everyday rebellion

Do I look like a rebel?

I am looking through family photos and here I am at 4 years old. I think it was taken by a street photographer.  Do you remember them? They used to pop up on piers and beaches. I’m looking mighty suspicious.  I’m on a little donkey. The kind that moves backwards and forwards when the coin goes in. My grandpa and grandma are in the photo too. I’m wide eyed and looking out cautiously from under my fringe.  My jaw is set in a manner which matches my eyes, watchful, quizzical, timid. I do not look bold. 

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Straight Lines

I was in primary 6. Ten years old. Old enough to know right from wrong. Young enough to be plastic and suggestible. The day had started in the usual way. I had stood at the bus stop with others in various hues of uniform, a man in a dark suit with a briefcase, the old lady who only ever travelled three stops with her shopping trolley. It was dry, so she didn’t have her flowery umbrella with her. Our bus stop had no shelter. If you walked back to the terminus, two stops away, there was one there.

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I'm Not The Rebel You're Looking For

So you want to read about rebels? Well, you’ve come to entirely the wrong place. Sorry.

I’m about as far from a rebel as it’s possible to be. To give you an idea of what I mean, here are a few scenarios from 20th century cinema to help.

Imagine Stand By Me, but with a character who, having heard the rumour about a bloated corpse amidst the rushes, leaves his more adventurous friends to it, hot-footing it home quicker than you can say ‘valuable life lessons’.

I’m the Neo from The Matrix who takes the other pill.

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Charnock Richard

  

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Thanks - but no thanks!

The knarled, twisted tufts of root are still caked in sandy, red earth - grains clearly stuck fast in the crevices and knots, pressed against the clear, tight plastic wrap. I absent-mindedly toss the celeriac toward my trolley.
"Sh**- oh, sorry, excuse me" I mumble as the slippery ball escapes my grasp, hits the floor with a dull thud and rolls away along the aisle. Sighing I crouch down, rummaging on the floor beneath bemused and slightly irritated Saturday afternoon shoppers. I’m painfully aware my neck is reddening with embarrassment.

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To be young

On the hot summer day
almost 40 years ago I sat
in a wooden box with my
feet in the cool mud,
the white wall reflecting
the sun all around me,
Mother telling me to get
out of the mud and put
sun screen on.
Dad is mowing away at the
bottom of the garden
bobbing up & down.
I look up to the drone and   
See planes move overhead.
Dirt swims & oozes beneath my
Toes and splashing up my legs
Soothing and gleeful.
My grandfather Looks on in
amazement and horror.

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Rebel

I was a rebel, so I’m going to let you all know just how it was for me.

I just started looking around me, all the energy in me was needing to come out. I needed freedom, enough to give me a good look at things around me.

There were plenty of things to do where I stayed.  

I could get up to lots of things, no angel was I.

I was an out and about person and a law unto myself, as far as my family was concerned.

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The Book

I have a book.

It is a little book.

It is a book where I write down the names of all the people who have been naughty.

Jim has been in it, more times than I can remember, Lynn has been in it a few times and Mike too.

I am not a rebel but I think maybe everyone else is.

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Radio Rebel

Music,

Loud.

Up! Up! Up!

Abba?

No!

Crap.

Radio 3?

Opera la, la, la.

No.

Anne McKillop singing?

Crap.

Archie Darling

Aye.

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Sometimes I steal food

Warning: this piece contains strong language

Of course, not in restaurants or supermarkets. I just eat food I'm not supposed to.

From my flatmates, mainly. It could be a small piece of carrot cake. A banana. A
frozen hamburger. I can’t remember when I started but I know for sure that I
can’t stop. The adrenaline keeps me going. For an even more pleasurable
experience, I do it when people are next door and could come in any minute.
Heaven on earth, believe me.

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