The pinnacles of civilisations are the best. The sealing of the Great Pyramid. The last slab on the Great Wall. The final lintel placed on the trilithon of Stonehenge. Stevenson’s Rocket. The raising of the Statue of Liberty. Gagarin’s launch. The fall of the Berlin Wall. Sorry, am I boring you? Don’t even get me started on the holiday snaps. I’ve seen human history blur by like a flickerbook, but when you don’t know any different, well, it’s astonishing what you can get used to. Life on fast-forward. You start to notice the patterns more than the details. The ebb and flow of things. The latest dictator. The scapegoating. The outrage. The declaration of war. The massacres. The blitzes. The ceasefire. The peace treaty. The bridge building and burning. Plus ça change. But throughout it all … humanity likes to party. The great constant. Too much to eat, to drink, dodgy dancing and inappropriate behaviour, the grope and the fumble, the histrionics and the fisticuffs, the toilet bowl and the hangover. Forget AA, just spend a few New Year’s Eves with me.
It’s a sobering experience.
Kevan Manwaring © 2016
(1 of 12 connected flash fictions written by Kevan Manwaring, dedicated to David Bowie 1947-2016, and published here to mark the first anniversary of the passing of a visionary starman & much-missed musical genius. ‘Look up here, I’m in Heaven…’).