Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. My afflictions that is. As if being sort of fat, sort of bald, sort of mad and sort of broke wasn’t enough – and, come on, it should be more than enough – I’ve only gone and developed a twitch. My right eye’s going. My right eye has had enough and is trying to get out of me. I don’t blame it. I’d get out of me too, given the chance.
My right eye wants to go, I think, as result of my recent nervous breakdown. It happened last week on holiday. ‘Oh splendid’, I thought mid-breakdown, ‘of course who but me should be having a breakdown whilst on fucking holiday. How boringly predictable’. My breakdown was spectacularly pathetic: one moment I was sat eating breakfast, the next I was shaking, (sort of) crying, and wondering whether or not I should ask the waitress to call someone (I didn’t know who), hold me, or slap me in the face. In the end I didn’t, I just lost my mind for a couple of days and resolved to give up the booze.
Which of course I haven’t. But I am cutting down and I am addressing the root cause of the breakdown. It’s these bastard restaurant reviews. Loyal readers will remember the day when I officially received the commission and spent the afternoon watching Balls of Fury and wondering “Why? Why am I not working on this commission that took months to land?’
Well, it’s got worse. At the time I thought that two and a half months was ample time to conduct 130 restaurant reviews. Even if I did three or four a day they would get done with weeks to spare. Then, as time went on, the maths became tougher. Maths became my enemy. A month or so ago I was thinking ‘Well, if I do thirty-odd a week – and that’s more than manageable – then I should make it.’ Then I went on holiday and went (sort of) mad for a bit, but I was still thinking ‘Okay, I’ve fucked up, but I can still manage ten reviews a day when I get back. It’ll be tough, but it can be done.’ Now that figure is nudging up and my time is running out. What if by this time next week I’m still wrestling with the maths? ‘Right’ – and I know this is exactly what I’ll be thinking – ‘right, I’ve got three and a half days left. If I do 40 reviews a day I’ll be fine – more than fine’. And so on. Regular, loyal readers will know that the day before the deadline I’ll be sat in my sad flat wondering if I can manage 12 reviews an hour.
Why do I do this to myself? Put myself under such pressure? Partly because I’m an idiot, I think, but mainly because I know when the restaurant reviews are done the only work I have to look forward to is Pitching the World. And Pitching the World ain’t ace. I see Pitching the World as a kind of oddball son, a son who unnerves me a little and, if it were an actual son, I would keep him locked in the attic.
If anyone has a calculator, please let me know.
A holiday, earlier