To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.
Chapter Two: My Life of Happy Materialism in London
Previously: The Fool decided to abandon his search for meaning and embrace material gratification.
For the world is in their hearts
and none can know the meaning of life.
Abandon this search. Rejoice!
Let every man eat and drink, said I,
let every man love the good of his labour;
let every man make a choice.
For there is nothing better
than that a man should rejoice in his work.
That is his portion, I thought,
and never shall I see what shall be after me.
Oh, those woolen, natty suits, they suited me well!
I dreamed of owning a bunch,
and of having hot dates with blonde, blue-eyed girls
like the ones in the Underground ads with the tight tee-shirts on,
and of having a fresh-squeezed, spit-clean Rolls-Royce in the colour of my choice,
and of being civilized and drinking gin the way you were supposed to take it in.
I’d stop searching and start to have!
Teach me what to want…
and I’d be as wanton as they come.
And so it began, this vision of want and of have and of get,
to ravel itself in my heart.
For three days I tore down the posters of pain,
and decimated the legions of lost
who’d marched for so long in my brain.
And in their place I built a glorious imaginary city:
I made me great works: I built me great houses,
planted me vineyards, acquired a mastercard.
I made me gardens and orchards: planted me trees in them,
made me pools of water to water therewith the wood that groweth the trees.
I joked. I stroked. Anyone.
about in the ashes and found
a lovable con-artist in me.
I learned to “look out for number one.”
How good, how fun!
I was at the civilized center of self-esteem.
I was no repenter in this new dream.
I was Ohhh-kayyy!
In my fantasy, I ran through the door of that old hotel
like a six million dollar man,
spitting out splinters, the knob still in my hand.
And all of the way down to Oxford Circus, I planned
and I lusted—oh, God how I lusted!
My imagination took me to a would-be, could-be future
where I was nice and fine,
and paralyzed profits and crucified time:
“Someday, little darlin’, this’ll all be yurs, as fur as th’ eye can see.
They’s gonna be a town over there,
little dogies everwhur.
And we’ll name the town aften our son,
and he’ll be rich and subjugate poor people,
just like it’s s’posed to be.”
To read Fool’s Odyssey 8, click here.