Wednesday, 25 May 2011
I've got blue eyes that haven't worked properly for years, sensitive teeth, a greying beard, laughter lines, a round belly and a nose that won't stop growing.
I've danced for hours in nightclubs where the walls wouldn't stop sweating, sat still on a deck in the middle of an endless ocean where the horizon seemed utterly meaningless, marched through city streets to make my feelings known, held the hand of a dying man, sang songs I wrote myself to people who didn't know me, lost myself through drunkenness, lost myself through sobriety.
I've loved countless people, been in love with only four, kept this utterly secret from one of them.
I've done things I'm proud of that nobody knows about, admitted to things I didn't do to spare other people, I've been punished, rewarded, ignored, feted. I've braved the quiver in my voice to speak to a room full of dignitaries, written words that practically everyone in the country has heard, written words that no-one in the world has seen.
I've thrown 14 years of work onto a bonfire, cast treasured possessions into the sea, given a lifelong collection of books away so I could pursue a dream, and I've let that dream go when the time was right.
I've lived on a Village Green, by a train station, at the top of a hill, in the greatest cities in the world, in hotels, in hostels, nowhere, on the beach, in an attic, with great friends, with great lovers, with only my own uncertainty for company. I've painted walls red, blue, yellow, white, green, gold. I've hung mirrors opposite mirrors to stand in the embrace of infinity.
I've practised a piece of music on the piano for so long that I had blisters and STILL not been happy with the result. I've encouraged people to accept their own limitations and I've urged people to smash those same limitations. I've been absolutely truthful to my nieces and nephews, never afraid to be myself or to teach them that behaviour that impacts negatively on other people is not cool. I've forgiven them instantly when they haven't followed this advice.
I've wondered about God and then put him to one side. I've loved many animals but I've never fallen into the trap of thinking they are equal to us. I've left a job because my conscience wouldn't let me stay there anymore.
I've had chickenpox, mumps, sunburn, eczema, asthma, german measles, flu, and so much manflu.
I've pissed a year's worth of wages up the wall and I've saved up to buy something that I knew would enrich me. And I've given it away when it stopped enriching me.
I have as much regret as I have thankfulness. As much shame as I have pride. As much pain as pleasure. As much sorrow as joy.
I felt the embrace of a beautiful woman and chosen the embrace of a beautiful man. I've learnt that the most important thing to anyone's happiness is the ability to understand that the phrase "Never Say Never!" really matters.
I've accepted the fact that there's always someone cooler than me. I'm only too aware that the people who can't accept that are full of sorrow and insecurity and the last thing they need is my derision. I've come to realise that, when people hate me, that's at least as much about them as it is about me.
And things are still happening. I'm still feeling the outlandish jolt of deep sorrow colliding headlong into soaring joy. I'm spending time with beautiful people every day. I'm still able to calm a hysterical friend, bring a smile to someone's face, royally piss someone right off. I have so much to look forward to, some of which won't pan out the way I planned and some of which won't happen at all. But I still believe that the things that pay off in the future will always outweigh the ones that got away.
And I still have the nerve to write in my diary: "Sometimes I feel like I'm only living half a life."
Posted by Jimmy Catsup at 21:21