‘I want to help the poor’
Eddie turned to Oliver, and waited for him to continue. When no reply was forthcoming, he settled back to staring at a bunch of school girls who were giggling in the distance.
‘They ruin my fun. The lesser there are in number, the better. Alleviate poverty, heighten your own experiences. How’s that for altruistic?’
‘That’s a strong statement’, Ed grunted.
It was a scorching hot Sunday and the two lads were taking some time off in the shade of a pub’s balcony. Down below and for a stretch beyond that, the honking and whirring of many cars failed to disturb their peace. It was inconceivable that there was even a hint of condensation on their fresh lime sodas. The day had finally come when it was too hot to have a pint.
‘I know it’s a really shitty thing to say… but honestly when you asked me why I don’t play football in my neighbourhood, it’s precisely why. The poor kids ruin all the fun’ said Oliver, the road and the passing yellow and green rickshaws reflecting on his aviators.
‘No strategy’ continued Oliver, ‘no understanding of the game’
‘So what’s to say that one day you won’t be poor?’
‘But I’m talking about here and now. I’m wealthy now, odds are I’ll remain wealthy’
Ed lifted himself off his cane armchair and ordered a plate of dimsums. Oliver sensed his old chum, whom he’d met after 2 long years was going to give him a hard time about this. In time honoured fashion, the boys lit a philosophy stick and continued their passive madness.
‘So what you’re saying is that certain events in everybody’s lives are predestined?’
Oliver blinked at Ed.
‘Pass a dimsum’
‘…that people are born on Earth with lucky chits, lucky passes? They become successful and there are others who are destined to death, or worse poverty?’
‘There’s a possibility of that happening. Pass the dimsum’
‘Ol, how do you explain how we treat the past then, if everything is predestined.’
The girls started to walk away. Oliver mulls over the statement, Ed continues.
‘The only thing that connects us with the past is memories. Do you realize that we are free to choose differently every single day if the memories from the previous day are erased overnight? Who’s to say we don’t already?’
‘But they’re not erased. We remember the past and that moulds us into who we are, we make decisions from an entire set of available decisions based on the experiences we’ve had in the past, thereby making a subset of relatively comfortable alternatives from which we can ultimately choose a path. Pass the goddam dimsums’
As that statement sinks in along with the spliff, the two friends turn their gaze down onto a sweet meats vendor, observing his craft as he plops mashed potatoes onto his frying pan, slowly frying them in what you would call hash browns-ish in the first world.
‘Yet we choose like idiots sometimes’
‘There are always exceptions. The exception to prove the rule. Those tikkis look exceptional’
‘So did those school girls’
‘Let’s be classier than that’
‘Moral high ground after you propound on potentially aiding or exterminating the poor to create an enriched experience for the wealthy? Really?’
‘Huhh… capitalism’, yawned Oliver.