When I was 12 or 13, I distinctly recall wanting to be married with kids by the time I was 21.
I remember making that statement as if I'd said it yesterday, and it was borne mainly out of the fact that my Dad was in his Fifties then and being all doddery. I wanted to be a 'hip' Dad, and not an old father who needed his replaced.
It never occurred to me that life doesn't always follow a set pattern, although we all subscribe to it in one form or another; job + house + partner = marriage and several bald, shitting, sleeping vomitmachines.
That was all I wanted in life, and it comes as quite a shock to be hurtling towards THIRTY-FUCKING-FIVE this year not massively fulfilled at work, renting a flat above a chemists to an anonymous greedy fucksicle, totally bereft of a loving woman, and where the only bald, shitting, sleeping vomitmachine near me supports Nottingham Forest and pays half the rent.
This vague wandering through life could well by the source of my 'depression'.
In fact, I'll quantify that: It is the source of my depression, without a doubt.
I realise now that it was a tad fanciful of me to want to be married with kids that would now be 14. I can't even comprehend how I'd guide these teenagers through life when I can barely do it myself.
Nonetheless, to paraphrase Gabrielle and make it less positive, dreams don't come true, and I didn't follow that path (thankfully). I'm rather glad I stumbled through my Twenties unwed, although more sex wouldn't have gone amiss. But it has to be said that the Thirties really do feel like the settle-down zone, particularly as about half a dozen friends of mine got married last year and babies are now starting to appear.
In some way, I'm pleased I still have my independence. And in thinking about this strange parallel life I could've had, there's no doubt in my mind that this blog - if it existed - would DEFINITELY be bitching about my sodding children while I remained shackled to my mortgage and whatever job I had.
The jury's out on what my wife would be like, though.
So here I am, bitching about my insignificant life while Gaza's fucked beyond all hope, where desperate people are at the mercy of ignorant fucktards who just can't stop antagonising a bad-tempered, morally dubious army with their very, very big rockets during a fragile ceasefire.
Where 51 million jobs will disappear this year, and the entire planet's economic growth hasn't been this bad since the entire planet was at war with itself (for the second time).
And where, in this brave new world of financial ruin, racial divisions, and my bad back, Jeffrey Archer still steadfastly refuses to kill himself.
I'm seeing a physio tomorrow.
And I'm not that depressed, just slightly introspective.
If there's one good thing about getting old, it's the realisation that I'd better get my thumb outta my ass, once and for all and before it's too late. (Thank you America, for your delightful expressions).
2009: It's Ass Extraction time.
And to celebrate, here's a picture of a man who looks like a thumb...