1. Lose 8 Stone in One Year
2. Stop Smoking Completely and Forever on January 1st
3. Do More Things and Meet More People
4. Write This Blog for At Least One Year – Ideally, At Least Once a Week, Chronicling Progress With Other Goals
5. Find Girlfriend
6. Get Paid for Writing Something Heartfelt
So here we are then.
Nine down, three to go. Months, that is. Not resolutions.
It’s been a good year on the whole, and in many ways, things have gone so much better than I ever really imagined they might.
With regard specifically to the resolutions, number one has gone passably well, with a few occasional, predominantly biscuit-based setbacks. I have lost around five stone, which is obviously well on the way to achieving my goal by the end of the year, although I’ll definitely have to step it up for the last quarter.
I can’t say I’ve really succeeded with number two however. I have smoked tobacco occasionally, albeit almost always in joints. But of course that still counts. I have a joint between my fingers right now in fact. Hold on… Mmmmmmm, terminal illness. Although, having said that, I don’t habitually smoke cigarettes anymore. So a partial success at least.
Number three I can tick without reservation. I have definitely done more things and I have definitely met more people. So that’s good.
Number four also. I have no doubts about that. The blog has been a resounding success. I’ve loved it. It’s been good to me. Everything I said in April stands and although I can imagine my life without it, I don’t particularly want to.
Which brings us to number five. And my biggest disappointment. As I said above, in many ways, things have gone great. Who would have thought back in December that by October I would have been the proud pleaser of three magnificent vaginas? Certainly not me. Unfortunately, a vagina does not a girlfriend make. And sex was never really the point.
I’ve been looking for love. But why? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? Seriously though, what’s love got to do with it? With anything? What’s the fucking big deal about love?
Maybe that’s where I was going wrong.
I think it probably was.
And so I’ve decided. Balls to love. To hell with the human heart.
From now on, vaginas are where it’s at.
You know where you stand with a vagina.
My heart – if that’s what it is – is like an overripe plum, all tender and vulnerable, weeping with aimless emotion. My cock meanwhile – as fit to burst as any runny heart – is like a bludgeon. It has no heart.
I know where I stand with my cock. I need to pay it more respect.
Respect the cock.
I’m rambling, aren’t I? Sod it. If I want to ramble, I will.
Patricia was damaged and needy, fingers of fire and teeth eager to cut and cry out. She was the best thing that had happened to me in years. Then there was Sally. Sometimes when Sally would stare into my eyes, stroke my face and slowly lick her silver lips, I would actually feel mentally ill with desire, my insides tumbling like asteroids. It was divine while it lasted.
And then there was Morag.
I had real hope for Morag. Right up till the end. Right up, in fact, till this weekend.
I read your comments to last week’s posts. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Well, not all of you. Some of you pissed me off, frankly. But that’s the price I have to pay for putting stuff out there.
There’s no way I can respond to all of the comments. So it’s probably best I don’t respond to any. I certainly don’t feel like it. So I'm not gonna. Some of you took against Morag though, and I think you were wrong to. I think she was straight with me throughout, or at least as straight as she could be, and that was good enough for me. And I’m no paragon of straight-talking when I get all heart-heavy and insecure. But then it’s tough to talk straight when you’re terrified of losing what you have and jeopardizing what you want.
Anyhow – probably nothing to do with what any of you may have said, so don’t feel guilty, Misssy – I drove to Brighton on Saturday.
Eyes thick with pity and knuckles sore with impotent rage, I drove to Brighton to set things straight once and for all. Fantasising as I drove. I am rooted in the me… What took you so long? You had me at hello.
I’d smoked half a joint I found under my bed. I’d drunk at least two glasses of wine. I was definitely over the limit. But apparently I didn’t care. Cool, huh?
Don’t kid yourself that I’m not a thoroughly awful, self-centred man. Because I am. Or at least I can be.
When I was half an hour away, I texted her. ‘Are you at home?’
When I was outside of her house, I phoned her.
I started to get paranoid. Had she blocked me?
Oh, I felt bad.
It was Saturday night. 8 o’clock. Why wasn’t she at home watching The X Factor? Why wasn’t I?
Actually, maybe she was. I steeled myself and knocked on her front door.
Then it suddenly hit me.
‘I’m out of my fucking mind,’ I whispered.
I backed away from Morag’s house like it was on fire and clambered back into my car.
‘What on earth are you doing here?’
That was the question I put to the me that was rooted in this undignified adventure, the me that was cowering in the rear view mirror, eyes acidic, ablaze, astringent. His forehead shrugged. He didn’t know. He didn’t want to know. I pressed him: ‘Are you a proper looney now, is that it?’ A shiny little girl holding her mother’s hand walked past the car, caught sight of me frantically hissing at my own reflection, and looked away.
I started the car, pointed it at London and drove. Fifteen minutes later I changed my mind and turned around. I found a Chinese restaurant three streets away from Morag’s and ordered some food. I sent another text message.
‘I'm not a looney, you know. I just miss you. I want to see you. Just for coffee maybe. Just to talk. xxx’
Why is it only when you press send that you realise how terrible your message sounds? Why don’t you get at least thirty seconds after sending in order to reconsider and cancel if necessary? A silent scream froze itself to my face as I waited for my message to be delivered.
Then I got a reprieve. ‘Message not sent. Retry?’
Thank God for that.
I pressed ‘Retry’.
This time it went through immediately.
I am a looney.
She was ignoring me.
‘Unbelievable,’ I spat. ‘Fucking cow.’
Someone at the next table looked over at me, then looked away. I was well aware that I was behaving strangely. I poured myself another cup of green tea.
Then my phone beeped and I almost pulled a muscle reaching for it.
It was Keith. The shit.
‘You about?’ it said. I started texting back then got frustrated and rang him.
I told him I was in a Chinese restaurant waiting for dim sum.
‘Are you with Morag?’ he wanted to know.
‘No, I’m not,’ I said. ‘I’m alone.’ I was feeling very melodramatic, very self-pitiful.
‘Good,’ he said. ‘Well, I’m starving. I’ll join you if you don’t mind. Are you round the corner?’
‘I’m outside London actually,’ I said.
‘Oh, where are you?’
‘I’m in Brighton.’
I explained what I’d done.
‘Fucking hell,’ said Keith. ‘You’re not having a breakdown, are you?’
‘No, no, no,’ I said, because that’s what you say when someone asks you that. ‘I’m fine.’
‘Why don’t you come home and get wrecked?’ he said. ‘I’ll pop over to Quinn’s.’
I paused for a moment and suddenly felt like I was going to burst into tears. ‘Alright,’ I said. ‘God, that sounds like a good idea. Let’s get some crack.’
Another look from the table next door.
‘Crack it is.’ Keith replied. ‘Get your arse in gear then.’
Suddenly galvanized, I called to the waitress and asked her to put my food in some bags, then I paid for it, got in the car and drove directly back to Morag’s house. I parked outside, got out and knocked abruptly on her front door. No reply. Thank God.
But I’d tried. No one can say I hadn’t tried. I came, I tried, I failed.
Now it was time to go.
Then – naturally, because life is hilarious like that – as I turned to get back in the car, there she was. Off in the distance. Walking toward me. Drifting toward me through lovers’ lamplight, her and someone else. Someone who wasn’t me. Two of them, arms wrapped like scarves against the miserable drizzle, two happy people lazily clumping home for sex. They had just rounded the corner, ten or so houses away. I inched across the pavement and slowly opened the car door. But it was too late. I’d been spotted. Morag stopped walking, disentangled herself. In my mind, I heard her curse. Then she started up again, slowly walking toward me.
I closed the car door, waited, trying desperately to think of a reason to be there that might not sound completely unhinged.
‘Hi,’ I said, as she neared.
‘What are you doing here, Stan?’ She didn’t sound angry. She sounded concerned, which was so much worse.
‘No, nothing, no,’ I shouted, far too jovially. ‘No, I just popped by on the off-chance, to see what you were up to, you know. I’ll be off now… You must be Christ,’ I assumed.
‘Chris,’ said Christ. I leaned toward him with my outstretched hand. He leaned over Morag and shook it. He was tall. Handsome. Young.
‘Nice to meet you,’ I said. Then to Morag. ‘I’m really sorry, OK? Have a good night.’
‘Stan,’ she said.
‘No, no, it’s fine,’ I insisted, nodding, smiling, moving quickly, gurning from the driver’s seat, taking control, driving away. Bish bash bosh, I was gone and on the London Road in what seemed like minutes. All the way home, Wish by the Nine Inch Nails on repeat, window-rattlingly loud.
I was home by 10.15. By 11 I’d drunk three bottles of San Miguel, smoked a couple of joints and convinced myself that it had all been a dream.
There was no crack by the way, just in case you were wondering. Keith had assumed I was joking.
At ten minutes past midnight I received a text from Morag. ‘Are you OK?’ it said.
And you know what I did? I ignored it.
Triumphant! Victorious! Not at all immature!
So, there we are.
Nine months in and I’m done with love. Seriously. As far as I’m concerned, love can go fuck itself. Ziplessly.
I’m done with it.
We used to read Catullus to each other, you know, some nights. That’s how fucking stupid we were.
I don’t regret posting the Gchats, because I knew that by the end of them, Morag would come out looking good, at least to me. And I had her express permission. But you should know that I know that the only reason I really did it was because it might enable to us to get back together.
I don’t know much about women.
But I know what I like.
On the other hand, I regret it entirely. What on earth kind of way is that to carry on? Posting private conversations in public is just weird and totally without class. I need to take a long hard look at myself and what I consider acceptable behaviour. At least where other people are involved.
Done with love though. That remains.
After all, there’s only so long you can chase a wild goose. I reckon 30 years is about the limit. If you don’t give up after 30 years, then it shows a distinct lack of respect for the goose. You know? That goose is not for catching. Let it go. Chase something else.
So I’m refocusing my attention. I’ve always been too cerebral anyway. I read the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray when I was a teenager and I convinced myself I admired it. I reread it just now and hated it. Barely comprehensible pretentious garbage written by a hypocritical phoney who lived his whole life as a lie.
Done with Wilde.
Done with Art.
Done with Beauty.
Done with Truth.
Done with That Sort of Thing.
Done with love.
No more pining and moping and yearning and sighing.
No more putting the spiritual ahead of the physical
No more putting the brain ahead of the body.
And what better time to make that shift than now that I’m under 16 stone for the first time in God knows how many years. Now I need to consolidate with bananas and weights.
Secondly, no more intimacy. Intimacy fucks things up.
No more talking before sex, or indeed afterwards.
No more getting to know potential sex partners.
No more meeting anyone who reads this blog and knows more about me than what they see when they meet me cold: my large elbow-heavy head, my dead-eyed gaze and my increasingly impressive musculature.
No more confusing emotional need with physical lust.
I'm not done with lust. I'm just getting going on that.
I'm just done with love. And so on.
I’m glad I’ve got that sorted.
So what else is new?
Ah, yes, number six :: Get Paid for Writing Something Heartfelt.
Please. Don’t get me started. I’m beginning to think that finding love – which doesn’t exist – might actually be easier than getting an editor to reply to an email. What fuckers they are. At least I got a sniff, a backstairs whisper of what love might be like, had it existed, and at least when the love thing fell apart, at least the women involved had the good grace and common decency to dump me to my face. More or less.
If you’re an editor of a magazine, answer me this :: where the fuck do you get off not even deigning to answer emails? Seriously, who the fuck do you think you are? How difficult is it to have a standard rejection on hand that you can just send out when you need to? Even a single fucking word would be better – more courteous – than nothing. I don’t care if you're busy with presidential elections and the collapse of Capitalism. It takes seconds to say no. You know? I’m a human being and I deserve some rudimentary respect. Don't ignore me. Otherwise you come across as self-centred, egotistical, heartless shits, the lot of you.
So. There we have it.
Nine down. Three to go.
Obviously, it's not over yet.
But it will be soon.
When I started this blog, my plan was always to stop after a year. I thought that if I hadn’t achieved my goals, then at least I’d have a catalogue of failure to weep over in my dotage. Actually I didn’t. I had no idea what would happen. I just thought, try for a year, then stop. Whether I was still fat or not, whether I was still smoking or not, whether I was still a lonely old freak pleasuring oven gloves behind closed curtains or not, I would stop.
Now I can’t imagine stopping. But the way I feel at the moment, I might stop anyway just to spite myself.
I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.
I’m thinking I might do a Henry Miller, run away to Paris and whore myself into an early grave. Or a late grave, as it was in his case.
Ironically it was Morag who said I should read some Henry Miller. I say ironically, because reading Tropic of Cancer this week is bringing all kinds of misogynistic urges to the fore, of which Morag, being quite the feminist, would most certainly not approve.
Actually, I’m not convinced these urges are misogynistic. They’re merely misanthropic. Soulless.
This passage for instance, is a good example of the kind of stuff that's really firing me up as I read:
‘…O Tania, where now is that warm cunt of yours, those fat, heavy garters, those soft, bulging thighs? There is a bone in my prick six inches long. I will ream out every wrinkle in your cunt, Tania, big with seed. I will send you home to your Sylvester with an ache in your belly and your womb turned inside out. Your Sylvester! Yes, he knows how to build a fire, but I know how to inflame a cunt. I shoot hot bolts into you, Tania, I make your ovaries incandescent. Your Sylvester is a little jealous now? He feels something, does he? He feels the remnants of my big prick. I have set the shores a little wider. I have ironed out the wrinkles. After me you can take on stallions, bulls, rams, drakes, St. Bernards. You can stuff toads, bats, lizards up your rectum. You can shit arpeggios if you like, or string a zither across your navel. I am fucking you, Tania, so that you’ll stay fucked. And if you are afraid of being fucked publicly I will fuck you privately. I will tear off a few hairs from your cunt and paste them on Boris’ chin. I will bite into your clitoris and spit out two franc pieces…’
Sorry if the language offended you. But not really. I’m not sorry. I love it. Because there’s no love in it, just a cynical rampage through life. Cold, but celebratory. Celebratory, but cold. I approve.
Done with love.
Do you know what I mean? I mean that my heart has turned to bone. Ossification of the love muscle has been transacted.
I do not believe in love.
Love does not exist.
The stuff my heart has tried and failed to feel with any conviction, the stuff that you people allow to rule and ruin your lives, that is not love - or it may be love but it does not conform to the naïve notion of Romantic Love I had in my ludicrous head. Rather, it’s just some hormonal tick to trick you into staying together and raising children. It’s a genetically modified chemical blindfold. You wear it gladly because you’re hardwired to do so. Good for you.
I really think I might fuck some whores.
This is absolutely fascinating. It’s the oldest profession, you know.
So what else is new?
Well, the ache in my drum has returned. So much so that I've decided I've probably got stomach cancer. I shouldn’t complain though. You’re only as healthy as you feel. You’re only… as healthy… as… you… feel. Anyone?
I’m supposed to be finding somewhere to live too. What happened to that?
And yes, I know this is the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever written, and I know I’ve written an awful lot of self-indulgent things over the last nine months. So sue me.
And yes, I fully expect to find myself embarrassedly apologising next week for temporarily morphing into the loveless monster you read before you, this polar opposite to everything I’ve ever said, thought or felt. But fuck it, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll take a whore while I'm still in the mood and maybe I'll take to money-fucking like a zipless duck to water. Maybe this is the new me.
And yes, I know that time heals all wounds.
And yes, of course I know that Morag will read this post. Why do you think I'm posting it in the first place? What? You don't think it will work?
Done with love.