Never Factoring In - Tom Cox

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Never Factoring In

"I'll have a nice read of my book on the train," you think, never factoring in the girl behind you shouting into a phone at someone named Libby.

"I will sign this lucrative record deal," you think, never factoring in the fact that the record label will ultimately blame you, not themselves, for your lack of commercial success and that Declan in A&R is not your friend.

"I will take the piss out of my nan for jumping in fright every time the phone rings," you think, never factoring in that, five decades later, you will jump in fright when the phone rings in the precise same way, with a movement and expression utterly uncanny in all its genetic echoes.

"I will adopt this Border Collie pup, because I would like to meet other Border Collie owners, on long walks," never factoring in that this will prevent you from going on a yoga retreat in Shropshire, hooking up with John, and realising that the previous five years have been bullshit.

"I will listen to what this self-assured person from a more privileged and upper middle class background than me tells me about the world, and believe all of it," you think, never factoring in that they are often wrong and that, at 28, you are still young and suggestible.

"I will not unfollow this angry person on Twitter I mistakenly followed, as it will hurt their feelings," you think, never factoring in the fact they have already unfollowed you, feeling not a morsel of compunction.

"I will not see her again because she's too fragile from her previous relationship and I might hurt her," you think, never factoring in that you're the one who's too fragile from your previous relationship and she's fine.

"I will watch this nature documentary on a television in a warm house secretly through a window and be mesmerised by it," you think, never factoring in that you are, in fact, a fox.

"I will take my laptop to this cafe and do some work," you think, never factoring in that they will play Coldplay on a loop.

"I will journey back from the present to visit my younger self and give them advice," you think, never factoring in that your younger self doesn't not listen well and you are cataclysmically dicking about with life's essential journey of growth and wisdom.

"I will go the long, scenic route," you think, never factoring in that if you go the long scenic route you will see a red kite attacking a lamb.

"I will look at the life this magazine is telling me to have and yearn for it," you think, never factoring in the emptiness and panic that shadows the every move of those who actually live it.

"I will go and piss about at the old barn near the canal," you think, never factoring in the robbery and the cowardly mistake and the tearful phone call twenty eight years later.

"I will not respond to this gentle and tentative romantic online proposition, as I do not like the person's photo," you think, never factoring that the photo is not of them but of a celebrity they temporarily revere and you have never heard of.

"I will treat my body as a temple," you think, never factoring in that sometimes temples are fun.

"I will go to this function out of a sense of duty, while all my friends are attending that gig I've looked forward to for ages," you think, never factoring in that, escaping from the Perrys, and Jane, you will wander outside to the bench under the willow tree, where you will meet him, and after that everything will change for the better.

"I will take everything this blog post says as a fact," you think, never factoring in that it is fictional nonsense.

Never Factoring In Reviewed by Tom Cox on 02:39:00 Rating: 5 "I'll have a nice read of my book on the train," you think, never factoring in the girl behind you shouting into a phone at s...

3 comments:

Squirl said...

Fictional, perhaps. Thought-provoking, definitely.

Denikatcase said...

Sigh...So much to factor in, so little time... :-D x

Anonymous said...

Actually, this post HAS made me feel better about my life and my decision to ignore lifestyle magazines.

I'd love to know if foxes really do enjoy nature documentaries. I have a Siamese who prefers TV shows where the actors have British accents. He is a huge fan of the original Midsomer Murders and Grantchester, but doesn't like Grimm. He is a NYC native so the preference is a little strange.