What's "choose life"?
- "Choose life."
Simon says it sometimes.
He says, "Choose life, Veronika."
"Choose life" was a well-meaning slogan
from a 1980s antidrug campaign.
And we used to add things to it.
So I might say, for example, choose...
in the vain hope of kicking some life
back into a dead relationship.
Choose high-heeled shoes.
Cashmere and silk to make yourself
feel what passes for happy.
Choose an iPhone made in China
by a woman who jumped out of a window,
and stick it in the pocket of your jacket
fresh from a South Asian firetrap.
Choose Facebook, Twitter,
and a thousand other ways to spew your
bile across people you've never met
Choose updating your profile.
Tell the world what you had for breakfast
and hope that someone, somewhere cares.
Choose looking up old flames,
desperate to believe that
you don't look as bad as they do.
Choose live-blogging from your
first wank to your last breath.
Human interaction reduced
to nothing more than data.
Choose ten things you never knew
about celebrities who'd had surgery.
Choose screaming about abortion.
Choose rape jokes,
slut shaming, revenge porn,
and an endless tide of
Choose 9/11 never happened,
and if it did, it was the Jews.
Choose a zero-hour contract
and a two-hour journey to work,
and choose the same
for your kids, only worse.
And maybe tell yourself it's better
that they never happened.
And then sit back and smother the pain
with an unknown dose of an unknown drug
made in somebody's fucking kitchen.
Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing
you'd done it all differently.
Choose never learning
from your own mistakes.
Choose watching history repeat itself.
Choose the slow reconciliation
towards what you can get
rather than what you always hoped for.
Settle for less and keep
a brave face on it.
And choose losing the ones you loved.
And as they fall from view,
a piece of you dies with them.
Until you can see that
one day in the future,
piece by piece,
they will all be gone.
And there'll be nothing left
of you to call alive or dead.
Choose your future, Veronika.
Anyway, it amused us at the time.