25 years ago today, I was one very excitable eight-year-old, jumping up and down and thrilled shitless at being another year older, on my way to reaching the magical double-numbered ten.
24 years ago to the day, I'd have been a yelling, shaking, hyperactive nine-year old freakshow, jumping up and down and barking for presents like a crackhead seal eagerly slapping his flippers for his fishpipe.
23 years ago today... you get the idea.
And now, today, I am 33. I don't want to be 33. I wasn't particularly enamoured with being 32, and now I'm a whole year older and wondering how the fuck I can make this process stop.
I thought I'd be married by now, married to a beautiful wife in my large North London home with an entire football team of equally beautiful and polite children with impeccable manners and good hair who'd draw me birthday card pictures to Daddy and give me big birthday hugs, as my wife looks on with teary eyes at the impeccable bliss of it all as she strokes my head and promises me lots of birthday sex later that imaginary night.
Instead, I've regained consciousness with a vice-like hangover, next to a half-eaten bag of cheesy Doritos as a text pings in from my mate Phil. It simply reads: Birthday Cunt.
I went to the Reading Beer Festival last night with Chopperbomb, spending the latter half of the evening berating some poor bastard student who didn't want to hear it, to 'Do it now, sieze the day, live as much as you can before you turn thirty fucking three tomorrow. I've told you I'm 33 tomorrow, right? Oh sixteen times already, sorry.'
It hasn't helped my post-debauchery vibe that I did a fair bit of coke in one of their many plastic toilets. I had been offered the chance to buy some, so I did. I don't often do cocaine, and more accurately I don't often buy it because a) It's very expensive and b) It's cocaine. There is something intrinsically disturbing about snorting a line of illegal substances up your nose in a portaloo while a queue forms outside. I always sense dead grandparents nearby at times like those, watching me snort coke and saying, 'What on earth are you doing? Oh, you were such a nice boy. What happened? And why can't you be in Paris now? I like Paris.'
But taking cocaine doesn't make me a bad person. I'm not a bad person. I'm just a shmuck taking recreational drugs in the belief that it will perk me up and make me a bit happier. And I didn't go wild eyed or foam at the mouth. It's just like a shot of espresso, except very illegal, and snorted nasally in a stinking plastic toilet in Berkshire. Plus being illegal, the whole thing is a bit dangerous and unconventional, ooh, exciting! Because I am living on the edge. I do not subscribe to conventions and public norms. I may well be headed inexorably towards dull old age and incontinence but you can keep it because I'm a free-thinking, hardcore... oh bugger, it's worn off.
Chopperbomb and I leave the festival and grab one more drink in a half-empty rocker's pub. And then we go our separate ways. Once home, I check to see properly how much coke I've got left in the privacy of my room. And then I discover something you don't see in the movies. My pathetic miniscule parcel of remaining charlie has turned into a sticky gluelike substance, very un-powdery, and extremely unusable. Thinking that moisture has crept into it, I stick it in the oven to dry it out, but it bubbles away and makes me think of heroin being heated and I feel slightly shamed at my attempts to revive drugs. The cocaine has now solidified into a hard clump so I roll it into a thin tube out of boredom and decide against sticking it up anywhere. My remaining £25 of shallow happiness rendered into a tiny greying worm. I throw it into the bin.
Drugs, legal or illegal, serve one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to Cheer people the Fuck Up. And if it isn't doing that, you need to sit down and have a good long think.
But it's my birthday, dammit! I can't do anything about getting older and older and older. But I can go out and make the most of this extended weekend.
Salutations everyone, have a great time.
Oh, and don't do drugs.