I had a revelation the other day. I woke in my bed feeling a bit worse for wears, tried to get a hit off my phone, read a chapter of my book, rereading sentences, mind wandering. You know how it is, slipping down into the chasm of past shame, frightened of future labour, anguish and death.
I needed a bit of exercise. A walk, a jog, a trip to the gym, maybe even a cycle. I rolled out of my King-sized bed (were Kings really that much bigger than the average person who slept in regular sized beds?) and drudged over to the sock drawer, over the piles of used and unused garments. I opened up the drawer and as I stared into it a thought came to me. My eyes opened wide and I stood there, hand over mouth.
Fucking hell, this is what my grandfather and all of his mates fought for in the second world war. This is what they all fought, starved, exhausted themselves and died for. So I can have this sock drawer, with all of these socks inside it. So I can get out of bed when I want, put some socks on, and decide to go for a run. If this isn’t freedom I don’t know what is. How many people in the world now, in North Korea would dream of having this sock drawer? Nobody wants to line me up in front of a wall and kill me with a semi-automatic weapon, nobody wants to put me in a dungeon. The air outside is clean and fresh, my taps produce drinking water, there are shops a ten minute walk from me where I can buy delicious foods. I’ve got a fucking device that I can hold in my hand, and from that device I can select from almost every piece of music ever produced, and have it playing in my ears through a wireless pair of headphones that I can carry around with me wherever I go. And I can go wherever I want!
If you get up one day and head for the sock drawer, a multitude of actions available to you, you better realise how lucky you are too. If you’re able to read this, you’re a lottery winner and you better not forget that.