And despite having had an enormously interesting life (if you weren’t the one actually living it) it was a piece of advice I failed to follow. And not the first.
And so I find myself, fat and forty, unattached and unwanted by polite society. Even impolite society stifles a yawn these days, before telling me to fuck off out of it.
Now my body is rejecting me: my liver’s gone all fatty and my kidneys hurt after just a couple of beers. My earlier self, equal parts nihilist and narcissist, claimed it wanted to die in a blaze of glory. To which my current middle-aged self says- well, that’s all very well and good. But slowly slipping into yellow cirrhosis is hardly rock’n’roll.
Besides, I never wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps- a long, lingering death on the liver ward of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, at the age of fifty-three. He shared a ward with Gerry Rafferty, legendary 70s musician who sang about winding down Baker Street, light in his head and dead on his feet. But Gerry hadn’t looked too rock’n’roll either, shivering in his dressing gown and flicking his fag ends far from the signs that said No Smoking.
Fat and in my forties. Disinherited twice and disappointed by the way things are and have gone and have been going. Down, mainly.
I’m at the age where my chance of having a stroke is going up at exactly the same rate as my chance of copping a feel is going down. At society functions, I make overtures to the females who respond in a bemused air, like it’s a piece of the furniture that’s attempting to seduce them.
And in my own way, I am mere scenery. A space that gives shape to the shapes around me.
I would say “I am a camera.” But isn’t everybody these days? Instead, I am not a camera. I refuse. At gigs, I defy the marauding masses, their iPads all aloft and streaming to the internet.
I stand there, using my eyes and ears, being in the moment, and occasionally asking people if they wouldn’t mind not blocking everybody’s view.
I have taken such a break from writing that everything’s changed and what might have been quite interesting from a reader’s point of view as I lived through it is now no longer relevant.
My last entry was from the horrors of Saudi Arabia- a place I escaped from a while ago. The kind of adventures that require a battery of follow-up medical tests followed in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
And here I am now in Muscat, Oman- about to take my Christmas break in Laos.
I will write more about Muscat at another stage, but I have to be careful due to a confidentiality agreement I signed with my employers. I guess if I don’t mention them by name (though they are a governemnt entity) and simply say I’m working as a trainer / instructor here then everything will be fine.
It’s not like anyone is reading this, besides the google spiders. And we have nothing to fear from google, right?