Thursday 17 April 2008

Life in Synopsis

Prince Charles marries Di. The cat. Toy cars. Granny's house, the old house where the blocks of flats now stand. Grandad at the table, piles of accounts books and a chess problem. Mum, looking a teenage girl. Mum, pregnant. Will he have a real face or a plastic face? Twycross zoo. The chimp's tea party. The train at the fairground. Playschool. Pouring sand down another child's jumper. The daily intonation, Mon-day-the-seventh-of-april-nine-teen-eighty-two. The co-op. The dentist with the big wicker chair.

Class one. The Lord's prayer. Rolling down the bank and getting covered in mud. First kiss. Canon O'Connor presiding over Mass. Can't we take him back to the hospital? I don't want the baby any more.

Removal vans, moving. Miner's strike. Kiss chase, Transformers, Marbles. Standing on a chair through your breaktime with your hands on your head. Lego. Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan. The new Safeways where the car park used to be. Tintin, Asterix, the Romans. World War Two. When I grow up, I'm going to design the planes that will win World War Three. I'm going to be James Bond.

London. The Natural History Museum. Madam Tussauds. And the Queen lives in that building there.
Cornwall. Crackington Haven beach, Polzeth, Bude. The little railway at Launceston. Getting shouted at by the driver. Getting six of the best with the slipper later on.

Being in school plays. Boy scouts, scout camps, cider, Escort. Grandad dies, six months after they stitched him back together and told him he'd die anyway, but they'd given him a little plastic bag on the side of him to deny him a dignified death. Deciding school sucks. First shave.
Enter John Major.

High school. Unrequited love, Computer games, smoking behind the sports block, skiving, being tied to the fence by your tie, throwing your sports kit in the canal to avoid playing Rugby. Paper fights, punch ups, being on report.
Hating your parents. Feeling well and truly alone. The dogs are the only people in the house ever glad to see you, the only ones who care.

Being a prefect. Noticing that everyone else claims to be having sex and you clearly aren't.

GCSEs. First time in the pub. First time throwing up.

Sixth form. Parties. Working as a waiter. Bright lights, good tips. Losing your virginity to a Polish barmaid in the laundry room. Feeling a man. Moving between parents and grandmother. Joining the Tory party.

Freedom. Aber. Aber. Forever a part of your heart belongs to Aber. Living in halls. Meeting those who will become your family forever. Drunkeness, pot smoking, casual sex, lectures, less so.
Student politics, the election defeat.

Adam pissing in the corridor thinking he was in the toilet. Kate and Ellis shagging nextdoor. Going for walks up Constitution Hill in the middle of the night with the lads, armed with cider and cannabis. Raves at the football club. The Monopoly machine at Flannery's. Pool.

Lying with Joanna, giggling. Thinking that Machynllyth really is a funny name for a place. Squalid bedrooms, clothes all over the floor lining the empty takeaway boxes. But still places of happiness.
Losing Joanna. Heartbreak. Pain. Falling apart. Crying like a baby. Alcohol binge, sleeping with married locals, Ecstasy, Cocaine, Amsterdam, the Red light district, Bournemouth, Sheffield, Manchester, clubs, clubs, clubs.

Sarah. Willow.
The house on the seafront. Good times, good memories. Feeling close to people. Loved.
Sitting on the beach watching the girls. Backgammon, Playstation, the Video club.

The Pier Hotel. Siobhain.

Leaving. Crying. Knowing that life will never quite be the same. Time to be a man and do eight hour days.

Spraying picture frames by night. Good people, salt of the earth. Partying a lot with the Baker. Getting ripped off in Sheffield. Chatting to the Baker's Mum on a Sunday afternoon. Why do I have to go work at an office job?
Damn. I seem to be a trainee tax consultant.

It sucks. Let's try something else.
Marie. Hmmm. Best forgotten.
Falling down the stairs when drunk and breaking nose. Fear when the hospital said you might have punctured an eyeball, judging by the bleeding.
Relief that they were wrong.

Marketing. Business Development. Wild summer of pills and parties. Meeting Claire. Claire telling you she loved you. Feeling happy that someone was that smitten by you.

Flirting with Megan. Weighing up Megan and Claire. Letting them sort it out between them.
Rachel's long red hair.

Targets, haircut, time for the goatee to go. Promotion.
Own extension, big desk.

Headhunted by a recruiting agency. Not taking it, because Claire thought you'd never get time together.

Being told had Chlamydia. Finding out they had got it wrong.

Claire and the Baker falling out. Being a bad mate as a result. Never forgiven yourself for that.

Moving in together. Fighting, arguing, jealousy, screaming, making up, shopping, going round National Trust properties, going for picnics and making love in the fields, oblivious to the embarrassed passers by. Depeche Mode at the NEC.

Claire publicly accusing Erica of trying to pinch her man and pouring a pint over her.
Getting engaged.
Being serially unfaithful.

Telecoms. Boomtime. Relative prosperity. Directors paying for lap dancing clubs.

Holiday in Devon. Nut crumble. Redneck pubs. Frantic non stop sex. Maybe at last this relationship is working.

Abortion, recrimination, moving out, drug binge, threesomes, wondering round the city centre at six AM with a bottle of water in one hand and a soaked jacket in the other looking for taxis.

Going on holiday with the Chimney Sweep.

World cup, England-Brazil, Birmingham City promoted, Worldcom scandal. Closure of Birmingham Office. Big redundancy payout, blown, working in Finance. Non stop partying, casual sex, Rosa, Lakvinder, living on Chicken Tikka kebabs, seedy gangster infested pubs, clubbing, excess, debt.

Wrong solutions adopted to problems.
Hear that crack? That was your life collapsing around you.

A period of reflection.
Not of my own choosing.

Freedom again. A new world. Just need to find a way to make it taste again.
Friends around you. Feeling loved, looked after, cared for in a way that matters. Realising that whatever else you'd cocked up, you'd done something right.

Sometimes I feel like an old man.
Sometimes like a lost child, helpless and incapable.

I'm neither.
And somehow, I survived it all.

Some things will never go. Some clouds will never lift, I guess. Sometimes I lie there at night, in my boxer shorts and my England T-shirt, a tiny boy in a huge bed and feel cold. And afraid. And I can't sleep. I miss D. I hate being alone in the flat.
I switch the PC back on, go make a cup of tea and sit on the step smoking a cigarette.
Then I go back in and sit in the living room. And I stroke the sofa. MY sofa. MY living room. It's mine. I'm safe.
Then I go read the e-mails that have come in since I first tried to sleep. And I smile. And I go to sleep thinking 'It's all good really. And at the weekend, you're going to a party. And the week after, it's your footie watching weekend with the Chimney Sweep.'
It's all OK. Your life is as good as it's ever been. In fact, this IS the best it's ever been.
You have people that love you and will make sure nothing happens to you.

I have no real regrets, I don't think.

On the whole, I wouldn't want to have been anyone else.
I've been lucky.

It's been...interesting.


Anonymous said...

That's it, you have to put your big boy pants on and get on with life, things bog us down at times but hopefully we learn and make most of what we have. Am happy for the things and people I have in my life now.

Anonymous said...

Only you could write this post Crushed.

Now here's challenge for you. It's the six word memoir meme. I see it all over the blogosphere.

Write your own six word memoir, with illustration if you like.

I want to see what you come up with.

Anonymous said...

Lived Life to the Full No Regrets

(bugger that is seven words)

This made me think of the life view of backing into the future rather than the other way around. We know so much about the past and so little about the future.

Very unique and interesting post. Lot of living to do if you live a normal life span.

This could be the basis for the Crushed Life Story Meme.

Anonymous said...

Yes, interesting :-)

Interestingly, I dreamt of you; that your charm was in your smile, and your chivalry, when you chose to be charming ;-)

P.S. As for that which I lost... it seems to be back again, for awhile :-) Glad things seem to be going equally well for you :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't often read your blog - although I have it bookmarked - I tend to prefer short and to the point, juicy anti government rants. However, when I do, I am in awe. Now is one of those times.

Anonymous said...

Nunyaa- I'm happy with a lot of things, I think. Life is stable, comfortable and I have the people I want near me.

I don't think you ever stop learning.

jmb- :) Have you seen Shadowlands?
To be honest, I had writer's block. Couldn't think of anything to write about. But I've often thought, reading the opinions of others 'I've you had my life, you wouldn't see it that way', so I kind of wondered if I COULD sum thirty years up in one post. Though I thought I'd leave the last couple of years out.

I disliked the result at first, but I rearead it this morning and I liked it better.

Six words. Hmm. 'It is NOT a dress rehearsal'? Always a favourite saying of mine.

Colin- It's been an unusual life story- and there's no way I could have fitted it all in, in fact, I had to leave out paragraphs of fairly powerful memories. I left out anything I'd already posted on as well, unless it was a life changing event, or anything too recent.
I don't regret any of it, because I'm glad I've seen the things I've seen.

Eve- Bizarrely, you're not too far off the mark. I'm not what you'd call conventionally handsome. When I was younger I was always described as 'cute'. Eyes, voice and smile, I've always been told what pulls it off for me.

I don't know about chivalrous. I can go for the grandiose gestures, and yes, I'd never let a woman buy a drink, but I think the Old School types would say I was definitely NOT a gentleman :)
I was born to be a salesman, that's all there is to say, really.

Things go up and down, I guess they always will. I think on the whole, things are good. As I said last Autumn, it was simply a case of getting rid of one problem. That's gone now, and things can only get better.

EB- Yes, I think the length of my posts sometimes puts people off. I don't know, they just tend to naturally form that long. I suppose I should be honoured people DO read them, really.

I do do the political posts, but they're more theoretical/historical, than juicy:)

Thanks for the compliment!

Anonymous said...

Heheheh! nah, all you did in the dream was pull up a chair for a lady ;-)

Anonymous said...

Well, if this is a year-by-year account, I might have been standing right next to you at the Natural History Museum or Madame Tussaud's.

Lol, abut Adam. I had a friend who mistook his roommate's amp for a urinal. A corridor is definitely better.

As for life, and how it goes by, I only look back at the odd stuff, wondering what it means to my present and future. Still, it's a good way to stay connected to who you are.

Anonymous said...

CBI, that's a fascinating post, really fascinating. I thought about trying something similar, but it would be a rather briefer thing. I don't know if that's good or bad. As a matter of interest- Twycross Zoo?

Anonymous said...

Wow- that was great- its called life !

Anonymous said...

Dude . . . I loved this . . . we have walked different paths . . . but share, in many ways, the same vibe . . .

Namaste . . .

Anonymous said...

Eve- :) Something I don't really do, I'm afraid. Unless, of course, I'm pulling up a chair to get her to sit on that PARTICULAR chair, as in, you all go for a meal, and you want her next to you...

X-dell- He didn't realise he was a floor above whee he thought he was and hadn't walked out of the room he thought he had. I'm afraid it took him two years to realise, four pints really was his limit. After that, anything could happen, and did.

I think every thought you have, is simply a thought in a sequence. It can only exist, because of the ones that went before.

TD- I guess the condensation aspect appealed to me. Kind of 'Here are your fifteen minutes'. Emphasises how you only really get one shot.

Twycross Zoo, it's somewhere round here, can't remember where. Think it's the Leicester side of Tamworth, but I'd have to check. They used to film the PG tips chimp adverts there, the Chimp's teaparty was a star attraction- used to love it as a kid.

Guthrum- I think you have to live to understand, really. I've had my own preconceptions challenged all the way through, and I think that's been good.

Anonymous said...

OS- Life's rich tapestry, I think. I DO think life can be pretty amazing sometimes.
I think you do have to live for the moment, whatever anyone says- it's just as you get older, you hopefully get wiser at it :)

Anonymous said...

You have written a perfect mini-biog here, Crushed and you should enter it for one of those competitions one day. [I do not mean to belittle it by saying that, for it is a fine piece of writing.] As you say, you have survived - so go on surviving, because you have much to give.