Life On The Edge
September 24, 2013 § 1 Comment
I live near the edge: not right on the edge, but hey, life is too short to sweat the small stuff. There’s no way I’d admit to anyone here I’m bothered about a few metres; but if the opportunity arose to move closer, I’d grab it. Living on the edge is definitely the best place to be, so you won’t be surprised to hear that people often knock on my door with rolls of cash stuffed in their pockets pleading with me to sell up. I wouldn’t of course, because to move further from the edge meant I’d be moving closer to the middle. I’d experience less of living on the edge and more of living in the middle, and that would be crap – like dying. Never in a million years.
It’s pretty crowded here and that’s as it should be: we humans are a sociable crowd and like to be together all the time so we don’t need much space. It’s never still and it’s never quiet and there’s always something going on, even at night. It might look like no one ever sleeps, but in truth we don’t need much; we grab an hour here and there when we can: on the subway, on a park bench, in a coffee house – everybody does it. Can’t waste time sleeping. Those of us on the edge talk fast and walk fast, and we like to wheel and deal and organize stuff.
Rumour has it that those who live in the middle talk about the edge as if it’s not a good place to be, but we all know that’s just fear talking and probably quite a bit of jealousy. I’ve read a book or two about those who live in the middle, and I’m not surprised they never come and look, even though we’ve invited them lots of times. They’re basically cowards who don’t like change and are too frightened of what they might see. You don’t have to be brave, just a bit adventurous. It’s such fun. What’s the point of having eyes if you don’t open them? That’s just willful blindness. What are we here for if it’s not to look?
From time to time we all make a point of going right up to the very edge and peering over. It’s regarded as a kind of pilgrimage really, and there are thousands of us who go, although you can’t see a lot. I look really hard for as long as I can and feel better for it: it’s invigorating and I feel properly alive. I can’t imagine what it would be like not to want to look. Occasionally some of us jump off on purpose; and we’re all regarded as national heroes.
Everybody should go to the edge at least once in their lives – just to have a look and to see what it feels like – but you can’t force them. Even those who live in the middle who can’t or won’t see should go there – you never know, miracles might happen and they might be able to see again.
There’s a secret place not far from here that a friend told me about where they say that instead of extolling the virtues of the edge, we should go and have a look at the middle and find out for ourselves. I suppose it’s possible I might find some things that I like there, but I can’t imagine it could possibly be as perfect as it is here.
There is an insurmountable problem about the middle, which is that it has never been defined. I can’t be sure it even exists, and nobody who lives on the edge has ever drawn a map of it or decided exactly where it is.
I’m not impressed with all this inexactness. The edge is exact; I know exactly where I am: close to the edge. I can’t agree with what the people who live in the middle say, which is that the middle is what defines the edge. This is rubbish. Those in the middle need us on the edge to define where and what the middle is.
The people who live in the middle say they don’t need us to define them because their lives are based upon history and tradition. That means they never question anything and probably don’t think change is a good idea. We on the edge believe in change and innovation, and that is why we will survive, and they will perish.
When that happens, those of us who live on the edge will be able to spread towards the middle, which may eventually mean that all of the middle becomes the edge, and that might mean we will have to find a new name for what was once the middle. But that’s fine; those of us who live on the edge welcome change.
Whatever happens I am quite certain the edge is the best place to be.