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!'