We could be happy now (and if you are I hope my tangled ramble will not spoil a perfect day. I have no wish to mar your mardi gras or to disturb your oil with troubled water, nor to bring you pain). The opening took so long I'll start again - We could be happy now, as birds of air (which ones? the happy ones of course) but there is something evil holding us in thrall - Posterity - the notion drives us spare, as if the future cared for us at all. Instead of stepping out to travel far and wide, we hide inside to sweat and toil on some dull masterpiece, apply the tar and feathers to our own behinds. We boil our brains in brine, the better to attain the unattainable, the merest grain of immortality. We claw and tear at trivia and pray that we may fare better than all the others. To stand tall among the greats, to shine without compare, as if the future cared for us at all. No need to play the precious superstar. Sufficient to be diligent and loyal in service of the muse. Avoid the bar at least till one o'clock and show a royal displeasure verging on a fine disdain to anyone who asks us to explain our antisocial tendencies. Beware of all who interfere. A rabid bear with toothache is a model sure to stall the curious; or freeze them with a glare - as if the future cared for us at all. And everywhere from Rome to Zanzibar a hell of fellow scriveners embroil the waking hours in faking on a par with Stevenson or even Roddy Doyle. A form of madness favoured by the vain, this writer's clamp, the stamp of the insane and insecure. Poor fools who never dare to do, we step aside and idly stare at braver players fighting for the ball, call it 'research' and pack it neat and square as if the future cared for us at all. Like Valient-for-Truth, each mark and scar bears witness to our time above the soil, but who will value scratches on the car as evidence of valour? We recoil too late from recognising that the main thrust of our lives was gazing at the rain and sitting, sitting, sitting in a rare resemblance of a scrawny Rodin, bare bulb overhead, in front of us a scrawl of doomed ambition, martyrs to a chair as if the future cared for us at all. Posterity, you ought to have a care. You're irresponsible, for everywhere in every age you lead to our downfall. We banish happiness, embrace despair as if the future cared for us at all.