5th Mar – I hear you talking, when I’m on the street.

Me and Keith have been chewing over the six foundational steps in the active monitoring and mentoring of boy prodigies, which I set out hereabouts sometime recently.

Over the following days our views slowly hardened and polarised into unreasonable contumaciousness, as we tried to discuss the consequences of imposing this policy on the impressionable adolescent. Mine, are that they persuade the vulnerable subject onto which the neglect has been fostered, into climbing down from the conveyor belt on which he was, until then, shuffling through life. I like it as an explanation for the hole in my life. The failure to launch; the creation of the conditions by which I ended up here.

My position, in short: that once you step down from the conveyor belt, you surrender your natural position in life, no longer capable of resuming that which you were once destined to be, and from then on, you’re forced to find a different route into life.

It takes only a little while under these new conditions, before you find yourself bumping along the bottom, hopping up and down from the lowest rung of the ladder. In this world of real jobs and agencies, rubbing shoulders with those who never even got to contemplate the sunlit uplands at the top of the mountain, uselessness is encountered above, below, and all around you. And then, eventually, one of your new supervisors, does something unreasonable, from which point the end becomes inevitable; and it always happens just before you build up any meaningful experience. So, instead of moving onwards and upwards in this substitute for a career, you are forced to being again, impressing idiots.

It ain’t just nobody who can swing a rag, boy.

It is what differentiates mere jobs, from careers. People like Johnny Carver, find themselves in places where those incapable of reason are fewer. Sure, they’ll have sharp elbowed tosspots to deal with – that is all part of the unfortunate condition of being a human bee. I get that. But just as we left half-wits behind, never to throw their anthropoid shadow across your path again, with entrance exams, actual exams and universities, there is also a class of person, from whom I somehow managed to exclude myself, that leaves the rest of us behind as we enter the workforce. I say this, because I sense that I know that it can’t just be me who can’t stand to endure the torment of that treadmill agony in the company of ambitious morons.

Eggo, for all his limitations, just got on with his life and kept going forward like an arrow. I, well, I climbed down. I wonder now whether I thought that I wasn’t worthy of my position on the conveyor belt, or that I was momentarily struck by the irrational notion that it was going too slowly for me? That perhaps, I could do better?

No, Eggo, spent his formative years unencumbered by such staccato spurts of euphoria and despair. He just sat in mute acceptance and trundled along quietly into the future. There were others, people with capabilities beyond his, who did as I did, and rejected the steady progress that charted the lives of their contemporaries. But they nevertheless had this momentum and trajectory about them that sent them spinning off, out of our orbit, into the gravitational fields of faraway objects. I must have fancied myself to be one of them, but somehow couldn’t find the energy to jump at the vital moment.

I suppose that is the defining moment of transition to adulthood, isn’t it? That as the choices start to become clear, and we jostle for position, preparing for the final lap of childhood, we have to decide whether the conveyor belt will take us where we want to be, or if we need to do something else. Not me though, I got down, then stood still and watched them disappear into the future. I think I must have believed that I’d already ascended the mountain.

They had talent,’ said Keith, ‘so did you, but you laid yours to waste. So what? Suck it up.’

I liked his forthrightness. It’s what I needed. But just because you were prepared to say something harsh, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t nonsense. Like Junior School teachers – thick as shit, but full of misplaced self-confidence, founded on the rock of a mimicked stentorian air.

‘It’s also about energy,’ I said, ‘you need that vital core of energy to jump from one plane to the next.’

Keith claims that I’m ‘just giving ordinary things special names.’

But, I’m not. It’s a thing. It’s a recognisable thing. Measurable even.

I see Google in my blue-light eye though, isn’t it?

Google Eye knew. She could see the difference between a real intellect and a merely bright boy, who had been mentored on the six-step foundation programme. She used to come and assess us in the old place just before we left for the offices above the pub. Everyone kind of went with the idea that I was the smartest, even the bosses, but she could see that I wasn’t as I should be. They were lacking but had a sort of honest endeavour about them. I was poison. Google Eye knew, and it confirmed everything that I knew. I’ll tell you about her next time.