A long, long time ago … Back in the day … When I was sixteen years old … I started work at a very respectable banking institution. My first job was addressing the envelopes into which bank statements were placed and then posted out to our very respectable customers.
Some were less respectable than others. Some had two accounts, one for their respectable life and another for their more interesting life. In my youthful innocence, I sent an interesting statement to a respectable address. Whoops! Was I in trouble? You might say so! I am firmly convinced that my psychological problems when it comes to earning a living out in the world … All started with this traumatic experience… sigh …
Sixteen years old and responsible for mayhem and divorce! Addressing envelopes was obviously not going to be my forte. The accountant moved me to the switchboard. The switchboard was fairly challenging. Twenty four lines, twenty four chords and plugs.
The switchboard required mental alertness and manual dexterity. I enjoyed working the switchboard, I soon learned that if I accidently pulled the wrong cord from the wrong plug … disconnection occurred. I became a master of saying in a sweetly reasonable voice … “I am so sorry mr bank manager, the other party’s switchboard seems to have disconnected you.”
I was trained in switchboard skills by erika, a girl who became my very good friend. She also taught me to smoke. It was difficult but I persevered. I sucked peppermints in order to be able to take the foul tasting smoke into my mouth. I avoided my mother until such time as I had brushed my teeth. My mother was a fearsome woman! She laughed herself silly when I eventually confessed to my nicotine habit … she had, of course, known from the very first day!
Yep! Taking up smoking was not easy. However … it was very cool! I was convinced that I looked at least thirty years old and as sophisticated as any film star. Damn … those were the days!
So this historical saga took place forty six years ago, I have smoked ever since. Except for three years in my early thirties, when I gave it up, three miserable years, I can’t bare to think of them. That is a whole other story.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"There are too many people, and too few human beings." Robert Zend
"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces."