Bill by L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.

Who among us at one time or another has not woefully groaned and rolled over in one’s virginal lair attempting to bury one’s face and hopeless heart from the startling dawn in the goose down pillows, only to lament the forceful and unhappy recollection of the previous evening’s folly?

Pointedly this is not the domain solely of the reckless. Neither is it the forum of either the masses or the gentry. Neither will I suggest it is universal. There are admittedly some who are not profligate, who never speak a wounding word, some who do not smoke cigarettes or cigars or insist upon either fortified wine or double strength Cognac at the end of a nourishing meal to reward their own pitiful sense of accomplishment in this sometimes painful existence.

By and large people – at least those who I count among my personal friends – are more pernicious than pure and the inevitable corollary is the trouble to expiate the remorse at having been so.

The subject of regret is as plain and as unacknowledged as any other family secret. We feel the need to hide our shame from both ourselves and others. Acquiescence to failure is never a hot topic. There are few I know who can blissfully snap their fingers at the irresponsibility of such an event even though they may make every pretense to do so. Funnily enough the empowerment of this repentance is that it pushes one to recuperate any loss that one may have suffered. I have found that the succeeding necessity to recover one’s self or to compensate for the perceived inadequacies of prior performance outweighs the desire to sleep (or should I say to wallow unceasingly in the feather chrysalis).

So persuasive is the conviction of one’s errors that it at last stimulates one to split from the comforter and to plant the wearied feet upon the hardwood to commence both the physical and metaphorical ablutions of another day.

As a matter of pure lucidity, guilt – as clever a device as it may be – does little to advance the progress of mankind. It is rather a tool of ascendancy in the hands of wheeler-dealers. But it observably accomplishes little to alter the past, as if anything can! As a provocation for improvement or remediation I can see no useful purpose in its absorption in any event as it merely shackles what might otherwise be unrestrained dedication to the improving task at hand.
The admission of mischief, the surrender to the current state of affairs does not import the conclusion that alteration of one`s life-style is without merit. There is clearly forever room for enhancement.

But the prejudice against the history of one`s life does not by definition allow for its amendment. It is after all no more than an early morning reflection, a matutinal retrospection.