Good Time: The Turning Point

New Year came and went, then it was straight back to business,

Went by too quick, that holiday period, daily life prefers a peculiar brand of slowness,

Ten years-plus an outcast, cynical and jaded,

Middle-finger salute to society all but permanent but low-key wanting some type of connection,

Logged onto FB one night, found me an old friend, he was with me in the trenches during the warzone that was lunch and recess,

Both of us deemed nerds, copped our fair share for it,

Me more so than him, that once-cheery kid grew up the polar opposite,

Back to the present he accepted my friend request, DM’d me after a few days,

Hadn’t seen or heard from him since graduation, his circumstances changed in strange ways,

After a few days he spilled his guts, tales of woe and heartbreak,

Thought she was the one so he upped sticks for her, before she tore his heart out then hurled it into the incinerator,

This mind back then wouldn’t allow sympathy, he’s just paying the price of vulnerability,

Welcome to society, where so many are fucking slimy, to trust is an act of self-sabotage, really,

Why’s he even dumping onto me this shit? This type of info one would keep a secret,

How’s he trusting a homie after more than ten years of distance?

Been keeping it in for too long, the contents within bubbling, pressure busts pipes, sooner or later there’ll be an explosion,

Somehow found myself compelled to help, this must be what they call compassion,

Channelling my inner optimist long dormant before I got to replying,

Encouraged him to soldier on, do away with plans foolish and drastic,

His luck could turn in a minute, in the end it’ll be worth it,

Regurgitated every cliché used by every motivational speaker ever,

Somehow it worked, though, found that out a few short months later,

Sure enough he met someone, in the present he’s still with her,

Two little ones to cap it off glad his happy ending came along.

In return he turned me onto anime again, been some time since I’d watched a series,

Then came a new beginning, at Pops’ insistence and urgings,

Began a new discipline, nothing like others that I’d tried,

Boxed and wore a karate gi in the past, but this seemed to throw every rule through the glass,

Squared on, everything from the centre, hard striking forbidden,

A fresh challenge but one that I took on, kept at it going forward,  

Seemed to be the turning point, felt a metamorphosis of sorts,

Befriended some fellow practitioners, for the longest time didn’t feel awkward,

Holed in my fortress for so long but dared to believe that leopards can change their spots,

Have I found a home away from home? Some semblance of acceptance?

All signs pointed to that direction, slowly but surely toppled the fences.

Finally embarked on a mission for qualification for that role I’d long been coveting,

Several months of fun and lessons, not to mention further friendships,

Can’t say I was a natural, but I’ll say I did ok with it,

It was fun while it lasted, been done for a while but thankful for the experience,

Later reunited face to face with that old buddy, the catalyst for this trajectory,

Not much changed physically, other than he’s aged markedly,

Got to know his co-pilot and the rest of their crew,

Still running with ‘em to this day, counting ‘em in my inner circle too,

Had long felt stagnant at work but seemed to embrace it once more,

Positive vibes permeating all aspects, have I found some secret key to what they call happiness?

Christmas with the extended fam sure was a blast,

Trip to Kosciuszko the icing on the cake, thus ending a year full of blessings in its wake,

Been a great one, I have to say, one of the best I’d ever had,

Still look back on it wistfully but to have lived it once I’m still glad,

Began as a surly recluse, all but anti-social and pissed at the system,

Wasted a great deal of young adulthood for it, always playing victim,

Picking at scabs from long ago, would have healed sooner had I not kept on doing so,

The lone sufferer the man in the mirror, time to get moving, better late than never,

Many moons prior, the Mayans predicted this to be the end,

For yours truly such was the case in some ways, finally emerged from a long hibernation,

Out from the darkness of the shadows to the brighter lights, it was a glorious reunion,

Old self has finally come to pass, in its place an older, wiser and all-round better version.

Impure Intentions

She was out for a walk, alone with her thoughts,

Five years retired already, been quite the journey, two years a widow now, unfortunately,

Heard from the kids every now and then, grandkids loved her when they visited,

Too long between reunions but life gets busy thanks to higher costs of living,

Melancholy comes knocking every now and then, but for the most part life’s a breeze,

Simple living and optimism, both have been the key,

On this day, her peace ‘bout to be shattered in ways cringey than clear and present danger,

The dude ran towards her, gave her quite a fright, expecting a thug or purse-snatcher but he wasn’t that type,

He asked her how she was doing, if she was feeling blue,

Wrapped himself around her, minus her consent, before a response can come through,

“It’ll be alright,” said he, “you will be ok,”

“You looked like you needed cheering, have a lovely day,”

His mate stands not far away, phone pointed towards ‘em,

Soon to be uploaded into cyberspace without their subject’s permission,

Off they run feeling heroic while she’s left to pick up the pieces,

To say she’s weirded out and mortified would be an understatement.

Not too far away, dude on the sidewalk wasting,

Reviewing his current situation, the culmination of bad breaks and his own poor decisions,

Living off of others’ generosity and donations,

For the most part mere shrapnel but it’s better than nothing,

One day was approached by a total stranger, cash in her hand, ready for a big contribution, but for reasons rather sad,

She dropped the dough as intended but her phone was pointed at his face,

“Enjoy your money, Sir,” said she, “hope you have a lovely day,”

He’ll be eating well tonight while making the rounds online,

Without his knowledge or consent, her generosity was tainted,

Helping the needy is cool, but social media clout’s her main objective,

Chasing praises from the masses, the dopamine fix is highly addictive,

But for every five likes there are far more of the opposite, consider the plan backfired,

Critics are letting her have it, she still doesn’t know it, but she’ll find out in a little while.

Good deeds with hidden motives, we’re seeing ‘em more often

Helping the downtrodden but we see you acting the paparazzi on ‘em,

It’s an empty gesture if you’re just doing it for clout,

Your audience ain’t cheering or admiring, they’re mocking and laughing out loud,

If you did it out of kindness then you wouldn’t need any witnesses,

You’re just fishing for compliments and backslaps from friends and so-called followers,

Putting it on blast reeks of fakeness and arrogance, how translucent can you get?

Using the less fortunate for your own selfish intentions? You’re a special breed of scum bucket,

And in other cases you’re just playing the space invader, running up on ‘em like whatever,

How’d you like it if you were hassled for no apparent reason? You’d think they were a right little nuisance,

Better cut that out sooner rather than later, you’re doing yourself no favors,

You’re considered a major irritant across social media, how does that label work for ya?

Indulge your ego elsewhere through different means, your actions aren’t appreciated here,

Better you walked on by than using and abusing ‘em, let the real altruists tend to them.