The Picket Fence House.

I stand on the porch of my picket fence house; newly wedded wife by my side, and Elvis - my little baldy baby, resting cosy in her arms. The building is brand spanking new. I have a lovely fresh cut grass, pure oak front door, expertly crafted furniture and internal flooring, letterbox engraved with my surname, and the masterpiece to it all, a white painted, inch perfect picket fence - surrounding the entire house - like a moat guards its castle. It is perfect, it is heaven, it is the home of my globe changing ideas... and it is all ours. I enjoy this moment. I enjoy this moment, because a moment is all it shall ever remain; a perfect image of time, stuck in my mind as a mental photograph - when everything was as I ever wanted it to be.

As time passes, ideas of revolutions are displaced by maintenance; the fence needs painting every six months, and the wooden posts need constant replacement. Pigeons shit on them, Doggies cock their legs for pee time on their arches, and on the rare occasions, neighbourhood kids will kick them in half, just for the thrill of it. Furniture comes and goes in quick fashion, as fat friends and smelly relatives converge to kill my décor. A dirty old Honda Civic spends motionless years on the grass, a bolt of lighting tears half of my greenhouse conversion into shards of glass on the floor, and someone sprays the words "is a cunt", underneath my surname on the letterbox.

Baby Elvis, come toddler Elvis, come moody teenager Elvis, come rebellious young man Elvis, causes havoc on the walls, grass, and front door; sometimes even kicking a picket fence or two off its hinges. He eventually leaves for university, then leaves for the path to find his own picket fence house; albeit with his own, 'unique' ideas upon it - as generations do. The wife and I argue and make up over and over - until she eventually decides to pack her bags and run off with the Frappuchinoman (Milkmen were replaced in 2019). I grow fatter, balder, older, dumber, and all the happier for it, and as my pace slows to a snails level, I am more relaxed, as I have come to learn revolutions are for kids, maintenance takes too much effort, and Pigeons logistically - and in a quite Machiavellian way, select where they shit.

Fifty years pass, and I am now a tired, barely mobile old bastard. Too philosophical to be Victor Meldrew, yet too lazy to be Jack LaLane, I will stand once again on that rusty old porch of mine; taking a long, peaceful stroll through memory lane, before my brain is too worn to even register if I am wearing pants or not. I remember the shitty car, the fatties and the stinkers, the lightning destroyed conversion, the boy who became a man, the woman who chose Frappachinos over Earl Grey, and all the other acts of the nature of God, and the nature of people. As I do this, I smile, understand how perfect it all is, then quietly say to myself "I guess it always was, as I ever wanted it to be."

Seconds later, the wife brain mails me for a second chance, and Elvis turns up at the gate; fat, carrying a rucksack, and dressed like Rambo in his civvies. As I think about it, a Pigeon shits on my letterbox... :-)


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