Monday, 12 May 2014


This morning I thought very seriously about jumping in front of a train.

I was on my way into London for the incredibly crappy temp job I'm currently working. While I was waiting for the train I found myself working out the best place to jump to ensure I would be smeared emphatically into hairy pate. The ideal spot on the platform where I wouldn't arouse suspicion in the interim.

Then I went and stood there.

I didn't intend to actually do it. I have often idly contemplated suicide, but generally lack the constitution for it. This time, as the rails hissed and the train rounded the corner, I felt in my body the momentum that would pitch me over and take everything else out of my control. It was alarmingly vivid. I could practically feel myself going.

Needless to say I stood my ground, boarded the train, and went about my day as usual. But I've been unable to forget the sensation that gripped me on the platform. I have not been able to stop my hands from shaking.

Where did it all go wrong?

As the beleaguered regular readers of this blog will know, I'm hardly one to bang on about my current mire of depression and my blighted lot in life. So here is a swift summary: 26 years old, jobless (basically), sexless (my current dry spell is coming up on 2 years), riddled with depression, living with my mum, and the owner of a preposterously over-sized head. As a youngster I never had terribly high hopes for the future, but I never thought I would find myself watching the oncoming front of a train quite so greedily.

I often wonder if I could pinpoint a single moment of my past where it all went pear-shaped. Was it during the late '90s when I ate the equivalent of Guatemala's GDP in junk food? Could it have been one of the many squandered romantic opportunities of university? Maybe it happened when I decided to grow my hair and wear tie-dye. Should I not have built this blog on an ancient Indian burial ground?

I can't help but wonder if I am still paying off the ransom of past mistakes. I have tried what feels incredibly hard in the last year or so to improve my situation. Nothing has worked, and a profound sense of hopelessness has set in. Maybe my current failures are easier to take if I believe myself to be doomed by history. Or maybe it is simply my self-hatred going ever deeper.

Tomorrow it will all begin again. I will wake up and force myself to get dressed for this crappy temp job. I will walk to the station and I will wait for the train. As it approaches I will try to believe that there must be a better way for me to escape this mire.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Big Bush

For as long as I can remember (and therefore forever) there has been a big bush at the front of my house. Whenever I have had to give people directions to my house, I have instructed them to look out for the big bush and its ever-changing collection of dog faeces.

It started life as a rosemary bush. A single touch would make you smell indelibly of a potpourri pot. Unfortunately time allowed ivy, ever the of nature, to stage an aggressive takeover that sapped it of all that made it great. In recent years it has been little more than an untameable afro of ivy and fox urine.

This week we are having our drive done. The big bush is dead. Long live the big bush.

Here are some largely uninteresting memories of the big bush:

As a child I took great pride in being the weirdest kid in school. It was an affectation I worked hard to maintain. I went so far as to give my neighbourhood friends ‘mental lessons.’ These invariably culminated in an offensive approximation of disability and a headlong dive into the big bush. Mental.

If I couldn’t be bothered to go inside I would stand on the street and urinate into the bush. I thought of it as marking my territory. The big bush would return the favour: the merest contact made my penis smell of rosemary for numerous hours afterward.

A common theme of my childhood was being hopeless at everything. I trailed even the most basic of my peers’ accomplishments by several years. This included learning to ride a bike. While my friends were zipping about on BMXs I was still safely coddled by stabilisers. One evening I came home to find that my mother had removed and disposed of them. It was an ultimatum. I went straight outside to prove everybody wrong. Many hours and six painful falls into the big bush later, my skin torn to ribbons and covered in dog piss, I had learned to ride a bike.

Over the course of my life the big bush has been the hiding place of vodka, wine, orange squash, eggs, brownies, Doritos, assorted sweets, broken plates, newspapers, pornography, money, myself, and my fragile sense of self-esteem.

Godspeed, big bush.