Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deja Blue

Pfft. Bunch of arse.

Life's what you make it, warbled Talk Talk 23 years ago (has it really been that long??)

If that's true, mine's a gleaming castle of shit overlooking a vast land of promise and plenty; a territory of hope that's been pretty much ruined by that fecal fortress on the hill.

I have just had four days off work, my weekend extending into the Monday and Tuesday just gone. My boss initially gave me the Friday off for running his company for two weeks solo, but he changed his mind on Thursday night, raising my morale then shitting on it by telling me at the eleventh hour to come in that last morning.

So I went to work on Friday, reassuring myself that it'll be a fun half day until my boss comes back from his meeting and I get to go home early. But the morning descended into a chaos of ringing phones and aggressive cuntstomers who all gave me new shit to do which added to my pile of much older stuff I didn't get to clear. Then it turned midday, then 1, then finally 4:30pm when my boss eventually arrived and I ended up staying til gone 6pm on my 'day off' anyway.

But then I got my glorious break; four days all to myself to tidy up my shit, grab a coffee and wander around my local park, and write, write, write my novel complete. And what did I do instead?

I watched Annie Hall and Life of Brian and this cunt on Youtube instead, whilst playing Spider fucking Solitaire and chainsmoking. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I would masturbate to pornography at 2pm. And in those 96 hours at home, I managed to write not a single, solitary word.

When I did go out, it was to the supermarket where I avoided the gaze of other patrons lest they saw my basket of shame; one of enormous bags of crisps, yellow junk, and chocolate bourbons next to a supersized box of Kleenex and absolutely no fruit. Then I would return home to dislocate my jaw like a snake and slowly devour pizzas without chewing.

I never thought it would come to this; 35, and living the life of a sad old widower about forty years too soon.

On the plus side, I am back in regular email correspondence with my lovely ex-girlfriend from New York. On the downside, she's in New York, which was why we'd split up in the first place. My only female contact on Earth therefore contains pick-me-ups such as: "You do not have a pathetic existence. You live close to a fun little organic market, and you have light eyebrows."

As for my health, the ringing in my ears is beginning to deafen me. I've always had it, but it's getting ridiculous. Right now it sounds like my own personal fire alarm hissing in my head. I'm also noticing the cirrhosis rash I've had on my elbows and knees since, oh, forever, which has never bothered me or caused me any undue concern, is now getting bored and starting to move up and along my arms and legs.

So that's fun.

All I want is to fulfil the future I can see in my mind's eye. My novel is finished. I don't care if it's a success or even published. I just want it done. I'm also finishing the London Marathon for some reason and, of course, I no longer smoke. I'm fit, healthy, sexy, and I no longer eat food that's shrink-wrapped and takes twenty minutes to 'cook' at 200°C.

Oh, and I have a girlfriend and zero negative vibes running through my brain as if it's a Disneyland for demons.
Plus my own house.
And a well-paid job I enjoy.

And while I think about it, a donkey's schlong, but that's not really achievable.
Speaking of penis related matters, my friends were impressed with the new suit I'd bought for Jim and Lisa's wedding. It's apparently a great improvement on my old beige suit which, I was told, had become so tight around my nether regions, everyone could tell what my religion is.

So this is what it's like to be 35. Sucky. A few days after my birthday, I'd invited a whole bunch of friends to meet me in a pub for Friday birthday beers. I chose a different pub, somewhere vaguely equidistant we could all get to. And after an hour there, well into the merry zone, I was tapped on the shoulder by 'Jon'.

I hadn't seen Jon for 14 years. He had been on my course at University, and the pub I had picked happened to be his local. Jon hadn't changed, apart from some wrinkles around his eyes, but he was the same nerd I remembered from before. He works in movie post-production now, a line I'd still be in had I not kicked that soulless, ego driven industry to the kerb. I sold bags now, I told him - not Prada or Gucci ones mind you, but ones made of paper or plastic. (We do jute, too.) I told Jon this with pride. After all, I remember - indeed, I told him - how studious and bookish he had been way back when, and today, he was reaping the rewards. This admission may have been borne out of guilt too, as we weren't really friends at Uni, possibly because he was such a nerd. I wasn't exactly 'the jock' type, but I was certainly the course joker more interested in raving and misbehaving than revising.

To hell with pride, I thought, Jon deserves this. He still seemed rather shy and withdrawn, so I listened with interest as he told me about his current projects. He told me he was still single, so I boosted his ego by telling him I was too, and furthermore, he had a better job. Then he fidgeted and his phone rang, and he seemed eager to find his friends. So I wound up our meeting, and hugged him. I continued to congratulate him on his single-mindedness over the years, and the sweet fruit it was bearing now. Then his friends arrived, and we all shook hands as I bade Jon a hearty farewell, two strangers who had remembered one another's faces, about to go our separate ways again.

'Take care Jon, and congratulations on everything,' I said as I walked off, feeling a strange warmth for humanity for once.

'Yeah,' he yelled back. 'Keep on selling those bags!'


The Unbearable Banishment said...

While the donkey schlong might not be achievable, the rest of it is. Buck-up, my friend.

Your chance meeting with Jon if fraught with Buddhist teaching. Put some good out there and you’ll get it back.

Anonymous said...

If that's true, mine's a gleaming castle of shit overlooking a vast land of promise and plenty; a territory of hope that's been pretty much ruined by that fecal fortress on the hill.Sooo eloquent. I love it!

I have an editor tapping her fingers in agitation over rewrites from months and months ago when I sent her a manuscript. I cannot dewuss my heroine, I have no idea how to add more depth to my two heroes. She did, however, have no issues with the menage a trois scenes. Alas, this is not helping me fix the story. I bet you'll be done before me. The next person who tells me to just write it is going to get bitch slapped with my laptop.

Nothing like running into old friends and finding out one still lives with her mom so buck could be worse. You could be 36 and living with your mother!

Anonymous said...

we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, but completely underestimate what we can accomplish in a week, or a month. have you tried chopping your larger goals into smaller, more digestible chunks? sometimes works for me... i've split my weight loss goal in two. will have lost the 25 lbs by memorial day (end of may) and will lose another 20 by the end of summer... just seems less overwhelming that way.

Dandelion said...

He's probably wishing he was you.

On the chain-smoking solitaire 96-hours front, I have to say I didn't think anyone was as bad as me. You could be my identical time-wasting twin. I know why I do it, how about you?

McTodd said...

"So this is what it's like to be 35. Sucky."

Wait 'til you're 40...

sas said...

Still, you got to see Annie Hall & Life of Brian. So that's something.

Anonymous said...

rubes - your angle on the human condition is rather compelling. seriously. take this blog and weave whatever shredded strands of forlorn hope into some kind of golden threaded monologue and you are the next feggin alan bennet. i mean it, your 'always in the gutter, forever striving for the kerb' schtick can be quite lovely at times.

Huw said...

Maybe there's a nerdy massive wanking-fan out there, bemoaning to his friends "I'd set aside two days for afternoon wanking and surfing the internet, and I pissed it away writing a book. A book!?"

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I would say quit your job, but I think if you did that you'd just sit at home and degenerate forever.

So...have you tried pilates?

Lush said... least you watched good films and, unlike myself, did not wake up at 6 p.m. every day of the long weekend to find your roommates passed out in front of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. So consider yourself fortunate in that regard at least.

Random suggestion: try hot yoga. You'd be surprised at how effective it is at clearing the amusement park of negativity going on up there, as you can't really concern yourself with such things when you're profusely sweating out of pores you didn't know you had.

McTodd said...

Don't give him constructive, well-meaning advice!

Partly because it is almost certainly a complete waste of your time - I know the man and he will continue to plough his furrow the way he wants to/is compelled by events to/whatever - but also because if, in the almost infinitely remote chance he does actually follow it, we will all be deprived of a rich source of entertainment.

fwengebola said...

UB ~ D'y'know what? I read that and considered buying Buddhism for Misanthropes. Because that's what we do in this world: Buy easy-to-read books in the hope that it'll change our lives.
Jenn ~ Hullo. I'm dreadfully impressed that you can say you have an editor. Won't she edit the bitch for you?
Try having your characters react to new events and scenarios to bring out that depth.
Oh, listen to me, doling out advice I can't take myself.
df ~ Hmmmm. I suppose I could do some kind of babystep goal thing. Not sure. Let me ponder that one.
Dand ~ Yes, I dare say he looked at me and thought, 'I wish I was fatter with a shit job'.
i do it because I'm laaaazy. I don't like doing stuff, but I feel honour-bound to do it.
Like replying to every single comment. It's almost a second job.
McFuck ~ I can't bear to think about it.
sas ~ Yes, true, I half-watched them on a tiny, pixellated screen whilst playing digital cards.
Anon ~ You motherfucker and your 'knowing my nickname' thing. I will kill you.
Although your comment was very nice.
Thank you.
Huw ~ I love the idea of someone who strives for nothing but sheer idling, yet keeps on producing movies and creating critically acclaimed works of art at the weekend, by accident.
I'm sure there's a novel there.
PDEWYMO ~ I actually don't mind my job, as I'm 2nd in command (my boss frequently reminds me), and he's a good guy.
Y'know, that's 80% the battle.
Pilates? No, I don't think I could handle the time out. Or the financial outlay. Or the health benefits.
Lush ~ My ex frequently bangs on about her regular yoga. It's making her far too content. I'm staggered by your 6pm wake-ups. I think the latest I've managed is 5. And that's a horrible, horrible feeling, particularly at my age. Daylight becomes a precious commodity.
McFucksicle ~ What do you mean "continue to plough his furrow the way he wants to"? I don't want to. I just can't be bothered to invest the time, energy and, more importantly, the colossal effort and mental strain doing things that are frankly alien to my entire character.
Other that that, whatever.

Han said...

I wish you lived nearer to me...I would have you running that marathon in no time.

Ellie said...

Geez. I would think it would be fun pimping octogenarian ladies.

luna said...

Every time you go about your routine you deepen the groove in your brain.

What you need is to start your next hols with a little different something:get up and ring a cowbell,or light some scented candles,or sing out loud;a wake up of the senses which will derail your bad habits.

Yeah tell yourself you'll just write your book for 15mn and you're done.

Did you get this Jon's number?

luna said...

Daisyfae, I was wearing a belted big man's shirt today and someone who hadn't met me in months exclaimed You've lost so much weight!

Men are simple creatures.

digressica said...

Gosh, I'm about to say something horrid. Sorry. Here it is:

I've been having a really horrible, shit, depressing weekend and feeling really crap about myself. And then I came here. I still feel crap about myself but it's a feeling of crapness that has ever so slightly diminished for reading about how crap you feel about yourself. So... I guess this is the dark but special gift you bring to the world.

Also, laziness is an underrated quality. In fact, don't call it laziness - call it the art of being laidback in a zen-like fashion.

fwengebola said...

Han ~ Yes thanks, I could do with a personal train... Are you coming on to me?
Ellie ~ Pardon?
Luna ~ Yes, I will wake up in future to the sound of whale song and windchimes. No, I didn't get Jon's number - I wasn't that drunk - but I do accept your 15 min policy. Very sound. I shall put it into practice tonight.
Luna Again ~ What?
Dig ~ That's not horrible. I like being some kind of negative energy sponge that helps people feel better.
Not for long, though. Eventually, I get the urge to kill.

luna said...

They say a side effect of doing it too often renders one deaf, but ... getting deaf on the net???
This is getting serious.

fwengebola said...

Wanking makes you go deaf?