The First Prophecy

What will be the result of my enterprise?

Answer :

 “All your foresight will be of no avail”

It was quiet last night in the Restaurant, so I talked to Michal while I ate chilli prawn risotto (at this rate I will look like Shelob and never be able to run the marathon). He told me that fifteen years ago when he was starting out as a commis (not communist) chef in Warsaw, a group of forty people turned up and demanded the restaurant was emptied of its guests. The group, it turned out, where members of the Russian Mafia and their prostitute friends. Michal said they were all slightly nervous; they were told there would be consequences if the food wasn’t up to scratch – but in the end it didn’t really matter because Russian Mafia members only like to eat potatoes, albeit with caviar as a garnish. I asked him if he had been worried they would kill him, “No” and my question annoyed him – he wasn’t frightened, why would he be? If you are honest and passionate about what you do there will be no cause for complaint. I quite like the fable of the Russian Mafia – so long as you are honest and passionate no one should want to knee-cap you. Just know how to cook potatoes.

The revelation that agonising about the future is futile is hardly ground-breaking, nevertheless it’s still true and worth remembering. There was no need for Michal to fear being stabbed by some enraged Mafioso whose sautéed potatoes weren’t quite garlicky enough – he knew they would be perfect. And perhaps that’s my problem, I lack conviction. I attribute most of my flakey and unappealing characteristics to the fact that a large proportion of my life has been conducted in my head. The fact that I’ve done so many remarkable things in my fictional life means the real one is often left short. I have this constant fear that by persuing one interest I am closing the door to all the others.  This is something I will endeavour to rectify.  Losing the safety-net of education is a terrifying thing.

Worrying, as the Oracle so wisely states, is of no avail and so taking this on board I realise I am exempt from a day of internship applications (jobs are totally future-orientated); instead I will spend the day watching the Leveson enquiry and googling celebrity workouts.

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