In the beginning there was: GMTV, coco pops, a sheep skin rug, a Labrador named Bruce, a Yorkshire terrier named Stan, my mother and step dad, My grandma, Me, and my sister. I don't know if we were happy, exactly, but that is what my happiness feels like. Those moments, amalgamated into a feeling. I remember it like I remember losing my milk teeth on the concrete ground between my grandma's house and ours. When I laugh from my heart I am back there, 7 year old, safe on the worn red sofa, the fire burning, and everybody I love is smiling at me.
Kurt Vonnegut suggested in 'Slaughterhouse 5' that time, to some beings, might not be linear, but static and directionless. That idea gives me something, I feel like my early memories are imprinted on me like sunlight on photosensitive paper, and I will always be there, in those moments. I need to learn to let all of the bad feelings I have drift out of my mind. I need to get back to the beginning, and stay there, where I am happy and safe and invincible, and with that thought I can.
Can life even be broken cleanly into a beginning, middle and end? I think, at least in my case, there are moments from earlier on in my life that resonate more with my current situation than they ever did before, like they were seeds planted to help me later on, during some unclear, distant time that was always on its way to meet me. That time is now, and I am an adult, the lessons of my youth are only just becoming relevant to me now that I am clutching at straws. I am lost, I need answers, or at least direction, and I haven't left a trail.
When I was 17 I was pulled over walking from a friends house and threatened by a man, the uncle of a boy I knew. He accused me of chasing down his nephew and threatening him with a knife. I wasn't shocked at the accusation, as I had chased down his nephew only a couple of nights prior. I had wanted to fight him over some trivial teenager crap that I don't really remember very well. My problem was that I had, and still have never approached a person with a weapon, nor have I ever felt the need to carry a weapon. This guy was part of my wider circle of friends, and still is up to this day, but this incident fractured things between me and certain friends, with nobody really taking sides but giving the distinct impression that they believed him over me. This event marks the point in my memory where the naivety that allowed me to live freely, without fear of implications of my actions, or the sincerity of others, abandoned me. I am civil and even friendly with the guy now, but I will never be able to trust him again. It's funny to think that you put trust into somebody you're about to beat the crap out of…
Last night I dreamed that I was dead. At least it felt like a dream, it could have been sleep paralysis, I'm not sure. I felt myself become aware, as if I had woken up, but I felt stuck. I couldn't move or control my body and I actually felt withdrawn backwards into my own head, as if looking through a long tunnel with a window at the end. At the end of the tunnel through the window I could see murky green water with a dull light shining through from above, but somehow I knew I was in my bedroom. A couple of weeks ago I read a short story about a dog that dies at the bottom of a river bed, maybe that had something to do with my dream. At the bottom of my mind as I lay there wondering what was happening a thought came to me. A feeling of tranquillity and peace came over me and I knew that I was dead. I knew it. I was going to be separate from everything forever and I was happy. The thought was this - I don't know if that feeling of happiness/serenity means I'm ready to die, or if it was just like any other dream, with only a vague bearing on my every day life. Either way I felt like the dream was somehow significant, even if it was just a particularly memorable feeling that actually meant nothing. I'm reading it as a goal 'though. A target. A place I have to reach before I can go anywhere, or nowhere, which I think is probably how death is. You lose consciousness and you're nowhere forever.
I have never smoked a cigarette or enjoyed dancing in a nightclub to dubstep. I won a general knowledge quiz when I was 10 years old. I came 3rd in the hundred metres When I was 15 (I think.) I had a tough time growing up, or at least I feel like I did. (Does any child really even realise the future implications of the things going on around them when they're 8?) I used to skateboard on my lunch break, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. I used to wander the corridors alone when everyone else was in lessons, I don't know why. In year 9 and 10 I always got a double-decker from the vending machines on morning break, and a can of lilt.
I have always been afraid of horses and cows, I don't know why, or if I am still afraid of them, I don't think I am. I try too hard not to be like everybody else because I see in them my weaknesses, but maybe my biggest weakness is that I don't want to be like them. Maybe I live my life by some pretty negative guidelines and I need to lighten up.
I should have taken art when I chose my GCSE subjects instead of business or whatever other choice I had. I don't like to look back and think of more things I should regret, it's not good for me and I don't think it has any bearing on my future happiness.
Regardless of what I have to say about myself and what I think of myself I am unique…I am a pretty little snowflake, so unique and destined for great things.
I want to burn this in a house fire.
Maybe that's how I'll die. I feel so negatively about everything. There are too many people on this planet and I am just another one of them, I don't think I want to reproduce but if I do ill do my best to create better people than I am.
I could sign this off with the line 'I am a pretty little snowflake' but I think that would be too predictable, more predictable than I already know I am.
I want to leave the Earth before I die.
Everybody does it, it's nothing new, nothing terribly adventurous, a rite of passage for most kids growing up where we did. Between the ages of 14 and 17 I smoked weed, socially more than anything and not very often, but whenever I could get it I became a monster. I was greedy with it, that was my problem. I would only smoke bongs and pipes because I couldn't take the harsh feeling of the tobacco smoke on my throat, and as a result I would get very high. I would sit there buzzing softly, not realising that I was so quiet until the next day or later in the night when I'd think back about the distinct lack of verbal communication, besides laughing if that counts. System of a down, Incubus, Sublime, and cradle of filth were all a regulars on the CD deck, there was a set pattern there for a while. We'd arrive with beers at around 6:30/7pm any given Saturday, somebody would arrange for some weed to get there somehow, manna from gods as far as I was concerned, we'd talk and joke around while drinking beers and the music, the lighting, and the substances ingested would change with the mood, determining the direction of the night.
I loved every weekend when I was that age. I don't remember the weekdays. I know that there was truancy, getting drunk, skateboarding, and all of the other teenage stuff. I think I even tried getting high on deodorant a few times, but I don't really remember how that turned out. All I remember is that it only took one time to ruin smoking weed for me, for good.
I had already finished off about 4 cans of lager and someone had shown up with quite a big lump of sticky brown hash, I bought £10 worth of it and planned on crumbling it into oil and melting it into a yoghurt, ingenious, if only I knew then how much constituted £10 worth. Along with me one of my friends bought £10 worth from this guy and he cut off a big £20 slice off the side of the block and gave it to me. Drunk and itching to get high I went straight to the kitchen while my friend was up stairs and started burning the solid hash into the olive oil, I felt like a heroin addict but nobody cared. I melted the whole lump into the oil and mixed it into a banana crunch corner yoghurt and ate the full thing in about a minute flat. The damage was done. I'm not sure what my friend was doing up stairs but he didn't come back down so far as I can remember, and he didn't even remember that he'd bought any of that hash until a week or so later.
I don't know how much time passed before it started acting, it couldn't have been more than half an hour, probably only a few minutes. I was sitting in between my friend Josh and somebody else on the middle seat of the sofa when I started to shake. I shook like that friendly high buzz for a while but it got harsher and soon it felt like my spine was vibrating in and out of my back. I sat there in silence for what felt like hours, probably 5 minutes or so. I turned to Josh and asked him "Can you feel me shaking?" He laughed "No" he said, smiling. Somewhere between me asking him the question and him answering it, I must have interrupted something, or disrupted the feeling in the room somehow, because everyone was at that moment looking at me like I was some kind of exhibit. I stayed still and looked down at my knees. I don't know what anyone else did, I couldn't look up. Months passed as I sat there looking at my knees, feeling myself being reeled in by the base of my spine into the gap between the cushions of the sofa, my spine wobbling in and out of my skin like a loosely wound bass string. Was there a strobe light? I'm still not sure. But as I stood up the whole house became stop motion and I was suddenly half way round the coffee table, then I saw eyes on me, then the dog, then I was half way out of the room, then I saw the stairs, then I was on the stairs, and by the time I was half way up the stairs and I had turned round to see what the noise behind me was, I saw them all there, leering, like Scooby Doo and the gang behind the lamp post, heads jutting out one above the next. I was beyond high, I was ruined. I couldn't speak. It must have been about 7:15pm by this point.
All I remember of the rest of that night is being in bed with the dog, not being able to speak to the visitors that kept bringing me drinks, probably more for their own amusement than my wellbeing. Still, I appreciated it as best I could in that state. This is why I love weed and respect its power and also why I'll probably never touch the stuff again.
When we were kids, about 8 to 12, me and my friends used to build camps in the woods out of old wood and plastic we stole from the wood yard. There would be us, sometimes a few of our younger brothers or sisters, and occasionally other kids, mostly older than us with more experience in that kind of thing. They would teach us, or we would watch and learn, how to nail wood onto trees with screws and the butt of a rusty axe; How to break branches off healthy trees to camouflage the roof of the camp (which was usually built into a hole in the ground formed by collapsed mine shafts); how to put out a fire and escape when we heard the fire engine approaching; and how to put the blame onto someone, anyone else when questioned by the police or an adult later on in the evening, useful stuff like that.
The ring leader of the older kids was Lee Watson, he wasn't the biggest or the best fighter, he was just the most fearless, or stupidest depending on how you look back at it. The older kids weren't friends of ours really, we were all the butts of their bad jokes and bullying. Occasionally they'd bully us physically, like when we played football with them, or make us do humiliating things for their entertainment, like the time Lee Watson and his cousin Ben made me puff out my cheeks while they all stood around calling me moon head. I remember the first time I was called a gay-lord I thought it might be a good thing and I just sort of acknowledged it with a confident nod in whoever's direction.
One time we were in the woods in our camp we had stolen a plastic drum that we didn't really have much use for so we left it outside of the camp and used it as a seat.
That day Barry had turned up with a full lighter, we'd already burned what wood we had gathered and so we looked around for something else to burn.
It wasn't long before he had the brain wave, if we released the lighter fluid into the barrel for long enough and then light it the barrel shoots out a little fireball.
We set off about 5 or 6 of the fireballs, each one progressively bigger than the last as we added more lighter fluid. The final one was going to be huge, we stuck the lighter over the barrel and pressed in the gas button for what felt like 3 or 4 minutes. For some reason Ivan kept looking into the barrel, I still have no idea what he was looking for, but he hadn't done it while we'd been doing the fireballs. We all stood back, everyone other than Barry and Ivan, at a safe distance in case the barrel exploded or shot off like a rocket. Barry put the lighter to the top of the barrel and pressed down the mechanism. The flint sparked, the gas came out, and we had a flame. But there was no fireball. Nothing happened for a few seconds, maybe about 3, so Ivan put his head down to look inside the barrel. Just as Ivan's face got down to the hole the flames shot up and outwards like a mushroom cloud, engulfing his head.
He didn't even jump back, he just sort of made a subdued 'uhh!' noise and stepped away from the barrel holding his face, stopped still for a second, and ran home. During that split second between him holding his face and turning to run home I caught a glimpse of the blackest eyebrows I had ever seen on a child.
Apparently what had happened when he got home was he had ran into the house and his dad had taken him straight to the bathroom to wash his face, assess the damage to his eyes and face, and then crumble away all of the burnt hair and unstuck his eyelashes, top from bottom, so that he could see properly. It doesn't sound funny, and it wasn't, it wasn't funny while his dad had us lined up in the street like a criminal identification line up, shouting for answers, and generally scaring the shit out of us. We were really scared, it was made extra frightening because he had given the impression of being some kind of generous, child friendly Ned Flanders figure.
"If I don't find out who lit it I'm reporting you all to the police!" It didn't take long before we caved and passed the blame onto somebody else who we probably hadn't even seen that week, Lee Watson.
It is ridiculous to say that two people can only be considered as being 'in a relationship' when they are in an exclusively romantic and/or sexual relationship. Everybody is in a relationship with everybody else, we make all kinds of interactions with friends, family, and strangers every day. Life is relationships, I think Steve Roggenbuck already said this and maybe that's why it's fresh in my mind. The idea that you either are fully in a relationship or are completely and entirely not in one is childish and divisive, not to mention hugely alienating on a personal level. The connotations that the status brings with it are heavy and vast, and probably result in millions of people everyday being afraid to commit to another person in terms of affection, or expressing affection, or even physically. Some people would rather not be involved at all with a person than be committed to them, and only them, in an exclusive relationship. Like they say 'it's not official 'til it's facebook official' this idea pervades and dictates the our lives every day, especially where the formation of social groups and situations of potential physical interaction are concerned. I don't know where it comes from, and not many other animals do it, but this is probably one of the defining human traits, along with spirituality, that I just don't understand the need for. Maybe it's because I grew up afraid of girls for whatever reason I don't remember. Maybe that bled through to my adult life and defined me, I know I still have issues being myself around people I find attractive or interesting. Maybe it's something to do with the way my grandma used to tell me I didn't want to have anything to do with girls when I was a little kid, maybe I presumed them to be evil subconsciously… I don't know. All I know is I have a problem with relationships. Maybe it's the old cliché 'you haven't met the right person', but it can't be. I was with someone for two and a half years, that's more than a tenth of my life up to now, and I spent almost every day of those thirty months in her company. I loved her, and still do, but it wasn't tying. I still looked at other people, I still thought about other stuff, I got pretty isolated too I suppose. I was living 300 miles from home and about 30 miles from London where all my other friends all lived. That's a long time to be in the company of only one other person.
I think another issue is honesty, I wish people could be totally honest with one another, and be able to accept that honesty as a gift and not take offence or insult. If when the feeling of love starts to fade people should say something but they don't out of fear. Fear ends up dictating a lot of relationships, not love.
I think we should all learn to skip the formalities of traditional relationships and courtship as defined by religion and French romanticism, and just be honest with one another. I also think that I'm just as guilty as anyone for this, I'm far from consistent in my behaviour, and I will try harder now to follow this piece of advice. If honesty is as powerful as I think it is in leading us to truth in our lives and a return to child like innocence, then I think this is the way to go. I think honesty will lead to truth which in turn will lead to love. (see image)
Earlier in the book I mentioned that while I was a kid growing up we had two dogs, we cared for them properly and gave them the attention they deserved etc and then they got ill and we decided that they shouldn't be alive anymore because they were in pain. In short we played god with those dogs. It doesn't sit right with me, even though I always enjoy being around another persons pets I'm not sure I would ever go out and get one of my own again. The ownership of animals is overlooked as an issue in today's society, besides the cases you see in the news of bogs biting children nobody really thinks twice about who has dogs as pets and whether or not it's right. Similarly, although probably more controversially, people make the same decisions on the fates of their loved ones as my mother had to make with the lives of our dogs. A person in a vegetative state who does not show signs of regaining consciousness, at some point, loses their free will and it is signed over to their next of kin. It seems that more often than not, in these cases the person in control is pressured to end the life of the animal or person in distress/discomfort/a vegetative state; my question is this, why do some of us feel, as individuals, that we are doing a good thing by ending the life of a person in pain? Is that person not on their own journey through life? Spiritually, if you/the person making the decision, are/is a believer in the afterlife, what are the implications on your soul upon leaving your body and embarking on the next phase of it's holy voyage? Are you going to hell? And what about the implications on our conscience?
I'm not totally against this kind of decision, I would hate to see a family member of friend suffer for longer than necessary, but life is painful so why do we take the easy way out? If we choose to eat red meat on a daily basis, and drink water from plastic bottles on a daily basis, and eat processed and gm foods on a daily basis, do we not risk all kinds of cancers? Is it not common knowledge that we have to be careful and live as naturally as we can? So why do we mourn, why do we linger on death and ask 'why oh why, god, did you have to take grandma?' when grandma was smoking 20 a day for 40 years and sustaining herself almost exclusively on canned beef and white bread? How can we own another person? And how can we lie to ourselves so consistently about the way life is?
I don't hate these idiosyncrasies of humanity, but I do get mad thinking about them sometimes. I sometimes feel like we should reject all technology, all life saving drugs, and all other crap that we made out of dead sea creatures from under the ground, and start growing fruit and vegetables in our gardens, or on the nearest public green. Farming should be open to everybody and the big corporate farming conglomerates should be burned to the ground and their members and executives made to tend the vegetable patches of the new world. This is just what I think sometimes, when I get going. I know it's unrealistic.
Pets, wives, husbands, children, parents, friends, and strangers are all other people, you are as much NOT connected to them as you are connected to them in an infinite sense, in a universal sense. You should not abuse the power you have over another person, you should only kill them out of love and not absent mindedness, and you should regret the systems at work that lead you to that decision and you should feel angry and you should dedicate your life to killing the systems. Killing the systems out of love and killing them out of anger are ultimately the same thing and anybody who tries to tell you that love and hate are anything other than the same thing moving in a different direction to itself is lying.
I do not enjoy dancing, I'm far too self conscious for it, it pains me to move my legs and upper body in any kind of motion that isn't walking. I was embarrassed as a child by my own keenness to demonstrate my mastery of Michael Flatley's river dance, having watched it numerous times on daytime and weekend television. However, I was not the dance prodigy I believed myself to be, I was terrible. I danced like there was something wrong with my coordination, like my brain and my limbs were trying to communicate drunkenly through a thick polystyrene wall. I skipped and kicked the ground in all directions. I kept my hands firmly behind my back, and I bobbed up and down with everything I had. The other kids and their parents stopped and watched for what felt like forever as I broke a sweat, my expression deadpan, my gaze fixed firmly on the ground in front of me. I must have been dancing for a good minute or two before I realised I had become the centre piece. I was the main event, the compeer of my own self inflicted public humiliation showpiece.
This was the first time I remember public humiliation, I think it sent my sense of self awareness into hyper drive, something I've never really managed to bring back down, to the detriment of my social life ever since. I moved house a lot as a child, mostly in my formative years, and had to make new friends at every new place we called home. We didn't cover a lot of ground, everywhere we lived was within a few miles of Consett, but as a child crossing the horizon is the same as crossing the ocean, any distance at all makes an immeasurable difference. I think this period of moving around a lot helped instil in me an ability to make friends with other kids quickly without committing myself to any particular group or person. This trend continued as I continued to move house throughout my youth. Some of my earliest friendships were formed when I was younger than I can remember, and I still speak to those people - at least some of them - nowadays. But my best friendships are with the people I met while I was living at 39 Denecrest and 63 North Magdalene, coincidentally those are the two addresses at which I lived for the longest periods.
I have a mouth full of silver, silver for second best, silver for rotting teeth and wedding rings, silver for good but not quite there yet, silver to go under the radar, silver means you aren't trying too hard but you're still one of the good guys, silver makes you a forgotten man, silver means that everything you do from now until the end of your life will not be good enough. I have a drawer full of cutlery but that isn't silver, its stainless steel. Am I not good enough for silver cutlery?
At least stainless steel knows what it is, where it stands, and what it has to do. 'Functional'. I think I'd rather be functional than have this feeling of not being good enough. Why am I imposing these deluded ideas of class mobility and personal betterment on myself when the only real problem I have is in my head? Do I even need to improve? Whatever, I just don't want to be silver.
Secondary school was meant to prepare us for 'real life' but real life when your in secondary education is anything but, it is imaginary, it is a guess at best. What do they even mean when they try to tell you that you need to be as prepared as you can be for real life?
If I were teaching kids about to leave school and enter the so-called real world I'd tell them to write down everything they thought about what lay ahead and I'd tear it to shreds. I'd shoot down every would be lawyer and doctor on the spot and give them the reality check I never had. I'd tell them to learn to use a computer, I'd tell them to be kind to people, and I'd tell them to exploit others and take money at every opportunity, and when they ask 'How can you be kind and exploit people for money at the same time?' I'd say 'it's ok, just prey to Jesus and all will be forgiven.' And the kids wouldn't know what to think, and I would look like I'd just done them the biggest favour possible, with a shit eating grin stretching from ear to ear but with no stress around my eyes so signify genuine happiness. The smile of a psychopath.
I wouldn't be happy because the world is not happy. The children would be confused, as confused as I am on a daily basis, only it would be there, that particular strain of confusion, the one that took me 10 years out of school to find. It would be there on a silver platter to kill their joy dead. Their joy wouldn't be dead forever though, it would rise like Christ, or bread in an oven, and they would be reborn, fresh and warm, children are good at bouncing back.
This lesson of mine would give the children an option. The option to either be kind to one another or to go on exploiting everything and everyone forever, without regard for consequence in the short or the long term. I know that I am trying hard to pick the former. I try to pick the former every day, but it is hard, it's what makes life hard, it's why I hate religion and the promise of heaven. It must be easy to forget about the suffering of others when forgiveness is there, waiting for you to pick it up and get your free pass into the eternal bliss club.
Preparation for life is a ridiculous concept when applied to people who have already been alive for sixteen years but have never actually had to participate in the systems that govern living in the UK, or the wider world.
I want to know everything, I want to be everything at once, I want to give birth to nations, I want to destroy worlds. I want to be all seeing and all powerful, and I want to be loved by a good woman. I also want to belong. But certainty is an illusive thing to achieve in the broader arena of knowledge. You can be certain that the thing yo see crawling toward you in across your bathroom floor at 2AM is what is know as a woodlouse, but you can not be certain that the woodlouse acknowledges your existence as a person, you can't be sure of that at all.
It's sad because what if the woodlouse does acknowledge that we are people, and we are each individual and unique, and that we behave differently from dogs, and even from some other people on other parts of the planet, what if we are patronising the woodlouse by being so presumptuous? I digress, this has gone too far, but my idea still kind of stands, just maybe not with woodlice.
This lack of conviction is part of the bigger hole that was blast through my brain/being during childhood. It happened slowly over the course of a specific part of my childhood that can be located exactly between the moment I looked up, aged 5/6/7, and saw everyone watching me dance the river dance and the moment I got back my GCSE grades, aged 16, and realised that it was the beginning of the end and that my time, in some obscure and difficult to process way, was running out.
Other things that are missing and that add to the hole, or void, are a lack of conviction in the things I do, a lack of application to tasks (because everything seems arbitrary and beside the point), an inability to switch off and go to sleep, and an inability to right all of my personal pitfalls and bad habits so that I can heal as a person and maybe give myself a better shot at life. It's a vicious cycle or something like that.
I think all negativity can be related, somehow, like the six steps to Kevin bacon or whatever it's called where you link to movie actors by films they've been in, you can link bad feelings. The same goes for good feelings, too, so that there are two blankets or webs of good and bad feelings and experiences that all interlink and are the polar opposites of some part of the other blanket, but each blanket has it's own idiosyncrasies. It's far too simple to say that all decision making is based on fear and love, there's a scene from a film that does an admittedly poor job of shooting that old theory down, but there is something in it that resonated with me. Every minute detail of experience can be scaled up into a more general feeling or mood, then scaled up again into a concept, and then again until it is simply 'negative' or 'positive'. I have no idea what they are, but that seems to be how my mind works, I just make the links in my head to the bigger themes and motifs and very quickly all ideas of personal suffering and wrongdoing, morality and all that stuff dissipates into nothing, just '-' and '+'. Minus, plus, and my expressionless eyes that haven't been able to look at something and feel any kind of emotion other than a mild sadness in about a year.
I know that I can never be fully right, all knowing, so that gives me hope that good things are coming my way too, and that the law of average hasn't had his way with me just yet.
Sometimes I really believe that I can't write - most of the time, actually - and that I have nothing interesting to say. I believe this but deny it to myself because if I believed in every passing moment of self doubt or negative thought that I had about myself or my ability I'd be crippled, overwhelmed. My current and admittedly fleeting proactive mindset is the fruit of a steadfast denial of self doubt. Lately I've been denying everything, and I feel great. I'm not sure how long this is going to last 'though, the bills that I didn't pay for gas and electricity will probably come back to haunt me soon enough in the form of a fine or a red letter, something along those lines. For now though I think I'm going to ride the crest of this wave and see how much writing I can get done, how many conversations I can start with strangers, and how much eye contact I can hold while talking to said strangers. When they give me that look that I know they will give me I will deny that they are intimidated by me, creeped out by me, or anything like that. They are all good people and so am I.
What can I say about wind that is relevant to me or my life?
I know that it performs a vital task in dispersing seeds, carrying migratory birds, and moving the clouds along or something, but I just don't think it affects me in any other more direct ways than those.
I wish the wind wouldn't fuck with me in the mornings when I'm on my way to work. The wind is the biggest and best troll going. The way it blows your hair everywhere you don't want it to be blown is genius, I'm surprised it hasn't gone viral yet in meme form. It's pretty damned difficult obtaining a picture of wind I imagine, that's probably it.
I could cop out and interpret this word as 'wind' as in 'wind your neck in!' or 'wind up merchant' but I would probably have just as little to say about that word too.
There's something to be said about that though, words that sound and look the same but have different meanings, they're called homographs, not to be mistaken with homonyms or homophones - homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced the same way but with different meanings, homophones are words that are pronounced the same way regardless of spelling. Some homographs in the English language are bear, sow, close, lead, bow, light, pervert, quarry, skied, subject and tear.
Here are three pictures of good homographs in action:
"The men row as they row while sitting in rows."
"The bear bears a gift instead of bearing down upon your chest."
"The men light the light lights."
I have taken this opportunity to take the night off, I need to catch up on sleep. In relation to the cue word I feel that my priorities are out of their rightful order and that sleeping properly will be the first step to fixing that. Getting my priorities in order.
People to thank for making me who I am:
Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman
My father and his notable absence
My grandmother on my mothers side and her sister, my aunt Stella
All of the people who promised me everything would be brilliant when I was a baby and a child growing up so
The TV companies, BBC and ITV, mainly
Big breakfast, Johnny Vaughan, denies van Outen, Chris Evans, Liza Tarbuck etc
Soaps and soap actors
My 2 dogs Bruce & Stan.
My friends and their parents
All of the other kids who laughed at me
The government for the dole and the vein of living we grew up in
Drugs, alcohol, and other drugs that helped facilitate the specific perversions of human behaviour and thought that shaped virtually all of the people in my life's state of mind. Thanks to all of those companies
Frozen food companies and affordable living
Don and his bank robbery accomplices
The mobile Library van for loaning me James & the Giant Peach and allowing me to discover what it felt like to finish a book
Thanks to all of you I'm here now writing this book. (TBF)
I woke up bored this morning but I still felt kind of good from two nights ago.
I got up, showered, brushed my teeth, and thought about what had happened. I thought about how last time I asked her to come to the games arcade with me she said she had a birthday of a sister or something and couldn't make it, but I thought it could be worth another shot.
I ate an apple but it tasted weird because of the toothpaste.
I went out and stood in the rain for 4 minutes waiting for the bus. I got on the bus and read a few pages of The Pale King, got bored and stopped, and thought about two nights ago.
I started work, still thinking about it. At that point I went into auto pilot, I always work on auto pilot. I tuned out and worked mindlessly. When I work in the pub for the big PLC I don't like to think about how I'm being used by an abstract body (the company), but I know I am, it makes me grind my teeth. I put away glasses and set up the bar as my brain was used as a bot for the greater computer in the sky, and I behaved accordingly, obliviously. CPU donation against our will goes on every day.
I sent her a text asking if she bit me, I wasn't sure why there were marks on my arm or why my chest felt like it had been nipped or prodded, and it felt like she'd done something to my dick as well, like nipped it.
I really don't like the feeling of waking up drunk and having to reconcile the person I was the previous night to the person I am at 10AM, hung over, wearing yesterdays clothing. What's worse about this time is that I've realised I actually want to spend some kind of time with this girl sober and see how that works out, but she seems pretty tough and she might not be interested.
I worked hard and poured drinks for all different kinds of alcoholics and miscreants. Sometimes I see too much of myself in the people that come into my bar and it makes it impossible for me not to hate them, mostly out of fear and disgust, but also out of pity and discomfort. I don't think I really hate them, just the feelings they stir in me.
While I worked a police officer was shot in Clacton, approximately 92,000 babies were born around the world, and a man from Manchester listed an empty urine sample container on Ebay, apparently containing bottled atmosphere from the stone roses gig on 29th June at Heaton park, Manchester (as it stands the urine sample container has no bids.) These kinds of things seem disconnected, but to me it is becoming increasingly clear that they all hint at some kind of creeping hopelessness that is becoming increasingly present in the human psyche, something stemming from the division of labour, also linked to exponential population growth. Like maybe people have a built in sense of how many other people there are and our self worth comes from that simple mathematical equation, like there's a finite amount of self worth and there are just too many of us to spread it around.
I feel like I know we've hit our peak as a species, reached critical mass, and realised the meaningless nature of everything and so anything we do at this point will be equally meaningless. Everything else now is either influenced directly by this realisation, or is an act in denial of this realisation.
I feel like the only hope we have is to recognise the beauty in the moment, which I think the bottled atmosphere guy might have done, the guy who shot the police officer almost certainly hasn't, and the people having the babies I'm not so sure about, that's a more grey area that kind of contradicts or maybe explains the exponential growth and the decreasing self worth of humanity I mentioned earlier.
This is what I think about at work when I zone out and appear vacant.
I thought about how from above, with no roofs to block the view, all of human achievement would look a lot like an ant farm. I'd like to see that as a time lapse one day.
Huge things keep happening while I'm looking the other way. I'm always thinking of something from the recent past, two nights ago is the latest thing, but tomorrow it will either be three nights ago or something new.
I must have served about 150/200 different customers on this shift but I keep going back to thinking about 2 nights ago. The feeling of her skin was soft and warm and it made me feel soft and warm. I think at the bottom of it that's all that's important, the contact and the vulnerability of it.
So when I finished work I went and bought a drink and ate sushi with mackerel and thought about two nights ago.
She's a mother and she reminds me of my mother, make of that what you will.
there has been no
manifest itself as
a sty on the inside of my lower left
matter how much
fruit I eat or how many T shirts I
buy from H&M the
The changes started in the summer of 2004 when I received my GCSE results. Upon realising that I had failed to get above a C for most of the subjects I had taken a wave of fear and embarrassment washed over me and, in hindsight I realise, swept me away with it. I was overcome with the desire to better myself, 'better late than never' sums up the feeling pretty well. The embarrassing thing was the realisation that I'd been so wrong about so many things and that I'd ended up at a point where I just didn't have that many options open to me or anything substantial to show for my 5 years of messing around. I decided that what I would do was 'follow my heart' and pursue the thing I loved, I felt that that was the only way I would really be able to get anywhere near good enough to excel at anything and make a career , as well as a life worth living, out of it. I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, but I didn't even enjoy anything enough to say that I loved it, not enough to make it my life, but I did have a vague notion that I was artistic, or at least creative, so I decided to go to college and take BTEC in graphic design, an action born out of fear and embarrassment at the sudden emergence of my own mortality as a motivating factor in my life choices, springing out of nowhere like a jack in the box, the fucker.
When I was younger was so unsure of myself, mostly because I felt that I was dumb as shit. I literally had nothing going for me in terms of conversational skill or insight into anything, other than skateboarding and music. Part of that dumbness somewhat paradoxically instilled a sense of confidence in me that I could be, and probably would be brilliant, at what exactly wasn't an issue at the time, I just felt like I could do anything at a world class level if I wanted it enough, and I was just waiting for that feeling of wanting something that much to reach out and grab me. As it turns out I was just deluded. But that sense of belief and uncertainty is a funny combination and is probably the reason I'm writing this now, although boredom is a bigger factor now than it was when I was 16.
Some things I thought I could be at one point or another during my teenage years are as follows: a footballer (even though I wasn't on the team), a professional athlete (any, I didn't really care), a musician, an actor (even though I was cripplingly shy in front of any kind of audience), a famous personality (famous for simply being really cool, or something, I think we've already established that I didn't really grasp or understand success), a pro skater (to this day I still hold out a little hope that this one will come true), a filmmaker, or an artist
To go from a child, incapable of any kind of conversation or social engagement, but with a deluded and enlarged sense of self belief, to a grown adult, capable of socialising at will and talking about quite a few subjects in at least some detail, but with no real sense of self belief or belonging is a transition that normally works the other way, and is also very tricky to figure out in terms of causality.
I'd like to think it's as simple as blaming science documentaries on the BBC (for making me feel small, insignificant etc), like Brian Cox was the catalyst for the perpetual existential crisis that has become my daily internal monologue and by extension my life, but it's a little trickier than that. It goes without saying that exposure to new thought processes and scientific discoveries out in space have helped shape my thoughts on self importance and spirituality, but it also has something to do with what I haven't been exposed to, e.g. routine, family life, tradition. These concepts have always seemed woolly to me, even as a child they just seemed excessive. Weddings and birthdays seemed like a lot of effort and unnecessary focus on people for very little in terms of return or outcome. I think I have become something of a nihilist, close to what David Forster Wallace describes as the wasteoid nihilist, except I'm aware of what a wasteoid nihilist is.
Whatever the cause, all I know for sure is that I lack direction and impetus
Somebody said on the television that if you're tired of seeing sunsets you're tired of life. I think that's true.
Sunsets are sad to me because they generally symbolise another day where I've failed to see significant improvements to my life. Both stemming from my complacency and stemming from my short sighted attitudes towards success and my wider world view. In short sunsets make me mad because they are a catalyst for my own impatience, on a subconscious level mostly.
On a clear day the sun going down can be a beautiful thing to behold, but mostly it is something that takes place behind a screen of cloud and fog. Sunsets aren't widely available up in the hills like they are at the coast or on an island in the pacific, it's cloudy as shit here.
Good thing I've got the ability to envision possible futures, a strictly human ability by all accounts, it really helped in planning my trip to Australia.
Australia is gonna be sunsets for weeks upon weeks, months on months, and I'm gonna sit on the beach and watch them all, because that's it, I've covered half the world in an aeroplane and I'm enjoying doing nothing. Basically I'm not sure why I'm going, but I know I'll see the sun going down and think 'shit I'm in Australia, this is awesome, but why?'
Am I mad or sad?
Is sad the same as mad
Is mad just a part of sad