No Regrets – Hungry Ambition – By @PhilipLeBrun
By Phil Le Brun
Marc asked us to end this year without any regrets. One of my deepest regrets is that I’ve fallen out of touch with some of my friends from school. Friends I used to spend every waking second with and would trust with anything. Since I’ve been back on the windy little Island I call home I reached out to one of these friends.
It had, to my shame, been years since we’d shared any more than a polite ‘hi mate’. But after a pint or two we were jabbering like we were sixteen again. For a moment nothing had changed. We reminisced about the girls that never fancied us and adrenaline soaked afternoons skateboarding down lanes praying you wouldn’t meet a tractor. It was cathartic and warming. But things had changed. I no longer felt like the Millhouse to his Bart Simpson. I was left feeling sort of hollow and strangely guilty for the relative success I’ve enjoyed and some of the experiences I’ve been lucky to have since leaving school.
How could a guy who managed to be the wiliest yet most veracious person I’ve ever met be living with his parents and working as a Trainee Trust Administrator in a town where nothing ever happens? I was ‘having a cow man’ so have written a short piece about him below.
In a wind battered shack on a salt washed rock was Wade
Smirky, crafty with just enough charm to appear plucky
Scruffy-haired, with a hyena’s laugh and digger’s hands
Who teachers hated to love and girls secretly fancied.
Most comfortable on the edge of catastrophe;
Trouble usually had his fingerprints all over it
Until one day he found something new; Ambition
He licked his lips growing insatiably hungry for more.
Crooked knuckles shifted from up to down,
His smirk became a determined grimace
And our clown became a scholar
With each taste of triumph growing hungrier
Snarky pundits dismissed his rise as something else;
Not sparkly natural talent, but grubby hard-work
They didn’t like it when the scores were tallied
Still he was restless, unsatisfied, needing more.
In a hyena’s cackle he sailed to the mainland
Where his ambitious mind craved and rumbled
Until his aspirations started to stretch beyond his reach
Everything seemed to move faster, ever faster
When he looked around he was surrounded
By the same glossy people who looked down their noses
At his scruffy hair and calloused hands;
Hands that got him here couldn’t seem to reach further
In a kicked hyena’s whimper he sailed home
Back to the shack on the salt-washed rock
Back to the edge of something worse than catastrophe
Where he never found his appetite again.