Instead, I have been plodding along as usual, and digesting your comments:
“Get out of that flat.”
“Mondays are shite.”
“The reason you're depressed is the same reason that's holding you back.”
“Your posts… used to be funny, but more recently, they make me worry for you.”
“We’ve accepted this imaginary 'dream life' (is) attainable, and… have come to believe it a right! Find joy in a few simple things.”
“I think you should do something about that job.”
“Take a break and… talk to a doctor, or take a holiday, or find a new job”
“Plan a change, one thing at a time, tell someone supportive, do not frame your change as losing or giving up (but) gaining, improving.”
“You believe in magic. You duck out of dates, you are rude to women the moment you realise you like them, you are a mixture of pride and doubt that makes you sabotage everything you do.”
“GET OVER YOURSELF.”
“Stop hanging around bars. You've got to put more effort into this thing.”
I’d like to thank you all. To be fair, I’m amused at how this blog has morphed into a vast repository of complaint; one colossal bitch about a crappy life in a crappy job and a crappy flat with no-one to
But, oh, it has. Whoops.
Anyhoo, in the two and a half weeks since my last post, there have been a few intriguing developments:
I saw St. Elmo’s Fire for the first time (fucking abysmal film that has dated really badly and is ridden with the worst screenwriting clichés I’ve ever witnessed. There may even have been a "You just don’t get it, do you?", as well as cringing moments like Rob Lowe’s former-student brat character paying a visit to his old college whilst his erstwhile frat buddies (never mentioned or seen before) cry with disbelief, “It’s the Man, the Legend!” and mean it, and who then proceed to throw an egg-shaped ball around before collapsing in a joyful heap to reminisce. There was also a cliffhanger ending I couldn’t have cared less about, involving a young Demi Moore rocking gently in a cold room.
For years I’d heard that St Elmo’s Fire was a seminal film of the mid-Eighties. Instead, it was just shit.
I also went to the cinema for the first time since Christ-knows when, to see Paranormal Activity. I think it’s supposed to be scary and you’re not supposed to laugh at the talc scene but ultimately, I enjoyed it. It has parallels to the Blair Witch Project (in that both were amateur horror films that did extremely well and made a gargantuan profit), yet was nowhere near as scary. Having said that, I saw Blair Witch ten years ago, long before I’d read Hitchens and Dawkins and still had a window of belief open to the supernatural.
(I watched Blair Witch again several years later and thought, ‘Hang on a minute, it’s just a bunch of annoying bastards swearing in a wood.’)
But all this needless film critique is obscuring all the day-to-day bullshit. My boss screamed blue murder at me last week. In fairness, I was being surly and difficult, openly bitching at the stuff he was giving me whilst I stared forlornly at the paper on my desk I’d been trying to wade through. His yelling – rare, to be fair – made me storm out of the office to walk for ten therapeutic minutes around the block. As I don’t take lunch per se, it was rather pleasant.
Then again, it hasn’t helped that the part-time guy my boss hired last year has now been taken on full-time and given my role, a situation that I had no say in whatsoever. Granted, we’re a small office mucking in together where the roles very much blur, but it has given me pause for thought. Mainly, I’ve thought that it’s becoming more conclusive that I quit, so this’ll be the second of my “temporary stopgap” jobs I’m about to leave. This one I’ve had for over four years except now, when I look for work, I’ll be the wrong side of my mid-Thirties, and further from my now irrelevant Media degree than ever before. And Oh look! I’m underqualified for just about everything too.
Good old Going Nowhere.
But the biggest leap to happened to me over the last couple of weeks has occurred thanks to my Mum. Since my brain went AWOL a few months ago, I’ve felt disjointed as hell; drifting slowly through each day, keeping my head down, not trying to rock the boat in case I went all blubby again and felt the need to speak to someone who’ll charge me a lot of money to listen to me whinge.
As such, I’ve been on the phone to said Mum almost every day. At one time, weeks if not months would go by until she’d call to remind me of her existence. Now we were seeking one another out because I’d become as emotionally unstable as a five-year old who’d just been told that Santa’d been accidentally gored by Rudolph and Christmas was cancelled forever.
Mum had planned something that had me shocked at first (initial 3 seconds), then mortified me (next twelve), then embarrassed me to the point that I’d refused her proposal. Her argument was that she’d be dead one day (her words), and there was little point in waiting until then to get some kind of inheritance. Better, she argued, to just cash in that inheritance and give it to me now to go towards a deposit for my own place.
It took me about two minutes to agree. I am aware that, written down, that doesn’t sound like a very long time at all, but it was 120 seconds of argument and shame before I’d decided that offers like this don’t come around very often. I’d also considered the ramifications of her proposal in light of my current miserable situation, and debated whether or not this was the key.
I currently live above a chemists about four miles west of central London with a Large Northern Flatmate. While it is a lovely area and perfectly suited to our needs, we’ve never personalised the living space as, well, it isn’t our place to do up. Instead it’s owned by the owner of the chemists, a man I’ve never spoken to or met who never bothers to get in touch when the damp sets in or mice appear. Our flat also features neighbours on all sides who, over the years, have caused me to break their fucking speakers or, more recently, intimidate the living fuck out of me.
Either way, as a base to live, it is adequate. Not ideal by a long shot, but as I’ve rented for virtually the last ten years, I’ve known nothing else. This is how I live.
So anyway, there’s me, wage monkey, no girlfriend, unhealthy and getting older, all pretty standard stuff you’ve read here a million times before, and brain goes kaput. Cue Mum to decide my problem's to do with how I live, and within 24 hours, I became an active househunter.
To date, I’ve seen six places. I have six more lined up this Saturday. I’m having to look further from London to afford the small cupboard conversion I hope to buy, but it’ll be much nearer my family if further from work.
I will no longer be able to cycle to work (or I will, except the time/ distance will triple), but I’ll be much closer to a Mum, a Dad and a sister + two nieces I currently never see.
And this, I hope, will finally stabilise me and mark the beginning of my return to the fringes of the human race.
(And no, I have no idea what my sister thinks about her inheritance forming the east wall of wherever I end up living.)