Sarah Trounce is a writer based in London. She worked as a manager in the design industry for ten years and is now a freelance consultant. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths.
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They seek out the confused, the timid, the lazy
Are you still feeling frightened? they ask, mock concern on their faces After all this time? Really! How can that be?
Get a grip, they cry If only you could just make up your mind! This indecision can’t go on forever, you know
Channel that introspection into strategy, is our advice Your goals will be your stepping stones to greatness
There’s no room for uncertainty now Just pick an objective Follow the necessary path to realise your ambition We will be here to guide you
The lost ones scour their bedrooms, their cupboards, their gardens, for an idea or a clue: anything that might have weight, have longevity
That? That’s your ambition? You can’t be serious!
The lost ones bow their heads in shame and recognition
I cross the city to see my mentor in the area where he lives I have to travel east to west, going past the institute and taking another bus out further still It is an ordeal I once queried this arrangement, but it was not possible to change what we had agreed in the past
Today we are meeting in a park It is an unreal summer day, hazy at the edges so that the appearance of things cannot be trusted I can’t shake the feeling that the children who hang off the climbing frame are fakes The racket of their voices is like a cloud that casts a quick shadow over a garden, appearing near and far away at the same time Their noise seems to waver in the air, like it is unconnected to their bodies, a time delay between the movement of their mouths and the release of their garbled words The parents who sit on the benches observing, hands spread defensively on their laps, are probably fakes too
The banners don’t help Around the perimeter of the park, they are strung up, sagging in places, showing the warped faces of familiar-looking children and parents, but more attractive, more ecstatic They play tennis, run and hug They laugh, mouths open to show substantial white teeth The foliage they pose in