Just back from a weekend celebrating my 40th birthday with 21 of my closest reprobates. After drinking half pints of vodka with a Russian chap and arguing with a kerb, one of the group suffered fractures across his skull and jaw. There’s a couple of morals in there. If you laugh at things like this, you can stay on my ‘I hate Christmas’ list.
Despite the months of planning, I never managed to get all of us in a bar at the same time. Ply two dozen middle aged men with booze and ask them to kindly drink up, pay your bill and follow me, is akin to asking Britain to kindly agree to exit, pay up and follow no-one into isolationism.
There were plenty of supportive messages from the guys about the book:
‘Is the book scrawled in crayon?’
‘Surprised it only took a year to edit your grammar’
‘How many pictures?’
‘You can barely speak, how did you write?’
‘Aren’t you legally classified as mentally ruined?’
‘Who the fuck are you…?’
All of them as helpful as a straw to hoover the carpet. If you’re going to put yourself out there, you have to be able to take the flack.
I posted a message on social media recently, (the one who sold all of our data) asking for the name of a school I went to as a kid, as I was attempting to write a book about.
‘Dumb fuck, writing a book and you can’t even remember what school you went to, looking forward to that!’
‘Must of been a great education if you’re so stupid you can’t remember the name of your school 😂😂’
Again, these are the warm messages of encouragement I need. They push me on…
… to stalking them on aforementioned platform run by the class piss stain, to delve into their less than perfect existences.
I noticed something about both of those who wrote the comments, sorry, who passed on their encouragement. The persona on SM is what they want the world to perceive them as – we invest time to show the world what we are about. As completely faceless individuals, without knowing any of the story, they both found it necessary to post those words. I can see how SM can push people over the edge. It’s a soulless wasteland that encourages keyboard warriors to create what they perceive to be minor ripples, to people’s unknown and pre-existing tsunamis.
I’m not empty enough to slag them off, as I grow older, I am the bigger person. This is the reaction to being supported and gently punched in the arm, by a wonderful wife. It’s changed me.
But, I then turned the spiny finger of judgement towards myself. My SM persona is blundering idiot, broken by my past and reinvented by a good wife, happy to fall apart on page, offering vulnerabilities and loosely attempting to make people laugh via sarcasm and cheap shots. What does that really say about me? What does it say about my crayon scribblings? Honestly, it’s just me and I’m grateful that a handful of people read this. I’m not intelligent enough to have ulterior motives.
A coworker offered feedback recently, saying that he reads this (get out more buddy), and he also said I was very depressive, but he liked the conversational flow and very, very occasional comedy element. I’m shallow and desperate enough to take that as a compliment. He could have punched me in the balls to really smash the feedback home, but it’s appreciated. It reminded me that this should be funnier. I should be funnier. This shit is hard.
Some of the guys out celebrating with me, only see me abroad. As a group, we do this a couple of times a year. We find a cheap location, where we can sit in various bars for too many hours, until someone falls over and cracks their head open. Maybe a dozen burgers so we look like Michelin, but we don’t appear in their guide. A couple of us managed the tough conversations about spouse, kids, money, jobs and Brexit. It’s a form of therapy for us and I’m conscious that not everyone has the opportunity to have that close circle of retarded drunks to slag them off. I mean… help them out. It’s vital for me, it really is.
I now have just 12 days until publication and it’s been a terrific journey. I saw another TV personality took their life this weekend and my heart goes out to the family and friends of that man.
Comedic Depression is a simple, uncomplicated, view of one mans deterioration, his last gasps of air because things mounted up, a chase through purgatory as the past demands to be dealt with. I do hope that someone reads it, something clicks and they reach out. That’s what this is all about, because at times, I’ve felt so alone that bringing an end to me, seemed like the only way. Satan would have shit his pants, if I would’ve ended up there, pork sword duelling him!
It’s taken a week to write this after Prague. The team I work with, probably thought my corpse had come back to work, that’s how bad I looked. The toll it takes is like a mountain climb, without the charity page and semi-forced donations of friends. This is exactly the same thing mind, I’m boring you and at the end asking for a few quid. More than a few quid. As I said before, those suits don’t pay for themselves..
Maybe Latvia next year for tourism.