So, my piece about writing out The Great Gatsby has been filed and pronounced ‘great.’ I’ve just written the fourth of my weekly poker columns and they’ve been described as ‘the best thing on the site.’ My book is being written and it’s going swimmingly. I’m not as homeless as I used to be. My face doesn’t need combing as much as it once did. My drinking has plateaued and the amount of alcohol I consume at the moment (still lots) appears to be doing wonders for body and mind.
You know what this means, don’t you? It means that everything is going to fuck up soon. Or does it? Perhaps if I preempt it it will. My whole Pitching the World life to date has been taped together by me saying, “Things are good, now watch me go and flap them up” and then invariably going and flapping them up. You could say it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or you could say that my life is generally shambolic and inky and determined to do me in no matter what I predict or don’t predict. Who knows? But we’ve had enough now, haven’t we, of all that “Hahaha, I’m going to balls my life up.” Haven’t we? Haven’t we (and this is the royal we here, not you. You’re not complicit in this. You’re rather fetching, in fact. I like you) grown a bit tired of all that caper?
So watch me not fuck things up for a bit. Or, perhaps, watch me fuck things up to such an extent that it renders this particularly slender post the most prescient and banana-minded thing I’ve ever written.
Do you want to see a picture of a banana? Or a bunch of the things? Of course you do.
A sort of banana orgy, earlier.
So, I’m back in Boscombe. Of course I would end up back in Boscombe: Ialwaysend up back in Boscombe. You probably knew I was coming back here before I did. What am I doing here? I’m working on a book. I’m drinking. Occasionally I read. That’s all I do.
“It seriously is though,” I was telling my brother over breakfast sometime last week. “I do nothing else: I read and write and drink and that’s it. Other than that, nothing. What else is there though? What else can I do? Canoeing? I wouldn’t know where to begin. You don’t even see canoes anymore do you? Or do you? Do you see canoes anymore?”
I could tell my brother wanted me to go on. I went on.
“What’s troubling is that this – here, now, over breakfast – is the first time that this has occurred to me. I’ve never realised before that I don’t do anything. Isn’t that odd?”
“You’ve told me all of this before,” said my brother. “Twice.”
“Really? Even the canoeing?”
“Not the canoeing.”
My thrilling ‘I do nothing’ speech was taking place in the restaurant of a London hotel. Later that day I headed down to Boscombe. I was hungover when I left and drunk when I arrived. How fitting, I thought. But I wasn’t drunk enough so proceeded to get drunker and the next day I was more hungover and so I got drunk again and this inelegant series of events continued quite possibly until sometime on Monday when I read and wrote and thought about canoes.
And that’s pretty much all I’ll be doing over the next eight weeks whilst I work on the book version of Pitching the World: read, write and drink. You know what, I may even curb the drinking. I suspect the drinking isn’t doing me as much good as I once thought. It helps with the pressure, of course. The pressure of distilling a few years of your life, career, marriage and so forth into eighty or ninety thousand words. The pressure of knowing that if you screw this up, if you fail to write a remarkable book then that’s it, you’ll probably give up writing and have nothing to fall back on (you do nothing, remember). Thrilling, though. The pressure, I mean. Perhaps I thrive under pressure. Will I thrive under pressure? Watch this canoe-shaped space.