Walking in the shadows



Blog music: Saliva, I Walk Alone.
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As I was walking to Sobey's last night to get some coke to mix with my rum and painkillers, I came to the realisation that there are 2 kinds of people in the world. There are those people whom walk in the light. And there are people who walk in the shadows. And I'm someone who walks in the shadows.

And I bet you can tell a lot about a persons character, by watching them walk at night. Do they walk in the light? Or do they walk in the shadows? To walk in the light, the logic is that you're safer, because everyone can see you. But then at the same time, if you're walking in the shadows, surely you're safe because no one can see you. And it comes down to; do you want to be hidden, but unprotected. Or do you want to be protected by the light, but visible to everyone. Because everyone can see you in the light, it's a resemblence of safety in numbers. You are protected by the witnesses around you. But you're also very, very, obvious to any potential attackers. Where as in the shadows, you can likely move undetected. But if you are confronted, you're on your own. And I would bet, that by watching the way someone walks at night, you could determine so much about their character. Walking in the shadows, you're fearless. Relying on your own abilities. Confident that you can defend yourself. Walking in the light you have faith in others around you. You live in fear somewhat. And you rely on the presence of other people to subsidise your existence.

And I would bet something here. I would bet that the middle-class of society, walks in the light. Where as the rock-bottom, and the extremely successful, walk in the shadows. Why? Because anyone who walks in the light, is relying on the people around them. Therefore, they require the necessary social skills to be able to co-exist within society. This means that they will accept help when it is offered, so they will never reach rock-bottom. They will pay their bills on time, attend charity events, and wave to the local police officer. All through the fear that they will be rejected by society if they don't. So why will they never reach the top then? Because, to be viewed as a "success" in human society, you need the qualities of fucking over other people. You aren't going to reach the top of the ladder by being nice. You will make it to the top at the expense of others. In business for example, you will beat out any competition to the top spot. And you will screw customers out of as much money as possible. And is the person, walking in the light, needing to be accepted, going to be willing to do this? No. There will be too big of a risk that they will be rejected. Then on the other hand, a shadow walker, if unsuccessful, will have burned the safety net provided by society. In their rush to get to the top, they will have destroyed any social bonds or capabilities. So when they fail, they fall without a net. They fall, right to the bottom.

And I was thinking as I was walking to Sobey's, that I have always been a person who walks in the shadows. I've never needed, or often wanted, the social netting of society. I've always been someone more comfortable on their own. I'll exercise alone. I'll travel alone. I'll solve problems alone. I've never wanted that social netting around me. And I think I could have told you that, just by looking at my walking patterns after dark. But what this means, if my theory is correct, is I am going to become one of two things. I am going to be an ultimate success. Or I am going to be a spectacular failure.

The majority of people like to walk in the light. The core of people in the world, the ones who you will never hear their names, because they'll be content to be born, work for 40 years, and die, as just another face in the crowd. They walk in the light. Then the people who walk in the dark. They have the potential to far exceed anything that you could. But there is just as much chance that you could be throwing them your spare pennies on a street corner one day. And I'm one of them. All or nothing. Haven't started a career yet. Don't really want to. Going to make my own way through life. And I don't care if you think I'm going the wrong way. I'll do it my way. Alone. That's the way I've always been. And there's a chance that I'll be eating out of bins before long. But then there's a chance that I will live to exceed the maximum capabilities that your personality will allow you to be. Because I've always been an all or nothing person. And that is where I'm at now. And as I said last week, there is no excuses. No explanations. You just find a way to get it done. And I'm going to get it done. I'm not going to go the way anyone else does. But my way will get me to where I want to go. And that will be a place much greater than anywhere you will go. When you walk in the shadows, you see everything. The light and the dark. If you walk in the light, your eyes cannot adjust to see what is hidden in the shadows. And you miss so much. Seeing only what other people see. And if all you can see, is the same that other people see, then how can you ever amount to anything better than them? You have to walk the different route to them, to see what they will not.

Which has just inspired me for this blogs music. I walk alone, by Saliva. By the time you read this, that will be at the top of the page.

Also on this walk to Sobey's, I thought of something else (it was a very productive trip). Death... is just like a man-wedding. What a wedding is to a woman, death is to a man. Just like a wedding, you can only die once. And the big worry for a man, is that it isn't enough of a majesty, a spectacle, that their friends won't like the way they're doing it. You know? I don't care about dying. It's probably going to happen. So why fuck about worrying about things that you can't change? You've just got to make sure you go down in a blaze of glory. Because you can only die once. So if you fuck it up, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Just like how woman worry all the time about getting married, because they don't want their friends to do it better. Well that is like dying for a man! And as I'm getting old, I need to start planning. The one thing that I don't want is to die of a heart attack or something gay like that. That's been done before. I want to do it in a way so great, that people will look at videos of me dying on youtube for years. I want the best dying video ever. No one will have ever died as well as I'm planning on doing it? Sound crazy? Well then you're obviously female or gay. So just think about how great you want your wedding to be. And that's exactly how I feel... just about dying. You got to start planning for it now. Because before you know it, you're going to be dying of AIDS or something unoriginal. And then when your friends do it better, you're going to feel like a total dick.

Hey at least dying is still sacred. You can't die twice. How many people have a second wedding because they fucked the first one up?

It was a strange trip to Sobeys.

Now, like normal, I wish to vent some anger towards whatever the fuck it is that is pissing me off at the moment. Whatever is flavour of the month. And today, that's volunteers. They piss me off.

I don't mean the old people that sit about in Oxfam all day. I've got no beef with them. Although, I'm sure they could think of something a little more productive to do with their time if they tried. It's almost like their last gasp effort to get into heaven. No they don't piss me off. What pisses me off, are all these people asking for sponsorship, so they can go to Africa and help to build a fucking school or something. And then they'll market it like they care for the little Arican's that they're helping. That they're doing it for the good of the orphans.

That's bullcrap! It's just a way to fund a holiday, praying on the need that most people seem to have, to be unable to not give you money if you say that it's going towards a good cause. Like in the liquor store over here, they always ask me to donate a dollar to whatever the fuck cause it is that they're collecting for here. And I think I'm the only person to ever tell them to get fucked and give me my rum. Because they always look at me with shock on their faces that I don't want to help their stupid little orphans. I came to the damn liquor store to get some fucking rum. If I wanted to help the needy, I would have gone to the fucking help the needy shop down the street. I came to the liquor store because I want liquor. That's what I do. Don't give me bullcrap about donating to charity when I'm trying to get drunk. What a fucking jip.

But I keep on getting all these invites from people on Facebook. Please donate to me. I want to fly to Africa and save some little African's by building them a school or some crap. You think they're going to thank you for that? Right now they get to stay home on the Xbox everyday because there's no school. If you build a school that means they have to go and learn everyday, do you think that they're going to fucking thank you? No they're fucking not. Just give them the damn money instead. What good has a school ever done anyone?

But the "volunteers", claim that they're doing all of this, because they want to help the needy. I guess it's just a coincidence then, that you weren't holding all these fund-raising efforts, before you got a free holiday out of it. Because afterall, if you really wanted to help these people, then you'd put the thousands of £££'s that you spend on flights to get you there, towards actually helping them. The only reason you're going all the way there, is so that you can have your picture taken with a little orphan to put on your Facebook profile, and to put that you saved Africa, on your CV. Because if you really wanted to help, that money could be used so much more productively.

And then you've got the people who donate to this. They just want to say that they did their bit as well. Because if they really cared, they wouldn't be donating to someone who will use the majority of that money to pay for their flights. It's fucking bullcrap. At least have the decency to admit to what you're doing. You're begging for money so you can go on holiday. That's all it is. It's just masqueraded as a good cause so no one thinks twice about it.

And then you have the cheek to flood my Facebook account with requests for money so you can go on your little trip... Are you fucking dreaming? This is the exact kind of thing that a person who walks in the light will give to. They don't want to run the risk of alienation by not donating. So they'll donate to the cause. And then make sure that everyone knows it.

It was this invite that I got the other day that set me off. A friend of mine, sends me an invite, to donate to her, so that she can fly from England to Cambodia, to hike up mountains in the jungle out there, to donate to a hospital, in England. I'm sorry, but do I look like a little bitch. A fucking sugar-daddy to pay for your holiday in Cambodia? Why exactly do you have to go all the way to Cambodia, from England, to raise money for a hospice, in England? Is it because you want to get a free holiday under the premise of doing a good deed perhaps? And you want me to fucking donate to this bullshit? You are living in a dream-world. Whilst in your claiming to be doing a good deed for the hospital, you proceed to spend thousands of pounds on flights to Cambodia. How the hospital could have used that money. Oh how. It's fucking bullshit. And the people who donate to it, are as bad as the ones doing it. It's a load of people wanting other people to visibly see them doing the right thing. It was Dennis Janson that said, "Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." And these "volunteers" and donators, are paradoxical to this interpretation of integrity. They don't care if they do the right thing. All they want, is to be seen to be doing the right thing. To be visibly seen to be donating and helping. When in reality, if this was their true intention, then they would donate their efforts in a far less visible manner. And then, they have the nerve to invite me to put my integrity in jeopardy, to join their seedy little club of "doing right".

I'll never deny that I don't give to charity. I don't help others. I look after myself. I walk in the shadows, and look after my own interests. And these people will look down on me. But at least I have the integrity to admit to the person I am. At least I'm not ashamed of it. At least I don't try to live under the perception of being a person different to who I am. Because when you have to mask your realities... that is when you've lost all integrity. And that's all these bullshit voluteer programs are. They are just avenues for people, just as selfish as me, to gain a perception from peers that in fact they care for the world. That they aren't out for themselves.

The ironic thing is, to a realist, anyone who's not out for themself, is just going to get trampled on. We live in a capitalist world much to my dismay. But we live in one none the less. And anyone who doesn't look out for themself, well they're the ones who will finish last. They're the ones whom I look down on, because they're the ones whom will give, give, give. Until they need to receive something back. Only to find, that no one has anything to give them. So if you're out for anyone but yourself, then you're about as low as you can be. The only thing lower, is someone who strives to be this person. Or at least be seen as this person. Enter, the volunteers.

Fuck they piss me off. And then they have the audacity to invite me to fund their little holidays. Do I have mug written on my forehead or something?

Now I'm regretably getting to the end of my time at Panorama. As I said yesterday, I'm one of the few people who doesn't want it to end. But alas, sadly it is meeting that end. And this trip, as gay as it makes it sound, is an educational experience. I don't really know what I'm trying to learn. But to get out of your home, your comfort zone, allows you to learn from the different systems used in the world. Because if there was nothing to learn from this, no way to better myself, then there would have been no point me ever leaving England. Apart from to avoid paying my student loan anyway. So getting to the end of my time at Pano, I have to pose the question:

Panorama. What have we learnt?

Why am I a better person now compared to before I got here? What has Pano taught me?

Well things at Pano didn't always go to plan. Things went wrong. My knee. My accomodation issues. And as stupid as it sounds, they are all probably good things. Because although they don't feel good when you're going through them, adversity is where you learn. Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. And a lot of things haven't gone to plan at Pano. But I came out the other side. My eyes were opened to the realisation of how important my health and fitness is to me. When that was forceably taken away from me by my knee, and I became a hermit, it was the realisation that that is a key issue to me. As I, even now, continue to deteriorate in health because of my limited mobility, I'm realising more and more that I can't let myself slide.

Then the issue of adversity in itself is something that I've come to deal with much better. For a while I've been spouting off the phrase "Things turn out better for the people that make the best of the way that things turn out." And it was something that always made sense to me. But it wasn't until these months here at Pano that I really began to realise it. And somewhere along the line here, I gained something of a positive attitude towards, everything. Whatever shit was thrown at me, I was just making the most of it. Bad knee? At least I won't get a more serious injury now. Somewhere along the lines here at Pano, I just gained a more positive perspective on life. And I can't pinpoint where that was.

Though if you really think about it, that is something of a contradictory statement to the first one that I made. I've learnt to make the best of adversity. Yet greater adversity leads to greater strength. So maybe, in a sense, by learning to deal with adversity amicably, I've lost the ability to gain so much from bad situations. Because if I don't view them negatively anymore, am I still going to learn from them? Figure that one out.

And you know another quote that I've been saying for years, but that really came to the fore, and became a reality whilst at Pano: "The pain of discipline is nothing compared to the pain of regret." I've been saying that for years. It's a good motivator when you're at the gym. Or when you're out running and you need something to keep you going as fatigue is kicking in. But it wasn't until this time at Pano, when my ability to discipline myself was taken away from me, again by my knee injury, that this phrase really came to the fore. The pain of discipline, might be nothing compared to the pain of regret. But the pain of discipline, is nothing compared to the pain of disablement. If you don't have the discipline to live well, then the time you have as an able-bodied person, is greatly shortened. You'll become too obese to move normally. Too unfit to carry out normal activities. Your life will become governed by your limited fitness. In long-term cases, your lack of discipline will lead to premature death. So yes, the pain of discipline is nothing compared to the pain of regret. But it's also nothing compared to the pain of dying of a heart-attack. And I don't think I appreciated that fully until I was limited by my knee.

As many times as I've said it, I might be bitching an moaning about this knee a lot. But you just have to take from the injury what you can. And in a time of adversity, it taught me a lot. And under the condition that I regain 100% use of my knee, then I think I'll be a better person for it.

Man, there I fucking go again, ruining something beatiful by making it educational. I have other things I need to be doing before going back to work tomorrow, so I'm calling it quits for now. I didn't really have anything to say today anyway as I'm sure you can tell by what you've just read.


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