Smuggling, Snuggling, or Struggling? – Dead Deer

Smuggling, Snuggling, or Struggling?

“It’s hard; but it’s a struggle”

Words I will never forget, words that perfectly encapsulate the difficulty of maintaining positivity in the face of adversity. I first heard them around 1987 up West in London, passed onto to me by an old man (he seemed old to me, maybe he wasn’t) living on the streets. I can see him now halfway down the steps of an Underground, he paused half turned and called to me, by way of encouragement. “It’s hard; but it’s a struggle.”

Inspiring, I think, is what he was aiming at but of course it has a beautifully bleak desperate misery around it. When that is your genuine attempt at cheery imagine where you life is.

I suppose I cannot begin to liken my lot to his yet I find myself often thinking of that phrase. It really is hard and it really is a struggle. And it is getting worse, day by day. As I sink into the miserable future I foresaw, another phrase enters my mind, one uttered much more recently.

A little while ago everyone was assuring me, insisting in fact, that it would get better. With time. This made no sense to me at all, why would it? It was the future that was fucked so how could heading toward it, into it, make it better? It made no sense, and I thought of Pierce Carroll in Penelope Fitzgerald’s wonderful At Freddie’s when he said “No. That won’t be the way of it at all.”

And then a dear new friend said to me these very wise, and as it turns out very perceptive, words;

“Sometimes time just makes it worse.”



Today I wrote from 18:01 to 18:11. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

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