I woke up on Saturday morning to find out that, once again, I was runner up in the Faber Quickfic contest. Entering has become a Friday night ritual for me. I like the idea of getting a prompt and writing up something in an hour or so. This week it was a quote ‘We live in an age when unecessary things are our only necessities’ *. This is what I wrote.
Of Necessary Things
Well, I still have my panache! I was able to read Rostand’s thing you know, didn’t get to see it played though. You could say I was otherwise engaged… in Reading. Didn’t read too bad, bit weak in the last scenes I felt.
Panache, what is that really? It’s the feather in your cap… the great flag of attitude. It was all I needed once. I thought it my only necessity, I’d been able to dispense with almost everything else. I was profligate in love, so needlessly in love! Many times you know, many times. The love that was given to me… I discarded that as freely as one loses a glove. There would always be more to come my way, if I kept that frantic feather aloft.
That mad bravado got me where I am. Didn’t work in court though. It was just bluster then. I had everything before that and none of it seemed the least bit essential. Then I was shown what was truly necessary… bread and water, a small patch of sky.
What’s left now then? I’ve got that same old ragged feather, but little else Monsieur, little else. I’m a shabby old peacock now sir, but still straining for the bon mot. Probably the last, yes, most definitely the last. Not necessary, you understand, but I feel the obligation.
Have I mentioned the wallpaper? I really can’t see the need for such vulgarity at my time in life.
Oscar Wilde, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. 1891. Ahead of his time, as usual.