Sean: The Tortoise & the Hare

The shining

Inertia, it hurts ya,
A blood-vessel burster,
From two-penny peasants to Princes of Persia,
You’ll relinquish your fervour
cos you need to go further,
But where real power ranges you’re Rita Reversa

The precursor to this is a story of mine,
About a young man and a glorious time,
A bar, Manchester, 2009,
A part-time clown and a permanent swine,
Allergic to graft yet a servant to crimes
against punctuality, Wanker-she-wrote,
Turning up bolted as Frankenstein’s throat
and drinking my wages, plastered and mixing
with a foolhardy clique with a plant-food addiction

But then you wake up, four years have passed,
You’re still the same numbskull, you’re still on your arse
and you start to feel tragic, is this all there is?
You’re fully aware that this isn’t the bus-
-ness for you in the long term, so what do you do?
Out with the old and in with the new?

You’re still not quite ready, stuck in between,
You still love your lie-ins, your lack of routine,
So you start making effort, stop pleasing the chemist,
You’re too busy working at bleaching the blemish
you’ve smeared your name with since your induction,
A role soon pops up, a critical junction,
You put yourself forward, they wince at the gumption,
A joke candidate, the Prince of dysfunction

But nobody else would be capable even,
Pluck from elsewhere? Debatable reason,
‘He might be unstable but maybe we need him?
“You got the job mate”, let’s enable this heathen’,
You craved their belief and you’ve found it at last,
You’re getting paid more to sit down on your arse
and overload bar staff while telling them off,
Welcome to Management, realm of the sloth

It’s really quite simple why I preferred this,
You’re resting your feet for a third of the service,
Office work beckons, colleague deserters,
Scrolling through Amazon, lining up purchases,
Worthlessness leaves you, at least on the surface,
It keeps you contained like the heat in a Thermos,
‘Fallowfield needs you, we think you’ll prefer this’
Out of the frying pan, into the furnace

A wonderful team but a difficult site,
A mighty old challenge, a physical fight
with homeless and addicts and literal shite
and many more suffering miserable plights,
In a district decaying through shameful neglect,
Ballistic hombres with a baneful effect,
There’s kids out there getting maimed in the neck
while an invisible police force claim to protect

But enough on that topic, we’ll be here all night,
Even though I don’t usually flee from a fight,
Factors contribute, adulting’s a factor,
‘Is this the right angle?’, consult the protractor,
Boredom creeps up and resultantly slaps ya,
Plus everyone’s 20, a cult of enraptured
youths with clean livers and gleams in their eye,
There’s whispers in the wind that I scream in the sky,
It’s these situations where dreaming can die,
Revealing glass ceilings aren’t even so high

Financial woes mounting, you sit and you groan,
You’re counting a fortune that isn’t your own,
And it’s nobody’s fault, your snappy demise,
Ambition outgrows the happiest times,
So when the call came and a meeting was planned,
When money dried up like sleet in the sand
and the tears of grown men hit cheeks like the dew,
I should have felt sorrow, relief flooded through

For what can one do, but roll with the punches?
Be grateful for pushes confirming your hunches,
That you’ve finally cracked with the vermin and bunches of
people complaining you’re burning their brunches,
The crunch has arrived, no longer perplexed,
You know you’re the problem and couldn’t care less

Redundancy made by a couple of days,
That could have been deadly, a double malaise
of knockout blows, but they shoved me a helmet
and swapped knuckle dusters with gloves made of velvet,
So I cleared my schedule, emptied the roster,
Said farewell to the hard-working imposter
and plotted on sofas, watched Rocky with Costner
with minimal grace and the sloppiest posture

A world-class musician returned from a bender
with a curled upper lip and a Bluetooth Fender,
Rocking out shameless, a hopeless pretender,
Forgot about work and the ‘homeless’ agenda,
Just sat in my spot, the sofa defender,
The pluckiest plectrum, the dopest contender

And how great it felt to sit and to read
and to not watch the pages dissolve into dreams
where the next chapter is ‘you’re late for work Seany’,
where you roll out of bed and you shower forlornly
and 9 hours pass and you’re back to square one
and have 48 hours devoted to fun
and it’s been that same way for a decade you see,
So to wake up with freedom, it energized me

Then once you’re beyond eating food in your socks,
You realise that opportunity knocks,
And you start making lists to consume all your focus,
Bidding farewell to the doom and neuroses
that follow you round when spare time is precocious,
You channel your MJ, airtime is ferocious

And before you know it, there’s a book with your name
sat on a table that seemed to be stained
with unfulfilled hope as you screamed in a rage
at the clock on the wall and the dreams on the page,
Plus you take the decision to challenge yourself,
Escape from a prison of tangible wealth
which sounds paradoxical, maybe that’s true,
But sometimes your comforts can shackle you too

It’s time to up sticks, immerse and reboot,
Answer some questions, internal disputes,
In a land where my words are stripped of their power,
My get-out of jail, my risible flower,
It’s Español time, I’m a Joyner from Essex,
Not on about a trade, I’m on about my setlist,
A sun-kissed flamingo, an albino in Texas,
Broadening my lingo, my repertoire, my lexis

Helping me to mingle, orally ambidextrous,
More than just a gringo, spiritually restless,
Literally deskless I sat in the kitchen,
Blasting out Spotify, laptop was glitching,
Windows was snide, Word wasn’t working,
Assignments corrupted, viruses lurking,
What I did next was the work of a novice,
Laid out a oner for Microsoft Office
and from that point onward, business was meant,
Smashed a distinction with swiftness and sent
myself back to work on a temporary basis,
Funded farewells of exemplary status
and got me to Christmas with cash in the bank
and seemingly limitless gas in the tank

Yet just as it seemed it was going so well,
I failed an exam, fucked it aswell,
4 fecking majors, disgrace of the land,
Last opportunity, wasted a grand
and although I was hitting Colombia shortly,
I knew that this nonsense was going to haunt me

But then out of fluke, somewhat surprising,
A rogue driving test popped up on the horizon,
Mum saved my bacon, I chomped the Hawaiian
and got straight back into the swamp with Poseidon,
Facing my fears, yet I thrive as a dunce,
Several weeks passed, did I drive? Never once,
‘Cancel my lesson? Cos blimey, I’m drunk’
Rocked up to the test with lime in the trunk

Demolition derby? Hardly, instead,
6 little minors and nada in red,
A miraculous turnout, nirvana was spread
cos the nightmare was finished, the saga was dead

And I think what I’m saying is never lose sight,
Of what makes you you, a perpetual fight
against deadlines and boredom and dreams being crushed,
Just take the odd second, redeem what you must
and shirk all the feelings that fear can ingrain,
I needed a push from the weary mundane
but then rolled with the punches, yet it wouldn’t be painful
because you think of yourself, and that shouldn’t be shameful

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