How Slow Can You Go?


‘I’m a dog, I’m a dog, I’m a dog in the free world,’ the kid was singing. He had his earphones on and he was singing along. He was walking past me in the park. He was in his own world. I was in my own world too – I was sitting in the Britannic Fish Bar at the bottom of Gabriel’s Hill eating chips in slow motion. I was in a time-warp. How slow can you go? Time is dragging its heels and as usual we are sitting around waiting for the kettle to boil. I was playing the game called ‘Think of a strange thought you might have’. The game is quite self-explanatory really – normally you play with other people of course and there’d be penalties if you came up with that an idea that wasn’t really strange but only contrived. It had to be authentic. You have to do something humiliating in this case. I was playing on my own however. It’s never as much fun playing on your own. You lose your sense of perspective in this case – you never know whether you are thinking strange thoughts or not. ‘I’m a dog, a dog, and a dog in the free world,’ I sang. It’s a catchy tune. I wonder where the free world is – it sounds good. I wouldn’t mind going there. ‘Should we blame God?’ the Street-corner Christian asks me. Not directly but via a pamphlet. Should we blame God or look for the answer in the Bible? I’m recovering slowly, I tell myself. I’m slowly coming back to myself, bit by bit. It’s a very slow process though and sometimes I think that I’m only imagining it. I’m a dog, I’m a dog in the free world. The worst of all human vices is obedience, says Ouspensky. The worse, the worse, the very worst. That’s the vice we all have. ‘All I want is to be obedient,’ I cry out all of a sudden, surprising myself. ‘All I want is to be told what to do’, I shout out loud. The cry comes from deep inside me. It comes from a deep, deep place. All I want, all I want. The world has been taken over by businessmen, I realise. We were fast asleep so we didn’t say anything, we were too  deeply asleep to do anything about it and now it’s too late. They’ll sell you the eyes in your head. They’ll sell you a bad idea and you’ll be the rest of your life trying to keep up with the payments. They have you over a barrel. ‘I’m a dog, I’m a dog, I’m a dog in the free world,’ I sing as I walk down the High Street. I’m a dog, I’m a dog. Some people know what I mean, some people don’t know. I don’t know – I’m wandering in my mind. Wandering not wondering. I was in a time-warp – time is dragging its heels as usual and we’re all sitting around drumming our fingers on the tabletop waiting for it to get a move on. ‘For God’s sake’ you cry out, your face purple and distorted with rage. Your face distorted beyond all recognition. It that really you or are just watching the show, you wonder? Is it a just a phantasmagorical display? Should we blame God? At the far end of the High Street bagpipe players are playing. The melancholic strains of the pipes drift through the air. Time was dragging its heels, as usual…






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