The Art of Rivalry

Written after a writing residency at Od Arts Festival, 2018.

I saw an air freshener that said it smelt of mulled wine.

Why is it that everything wants to be something else?

‘You’re the best at being you,’ They say. ‘Just be yourself and everything will be fine.’

What if you have no idea who yourself is?

What if this experience isn’t amazing enough?

And what happens if I choose not to document it?

There is a decision to be made when it comes to memories, about preservation or decay. There’s romance in decay, and artificial permanence in preservation.

And if your experience is already engineered to produce the best experience then isn’t preservation just a supplementary subterfuge, designed to memorialise that fleeting moment when life was good enough?

It’s raining now, and blackbirds are pulling up worms in the churchyard.

“And of course I don’t need to tell you that the size of the blocks relate to the landowner’s wealth.”

No chips off the old block here then. A few on the shoulders perhaps, down the road, if you believe the rumours.

What would rivals do without each other? I shouldn’t think that either would like to drift away from the other, not really, however much they might say to the contrary.

It’s me versus you. It always has been.

But it’s you and me against the world.