London Diary (10)

I looked down at the crowds below. Ten years ago, I was doing exactly the same thing as they were. Singing, dancing in the streets, smiling. Happy. Back then it was 1999, and anything seemed possible. Things could only get better. Surrounded by friends and family, we heard Big Ben chime away. We held hands and sang. A couple of Australian women were close by and joined in with us as we clambered on top of some statue. Someone had a bottle of champagne and we splashed it around like a set of Grand Prix winners. Okay, we never got to see the fireworks by the Thames, but somehow, it didn’t matter. Man, it was 2000, there was something special about the occasion! It was the beginning of the third millennium, this was it! It was our time! This was not just our year, but our life!

And so, ten years later, as I looked down at the crowds lining the streets below me, I did not smile lovingly as I looked back at a lost decade. That was it, ten years, gone. Finished, never to return. If I was lucky, I would have another four or five decades left on this Earth, then that will be it for me. My pitiful existence, gone, with another moron taking my place amongst the masses, looking out over the river and singing away with their hopes and dreams ahead of them.

Where had the last ten years gone? Nowhere. I was not any better than I was ten years ago, I could not point to some great achievement that I had made, life was still the same, I had not changed.

And what did I have to show to the world? Nothing. No hopes, no love not even any cash in my hand. I was as poor now as I was then!

It was as if the whole decade was just one endless series of hoops, being jumped through, but I was the only one setting those hoops. All those trials were for nothing. Friends had been lost, and enemies had gathered around me on this road known as life. I had seen too many good people die for no reason other than to validate the phrase, ‘it’s life’. And I had seen too many bad people continuing to live, polluting this Earth with their existence for no other reason then to validate the phrase, ‘life is unfair’.

The last ten years, have, been unfair. Where was this hope, this mass of goodwill that was stacked up as a result of a few digits turning to ‘zero’? Year 2000, Y2K, the New Millennium! Just think, such an event comes round once every thousand years, and really should be a point for humanity to reset itself and become better than it was.

Instead, all we got was more wars, more mistrust and more hatred. There was no love from the last ten years, only more of the same, but worse. There was no reason for all this, negativity, this let down of society. We had it all, the technology, the communication, the vision and the hope to really make ourselves altruistic, to move forward like at no other point in our shared history. Instead we got caught up in the greed of the times, we wanted more for ourselves, we thought only of our own pockets. How to get on top of the grease pole and stay up there. We wanted to reach for the stars, but instead of helping our brothers and sisters up, we shut the trap door on them.

The fireworks are already over, and the euphoria is gone. People stop looking at each other in hope, and look down at the pavement as the minutes tick past midnight. There is no more holding of hands, no more shared vision, no more love. Just a need to get out of the snow, to go home to our over-mortgaged lives and back to our so called security. An illusion that we have created for ourselves. Ten years down, four more decades to go…

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