Monday 11 February 2008


I've been fairly contemplative of late.

Nagging thoughts.

It's February, but it feels like spring. A season of new beginings. It's as if the world itself is bathed in hope.

I guess when you have got used to a life strategy, it's hard to just walk away from it. It isn't always an easy life strategy, but it works for me. It has pros and cons.

We all battle to carve out our niches, just like any other animal. The fact that we are a co-operative animal disguises the fact that we co-operate with our genetic rivals. At all times our co-operation is entirely self serving.

If I'm brutally honest, the way I actually live my life is governed by exactly those rules.
It's based on carving out a life for myself and protecting that. I guess everyone's is, to some degree.

On Friday night, I realised that what I was experiencing was a side of life I am tired of. An evening out with the work colleagues. Oh, all good hedonistic fun. Few drinks, the odd line, lots of stupid male machismo...

And no, I was no better than any of the others. I was using the whole situation to assert dominance over everyone else, in fact I was pretty much at my best (or worst) at that. I even ended up in a stand off with one of my superiors, which I used to my advantage. I used an example of wrong behaviour on his part to let him know that take rank away and I'm in control, not him.
Like dogs in a pack.

And it did work. It worked because I'm good at that. It's why I got through my time of tribulation unscathed. It's why I'm good at my job. It's why I've never been in a physical fight since I was nineteen. I'm very good at dominance tactics.

But to be honest, I don't really enjoy it. Not any more. Now it's just the way that I live.
The way I guard what's important to me.

I lived that, on Saturday.

At Hereford, watching Hereford United play Dagenham and Redbridge, with The Chimney Sweep. With him, I don't need to play strategy, I don't need to defend myself.
It's days like that I protect.
It's time with The Baker, I protect.

It's time spent relaxing in the pub, I protect.
It's this flat and everything in it.

It's hard work.

I earn money, I blow most of it on short term pleasure. And it has to be one of the most cynical lives anyone has ever led.

And ultimately, it's a doomed strategy. I out calculate myself. I do that, because I'm hardly the most cool headed person in the world. I'm far too excitable and emotional, far too prone to make split second decisions in the wrong frame of mind, to always be totally objective.

I get by, because of the network of friends I have built up. They are my safety net. They mean I never have to know how much money I have. I never have to plan a social life- one is organised for me- the phone will ring, people have parties for me to go to, or places to go for a drink, or clubs to go to.

It's a safe little world. Safe, ordered, fun- in a short termist way.

So the question that is foremost on my mind, as I said to the Chimney Sweep...

Dare I risk losing it?


Anonymous said...

Looks like you have the same outlook on life as my brother, and he's doing alright.

Anonymous said...

There comes a time in everybody's life where they realise that their priorities have changed.

What used to be important to us last year, isn't necessarily important to us now, or in five years. or in ten.

We learn and we grow as we get older. And changes have to be made. But only you know how to make them.

Anonymous said...

I spent most of my twenties with a similar outlook. God, that sounds pompous! I didn't mean it that way, I think I'm following oestrebunny's line that things do change, and it's usually evolution rather than revolution.

Good friends that you feel relaxed and comfortable with are like gold: don't make any changes that see you lose them.

Anonymous said...

Hey I like those Mitzis... that's enough for nearly 2 decent nights out... ;->... haha only kidding...

when I 1st "experimented" I took one "love dove" in the early 90s ... I never got the chance to go out Eeeeing that much until around 1998 when I won a competition to a club and met loads of new friends and then life began anew kind of thing. And I always promised I'd never take more than 2. Then 2.5... then 3... then the last time I took about 7 or 8 in a night and I'm sure we all know people or have been people who've done far more than that

the problem with those pills is they don't just come down they leave the old brains frying sometimes for days afterwards... know what I mean...

I remember coming home and I distinctly remember I had only taken 2 mitsubishis and yet the books were dancing on my shelves, maggots wriggling in my contact lenses case, multicoloured ants running all over my hands and when I closed my eyes to sleep... WOW!

you say:

...I'm hardly the most cool headed person in the world. I'm far too excitable and emotional, far too prone to make split second decisions in the wrong frame of mind, to always be totally objective...

that's odd. the one thing I learned from those drugs (esp. acid) was never ever to act on the spur of the moment. because I could not trust my eyes. couldn't trust my ears. or my feelings

but of course what this led on to was a state of depersonalization where nothing seemed real nothing WAS real and I never could act on it

because I never could be sure whether or not it ever HAD BEEN real...

... well...!! what more can i say??

Anonymous said...

I wonder what you had in mind as the change? Maybe you should run for Parliament or publish a book of philosophy.. or dedicate yourself to charitable works and good causes?

Anonymous said...

*Smiles* I don't know either... :-) different people want different things... but as you know yourself, your choices change the future, so choose wisely... :-)

Anonymous said...

So maybe it's time to be a genuine person instead playing these games.

I think it would get rather boring after a while.

Perhaps, one day, you'll meet someone better at it than you and you may not like what you see.

It's a tough time of life and making changes isn't easy. It seems safe to stay the same, but maybe there's something better out there waiting for you. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Maddy- A lot of people do have that outlook. It's very common amongst a certain type of thirty year old. Usualli, I find people of my outlook come from similar histories.

We come from families who hve continuously bettered themselves. Our grandparents were working class, our parents were baby boomers who'se main goal was for us to go university, and we went thee via the Comprehensive system.

But we went nowhere special, we got bland degrees we never worked form , we found there was more to life.

Now we work in mind numbing jobs at things we don't care about, to get paid. Then we party- that's what our lives are.

Oestrebunny- Hmm. Wish I did. I was talking to The Baker loads, I said it's hard, because, shallow though it is, it can quite a fun life. Just not really heading in any particular direction.

I think I want there to be though.

LL_ I won't. In many ways, these changes are partly driven by changes to their lives. the Baker has summed it up in a nutshell; now he's prospective father, it would help very much if I could stop being a bad influence- or at least more a moderating force on him.

Right now, the problem is that if comes up with a particularly daft, costly, and generally powdery in intent, I don't tend to oppose very hard.

But it would be for the best.

Mitzis- They always were my Achilles heel, Mitzis.

Mitzis were- ARE the love drug. That's what I caught with, mainly.

I used to eat them like Refreshers, I really did.

What's real? It's just another chemial in the brain? What makes a chemical reacton set off by controlled internal stimulation of less validity than an uncontrolled external stimulation?

One of them IS actually under your control.
One of the key attractions about these things, and why I guess they've often appealed to me, is if you can handle being on that buzz, it really makes you think in such amazingly creative and imaginitive ways, visionary almost.

This is why I'm really in favour of a proper review of these things.
Heroin yes, is evil stuff. I don't believe that of all Class A Drugs. They have pros and cons, and in some cases, pros outweigh the cons, much as we agree with Alcohol- which is certainly a killer!

Mutley- Run for parliament- I did use to want to, I suspect it might be a bit late! :)

A book, you never know, it's what I'm hoping.

Eve- That's nice phrase, I like that.
Now you have really focussed my attention.

Hmmm. Crushed thinks.

jmb- I am actually quite a genuine person. People know straight away I'm like I am- they're just not always quite prepared how much.

Oh, I come off worst all the time, at times.
It's basically I won't have people control me, so I attack to defend, I think. That's my tactic at most games, so I guess that shows, it's the way I generally play life.

Figuring, yes I'm doing that, not really making much progress at it- yet.