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The offer

He came to me at dawn, from the fog.

Stood beside me. Said: “This can I offer…”

“Time: four hours more a day, yours for free.

Take your lost mornings back. Many evenings too.

And more…relief from sickness, headache, insomnia, dread.

More energy, clarity, firmness of purpose,

maybe a little slimness, possibly a little fitness.

You’ll smell better, taste better, have better teeth

and perhaps be a little harder when required.

More certainty of what you like and don’t;

of who’s worth spending time with and who isn’t.

Perspective – seeing who you really are,

where you are, where you’re going and where you want to go.

Wonderful new relationships and maybe some healing of the old.”

I marvelled, head reeling. I said, “I understand.

This I want, but at what cost?”

He replied:

“In money, nothing. I’ll even give you a thousand a year.

But there are other, heavier prices to consider:

What if you’re not who or where you thought you were?

You’ll change – maybe more, maybe less

but accept it’s an unknown.

You’ll be a stranger at times

to those you love, work and play with.

You may have to leave them, even where you live,

or change your profession entirely.

In many groups, you’ll be an outsider,

a threat, an object of pity and ridicule.

You will see the sharp edges of things you’d hidden before.

And maybe for good reasons.

You may lose home, partner, even children.

You may walk alone for years.

At parties you’ll be awkward; in the pub, shunned;

branded the loner, the loser, the killjoy.

You may withdraw, or seek new diversions

but new directions will emerge,

and with them, a new you.”

I marvelled.

“Yes,” I said. “I want this.

How long do I sign up for?

A lifetime is unthinkable.”

“Of course it is,” he said.

“These changes may take minutes or years,

but you only have to commit to today.”

I nodded, and gave him the bottle.

Category: Other

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One Response

  1. Andy Whateley says:

    I came looking for details of your recent train trip, but this was good too. A journey in itself, I guess even more uncomfortable at times than a soviet era eastbound overnight to Sofia, but no doubt leading ultimately to summer meadows, beautiful sunsets and lapping of waves on hidden coves. Well done PC, you are a man of many travels. A

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