As I sit in my room fearfully counting down the days until whichever assignment it is I’m not working on is due, something strikes me. It is 2012. I’m aware that this revelation may have come a little later to me than most, seventy-eight days later to be precise, but it just doesn’t seem plausible. 2002 was ten years ago; but it seems like only yesterday that the war in Afghanistan started, or, and maybe as importantly, Swindon Town signed Sam Parkin from Chelsea. While most of the world seems to have moved on, here I am stuck in the Noughties, with my trousers round my waist and the collar of my shirt in the vicinity of my neck like some goddamn loser while the rest of the world are swanning about on their iPhones and their Kindles like kings of the new world.
“Uh, hello?” the kids on the street probably say behind my back, “Look at that chump with his satchel. Satchels are so 2008,” before they turn away and laugh. Probably.
Now, I’m no old man, it just so happens that many of my favourite things were long since gone before I was put on this planet: Creedence Clearwater Revival for example, concise and evenly-plotted Quentin Tarantino films, or the expression “hep cat.” The list could go on, but the one thing that jumps out above all others is a particular television show. A television show that is hard to envision ended in 2002, for it has been such a cornerstone of pop-culture over the years. The very humming of its theme music has become a thing, right up there with the music from Psycho. And so it is that I hereby present a memorial to ten years gone, in sonnet:
In a basement the vulpine beast did dwell,
Forgotten, lost in investigations,
A pariah for his explanations:
Little green men arriving in Roswell.
A vixen sent in; to debunk, not partner
The work of this false mythologist;
But even she – skilled pathologist
Found not logic, let alone an answer.
Deceived as the pack unfurls enigmas,
Burned at the cross by the stranger who smokes,
Their toils dismissed as an unproven hoax.
Your crusade lingers, despite its stigma,
As I wait for you, refusing to grieve,
For while the truth is out there, I’ll always believe.