[Jolly Good Fellow, 609 words, Genre: Experimental]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Glen had dreamt of being a family man. Of a wife, of children, a family where he could host barbecues in the backyard and the surrounding neighbours would all attend. Where he could bring out his glassware and pour beer for all of his fellow working compatriots. Where all of his friends and family would gather around him in a circle and sing, ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow.’
There would be smiles and cheers and pats on the back. For they all knew that Glen was a ‘jolly good fellow.’ This is the vision that the world had sold to him of his future if he just did the right thing. If he continued doing the right thing, he would have all these things. A wife, children and the happiest home in the neighbourhood.
He had done it. He had bought a home and had filled it up with a bountiful harvest of family heirlooms, ornaments from his favourite football team and stocked the fridge with meat packs. All awaiting the day when his wife would be delivered to him and he could fill the home full of the laughter of small children. But something went wrong with this dream, as many things happen to affect people’s dreams and dreams are neither here nor there. For none of them ever come true. Perhaps that is why our ancestors once dreamed of a place called heaven. Because in the world of reality, things do not happen as others have prescribed them to be. The whole idea of the happy family and the happy home was never going to happen. It was not going to happen for Glen, it was not going to happen for other people. At best Glen could hope for was the gatherings of his social club. A social club that prided themselves on class and dignity, but how could you achieve such things in the hands of illiterate men?
And so when Glen was not working, doing his service for the community. He was asleep, dreaming of another world where these things came true. Where he was a family man and had children. These were sweet dreams, sweet dreams indeed. In the myriad scape of his dreams, they were singing. They were all singing. ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow.’ And they were toasting their drinks to his success, wealth and fortune. The great and bountiful amount of fortune that the Gods had bestowed upon them. His wife, his children… They all existed, but only in his dreams.
And when he woke up, he would go to work. He would work eight to twelve hour shifts in the home that he had bought. The home in the suburbs. The home that the real estate agent had sold to him and told him that all the women in the neighbourhood would be after him because now he was a decent, respectable, working class citizen. But the women never came. The children were never born. And all Glen could do was sleep a deep sleep filled with dreams of a better life.
He looked over the horizon. Over to the next curve ball that life would throw at him. He would attend the local football games, he would work as hard as any other man and he would dream. He would dream because at the end of the day, that’s all he could ever do.
And the world be damned, for he had believed the lie of the Everyman’s dream. For some the Everyman’s dream is a lie and for others it is a truth. You must ask yourself, when chasing after these dreams, are you an everyman?