life until now and he strode forward to meet this new life head-on, slowly at first but picking up the pace as he went. It felt great to do so. The jetsam and flotsam of his past life rolled away from him as did the coins behind him, but should he have looked back he would have seen some of the coins ended up in the gutter. Bartholomew now had the good and bad facing him and he too could end up where others are loathe to tread. The soup of life can taste wonderful or ghastly depending on the ingredients it is made from. That which flows through and down gutters is of a poisonous sort, but, nevertheless, how can you distinguish good food from bad unless you had tasted both? Bartholomew's metaphorical taste buds were to get a rude awakening all too soon.
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Author Admin
Admin


#13 | Posted: 25 Oct 2020 12:28 | Edited by: Admin 
For hours on end Bartholomew drifted this way and that. It was a wonderful feeling to be in charge of his own destiny. It was wonderful to be able to turn a street corner for that matter and delve into all the nooks and crannies of a new line of shops and buildings. Talking of nooks and crannies, that which can be hidden from view at times, there were some of those Bartholomew now placed in high regards - tramps, down and outs and the like. Surely they had a tale to tell? They could be seen here and there, some slumping in an appropriate fashion, others begging for handouts. But, there were others too he had not thought of, such as street buskers. Such a density of spirit inhabited the place, made all the thicker by the various personalities in evident, or so he thought. And now he was one of them, or at least he was a willing participant, a new and raw recruit is how he thought himself to be. It was all too soon to consider what he could offer his new family - those who lived outside of accepted norms, but it was enough, for now, to remain apart and watch from a set distance. You don't suddenly become a beggar or a vagabond overnight. Not in this case anyway. One step at a time was sufficient. Bartholomew had taken a major step in this direction by casting aside all his money. He wasn't as far removed from his intended lifestyle as he thought himself to be as a result, as his belly would inform him of soon enough.
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Author Admin
Admin


#14 | Posted: 25 Oct 2020 13:10 | Edited by: Admin 
Eventually the shops closed. People who had no reason to be there simply vanished from the scene. What had once been a thriving metropolis was now deserted, a lifeless skeleton of a place had taken its stead, but not entirely lifeless. Some people had simply no-where else to go. No reason to vacate the place at all. Bartholomew was one such person. Still, the place hadn't died a death completely. A heart still beat within its cold walls. The fashionable shops might have shut but whoever owned the shops left the lights on to tantalise passes-by with the promise of more to come. By now an empty belly had really made its presence felt. It was the shop windows stocked full of delectable goodies that attracted Bartholomew's attention than any other. To be hungry was a new experience, an ugly experience and one that was growing with every passing minute. Without a penny to his name Bartholomew had inadvertently placed himself in a lower standing than those he admired for living such a penniless existence in the first place. Such people had recourse to money by one means or another, whereas Bartholomew had no means whatsoever. The evening wore on. Bartholomew had never relied on his senses until then, but he had become aware of a rich aroma in the air. Sniffing this way and that he instinctively followed his nose to where the smell was strongest - a street lined with all sorts of eateries. By now the aromas were intoxicating, with his belly rumbling all the more as a consequence. Even his mouth had began to water by this time.
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Author Admin
Admin


#15 | Posted: 25 Oct 2020 14:31 | Edited by: Admin 
Outside looking in was a new experience for Bartholomew. By now diners were sitting at tables next to windows, chatting away over a hot meal. Some stared directly at him, wondering who he could be so he took to the other side of the street. He had options and he did indeed consider them, but he lacked the mettle to carry them out. For one, he could order a meal and attempt to leave without paying. He could attempt to steal something for that matter. It was a pointless and self defeating exercise though so he eventually moved away from the area, away from the temptations. By now evening had become dusk. It had been a very trying day and he was tired. Of course, he faced his next challenge then, as in where to put his head to rest for the night? It being summer the necessity to find cover wasn't yet an essential requirement. He sat down in a shop doorway for a while, an alcove, snuggled up as best he could in his choice of rustic clothing and ruminated. Of course, it wasn't an ideal place to be. He was vulnerable for one thing and noticeable for another. Footsteps and street sounds kept him awake. His backside ached from the hard stone steps. He couldn't sleep there so he moved on yet again. Finally a small park was his for the taking. Sleep did indeed find him in the early hours of the morning, but such peaceful repose was rudely interrupted as life again slowly stirred into motion. He finally arose from under a bush in a somewhat disheveled state. Unbeknownst to him he had earned his first hobo like stripe. Successive stripes would make him as one of their own in due course. Already his freshness was waning. With no washing facilities close to hand, no comb for his hair, no toothbrush for his teeth, and no way to brush or press his clothes, he was on his way to becoming one of the great unwashed. It was still very early days though. For now food was all he could think of, as in where and how he could acquire some.
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