Yet again, this is in the category of pointless blog, I didn’t have the mental energy to write what i wanted, so here’s a load of sentences.
I wasn’t going to write a blog post tonight. Josie Long quite rightly advised me that there is nothing wrong with not writing a post everyday especially as it is only me who has forced this ridiculous deadline upon me. I have knack of doing this. I make a deal with myself then refuse to budge even though it would just take a good word from me to me to stop this preposterous turn of events. A few years ago, when I gave up smoking, I thought it might be a good idea to give up coffee and alcohol too for a bit, no real reason, I just would. Once the headaches and twitchiness really kicked in, I thought, maybe just giving up smoking would be enough to deal with, especially as I was on a long tour on my own. No, I refused. I had made a deal with me for absolutely no reason and that was that. The headaches, the sleeplessness, the twiddling of fingers and thumbs in bog standard hotel rooms as my self-consciousness refused to turn down its volume, I just had to put up with it.
I argue with me quite a lot. Today, on the way to the station, I took out my wallet, a very stylish Network Card in blue plastic with the PlusBus insignia and travel advice. My debit card fell onto the pavement with a few travel tickets for the gigs of the week ahead. I swore at me knowing I would never do such things, but unfortunately the other I of me is a clumsy and forgetful halfwit, especially when walking at a good pace.
I used to have a habit of banging myself on the head with the inner lower part of my hand with enough force to leave a red mark, but not so much to bruise or overly damage the skull contents. It can be difficult having a relationship with yourself when you keep letting yourself down.
Though I have reached the point that I can listen to my own voice without cringing or denial, I cannot listen to anything it says. I may have got used to its noise, but I still have difficulties with its sentences. Why is it saying that? Who is in charge of these ideas?
Despite this, I seem to have little problem inflicting it on other people. Indeed, I spend my life saying sentences to other people. “I can’t watch myself” I say when Chris from GofasterStripe suggests I sit in on the edit of a DVD, but then if I can’t watch me, why expect others to.
I think humans, or at least most humans, are programmed not to enjoy looking at themselves too much. If they did, they might never seek anyone else and then the human race would come to an end as everyone stared at themselves in shiny surfaces and lakes. Sometimes when watching contemporary primetime TV, I fear that might be our destiny.
When I hear people declare, “I am what I am, you’ve got to take me as I am”, I think, “is there no room for negotiation? Maybe just a little change. There seems to be a clash between utter cocksure “look at me, I am it!” and a horror of being unable to attain the perfection that so many images suggest is the only option. It’s utter self-certainty, then utter self-hate, with none of the simple in between of a general “not being too sure”. The balance of self-doubt is precarious, just enough to try to improve, to be aware that there may be faults, not so much to become insular, inactive and hide in the attic.
So my advice is –
- avoid punching yourself in the head
- actually, that’s it, just don’t punch yourself in the head. It looms ridiculous unless Steve Martin does it when sharing his body with Lily Tomlin, and that’s because he is a good mime. Generally, banging yourself on the head for forgetting your keys, leaving a tin of peaches on the train or realising that you really should have taken the late evening off and not written a blog post, is rarely a good way of meeting people or avoiding a reputation in your local area. It’s one advantage is that it might increasingly toughen the skin and, when someone attempts to assassinate you from a rooftop window, the toughened skin may deflect the bullet and the boy in the bushes who happened to witness the scene while looking for his frisbee will believe you might be a superhero. This will soon spread around the neighbourhood and you are surprised by the whispering and admiring glances you occasionally get. This is all fine, until a moment of jeopardy involving a train teetering on cliff leads to local mayor begging you to unleash your fabled superpowers and saving the passengers. You then explain you’re just some guy who hits himself on the head… there is a general sense of disappointment in you, so you hot yourself on the head, creating a tiny tremor that sends the train to its doom. It’s just not worth the bother.
I am off to Sheffield, Manchester, Havant, Bath, Southport, Cranleigh and Finchley, sometimes on my own and sometimes with Josie Long and Grace Petrie. All dates HERE