i) I’m still there ii) Issues iii) Finale
I am still in those 501’s, those eight-hole DM’s, that Donkey Jacket adorned with badges pertaining to a libertarian cause, that black army-surplus canvas bag – slung over the shoulder containing the papers, reviews – the University revision work too – the essence of what my twenties were. Heck, my very soul is in that rucksack, the very ethos of my youthful endeavours (but one could quite easily argue misguided), stuck in a period of time like some indelible mark that is hard to wash away, difficult it seems now to ignore and forget. I do not know what I was aiming to achieve back twenty-five years ago. Hey, if you have read this blog you all know that I grew up from seventeen years old in a pokey little bedsit (slightly bigger than the size of a large cupboard), amongst alcoholics and some dodgy folk; I had issues from those experiences that, to be brutally honest, are still with me now at nearly forty-five years old, probably suppressed and dealt with in the interim period, but forced to re-surface at this period in my life (because I am in a similar situation, possibly). But I worked to achieve something worthwhile in my life; I studied intensely – mainly because I worked in some very low paid jobs when I was in my youth. And I knew I did not want to have a life stuck into a grind, stuck into dead-end jobs. I knew I was worth much more than that, even though I failed my secondary school exams and ‘went off the rails’, due to family issues, discussed elsewhere. But later on I went back to College and I ended up in University (an achievement). I wanted to be better than the rest because I knew I was not stupid in School. Heck, I had already read a ton of fiction and non-fiction, probably quadruple the amount of my peers had ever read (and will) before I had left School; I mean, the only main result from the secondary years I achieved was a pass in English Literature (that, combined with History were my favourite subjects – and still are), which I believe speaks volumes about my character and intelligence. To put it very bluntly, I was not thick, stupid or remedial; I hated sports with a passion, but remember being abused because I was not that ‘sporty’ and was perceived as being ‘different’ to the herd, during School and in some of those awful jobs I had by work colleagues too. But you adapt to your circumstances, and I have adapted to everything thrown at me since I was sixteen years old when I finished School. A bit of self-praise is in order here now – I am one tough cookie and no matter what you throw at me or have thrown at me, mentally or physically, I will always survive your hate, dislike and bigoted abuse because I am better than you as a being and much more soulful, deep and intelligent than you can ever hope to be. I hope you know who that is directed at. I hope it turns you to cinder when you read it, because you will turn me into star-dust from the abuse you wrongfully directed at a very poor and fucked-up man – and I hasten to add through no fault of my own. At all.
So, in my minds eye, I am still twenty-one years old. I am still in that bedsit, now with some student friends, still in a relationship (sexual) with a married older Woman – and what an experience! I am still working in the Market Research firm, I still have my old and very diverse group of friends, I am still going out to the pub on a regular basis – I have friends who I really respect, and that I believe respect me. I am educating myself, culturally, emotionally, sensitively and academically; I turned vegetarian and I am learning to cook so much better than when I worked as a trainee chef. I develop a whole new ethos around my character – a bit libertarian, a bit geeky – a great amount of individualism gathered up, which helped create the character I became in my early twenties. It is still there, in my mind, like it is still happening almost like it was yesterday. And I think why this is so, why I dare write this up now, after a failed marriage, being back down on the streets at middle-age – because I miss it, that is why, because I never felt so liked, so wanted, so HAPPY when I was twenty years old (but with issues, hey?)
Issues. I could never hope to explain myself as an individual, as a man, as perfect. I would be telling lies about myself if I ever could say that I was almost a ‘perfect man’, because a) I am not sporty b) I am not a fighter or one to throw his fists around (and never was) and c) I believe I respected my wife, being a Socialist and ‘all that’ to have the mental strength (actually as well as bravery in the face of adversity, belittlement, harmful allegations et al) to bring my two sons up. That included taking to school and what that entailed, whilst sacrificing my career in doing so. So, my ex-wife I allowed to progress her career whilst I was at home bringing up my sons – and guess what? I had no qualms about it, I felt almost quite liberated in doing so actually. I felt (and still feel) a good man in achieving this – my sons are very well educated for their age (and I would like to take the kudos for that) and I love them immensely. I know of many men who could never say the same, probably who would never want to do what I did because of peer pressure, because they would think it an ‘unmanly’ thing to do (and how sad is that?) Well, small minds have small lives, that is all. But it was not easy – challenging is a good word to use – and I totally respect Mothers who have to do this from ‘social norms’, whilst their husbands work. I believe I am more of a man from doing so, and that is my opinion – you do not have to like it (as I know you will not), but hey, I really do no longer care about ‘opinions’, what you think of me, how wrong you perceive me to be, and so on and on. Take a good look at your own personalities, your own fault-lines, your own mistakes, and then take a good look at mine and compare the difference. None of you had to grow up into an adult without any proper moral guidance in a bedsit full of spikes, alcoholics, ‘weirdos’. Think deeply on that if you are capable – without judging (hard isn’t it?)
I may or may not update wordpress again; sad I know, because it was at first a good outlet, a good way of intelligently ‘raging’ against what happened to me in 2008 and onwards, instead of using physical aggression or worse to get my revenge on persons that had set out to wrong me (and now, with times passage, looking like a deliberate attempt to destroy). It is times like these, here tonight, that I am grateful for my literacy, my ethos, and the ability of being able to still hold onto myself in the face of quite nasty adversity. I believe, now when I look back, that there was a conspiracy directed against myself; my family and my ex-wife included in that (and guess what, I am more rational than you will ever know – maybe to my detriment), and I do not say this lightly.
Thinking about this, I might well update again, but it will be infrequent. The whole internet ‘thing’ I adopted back in its infancy, right back in 1996 or so. I have seen it become a whole worldwide phenomena, so much more accessible to use now than it was during the 1990’s (but I really learnt how to use analogue modems, obscure Operating Systems and a heck of a lot of geeky stuff about computers), the rise of smartphones I believe being the biggest breakthrough. They are like mini-PCs, and guess what? I only use a really old one, very outdated. But for me it is not an issue. I think there is a big security issue around it today. We have become so vulnerable to digital manipulation, all our bank accounts are online, it has proven to be very easy for teenagers to hack into multinational corporations despite secure systems in place. We are breeding a whole generation on free pornography, hateful online abuse as well as the ability to track everyone anywhere, including their internet profiles, pictures, posts and so on, and that includes my children too, who are addicted to the thing. So where now can you draw the line? It seems almost impossible – just live with it and try and be responsible is the only way. But today I am not thinking it as progressive or positive as it once was, or could have been.
‘Tis all now, on wordpress. I feel no more need to carry on updating, because I have said what I needed to (and it seemed to make no slight bit of difference), and that is all.