Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Facebook Suicide

I've finally done it, I feel liberated; I've permanently deleted my Facebook account.

It sounds ridiculous, but the damn thing depressed me. Once upon a time, it had been the Greatest Site in the World, a place to gather everyone I'd ever met (and those I hadn't) in one convenient place, and detailing my every fucking movement; (Fweng has finished work. Fweng is off to the pub. Fweng is trying to cope with a hangover).

In those heady early days, I wanted it to be mandatory for everyone to have their own Facebook account. It was great having a one-stop site to see everyone and catch up without actually going anywhere but slowly, imperceptibly at first, I began to loathe the place.

At first, all I really wanted was to reach 100 friends; proof that an average thirty-something male with his own hair could reach triple social figures and, pathetically, be 'popular'. I told as many people about it as I could - including my sister, and my Mum and Dad, then added them. They're not friends; they're lumbered with me forever. Friendship doesn't come into it. We're the closest of close relatives already (not that I actually see or talk to them, however.)

Finding and adding old schoolfriends was impossible to resist - until the whole thing felt a bit stalky and generally left well alone, apart from one guy, an old schoolfriend who I had fond memories of.

I contacted him through a Facebook email at first, a cheerful message of greeting. His reply was a little odd;
"Where are you now? What are you doing? Are you married?"

That was it. 'Hello' wouldn't have gone amiss.

Nonetheless, I answered his specific questions. He responded, 6% more warmly than before. We 'added' each other. I then saw his friends, 200 of them. Oh, okay. Hey look, there's about twenty lads from school here. Well I'm not going to contact them, as they used to - what's the word? - fucking hate me.

'Hey!' I thought, 'that's great! All these old guys from school are still in touch with each other.'
'Oh!' I noted, 'Even the guys from different groups who weren't friends back then all seem to be friends now. That's so nice.'
'Wow!' I exclaimed. 'A lot of them are married. Cool. And the ones that aren't are in relationships. That's just brilliant.'
'Hey, look!! There's a bunch of photos from their trip to Marbella when they were 16! That's odd, we were all friends then. I don't recall being invit-WHAT THE FUCK???

It didn't take me very long to feel sick to the very pit of my stomach. Here were the guys from my old school - wankers, to be blunt - all friends with each other, all getting on with their fabulous lives together with their fabulous wives or cute girlfriends. I had been the jolly fat kid at school - one who got spat at and shunned - those guys! - and, two decades later, Facebook reintroduced me to them. I was content with my life (just), until I was being reminded of their continued existence.
Never mind, time heals all wounds, people change, et cetera, et cetera.

"Don't write to me here," my old friend replied in a message. "Contact me at work - it's blah blah blah @ blah.com"

So I did, a friendly catch-up email detailing what I was up to (nothing), where I'd been (nowhere), and who I was dating (no-one). Naturally, I ended by asking him how life was treating him.

That was about nine months ago, and I'm still waiting for a reply. If I was being honest, and I tend to on this blog, it irked me with a burning vibrancy - There. I've admitted it. I was only saying hello to one of the few blokes I got on with, yet eighteen years had passed and I was being shunned again - this time, without the spit (although I'm sure if spittle was included in those little Facebook gifts, they'd cover me in it.) Dammit, this was a bloody one-off hello, not an attempt to crowbar my way into their pointless fucking world!

I'm too old to get wound up by this trivial shit.

I spotted another guy there, another member of these Facebook guys I went to school with and liked, and contacted him too. He was friendlier than Richard - he emailed to say he remembered the cartoons I used to draw (even I forgot that) - and we exchanged another email. He too didn't bother replying when I asked him how he was either, but by then I was actually amused; I expected it. Clearly these guys are fucking petrified that I'm lonely and mad and desperate for human contact, rather like this chap...



There were other irks. In the right light, at the right angle, with the moon waxing and Saturn aligned with Venus, I might, after 5,000,000 pictures, look fairly non-repellent in a photo. Despite this, my real-life friends tagged pictures of me relentlessly; ones of me with three chins, ones of me looking bewildered and confused, ones of me looking like a corpse with its eyes open. One little tinker even tagged a photo of me for all to see; I was licking a TV screen that had prominently displayed, pornography.

And these photos kept coming.

But the final straw came last week when I discovered my lovely American ex-girlfriend had joined. We exchanged Facebook messages, which was pleasant, and I had a cursory glance at her friends. The only other Limey she knew had been her boyfriend immediately after me. She admitted long ago that after we'd split up, she rebounded onto an Englishman living in New York.

When I looked at his friends, I saw a couple of twats I went to school with.

The Jewish community is very close.

Except with me. I repel Jews. And Hindus. And Muslims, Jains, Christians, the irreligious, and even the desperate.
And don't get me started on women in general.

I simply had to leave Facebook. I was beginning to see little point in belonging to a site full of people who'd rather I wasn't there... people such as my lovely American ex-girlfriend.

In taking your collective advice from my comments box (my life is beginning to resemble the Truman Show), I decided to tell her how I feel about her. I didn't launch into it at first. I began by sending her a solitary email to say that I've left Facebook for good and we should keep in touch this way. I also added that I was planning a trip to the States (I'm not), and it would be nice to meet up for a coffee.

She hasn't replied.

Dammit!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Recovery Position

It is Wednesday. My head has a dull throb to it, like a post coital vagina, and my nose is still bleeding, like... oh, see above again. I'm not retyping it.

I am consequently debating the wisdom of snorting illegal crystalline tropane alkaloids up my nostrils. I have a libertarian attitude when it comes to drugs, but it has to be said that anyone indulging in any substance, be they cigarettes or alcohol or junk food or cocaine ultimately has some unresolved issues at their very core, a need to distance themselves from their existence and feel just a little bit better inside.

I'm pleased the heavy drinking is over - although I was on a Stag and these things have to be done, I'm told. I've smoked the two packs of Spanish Marlboros I brought home and - guess what? - I've just nipped outside for some British ones. I ran as quick as I could, in order not to scare any small children. My face has turned bright crimson, and is peeling heavily. I look like the Singing Detective.

I've also had to rejoin Facebook. I grew to loathe Facebook with its sheer time-wastery, but I need mobile phone numbers to stick into my new phone when I get one. And the first thing I saw when I rejoined was my Lovely American ex-girlfriend who had finally accepted my sign-up request of many, many months ago. She has some 130 friends now, and dozens of happy, smiley pictures of herself, pictures which - no doubt - were taken when I wasn't in her head to piss her off.

And I miss her like I'd miss my leg if it was removed - which is substantial missage. We had a brief online 'chat'. She seemed quite happy, rub-it-in-my-face happy, if I was being cynical, but it was nice to catch up. I noticed her status said 'Single', and I'm desperate to see her again. She knows this too, and I know that desperation is as attractive to anyone as a bleeding post-coital vagina.

I can't stay on Facebook much longer. If her status changes to 'In a relationship', I'm going to jump into the Thames with lead weights round my ankles. I'd like her to settle down with someone and be happy, but the idea of seeing it blossoming online and in front of my eyes will - what's the word? - fucking annihilate me.

Funny how someone can go from loving me and telling me so repeatedly to the point that I got scared off, to more-or-less hating me and "loving being single", as I was told ad nauseam.
Oh well, I hurt her, and now I'm hanging around to give her the opportunity to return the favour.

I am now sat at home trying to write my 'book'. It has taken me three days just to open the damn document, which I managed an hour ago. I can't look at it.
Instead, I'm blogging this. So much easier.

I went to the gym today, the first time since February. I then went home and had some mackerel and scrambled eggs with plenty of water. No drugs, no booze, and just the occasional cigarette to remind me I'm still alive (for the time being).

So that's that.

I have Hippy Dave's wedding this weekend, my 34th birthday after that (same day as the ex's), and another wedding with a speech I'll have to make and tremble through.

God, it's great to be alive, so very very very very motherfucking great.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stag IV: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

This was the big one; Luke’s stag, in Barcelona. As Best Man, I had been planning it for a year, so it really should’ve gone a lot more smoothly than it did. Frankly, I’m just pleased we all survived a 72-hour booze, drugs and fags marathon.

Friday 18th April
6am ~ Mobile phone wakes me up with a text. It's Nick in East Anglia to say a freight train is blocking the line and four of them are stranded. Called a cunt for booking early flights from the airport furthest from them.
7.15am ~ I take the tube to London Victoria. Signal failure at Hammersmith. Half an hour later, and I've moved precisely two stops.
8.07am ~ Arrive at Victoria in a sweaty panic. Meet Kevin A, Kevin B and Garry 1. Call East Anglians. They have abandoned train and are now driving to Gatwick airport. Called a cunt again, and told they will miss the flight. Blood pressure rises. I tell them I'll do everything I can to get them on board.
8.20am ~ Take Gatwick Express train to airport. Send frantic texts to everyone. Told off by others for booking an early flight. Receive vague East Anglian text that simply reads 'GAME OVER'. Have minor heart attack.
9.00am ~ Gatwick. Huge crowds due to computer malfunction. Meet ten others, including nonchalant East Anglians who got there ok and wanted me to suffer.
Martin is late.
10.00am ~ Start drinking.
11.00am ~ Plane takes off. Make mental note that this plane could be in tonight's news bulletin.
2.00pm Spanish time ~ Plane lands without crashing. Get outside and start chainsmoking.
3.30pm ~ Eager, shaven-headed taxi-driving yob proudly informs us in Spanglish that he's 'Hooligan' who supports West Ham football club. I tell him West Ham is Oeste jamón in Spanish but he just looks confused. Cabbie then proceeds to show us photos of his children on his mobile phone whilst doing 80 down a motorway. Mentions señoritas by the port and swings his forearm between his legs, which makes no sense.
5.00pm ~ Food in restaurant. Over-order tapas, and ask for 16 lagers, emphasising 'Large'. Lagers arrive in buckets. Start smoking indoors because we're allowed to.
7.00pm ~ Go to the Black Sheep bar. Malcolm, Stag Luke's friend now living in Barcelona whose name I've changed, arrives. We order 16 ladyboys and a jug of sangria. Malcolm vanishes to get drugs.
8.00pm ~ Have to hunt Malcolm down. Find him in hotel room with three others who have been testing said drugs for quality. They are all fucked; Malcolm is visibly rambling. We go back to the bar. Memory loss. Stag is thrown out of bar after getting caught with drugs in the toilet. He then throws up outside.
10.00pm? ~ Somewhere else. More beers. Called a cunt again for the early flight booking. Remember to take some photos. End up in damn Australian bar I don't want to be in. Decide to go for a recce on my own to find a better place. May or may not have had fantastic conversation with friendly local Spaniards. Get hopelessly lost in winding back alleys. By nothing short of a miracle, find my way back to Hogans and realise my mobile phone has been stolen.
Go to a string of bars near the port. Paul vanishes off the face of the earth.
01.00am? ~ Borrow Garry A's phone to call the UK and cancel my mobile. Kept on hold for half an hour. Rambled like a drunk idiot when finally connected.
01.40am? ~ Dancing on podiums. Russell runs off to 'find some angles'. I find no angles as women are keeping a wide berth.
03.00am ~ Bar closes. Paul found outside utterly incapable of anything, about to be killed by three prostitutes.



Saturday 19th April
9.00am ~ Wake up in previous night's clothes. Have Alka Seltzer. Go for breakfast and discover I can order food in Spanish when still vaguely drunk. Sadly order a processed beef schlong in a baguette. Pleasant warm day with cool sea breeze.
11.00am ~ Group split. While others start drinking again, our group end up on some tourist boat that makes a circuit of industrial works and rusting container ships.
12.00pm ~ Watch Made in Barcelona with the other tourists and assorted pickpockets.
1.00pm ~ Sit at a beachside cafe to ogle topless women. Receive head massages from nice Korean lady. Start being called Ginger Beadle because I've grown a beard but shaved my neck. Head feels wrong.
3.00pm ~ Cab back to hotel. Notice that we've all got sunburnt.
3.30pm ~ Have shower, exit bathroom an angry shade of purple apart from the area around my eyes where I'd been wearing sunglasses. I look like a Satanic panda.
4.00pm ~ Hand out specially embroidered stag shirts. Lukewarm response, apart from a grateful Russell who seemed to think I was going to scrawl on t-shirts with a biro.
5.30pm ~ Realise I've not planned restaurant, and frantically trawl internet for somewhere. Find 'El Foro' in somewhere called Princesa street. Try calling them from our hotel but it's constantly engaged.
6.00pm ~ Escort 15 identically dressed angrily sunburned Englishmen down Las Ramblas.
6.08pm ~ Rumblings of mutiny. We've been walking for nearly 10 minutes and no-one's had a drink yet. English girl handing out pub crawl flyers smirks at my red Klingon forehead.
6.15pm ~ Still walking. Starting to look lost. Repeatedly told, sarcastically, that I should phone restaurant on my mobile.
6.22pm ~ Ask for directions. Overhear myself being called a cunt, with feeling. Members of group begin demanding any pub or bar immediately.
6.30pm ~ Ali buys Stag a disturbing dark red Carnivale mask with long phallic nose. Comparisons are made between the mask and me.
6.38pm ~ Fortuitously find Princesa Street. Unfortuitously discover El Foro's vanished. By some miracle, discover a lovely restaurant called Princesa 23 who'll accommodate all of us. Immediately order 16 beers and as many nachos as will fit on the table.
7.26pm ~ Stag is forced to offer red rose (in teeth, on bended knee) to local girl with terrific bangers.
9.00pm ~ Leave to find pubs. More arguments. End up in empty jazz bar. Stunning barmaid stares at my face with mixture of shock and revulsion.
9.24pm ~ Regrettably in an Irish bar. Order 16 rum and cokes, and 16 tequilas. Told to change order by Rob and Ali. Tell them to fuck off in return. They then hassle the barman.
9.37pm ~ Martin invents Spacking ('spunking' on a 'back', due to the erroneous belief that the Stag was once dumped by a girl for refusing to ejaculate on her back). This then becomes a free-for-all of evacuations onto female body parts; Spits, Spulva, and, as Hippy Dave offered, Spaby.
Head out into street.


9.42pm ~ Waiting for Russell to take a McShit with lies.
9.51pm ~ Go to Espit Chupitos where the Stag is forced to deepthroat a beer disguised as a cock, covered in cream (the cock, not the stag.) Ordered 16 'Terminators', then 16 beers, then 16 more shots, which contained absinthe and mescalin, then hide in the toilet to do coke. Should now, by rights, be dead. Stag is forced to ask for lipstick from someone, wear it, then kiss them on their cheeks.
10.30pm? ~ Cabs are taken to Razzmatazz nightclub.
10.42pm? ~ Bouncers at Razzmatazz nightclub deny us entry on account of us all wearing the same shirts and being British. Decision is made to go back to the lousy bars from the previous night, and an argument breaks out. Group split.
11.00am? ~ Another bar, dancing to Beyonce or godknows what. Very little memory at this point. Someone comes up with Spalidomide.
12.00pm? ~ Remainder of sunburnt group finds us. Cheering breaks out. Most people avoid us like the plague.
1.00am? ~ Bar closes. I leave to find another establishment when cute girl I recognise from the previous night accosts me. She's a hooker and grabs my genitals and begins pumping them with vigour, saying "We fuck, we fuck." I reply No constantly, but don't put up much of a fight. She drags me back to a doorway making overt breathy noises and eventually stops. I thank her for finally unmolesting me, and have the presence of mind to pat my front pockets. I suddenly realise I am now minus a wallet. I start to panic, check my back pocket which I haven't been using in Barcelona, then my fronts, where it absolutely, definitely was.
"Wallet," I say. "Give me my wallet NOW!"
"Is on the floor," says the prostitute without hesitation, her voice no longer cute and eager but panicky, and strangely deep and masculine. I am caught between two thoughts; She stole my wallet, I must get my wallet - and, Why does she sound like a man?
The hooker runs off as I reach down for my wallet; Money, cards, everything's still there. She'd backed us into a doorway while I was being fiddled with, using this slight of hand motion on my testicles to hide the fact that the fingers of her other hand were in my pocket fishing for my wallet which she'd then slung behind her into the darkness. I sober up, strangely impressed with the scam and gratified that I not only patted my pockets but that the hooker owned up immediately and legged it. In her line of work, s/he probably carries a knife.
1.04am? ~ Tell the group I'd just had my wallet nicked by a transvestite prostitute.
1.07am? ~ Tell some pissed blokes from Leeds I'd just had my wallet nicked by a transvestite prostitute.
1.34am? ~ Four of us get cab home. The driver demands 5 Euros from each of us before going anywhere. Martin angrily demands the driver take us to another club. I have to hug him and tell him the game's over. Bill comes to 10 Euros. Driver refuses to give us change.
2.04am? ~ Realise I've lost my flash windproof lighter I bought four years ago in Thailand.
2.46am? ~ Finish coke. Stand outside hotel with Ali, chainsmoking. Martin and Ian walk down Las Ramblas to find another bar. They're approached by two friendly locals who then proceed to try and pickpocket them.
3.58am? ~ Go to bed. Lose key, and can't activate lights. Fall back onto bed to remove shoes. Bed not there. Land on arse.

Sunday 20th April
I wake up covered in bruises and sunburns. After getting a bite to eat, I am admonished again, this time for booking a late flight. We end up in Hogans bar again, drinking til 3pm when we make our way to the airport and a flight delay. By the time everyone rolls back into Gatwick, it is 11pm on Sunday night and my name is mud. I try not to tell too many people that I've got the week off work.

At Victoria tube, the group is now down to me and two Kevins. Garry left to head south and miss the last tube. Kevin A and myself run out at Oxford Circus and jog with backpacks to the Central line, but it's too late. A tannoy is announcing that the underground has now closed for the night, and Fuck Off. We surface to a drizzly London evening. The first people we see are Polish maintenance men and cockneys about to tinker with the tube and, on street level, a group of Spaniards going one way, and a French group going another. We are forced to add to the £300 spent this weekend (not including flights and accommodation), and get a black cab home to West London. I'm home gone midnight.

If I ever have a stag, it'll be at a health farm.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Breakdown

I'm in stasis; limbo; purgatory.

We've got a new guy at work, doing two days a week. He's there because I'm leaving, apparently. I'm not looking for work, because I'm trying to write a book, but I'm not writing a book because my muse has buggered off, so I'm keeping my head down hoping that Everything Will All Work Out In The End™.

Nothing's changed. But I am off to Barcelona on Friday for a huge stag (number IV by my reckoning) - one that I've arranged as oxymoronic Best Man.

I am a little stressed, and I have no reason to be...

which is also making me stressed.

Twat.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Stag III

First Nick gets himself hitched and has a stag do in the West Country, then Chopper did likewise in, erm, the West Country.

Now Hippy Dave is the third of my mates in recent times to get himself a missus and have a males-only pissup to celebrate.

But What Goes On Stag Stays On Stag, suggesting that we might be dangerous and bad and up to no good. In reality, we all got hammered and went home. However, I'm going to break this code of silence anyway.

I've never had a stag in London before and was quite intrigued as most of the participants live in or near it. I was therefore looking forward to going nuts without the travel expense or hotel bills. Somehow it still ended up costing me 200 fucking notes.

We started off go-karting - go-karting, ferchrissakes. I tubed it to Mile End at 8am with my Sikh chum Suki, drowning in a fug of tiredness and apathy; We're all thirty-somethings, not eight-year-olds, dammit. Everyone arrived in bleary drips and we changed into our racing gear and received our regulations pep talk, rules that I immediately went on to break as I found myself ramming into the other karts, refusing to slow down for chicanes or black flags, and shamelessly whooping like a GI on steroids. Every group that goes there must have at least one idiot in their number, and I was that idiot. Despite coming second last, I haven't had that much fun since I last had sex back in the late fourteenth century.

We started boozing around midday, finding a nice pub on the Pentonville Road with a charming barlady who didn't find me repellent - I made a mental note to go back there forever. Another stag group arrived and unsettled us like a pride of lions wandering into another pride's pub; they were, after all, all dressed up as sailors or policemen and putting us to shame with our civilian jeans and trainers. My dressing up consisted of a t-shirt with 'KOSHER' written on it in large letters that I'd never worn before, mainly because it has 'KOSHER' written on it in large letters. We had a lot of catching up to do if only to render ourselves MORE HARDCORE than this other group in the insensible and unconscious stakes.

We went on to the Elbow rooms to play pool (I got thrashed), and watched the Grand National, winning £6 at the bookies by guessing that Comply or Die wouldn't get shot in the paddock. I then cursed my rare good fortune that I didn't stake £100 on it.

We ended up in 93 Feet East where the plan was to flood our livers with tequila and dance til they threw us out. I didn't expect to be listening to The Bookhouse Boys, a quite remarkable band that sounds like Arcade Fire going surfing with Quentin Tarantino in Mexico. I'm not normally into guitar-based anything; my normal music of choice can be replicated by banging a hammer against a wall and playing the piano, but I'm getting more fond of the electricity of live gigs, not to mention being in awe of anyone talented enough to play a decent tune let alone deciding to group together and play to an audience.

Plus, admittedly, the female singer looks astonishing. Do check out their Myspace above. If 'I Believe' doesn't make you want to run around naked and scream from a mountaintop in a life-affirming frenzy, then you're probably not me.

The night continued in its usual vein; I chatted to a couple of girls who didn't want to be spoken to, who then objected to me calling them teenagers (they were probably both 20). I did some bassist bothering, telling this Bookhouse Boy they were fantastic. I chatted to another girl who asked me what was written on my t-shirt.
'Uh, it says 'Kosher'. I'm, erm, Jewish.'
'Oh, fuck off.'
This wasn't a friendly 'Get tha fuck outta here!' fuck off. It was a 'Fuck Off' fuck off, which I found a little odd. The last time I was reprimanded for wearing a t-shirt was at a petrol station somewhere near Oxford. It was a football shirt with TEL AVIV on it. This had a irked the attendant who mumbled something under his breath, as if I was personally responsible for bombing civilians in Ramallah, or imposing harsh sanctions on the Gaza strip.

'Erm, wha...' I replied to this girl.
'Just fuck off,' she repeated.

Don't ask me why, but I wasn't really bothered. It made a refreshing change for a women to reject me for being a Jew, as opposed to just looking like me. Serves me right for wearing an ostentatious article of clothing again. I must remember to assimilate, keep my head down and not upset more enlightened people.

We all continued to drink as much as possible. Large Northern Flatmate was now hoarse and unable to speak, and Garry was horizontal. Hippy Dave had been trussed into a Top Gear jacket (He looks like Jeremy Clarkson), and made to perform humiliating forfeits, which I missed. I also missed seven rounds of tequila because I was chatting to the foxy singer from the Bookhouse Boys and her bandmate boyfriend - all women have boyfriends when I talk to them, so it was nice to actually have one in front of me as evidence. Jolly friendly couple, too.

Later, a cute Japanese girl threw me by smiling in my direction. I found her after a while working behind the bar. I then did the social equivalent of throwing my wallet into the bin and bought her a drink, and was then unable to speak to her as - obviously - she had to serve other people.

Then, towards the end, after I'd fortuitously dabbed myself with emergency aftershave from a vial I keep in my pocket and chewed on a couple of smints, a girl from among a sea of revellers stared at me. I noticed her staring, then grinning. I was shocked; it was Katy, my lovely ex-girlfriend of many years ago, just milling about with one of her sixty sisters and a friend.

It was great to see her again, great to see her smiling. Of all my exes, Katy was probably the kindest. She put up with my bullshit for six months, half a year of us barely going out because I wanted to write. Eventually she broke up with me after I'd refused to go to a party with her one weekend. I was so up my own arse that I didn't even realise that it was her own birthday party. When we'd met for lunch a year later and she reminded me of that day, I barely remembered it and was disgusted with myself. Yet, despite my being King of the Wankers, she still had the good grace to talk to me.

We had a brief chat. She was still with her boyfriend which cheered me immensely. Katy deserves someone committed and kind, and who will do things like attend her birthdays and go out with her from time to time. Apparently, I reeked of cigarettes, which was great to hear. I admitted that I had been thinking about her the other day; if I do ever finish this damn book and it does actually see the light of day, I made Katy a promise. I'd been daydreaming who I'd dedicate the book to if it miraculously got published. I thought it would be appropriate if it was To Katy.

The stag group ended up in a curryhouse. God alone knows what time it was now. The club had ended and we were throwing poppadoms and naans and beer back. I still wasn't quite that drunk. I had frequently been loud and obnoxious but not, as far as I can recall, rip-roaringly blasted. For one thing, I'd missed the tequilas. For another, I'd spread-bet a ridiculous amount of booze over 14 hours and thinned out the effects. This still didn't stop me singing the Israeli national anthem in the cab on the way home. (I had been requested to sing something Jewish by my pissed cab-mates.) I then had to apologise to our Muslim driver and confirm that despite appearances, I wasn't a Zionist, or a racist, or mental.

Now it is the morning after the night before and there's a Sikh lying on my couch.

I probably won't wear that t-shirt again. Odd things happen.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Book

One minute I'm glowing because in in the throes of creating a proper work of (barely) fiction. The next I realise I'm kidding myself and I'm polishing a turd. The book is draining me, possibly because I'm banking on it to CHANGE MY ENTIRE LIFE.

So that's all fun.

Writing it can be pretty fun though, when I allow it to. At the moment, it's painful again, both in writing the fucker, and reading it back.

I've been using this non-cycling period to read Stephen King's On Writing whilst commuting to work. Just now, trundling back home on the tube, I read the following paragraph from a short story within that made me chuckle...

"The job was quicksand. The day I started, it crept over my toes. Now, a year later, it had covered my mouth and was tickling my nostrils."


I chuckled - in a maniacal, sleep-deprived way - because I have written five chapters, FIVE FUCKING CHAPTERS, that says exactly the same thing but in excruciating detail, to the point where you either want to slash the main character's wrists (Ben Gefwola - no relation), or else cut your own head off instead.

And that's Bad for a light-hearted romp.

Back in the real world, my boss barracked me this morning for "looking like shit", insisting I fucked off and went back to bed. I didn't. Despite only - what - four hours sleep all week I was piqued that he told me to sod off home, so I stayed put. He did give me the day off tomorrow though - Three day weekend!

I went to the doctor's two days ago - I've had tinnitus for years and it seems to be getting worse, a constant hissing, as if I were dropped on my head as a baby and the throbbing stuck. But the overworked, indifferent doctor just shrugged. He didn't know what to do. So I went to the dentist yesterday. I'd read on some eardrops package that wisdom teeth could effect the ears, but the dentist said they weren't in my case, and booked me in to get another fucking tooth removed in June. (This time I'm going to get knocked out with gas. I'm damned if I'm going to be a brave ickle soldier and get five lucid injections punched into my gum by a scalpel wielding sadist.)

So that's that. I'm not sleeping much. I have several stags and weddings approaching in quick succession, one of which I have to make a speech at. I'm trying to read more too. Sex still eludes me. Jim Davidson and Jeffrey Archer are still cunts.

Oh, and my boss called at 6:15pm to say that he forgot he had an appointment and could I please not take the day off tomorrow.

Great.