I was playing a game with the truth. I was making the truth into a toy of my will, manipulating it as I saw fit. The same as we all do, the same as we all do. I won’t say that I was happy playing the game because I wasn’t, but I was okay. I was getting by; I wasn’t having what you’d call a bad time – not as far as I knew, anyway. Not as far as I knew.
I was getting by, living my life, playing the game, and that was that. Playing a kind of avoidance game with the truth but getting away with it well enough. Nothing major going wrong, nothing too tough to deal with. Just playing the game, playing the game. Doing what I normally do, whatever that is. Can’t think what it is at the moment. Something or other. Some kind of a thing. You know – the usual. The same all story, same as usual. The same old ding dong. Playing the game, as you do.
‘What are you doing buddy?’ asked my friend, poking his head unexpectedly through the kitchen window. ‘I’m playing the game,’ says I cheerfully. ‘Playing the jolly old game…’ ‘Same as meself,’ replies my friend, with a wink of his eye. ‘Same as meself!’ We both had a laugh about that and then my friend went off on his way, humming a tune as he went. ‘It’s good to have friends,’ I told myself, ‘it’s good to have buddies when you’re playing the game. It makes life easier.’
I’m lucky like that, I guess. I’ve got lots of buddies who are all playing the game. We encourage each other – when any one of us is feeling a little bit down and despondent – as can easily happen – the rest of us all muster around to provide some good old positive vibes. In no time at all they’ll be feeling chipper again and ready for whatever life has to throw at them. As long it is as it isn’t the truth, that is! That’s just my little joke you see – no offence intended.
Same old story, the same old ding dong. That’s what it’s like when you’re playing a game with the truth. Always the same old bloody palaver. You get used to it however. You certainly do get used to it. It just gets to be normal after a while, if you know what I mean. Nothing to raise an eyebrow at, nothing to get particularly upset about. It’s perfectly normal and it’s not too bad, all things considered, and so what’s so very wrong with that? It could always be hell of a lot worse, you know. Don’t ever forget that.
I’ve always had this hope at the back of my mind that someone might make one of my novels into a movie. I was mulling about this the other day, as I often do, when it came to me that I’ve never actually written a novel. I’d always meant to you see but somehow I’d never got round to it. The impetus is gone now of course – I don’t even know what I’d write about, even if I did get round to it. Which I probably won’t do anyway – I’m too good at putting things on the long finger.
I was trying to decide what should be true today. ‘What will be true today?’ I asked myself. Life’s full of decisions, isn’t it? That’s what they call ‘the burden of responsibility’, I guess. Which is where you always have to be the one figuring out how to bend reality this time round. Which way to bend it, what sort of a spin to put on it, how to dress it up and so on. I’m getting pretty worn out by it at this stage, to be honest. I’ve had enough.
‘He flew through the air on a thunderbolt,’ I recited to myself. ‘He did not travel as other men travel, on foot, or on roller skates, or on a bicycle, or on a Lambretta or Vespa or perhaps some other make of scooter, or on a motorbike of some description or in a regular old estate car, but by thunderbolt. Thus may his worth be measured…’ I always say this to myself when I’m at a bit of a loss. It didn’t mean anything but I said it all the same. There was a time when reciting this meaningless formula made me feel better, but not anymore. I come out with it just for the sake of it these days. It’s an old habit of mine…