Tuesday, 16 August 2011

24th Birthday

Yesterday I turned 24. What have I achieved in the space of days since my last birthday?

I lived alone for 6 months in a flat next to Southampton airport that featured holes in the windows and a mocking impression of what you and I know as central heating. At the height of winter my record for layers worn at one time reached 8 (I’ve never been happier that I kept my old fat clothes). The noise of flights landing at the airport every ten minutes has allowed me to sympathise with survivors of the Blitz, and every Friday morning when the bin lorry passed under my window I leapt from my bed convinced I was under attack from the USS Enterprise.

I was unemployed for the last 5 weeks spent in my flat. On one occasion I went 9 days without speaking to another human being. However, I kept the increasingly unlikely notion of my own existence alive by befriending an out-of-date copy of the Yellow Pages. His name was Chris. He froze to death when I left him on the porch and the snow hit. I comfort myself in the knowledge that he now spends his days in a sepia photograph mounted in the lobby of the Overlook Hotel.

I had sex once.

I survived a 300ft drop mostly unscathed. Rather than a miracle, this is because I was attached to a rope. Two months later, I still have lower back pain from the force of being quite a spectacular twat and jumping feet first.

I started doing stand-up comedy. In seven gigs, this has earned me exactly 1 applause break and approximately 1,753 gazes of stupefied boredom/naked bare-faced hatred. It’s been worth it to bellow ‘CUNT’ to a room of over a hundred people. The idea of doing stand-up was to meet some new friends. Since January, I have made exactly 0 new friends.

I saw 0 superhero movies.

I reached the end of my novel. By my next birthday, I am determined that the world will see it in one of 2 ways: either it will be published and be a tremendous success and I will be gifted a ticker-tape parade through Times Square in the Pope-mobile, or it will be chief evidence in the investigation of my death when the manuscript is found bound in rejection letters next to the canal from which they dredged my bloated fish-nibbled corpse.

I had 2 dates. Both went badly.

I have taught 4 separate university classes, using my natural optimism and lust for life to nurture their dreams, ambitions, and bizarre sexual fantasies.

I joined the gym and have somehow persevered in attending pretty much every morning for 8 months. My body is now marginally less gelatinous and my muscles marginally less comparable to sun-bleached skeletons picked clean by vultures. Better known as Madonna.

I met Crazy Gym Guy who deserves to be some kind of Twitter sensation. On three separate occasions he’s told the story of how he was caught in an earthquake in west London. He didn’t feel the earth quake, nothing fell down, and the news didn’t report it. But it was definitely an earthquake, because he woke up and the birds were making noises ‘what didn’t sound right.’

Biggest achievement of the year: filling a Shakeaway loyalty card and cashing in my free milkshake.

Flavour: Aero Mint Bourbon.

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