The Education of the Older Child

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You've done your bit here.

Your time's going to be your own from now on.


Yeah, really.

Lighten up.

There are some important things for you to forget.

We can take a look at some of them, if you like.

We can take a slow ramble round them.

We can roll a few of them over, and inspect their bottoms.

This is no big deal, you know.

Don't take it too seriously.

It's supposed to be fun, OK?


Let's see what you've collected in the last however-long-it-was.



There's some strange stuff here.

What do you say we start with the easy bits?

This thing, for instance.

It's unusual.

It's a foible, I can see that.

You're a bit ashamed of it, perhaps.

But it makes you happy, yeah?

That's cool.

You keep it.

See how neatly it fits your pocket.

Let's look at this one.

It's shiny and bright.

It's an achievement, isn't it?

Your proud of it, you say.

Well, not too proud, I hope.

Oh, I see.

You earned it, you reckon.

You made sacrifices to get it?

No problem with that.

Are you still making sacrifices for it?

That wouldn't be so good.

But you're sure it's finished now.

So harvest the investment.

What about this one?

It's cold.

It's a regret.

This is something you were cheated out of.

No, I'm not arguing.

You might be right.

Maybe there is real justice to pursue.

Maybe there is real compensation to claim.

Just remember this one thing.

A person's own bitterness is the only true thief of their fulfilment.

Oh, wow.

What's this?

It's grotesque.

It's what you're still striving for, right?

Hey, you're not still directing people, are you?

You have to stop doing that.

It's wrong at your age.

Look, haven't you noticed how younger people do things better than you can?

What things?

Pretty well everything.


Pretty well always.

What do you mean, what about your experience?

If you're really so experienced, how come you haven't passed the torch?

Oh, so now you're telling me that you want to teach the next generation.

Well, I'll bear that in mind.

For when you've grown a little more.

Teaching's a serious business, you know.

We can't just leave it to any old top executive.


Are you going to let this gross thing go?

No, I can't throw it away for you.

Only you can do that.

You're still clinging to it.

You've still got a compulsion to boss things.

Maybe I have to take you back a while.

You remember when you were ready to take charge?

How some old fart pulled rank, kept you down, used his arbitrary position to hold you back?

Can you remember what you thought at the time?

That he did this to the young guys because his women wouldn't let him screw them any more.

You did, you know.

You really thought that.

Welcome to the other side.

You see things differently now?

That's better.

That's good.

You let it go now.

Don't look back at it.

It'll soon disappear if only you can ignore it.

Hey, look.

That's all the baggage sorted.


I think you are.

You look years younger.

Come on.

The sun is shining over the next rise.

What's over there?

I don't know.

It's up to you.

It can be anything that you want it to be.

You like it?


You've been earning it for a lifetime.

There's just one last small payment still to make.

Give me a smile.

The Pinniped Portfolio


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