This week’s budget, yes there has been one in between all the football and tennis and sun worshipping, has surely established the idea that this tory coilition government is no different to any other, it’s just this lot say call me dave and wear pink ties! To cut people’s housing benefit is scandalous! Ok, there are a minority who use the system to get themselves massive houses but for the vast majority of us it is merely a way of keeping a roof over our heads. What it will do to the town I now live in I’ve no idea as it seems to me that the majority of people claim housing benefit and therefore with that and the 20% VAT most people will no longer have enough money to survive let alone live. I’ve been lucky of late with regards finding myself somewhere to live but literally it is all I now have apart from a crap job and some nice friends. Here’s something I wrote a while ago about my life, it’s called
This Ain’t Perfect
Jack had never realised that his life, or any life, could be as pointless as his had seemed to become since he’d moved to his apparent dream home. Only four months ago he saw himself moving up in the world, at last a decent flat… with a sea view too he had thought to himself but since then he had been so overcome with joy and general happiness that life just seem to be this thing that was passing him by.
Everyday would be different but it still offered no fun or excitement, it was the same old routine just shuffled round so his increasingly erratic working hours could be fit in. He would sit at home and watch television or listen to music or read whilst smoking cigarettes or pot and when time came to go to work he would shuffle off and assume his position as till monkey in the worst of shops. Did I really waste eight years at university for this? would be a regular question he had asked himself whilst counting down the minutes until he could get out of there again and return home.
In his life Jack had enjoyed a drink or two, which at least got him talking to, and interacting with some vaguely interesting people but now he’d decided to cut down on that too. He would occasionally bring home a bottle of wine from work, always cheap but rarely nasty, and nurse that along with his other recreational activities for a few days. If he went out now it was more than likely to go to a coffee bar but even that was stretching his finances as even coffee was getting too expensive. He rarely talked with new people but that didn’t really bother him that much as he had a pretty small but pretty tight little group of friends dotted around town. This town! He’d only moved here a few years previously from the big smoke and it had seemed idyllic, a place of heavenly delights after the depravity and violence of London. He secured a tiny little room in the centre of town but it was way too small for him and all his belongings. He had a lot of them… records, books, the usual kind of thing for someone of his age. After nearly two years of being driven to the edge of insanity he managed to escape to his new dream home.
It was truly a thing of beauty. Everyday he would spend hours just sitting by his living room window and staring out at his view. If the soundtrack was the Beach Boys then it generally meant he was living out his summer dreams whilst smoking pot. He’d be looking at the sea and spotting the occasional odd sight on the beach or in the sea or, usually at night, in the sky above. What they were Jack knew but it always made him think how exciting it would be if they were aliens coming to visit the crappy little planet from some place far a field. If those weird little lights in the sky at night where indeed alien of origin they probably were wise to avoid our strange little planet.
It was always that view that Jack was always the most excited about whenever he was on his way home. He’d only been homesick twice ever and the second time was after only a couple of months of living with that view. The first time had been during a school trip to Devon when he was about eleven after one of his many near-death experiences he’d had through his life. This time he’d gone flying over the edge of a hedge and fallen into the path of a fast-approaching car that’d subsequently had to slam on the brakes to stop the collision.
Jack had always been a little accident prone and when, after two years looking for a job after completing his postgraduate studies, he feel into the retail sector as a lowly customer services assistant it felt like life had thrown Jack another little accident to deal with. In the time he’d been there, over eighteen months, he’d seen people come and go but hadn’t really made any friends, a few people he could chat with about shit but no one important. He had no idea where all these people went but he considered them all lucky to have escaped. He’d continued applying for jobs around town but it was getting to the point where he’d pretty much given up any hope of moving on. He was too old and he’d been out of the work he wanted, and thought he deserved after all that time at university, for too long for him to expect another chance to just walk into a nice, routine job where his weekends coincided with the rest of humanity and the nights were his own. Maybe then he could go back out and start enjoying his life again but for the moment…
There was no way out. This was all there was for him in this town. That view and that job. There was no way out and if he ever thought about it he would have to wave the flag of surrender and move back to London again which was something he had vowed never to do when he’d escaped there the last time. He couldn’t live without that view. He could put up with the rickety floorboards and his neighbour’s fondness for old Elton John records just for that view. It looked right out onto the beach with the pier, the grand old pier, in the immediate distance. An idyllic setting for a great life that was never going to be but at least it had that view.