The Significance of Facing the Consequences


My problem is that I see consequences. Not immediate consequences, we all see those: if I put my fingers into that working liquidizer I presume they would… Oh bugger! and not the ultimate consequence – there is only one of those and I don’t quite see that on its way just yet – but possible consequences. It is what I do: I cannot help it. The range of possible consequences arising from each step along a journey serves only as a discarded shoe over which to trip prior to the next step. The exponential growth of hazard along the way means that I am usually consumed, if not by fear then at least some kind of radical trepidation, before I have had the opportunity to fall down the doorstep. I often do not see journey’s end, just all the crap that lies between it and me. My wife thinks that I am The King of ‘No’ and, whilst I do not agree with her (obviously) I do think that I am almost certainly one of The Lords of ‘let’s just think this through’. I really need to see a logical route through any ‘journey’ before I’m ready to set off. I need to understand the consequences of each action I will take along the way. I am not The King of ‘No’, but I may well be The King of ‘what if?’

Now, please don’t think that this is some sort of pitch for sympathy – I neither seek nor deserve it. I have grown old with how I am, but I have never found a satisfactory way of dealing with it. If you have any sympathy to spare, please feel free to extend it to those who have to live with me.

At least I don’t spend my entire life constantly striving for more (more, more). I am reconciled to what I have. It is great, and I love it. I think that spending all of your life searching for something else will merely present you with the shortest route to misery. I am not tied to introspection, but I do see myself quite clearly. Unfortunately, although I know ‘what I am like’ it does not necessarily mean that I know what to do about it. (If you do, please feel free to let me know – as long as it isn’t painful.) And I don’t think that I am totally without redeeming features – I think I’m ok to spend a little time with. I am no Nelson Mandela, no Samuel L Jackson: you will not leave my company feeling that you have met somebody special, but I don’t think that I will have offended you. I’m not sexist, racist or homophobic. I seldom, if ever, get drawn into conversation about politics or religion. I don’t think that I exude any particularly noxious odour. I think, in the main, I am bland, inoffensive and unexciting. Human blancmange. I will not affront you, but I may seriously bore you.

In principal, I am very happy to set off on a journey with no idea of where I am going, just as long as I know exactly how I’m going to get there. I am happy to flirt with jeopardy, but never danger. If I was ever to play James Bond (I know, I know, but just hear me out) mine would be the first version to say “Now, let’s just think about this for a minute…” My ‘Bond-girl’ would lie, unsullied, on black satin sheets (about which I would warn her in due course) whilst I mixed her a really good G&T (neither shaken, nor stirred, but with loads of ice) and cautioned her about the inadvisability of mixing with men who keep sharks for pets…