“Do you know what your problem is?” A friend asked (or rather wanted to tell) me one evening last week. Oh God here we go, I thought, please don’t tell me what my problem is. I know what my problem is. And it is not a problem, it is a series of problems and I have become pretty adept at hiding from them and I don’t need you adding to the list, giving me more stuff that I need to hide from.
So instead of listening to what my problem was, I looked around the bar we were sitting in and tried to work out if there was some way of letting the tables of pretty women in there know that I was a writer. I took out a pen. It did not work. Then, for no discernible reason whatsoever, I thought about a giant balloon version of Shaun Ryder just endlessly drifting through space. Three days of constant drinking can do that to a man.
“Sorry?” I said. “What was that?”
“I could tell you weren’t listening. You want things to fuck up for you. You want to deliberately make things difficult for yourself. You get yourself in these good positions, then find a way to fuck them up. It’s weird.”
For a bit I couldn’t reply. I couldn’t reply because my brain was yelling at me to blurt out “SPACEAGESHAUNRYDER!” Jesus, I thought, that’s a new one. I wonder what it could be? Tourettes? A brain tumour? Cancer of the speech?
In the end I said: “That’s the most ridiculous fucking thing anyone has ever said to me. But it’s also probably true.”
And so, a change. From now on I’m going to try to not deliberately fuck things up. But how does one start? Yesterday I started by waking at seven and meditating and reading a book. Blimey, I thought, that felt pretty good. So I did some more meditation and read some more of a book and exercised and ate a grapefruit and trimmed my armpit hair and emailed some people wondering if they wanted someone like me doing some work for them and then made a short film about Jesus and then came up with a three-month plan. The film was pretty awful. But the day was pretty good and my old pals the night terrors didn’t visit me yesterday and it’s a start.
One can start again at 35 can’t one? Of course one can, of course I can. If not, what’s the alternative? Not make a fresh start? Carry on as I am? Try and find God and tell him that I’ve fucked this life up and can I have another one please? No, no and no.
Oh, and I’ve decided to tinker with my pitching style too, decided that whilst these jokey woe-is-me affairs have been fun – and, come on, we’ve all had a good time – it’s perhaps time to toughen them up and make them sing. And dance. My pitches from now on, then, are going to be tough cold hard steel song and dances. That sounds terrible – worse than my film. They will be something though. Something good. Just you watch.