As far as motivational posters go, the above photo probably doesn’t have much of a future. It’s up as wallpaper on this computer desk, because one of the characters is looking at each and every detail of that machine with exacting attention to its every feature, and its every sign of decay. Said character being at a point where he’s struggling to get one more spark out of the plug – the one that puts a bit of light in your eyes, a bit of pep in your walk. The one that makes people look at you and smile, as compared to moving over to the other sidewalk as you approach them.
No matter how you play your cards, there are moments when you feel life has shoved you into a space between the rug and the undercarpet. You may choose to see this as a divine judgment as to your personal worth, and settle into as comfortable a lump as you can. You may choose to crawl your way backward or forward (someone observing the movement from above will note you are meandering and, possibly, going in circles). You may be so angry that you tear your way out of the rug and rise, Hulk-like, to challenge the Divine Agency with a “Sir, I exist!”. A wonderful writer once provided the Universe’s answer to that one. Depending on your mood, you catch the irony in it, or you don’t. You laugh, and pick yourself up; or you go for another round under the rug.
Other options? Up until this point in story, that character has applied the principle of: “Whistle while you work” even to his prolonged bout of unemployment. But he’s slipping; losing the will to keep at it; starting to consider the hard knocks like a personal vendetta between himself and whatever you want to call Human Destiny. Taking on the sulk and the snarl that goes with that philosophy. Making himself a target for the blows, as if this were the last and final option a man could exercise.
It isn’t, of course. What the character will find by staring into the rusted hulk above? No idea. But he’ll find something, that much is a given. And that something won’t come from anywhere outside his own ability to take it on, to slough it off, to see the same old stuff with brand new eyes. Again, and again, and again.
The title being a maternal grandmother’s favorite line; said grandmother being more than willing to provide both the spit and the polish, grandchildren were well advised to provide their own.