The Joy of the Part-Time Unemployed

Football in the park remains shameless, blameless, on aimless afternoons.

Famelessly getting along is my ass and the grass, my hair and the air, me and the trees, namelessly Ant and Dec, anonymously Dick and Dom, Campbell and Moss, wait a sec, tosspots, up a head, who are these cocks who dare step, tread, on my love affair with nature, just begun, never-ending, oh its my chums, my friends, in hands cans and tins gingerly swilled whilst looking for daytime swine, fingering toked fags, their lingering smoke clouds like the sad grey memories of working days without time, supposedly 9 to 5, disappearing in the glorious sunshine.

“Pass it here mate!”

If we were known anywhere outside our homes we’d be Pele, Pogba, Messi, Didier Drogba, our team sponsored by our dreams.

“Go on! Hit it!”

Nike ticks summon new tricks, us mutts aren’t old yet, stretch, bend, receive, send, flex, relax, knackered. But the strain of thigh is the exultant sigh that reminds what a time it is to be alive:

Midweek, between the lethargic creak of lifting bones, aching brains, out the house toast to catch an 8 o clock train.
Afternoon, betwixt shifts in which one drifts through timeless minutes, wading through the dense bog that is a job, pausing only for weak tea and a quick piss.

Quick pass, fast run, “go on my son”, slip, trip, skill, drill home a winner. Full time. So we sit, recline, and drink and think and hope and joke and mock each others facial hair so much it could cut sharper than our razors obviously can’t but it doesn’t faze us because on a day like this it’s difficult to recall any ill-feeling,
It’s difficult to not appreciate the warmth spilling round the corners of isolate clouds,
And our bodies and beings overflow with refreshing optimism on seeing the virgin spring sun – glass half full and then some.

Hunger strikes so we march with the futile defiance of the voiceless against the deaf – we’re not gonna get what we deserve: Tesco will serve us our sandwiches with bread like turd, crisps seasoned with vinegar like piss, cheap chicken fillings will end up knicking our notes but today we could not care less. We will transcend tragedy, forget the imperfections of reality and exist in the freedom of anonymity, the unblemished joy of The Part-time Unemployed. We are no Greek heroes, no Othello’s, no Macbeth’s, there’s no death, rolling heads, grievous bodily harm, or even a small bruise on an arm, for we are the transient, joyous protagonists of poems with no sorry stories, fatal flaws or crushing twists, we are nameless characters in a winning team, existing in an idyllic plot that ends much the same as it begins:

Football in the park remains shameless, blameless, on aimless afternoons.


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