I have a friend who once found himself urinating next to Martin Amis at the ICA. Thankfully, they were both in the toilet at the time, positioned at adjoining urinals. My friend was very interested in drugs in that period of his life – from an academic as well as a practical perspective – so, knowing that Martin Amis wasn’t opposed to a little dabble himself, my friend asked the urinating author which drugs he considered most efficacious for writing. ‘Cannabis,’ replied Amis, tapping the old man thoughtfully. ‘It has a shamanic quality.’
When my friend told me this story, I was thrilled. One of my favourite writers of all time had basically, via a pissing intermediary, said: ‘You carry on the way you are, Stan. You’re doing everything right. You’re going to be OK. Oh, and… get dental insurance.’
Speaking of cannabis, one thing that’s become extremely clear again recently is that although it can, if used carefully, buttress the process of writing, it in no way contributes to a healthy dream life. Currently, however, I haven’t smoked anything for more than a month and I find that I’m dreaming like a drugged wizard.
In fact, as I write this, it's just after 5 a.m. on Saturday morning and I’ve just woken up from an unpleasant dream about Morag.
Actually, I’ve been having lots of unpleasant dreams about Morag recently. In fact, even dreams that did not seem to be about Morag, may have actually been. For example, the dream about the woodlouse.
Sometime last week I dreamt that a woodlouse was living in my chest hair. I was happy about this, despite the fact that when I looked down, it seemed to be coming apart at the seams, its little legs and its almost transparent carapace separating as it struggled in my manly pelt. Then, when I woke up alone, sans woodlouse, I felt horribly alone. Not happily alone, as I have on occasion felt. No. Horribly alone.
Whereas this morning I dreamt that Morag and I were still together and she was distant, down and distinctly uncommunicative. Something had happened with a mutual friend. She said it was something to do with money, but she wouldn’t tell me what it was. I didn’t believe her. I woke up in distress. I found myself wanting to go back to the dream and ask her if she loved me at all; if she’d ever loved me.
Could it be that I’m not actually over her?
I don’t think so – I mean, I am over her. It’s not like I want to go back. We weren’t right. I want someone who’s right for me. I want someone who can love me wholeheartedly and Morag couldn’t do that. Not for long. What’s preying on my mind now is the fact that I loved her more than I’ve ever loved before and I’m afraid I’ll never be able to do that again, for fear of doing it wrong, for fear of loving the wrong person. But then just because it didn’t last forever doesn’t mean she was the wrong person to love.
Oh, fuck it. I’m going back to sleep. Perchance to dream sweeter.
Sunday night, Monday morning...
I didn’t dream at all last night. Or at least nothing stayed with me. Typical. I’ve cursed it. I will never dream again.
I’m floundering about a bit at the moment. In general I mean. I don’t really know what I’m doing with this blog. And I don’t really know what’s happening with the book. I guess it’s early days still. But on the whole I’m feeling a bit fed up. With everything. Mostly I’m fed up with being cut off from everything. I need change. It’s coming soon I know, but I kind of need it now. So – in the absence of change, I’ve decided to plump for something which is apparently just as good: a rest.
Oh! And well I never. I’ve just realised that a year ago this week, Keith’s old flat was flooded and I stopped blogging till the beginning of September last. That settles it then. This year – although I don’t have the excuse of an act of God – I’m going to do the same. I’m having some time off. Yes. It’s a decision I’ve made. I might draw the occasional Jackson and tweet the occasional nonsense, but unless something staggering happens, I’m away from here till September.
And just in case you’re wondering, this has nothing whatsoever to do with any shame I might feel over my misquotathon in the Daily Mail today. In fact I feel no shame at all. Not that I'm claiming that I’m suddenly a fan of the newspaper. Heaven forfend. I still regularly entertain unimaginably violent fantasies involving Amanda Platell, Peter Hitchens, Richard Littlejohn, Liz Jones, Christopher Hart, a roll of cling film and a meat tenderiser. However, I would like something a friend of mine said – when I mentioned my misgivings on the day of the Mail interview – to be taken into consideration. She said, and I quote:
‘I’m all about preaching to the unconverted, so I think MUCH better to speak to The Enemy, have some of their number find and fall in love with your writing, then be convinced by you that they should live better. It’s really an actively good thing you're doing.’
You See? An Actively Good Thing.
Plus, I’m hoping it’ll sell some more books. Not because I want the money, you understand, but because I want to Heal The World with my words.
Oh, and if you’ve come here from the Daily Mail, and you’re genuinely not aware of what a hideous paper it is, then look at this. And have a good long think about what you’ve done.
So. That’s all for now. Oh, except this, which is funny.
Right. I'm done.
See you in September. In London!
Oh, and I realise of course, that in many ways – deep breath – yes – I am the woodlouse.
Goo goo g’joob.