By the time you read this I may well have been prodded with a ricin-tipped umbrella, or mowed down by a car, or been blown up by a remote-controlled cat-bomb. This is what happens when you spend years shredding your mental health: something big happens in the world, something that you were a part of, so when you see a cat ambling towards you on a near-empty street your first thought is, “BOMB CAT?”
Let me explain.
Back in 2009, in the opening post of this blog I wrote, “Let me explain,” and went on to detail (somewhat) my previous life as a political speechwriter and how this harebrained scheme, Pitching the World, came about. Here is what I said:
“Prior to be stoned in Darwin, Australia I was a political speechwriter in St Kitts, the Caribbean. I left that job for reasons far too complicated and numerous to go into right now, but the main reason I left that job in St Kitts, the Caribbean was to go back to being a freelance journalist. That’s right: at possibly the worst time for freelancers I left my prestigious, well paid and more-exotic-sounding-than-it-is job to go back to journalism.”
And so with Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group and that particular St Kitts election campaign screeching across the news, perhaps now is the time, some eight or nine years later, to go into those complicated, numerous reasons.
But perhaps now isn’t the time, perhaps last year was.
Last year I was sitting in a Jacuzzi in a health club – borderline homelessness, even after eight years, can sometimes be glamorous – and I thought about drawing a curtain across this blog with one final post. Now readers, I was going to begin, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all of the support and the comments and the offers to buy my never-to-be-written book. And not only do I want to offer my thanks, I also want to offer my apologies for often conducting myself in a lazy, haphazard and monstrous way – it’s just that sometimes I am a lazy, haphazard monster. I try not to be, but I’m a bit of a let down, to be honest. Yet this project has been very dear to me, and you all have been very dear to me, it’s just that all these years later I am still in psychological, emotional and financial ribbons and, come on, I think it’s time to draw a line under all of this. Things haven’t really worked out. I grind my teeth until my gums bleed. My drinking has ballooned. Other recreational peccadilloes have ballooned. While all the good stuff – relationships, my career, industry, health – have anti-ballooned. This is what happens, I suppose, when you leave prestigious, well paid jobs. Anyway, bye.
That’s what I wanted to write. I’m quite glad now that I didn’t.
Although last year, as silly as it might seem to me now, thinking about writing those words began to overwhelm me. Particularly the bit about things being dear to me. “Oh, good,” I thought, “we can now add Jacuzzi to the various other items – boiled eggs, hamburgers, pillows, voids – that I’ve cried into.”
The only free photo I could find of a Jacuzzi (and I’m not even sure it is a Jacuzzi) earlier.
Thankfully for me and for other guests of my health club, this Jacuzzi-crying soon stopped and segued into something better. I began to think about leaving my job as a political speechwriter in St Kitts, the Caribbean, and the reasons for doing so. And I thought that instead of writing a meandering, well-trodden final post about how Pitching the World has been an abject failure, I would instead write a post about how even though my life has fallen apart, I’m pleased that I left the Caribbean and pleased, too, that I no longer worked for or with Alexander Nix – that I might, in fact, be a good, honourable man. With piercing accuracy, I was going to call this post, “Why I stopped working for Alexander Nix.”
Because officially, I left that project on moral grounds. Unofficially, I also left on moral grounds. I’ve just re-read the email that I sent after leaving which begins with, “Gentlemen, You deserve an explanation as to why I hot-footed it out of there,” and ends with, “I feel terrible to have let you down. If it wasn’t for these bloody morals, I wouldn’t have done.”
Do I publicly want to delve into these bloody morals? Why am I even writing this? It certainly isn’t any kind of expose. And I’m pretty sure it isn’t a clumsy attempt to piggyback upon Alexander Nix’s notoriety and raise my profile. I don’t really care about my profile – I don’t even have a profile, but if I did I wouldn’t care about it. I suppose what it might be is some sort of public record in case I get blown up by a remote-controlled cat-bomb. Or it might just be a neat bookend to my Pitching the World project. Opening post: I left my job as a political speechwriter in the Caribbean. Closing post: I’m actually quite glad I did.
Beady-eyed readers will have noticed that this is called, “Why I stopped working for Alexander Nix: Part One.” This suggests there is going to be a part two – possibly even parts three, four and five. Let’s see. I’ve had a few beers since starting to write this and am starting to feel a little heady.
A remote-controlled cat-bomb, earlier.