Remember when I said I was going to be paid £3 a word for writing the foreword to a book on architecture? If you don’t remember, perhaps you’ll want to have a look at A Walk in the Park where I go into thrilling detail about it. If you do remember, do you also remember when you thought ‘There’s no way this is going to happen. No way is this fool going to get £3 a word. He’s off his chump’?
Well, off my chump I may be, but writing for £3 a word I most certainly am. I’ve already been paid. I’ve started my research. I’ve read countless (four) introductions to other architecture books for inspiration. I’ve been walking into rooms and staring at pillars like I’m subnormal. Oh, I’ve been up to stuff all right.
Mainly, I’ve been up to being terrified. What if I fuck it up? Not that I’ve ever fucked up anything before, not even remotely, but what if now was the time when I started to fuck things up? I’ve only got 400 words to write but each one has to sing. Or at list hum. Making words sing – or at least hum – sometimes isn’t easy.
But today it’s easier than most days. This is partly, I think, because I’ve adopted a new exercise/morning routine. Have you adopted a new exercise/morning routine recently? You must. Mine is simple. Rather than wake up and grunt and play with myself whilst chainsmoking then falling back to sleep for a few hours before resuming my punishing schedule all over again, I simply sit and meditate. This lasts for about an hour. When I’m done meditating, I do press-ups. I do as many press-ups as I can, then add one more. This adding-one-more eventually reaches the point when I really can’t do anymore and then I do one more then collapse. Post collapse, I do more press-ups. When I recover, I do some more. Next up, I take a block of wood and screw screws into it. Then I unscrew the screws and screw them back in. This screwing and unscrewing was inspired by my assembling a bird table for my Nan at the end of January (told you my life was glamorous) and I remember that when I was done I looked down at my forearm (which had been screwing in a lot of screws) and thought Jesus, who’s forearm is that? If I was the sort of person who made love to forearms, I’d have taken it out to dinner right there and then and then tried to have sex with it in a park on the way home. As it was, I simply stared at it for a long time. You should see my forearms now. They’re like hams. If you have a forearm fetish, I suggest you stay away from me for a while.
The final bit of my new exercise/morning routine sees me just bounding around eating fish and berries with my ham-like forearms, generally feeling good about the world. If you’re a 35 year old man living in your Nan’s dining room you need to feel good about the world. Pre Forearms-of-Ham I thought that quitting an illustrious job in Mayfair and going back to my Nan’s to live in her dining room whilst pitching pitches that probably weren’t going to get commissioned signaled me out as a failure. Not any more. Pre Forearms-of-Ham whenever I used to see a man or a woman my thoughts, respectively, would be “Could he beat me up?” and “Would she sleep with me?” My answers to these thoughts used to be “Yes, probably” and “No, probably not”. Thanks to my new exercise/morning routine however, I’m looking at a pair of maybes.
P-Day begins in less than a week. I’m feeling ready.
Frank McGrath’s forearm, earlier