Jeromiah is the lead character in the story I am currently writing. He is a man with an unconventional view of the world. Like me he believes that life is not all it seems, that there is more to understand and learn than is currently accepted. The following dialogue sprung to mind, and I’d thought I’d share it here instead of my creative writing blog Diary of a Person Being Human. It is between him and an old friend whom he came across one day in his favourite Brighton coffee shop. They become reacquainted and get into a heated debate about priorities in life, after Jeromiah’s friend William learns of his failing health. Not sure where in my story it will go, but it seemed like a good piece for The Daily Flannel. I hope you enjoy!
“I am used to being persecuted for my optimism. People just don’t like to be happy, they prefer the intensity and comfort of pain, and emotional anguish. Those people that seem to need the constant reminder that they are still alive, and possibly still worth something. They can’t know self-worth unless they understand rejection and pain. But to be so negative just simply isn’t natural. It’s a cultural disposition that causes nothing but challenge after challenge, and all for the wrong reasons. So forgive me if I choose to be positive, but I think I owe it to myself to create better ways of thinking. Better that is than the perpetual negativity that we get thrown at us from all angles, disguised as progress and innovation. We are being taught by the media these days that leading sedentary lives, confined within the walls of our abodes, with our infinite digital gadgets nannying us into submission, is somehow more healthy than being out in the world experiencing life for ourselves, first hand, interacting with others face to face, being able to use our senses to their fullest capacity, and bloody well enjoying the air that we breathe and the comfort of a real hand that grips yours in return for absolutely the right reasons. Because being alone should never be an option Will. Being taken off your happy-pedestal is never an opportunity unrecognised. Reciprocation is the name of the game. Sharing happiness and love is always the way forward. All else is a fiction, and a shallow excuse for self-annihilation.
“Of course there is no such thing as truth as all is subjectively experienced, but given the choice to be either appreciated and valued, as opposed to aggrieved and dismissed, I know which I’d rather choose. Facing death makes one very pragmatic I find Will. So don’t confuse my pragmatism for naiveté. Please. Wisdom gained through years of life does not entitle you or me, or anyone else to wear that badge of cynicism with pride. I am not ashamed to say with some conviction that I am a wonderful person. And so are you. So suck on that humbug!”
William laughed, shaking his head at his old friend, “I appreciate what you’re saying. I really do. Thank you for being candid with me Jerry. But just so you know, I’m not holding your hand! And what the hell is a humbug anyway?”
Jeromiah’s expression softened, and a smile began its tentative ascent at the corners of his mouth, “You said ‘candid’.” He chuckled at that, “A Humbug dear friend is a mint flavoured sweet that looks like a zebra, and’ll slice your tongue like a razor if you’re not careful, though zebra’s are not known for their incisiveness.” He now laughed aloud at that.
Jeromiah’s laughter was infectious, reflected in the spread of William’s smile revealing dimpled cheeks that were like punctuation marks at either side of a statement of approval.
*Mint Humbugs were black and white striped, sweets when I was a kid growing up in the UK. I always thought they were a bit controversial, incidentally. So it’s always tickled me that Ebenezer Scrooge would exclaim “Bah humbug” in Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, because it would make me think of the sweet. They are now inseparable in my mind. Those sweets are the embodiment of cynicism. The irony in that is that they are quite nice. Oh the hypocrisy!
If you’d like to read part one of my story entitled ‘Jeromiah Windborne’, then click here.