Scenes from the End of the Twentieth Century

It was a beautiful Thursday morning in June and I was a happy man. More specifically, I was twenty-nine, recently promoted, single and carrying the phone number of a girl I’d met at a party the night before in my pocket.

And I didn’t even have a hangover.

In other words life was wonderful, and I was determined to share my good fortune with as many people as possible, which was why I’d decided to take the day off and was on my way to my friend Blackburn’s house.

I still lived in London back then, having found myself accidentally making a decent living for the first time in my life by getting caught up – like just about everyone else I knew – in the workings of The Fabulous New Economy.

Overnight I’d gone from low level benefit fraud to flying to high-level business meetings across Europe and talking about customer re-incentivization and disambiguation of information in conference calls. I’d bought my first ever suit, moved into my own flat and, incredibly, always seemed to have more money in my bank account at the end of the month than I did at the start. I drank in expensive bars, toasted my good fortune with my similarly blessed workmates, took up snowboarding and had five foreign holidays a year.

And I’m still not sure, even now, exactly what it was that I did for a living. Read the rest of this entry »