In my real job (That is, not making things up and writing them down) I frequently have to hob-nob with various construction sorts who although no doubt relatively high up in their own organisation, can frequently be best described as “not necessarily the sharpest pencils in the box”. I have a phobia of construction press releases and magazines where these fearless leaders of industry and commerce are pictured looking…. well, just what are they looking like?
I suspect that the photographer may give instructions something along the lines of, “look fearless” or “visionary” or perhaps “motivated?”. Personally, the only word I can think of when I see these pictures is, “constipated”.
So, anyway. There we were in a business meeting and my boss turned the conversation to cars. These clueless tossers of course had the latest BMW ? Audi? Mercedes what-evers. Then they turned to me. “What do you drive?” the asked and I told the truth. “Daewoo.” I said, before pausing and then adding, “Lanos.” The resulting silence was finally punctuated by laughter or looks of disbelief whilst I was just amazed that I had remembered that it was a “Lanos”. I’m not a car person. A to B man, me.
You know I would like to think I was being ironic or wishing to make them laugh. But I wasn’t. I loved that car. The way one window didn’t wind down so you had to open the door to throw your money into the basket at the Mersey Tunnel toll, the slightly sticky gear box.
It’s often the way, isn’t it? You think of the witty reply a day later, the casual insult in the face of poor service or bad manners. Yet it is also a damning observation on what is important to us I feel. Does it really matter about the car you drive as long as it’s safe and gets you where you want to be? Would you really want your face on the front of a trade bodies magazine looking constipated or visionary or just a plain clueless tosser?
So what’s important to me? In my writing I can see many viewpoints – I am the original liberal fence sitter – but what makes it true to me is that I enjoy doing it. Not because I want to appear on magazines or have people clap me on thye back whilst warming up with their falsehoods.
I do it because it is who I am.
Sometimes that’s enough. In the words of someone who eludes me right now, “There is in beauty a truth.”
How true. How very true.