Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

A Whimsical Daily Diary From Deep Within A Random Mind

Flames Without A Phoenix

I impulse bought a new electric fire this afternoon. A free-standing Optiflame appliance, it provides up to 2 kW’s of warmth, along with a fake flame effect that functions with or without heat being output….. Or so I was assured by the salesman, who then proceeded to brag of his ability to sell sand to the Arabs. This vanity nearly resulted in me backing out of the purchase. However, after offering me a Polo mint, he had me eating out of his hand.

Incidentally, I wasn’t eating the hole ridden mint from the salesman’s palm, I’m not a horse! I was referring to my weak resolve when there’s a gratis Polo on offer. Consequently, he secured quite a straightforward sale. Meaning my trip to B&Q DIY store, where my sole intention on arrival was purchasing four (2″ x 2″) wooden batons, ended up costing me in excess of £200.

That being said I wasn’t the only Strachan to succumb to an impulse buy. While recklessly navigating the store aisles with a trolley, my missus felt moved to spontaneously purchase a laurel plant for the garden. A replacement for a recently acquired shrub which has sadly already died.

Actually, that’s not strictly true, as it isn’t quite deceased yet. However, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be calling the men dressed in black to bring along their tape measures to ‘do their thing’……. No, we aren’t having a chuffing suit made for the moribund plant…… Berk!

While the missus paid for her shrub, it dawned on me that the evergreen nature of the laurel meant it was a hardy plant. Subsequently, my spouse is now the proud owner of a hardy laurel bush.

A hardy laurel, do you get it?!…… You know, as in the late comedy due Laurel & Hardy…… You know, Stan and Olly…….. The fat and thin blokes with bowler hats who starred in black & white movies in the 1920’s/30’s, usually playing the schmucks……. Still no?!….. What do you mean, “If I liked comedy I wouldn’t be on this website!!”?

While writing this element of the narrative, I’m perching on the settee in my living room, laptop balanced on my knee, watching the new fire flickering it’s flames hypnotically skyward. As this trance-inducing scene plays out in front of me, though, there’s no phoenix to be seen rising from the flames.

As part of my never ending desire to compartmentalize, I think of a phoenix rising from the flames as a metaphor for what I covet for my future work life. Aspiring one day to figuratively reincarnate into a role where for the first time in adulthood I play to my strengths.

Something I owe myself after subjecting myself to thirty years of less suitable employment to feed four mouths; until four years ago it crumbled to ashes. Subsequently, leaving me utterly bereft of self-esteem and free vending machine coffee.

It’s not a case that I want to prove doubters wrong. My driving force is purely demonstrating to myself I’ve the wherewithal to one day utilise creativity for financial recompense.

Who knows in what way that’ll manifest itself, however I have to try.  If I don’t the metaphoric flames will never bear witness to that rising phoenix.

Categories: Blogs, depression, family, fiction, humour

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