Better To Be The Wolf Than The Pig

Contributor: Jim Buck

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This is the last version. I commit it to light. This version, unlike any that preceded it, will be definitive. It may not be as scholarly, or flow as instantly as those other versions. The writer may use fewer words, which will allow room for pseudo semantics, when before, he just wrote and wrote, as though he knew everything and said nothing. This might not mean anything to anyone. This version may be criticized for being perfunctory, or for lacking sagaciousness; it may lack a hell of a lot of things. This version may be criticized for wasting the time of the critic. The critic may be right, his time may be wasted, but I hardly held a gun to his head and demanded he read it. If I had a gun, I would’ve held it to the head of the critic, but not to demand he read it. What does he want from me, anyway?
The teacher may decline from adding it to the syllabus. This could split parents both ways, but generally, the teacher will be applauded for burning this book.
The politician may have a copy hid under the luxurious mattress of his super king sized edge to edge sleeping palace 5000; he may read it by candlelight, with God beaming down on him; he may masturbate to it in the stall, with God beaming down on him; and though he may never concede to having read at least the dirty bits, he will force a bill through the Houses that ensures it never enters any of the schools in the western world, or the little heads of all the children that hibernate within.
This version might highlight just how sick a creature the politician has become, and it might ignite enough hatred in the assassin to take the man out of existence.
There have been many versions, but there’s only one version from now on. Maybe this isn’t the version that your kid read when he was bothered with reading, when you were thinking he was doing his needlework, or playing on his Station. Rather, he was plotting a litany of possible evils, and taking enough non-invasive hip drugs to enable him to deal with you and your misconceptions of what he was, and what he did to get through his childhood unscathed.
I don’t know which version’s my favourite, I don’t know if I have a favourite, or whether I care enough to decide; I know that you shouldn’t care either. I wonder why I wrote it, and I wonder if I’ll ever write anything else like it again.
I tell myself I should sober up. I hand out copies on street corners to anyone who wants to pay me for the pleasure of reading at least the title. Maybe I can do something with the money, like decorate my room, or eat better, or take up smoking for a week. Maybe I should slip it in between copies of an Edward Klein and a Janet Evanovich, and hope that someone might get all the way home with it and, instead of trolling or quick scoping, write some meaningless shit of their own, because they know they can do better.
I wanted to include everyone, but knew that kind of thing was impossible; some people would definitely have to be left out. Even the arc wasn’t all inclusive. There were those who drowned while others sipped pink lemonade and gazed over the bulwark at their sounding fists.
Choosing who went in became a chore. Indeed, there were more people I would have rather left out than invited in. But then, the people I would have rather left out were more interesting than the ones included. They had more chutzpah. They were dangerous, prepared to kill. They alarmed and rattled their good neighbour. Everything deteriorated into a kind of perversion when they were around, a demoralization of nerves. They knocked on the door so loudly, it became impossible to exclude the ones you loved to hate.
And I learnt that you can’t please everyone anyhow. It was better to be the wolf than it was to be the pig. You feel a sense of deliverance, of the river finally opening out into the ocean when you’re allowed to determine another’s fate. There ahead, the world. And cruelty, in the eyes of some, is the captain. Let there be no regrets, no cherry-cheeked suspicions that this was no more than men of straw blowing over the fields of Nebraska. Perfection was for pigs and their keepers. I was the keeper of wolves, and this was their story.


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To me writing is an exit door from the day-to-day of ‘keeping a roof over my head’. It is even better than playing GTA5. I live in one of England's forgotten fishing towns, its heritage now resides in a museum, and we all dream of leaving.
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One Response to this post

  1. Anonymous on October 3, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Ed: Er.......yes Jim.
    Somewhere along the banks of The Humber.

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