This chapter should come in, after “A way out?”
I started this book the way I did and I will let it stand as is, but when I reread it, I came to realise that something was missing, namely the reason for my ending on the streets in the first place. There is no one reason though, but an accumulation of factors, which boiled down to just one epiphany, being that a man can only take so much. I never asked to be put on this planet. I hated the society I was born into, from the moment I could put two and two together and then, several decades later, I still hated it just as much.
Everybody and their dog and then some tried to shove their rules and regulations down my gullet. I twisted and turned and I even tried to conform for a while, but in the end my true self got the upper hand and shouted out at the top of its lungs:”Fuck You, I am NOT doing this any longer! I was born a free spirit and the ONLY way that I will go on is on MY terms. So, you say that I am not a man, if I won’t work nine hours a day for the rest of my able-bodied life, doing a mind-numbing job that kills my creativity, just to put a crust on the table and to earn your respect. To this my answer is an unequivocal: “Double Fuck You all!”
From now on I’m doing things MY WAY and if that means that I have to die on streets, poor and hungry and spat on by the rest of inhumanity, so be it! I am not, nor will I ever be a machine and I certainly do not want to be a tiny cog in some gigantic juggernaut that has to be kept greased, just so the powerful could keep their power, while the little man gets trampled underfoot. And the saddest thing of all is, that ALL of you know this at some level of your consciousness, but you’ve all been brainwashed to such an extent that you can not even conceive of any other way.
You do not really NEED your house in the suburbs and the latest model car and TV and mobile phone and fancy clothes! For fuck’s sake open your eyes, or better still your hearts and admit that you are just as disappointed with your life as I was. The ONLY thing we really need is love, friendship and to be understood for what we are deep down inside: frail human beings, who cry out for attention and above all for a modicum of respect! Not to be counted as just another number in a statistic that shows the collateral damage, by some greedy bank executive!
If push comes to shove, I’d rather bleedin’ well plough the land, by the sweat of my brow, if only the money-machine would leave me in friggin’ peace and allow me to become self-sufficient. This is of course utopia, for taxes have to be paid to grease the palms of the policy-makers, may they rot in hell! I’m sick to death of their fake smiles and their empty promises and for what? Because the show must go on, their show that is!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m too old now to work the land, but I damn well will write my own show, in which I determine the rules. Basically, I have only one rule: if you leave me in peace to do what I must, for if I don’t I shall die inside, then I will leave you in peace! I am an artist first and foremost, this comes before anything else. I live and breathe and eat and drink my art, without it I am nothing, less than nothing! Therefore, I choose to paint and to write, even if I have to starve in the gutter to do so.
And to anyone, who might take it upon themselves to kick me when I’m down, I urge the following caution: My sign is tiger, taunt me at your peril! You can only kick an animal so many times, before it turns around and bites your leg off. Be warned!
I have to work off a debt of gratitude for a while now, but I shall certainly keep writing and if, by the time my debt is paid, I have still not found a way to make money with my art, then I shall return to the street and be happy there. For there, amongst my friends of the brotherhood of outcasts, I can truly be myself, unfettered, unafraid and unashamed to be what I am: a free spirit and a born artist!