And now I am one of the unemployed. What do we do all day? We sit on stoops and pause in loose knots on the stained pavements. The pavements are like threadless carpets after some atrocious rout of flesh-frazzled food and emetic drink: last night the weather gods all drowned their sorrows, and then threw up from thirty thousand feet. We sit flummoxed in the parks, among low-caste flowers. Whew (we think), this life is slow. I came of age in the Sixties, when there were chances, when it was all there waiting. Now they seep out of school – to what? To nothing, to fuck-all. The young (you can see it in their faces), the stegosaurus-rugged no-hopers, the parrot-crested blankies – they’ve come up with an appropriate response to this, which is: nothing. Which is nothing, which is fuck-all. The dole-queue starts at the exit to the playground. Riots are their rumpus-room, sombre London their jungle-gym. Life is hoarded elsewhere by others. Money is so near you can almost touch it, but it is all on the other side – you can only press your face up against the glass. In my day, if you wanted, you could just drop out. You can’t drop out any more. Money has seen to that. There’s nowhere to go. You cannot hide out from money any more. And so sometimes, when the nights are hot, they smash and grab.
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