bulk :: 13st 9
exercise :: none
cigarettes :: lots
steps taken to stop :: I'm going to see the NHS people next Friday. They have patches and all kinds of wisdom, and they're cheaper than a hypnotist.
alcohol :: most days
steps taken to cut down :: bought some weed and now can't be bothered to go to the shops for more booze
fresh starts :: 1
marks out of ten for week :: 7.3
I had a good day yesterday. It involved work, and old friends, and tears, and drugs, and a giant silver locust named Gerard.
OK, OK. I’m joking about the tears. Big boys don’t cry.
This... is my drug dealer’s toilet.
I hope I’m not overstepping the mark publishing a photo of a man’s toilet whilst simultaneously identifying him as a felon. I suppose if there were any sleuths out there amongst you - and I know there are - you might blow the photo up Blade Runner-style, and pick out a possum hair on the toilet seat, which might lead you, via a little unpleasantness with an East End marsupial importer, to Ineloquent Quinn's high rise block in Fithering, just behind the Bluntsteps tube station. If you do figure it out, don’t call the rozzers. Be a good egg and call those wretched supercilious old haddocks who clean up for people on telly. Get them round.
First things first though. I worked in the morning. I went out to Kensington to see a Chinaman about data analysis. Then I met an old friend for a pub lunch of delicious sausages and mashed stuff which I can still taste. Then I had time before another appointment with another old friend, so instead of slogging home and back into town, I walked around London with a little fold-out map to keep me on my toes, listening to Adam and Joe podcasts in my headphones and laughing quite openly in public places. I think people like to see a stranger laughing to himself in a public place. I know I do. Cheers me right up. So I did big Brian Blessed belly laughs and winked at anyone who looked alarmed.
Not really. I just giggled quietly into my chin.
The second old friend I met was Morag. I hadn’t seen her since shortly after we split up. We had a couple of wines and caught up. It was good. Kind of sad too but it was great to see her.
Morag has this little tease she likes to inflict upon me from time to time. She pretends that she thinks that some time in the future, I’m going to find God or become gay. Or both. Run off with a wayward Christian chap and set up home in the Cotswalds. I’d have my writing. He’d have his potter’s wheel. Every night by candlelight we’d re-enact the sexy scene from Ghost to the soundtrack of some freaky Gregorian chant-drum and bass mash-up. She didn’t actually go into such detail but I know what she was thinking.
Hilariously enough, after I said goodbye to Morag, I walked to Fithering, where, being over an hour early for my next appointment, I took refuge in a public house and was immediately befriended by a couple of gay men.
It happened because I was unpleasantly and unfairly overlooked after waiting for forty years at an almost empty bar, and I got a bit visibly uppity about it, as is my hateful wont. It was rather infantile really, my little tantrum. It was all failed clarity and hufty exasperation. In my defence, however, I was a bit emotional. If you want to know the truth, I’d had a bit of a weep whilst en route to Fithering. In the street as I walked. Like a big girl’s blouse.
NO! Not like a big girl’s blouse at all, but like the thinking woman’s man that I am, soft like a bruised egg but delightfully receptive to the cringe and swell of my emotions. Or else in bondage to it. One of the two. Either option dwarfs a mere blouse* though, I’m convinced of that. So by the time I got to the pub, I was sensitive. And I was tense. And that’s what this guy said. He said, ‘Are you a bit tense there? You are, aren’t you?’ I admitted I was, very tense. He said, ‘I can tell. I’m very spiritual.’ I explained that I’d just seen my ex-girlfriend for the first time in six months or so, so I was a feeling a bit, you know…
I’m sure Morag won’t mind me telling you this. No, I really am. Almost totally sure. It’s mostly about me anyway.
I’d had a couple of things that had been simmering away in my head for the past six months or so, like tiny phantom tumours. Basically, because of a couple of things that had been said in the embers end of our relationship, I’d got it into my head that what we had meant very little to Morag. And that it was only me who actually gave a damn. But Morag easily convinced me that that was not the case. And immediately I felt better. And lighter.
Morag is happy. She’s with someone else and she’s clearly really happy with him. She didn’t even have to say as much. It was clear. And I was happy for her. Very happy. What I wasn’t so happy about, however, was my own life. Which is why, walking down the Gallstone Road to Fithering, I began to feel overwhelmingly sad. I had God Only Knows on repeat on my iPod and I was weeping.
Then I stopped weeping, and went to the pub, where one of the gay men shook my hand and said, ‘Did you say "ex-boyfriend"?’ I said no. Then he asked me if it'd been good seeing my ex and if I'd left her feeling positive. I said yes on both counts. I told him I’d entered into it, hoping to hear exactly what I'd heard and that I was very happy for her and happier in general for having seen her. That was all good. It was the malaise of my own life that was making me tense. He continued down the positive thinking line for a while and then I thanked him for his kindness and for his spirituality and I went outside to smoke cigarettes and listen to pop songs and wait for my drug dealer to get home. He arrived about 9pm.
I told Quinn that I’d been to see my ex-girlfriend, because it was on my mind and I wanted to talk about it, but he glossed over it and continued talking about the women that come to his flat. He speaks very quickly. The word ‘yanahmin’ peppers his prose like a powerful tick, like mouse droppings under the clapped out toaster of his brain. His stories are all either about women who won’t sleep with him or women who, as soon as he sleeps with them, want to move in with him. He’s all crappy gossip and crass stereotyping. He's all joyless, demeaning, meaningless chatter. I wanted to tell him I’d been crying and feeling sorry for myself, but that I was happy because I felt I’d reached an important turning point in my life. But he was describing some woman’s arse to me in the most painfully impoetic detail, and I could tell he wasn’t interested. And when I did manage to get a word in, on any subject, he didn’t really listen, and he was off again, riding his own melt. I wanted to tell him that I felt as if something had been weighing me down and it had been removed, and that I felt a little reborn. But he was too busy describing some woman’s cleavage.
So I left.
Then, on the bus on the way home I decided that I’m going to become a pop star. No time like the present.
It’s a fresh start. A superfresh start.
So that’s what I’m doing this weekend. Working on my first album and drifting into the increasingly nebulous world of physical abuse and spiritual awakening we call rock and roll.
What about you? Anything nice?
* A silky garment worn by a flamboyant meerkat.