Well… here I am.
I’ve been in Middlesbrough three days now, moved here after a year in Glasgow to attend university. I haven’t lived in England for more than six years and although the mortal terror I feel almost constantly is more a product of my own personality disorders than an indictment on the town it is still very strange being back among my own kind.
I’m living in student accommodation with eleven guys, most still in their teens, who appear infinitely more agreeable than I remember being at that age. They also seem to be a lot better at holding their liquor than me, I’ll need to reign my old habit in if I’m not to go down as the fat old pervert who can’t interact socially without a skinful of gin. I’m certainly edging towards the abuse of prescription painkillers although as a trainee journalist I do feel obliged to at least attempt to cultivate a debilitating cocaine habit. This is what comes of having Bukowski and Hunter Thompson as personal heroes, I guess.
And that brings me to why I’m here, writing this crap. I always intended to start a blog – I kept journals in my teens and early twenties and found it both enjoyable and cathartic – but I was concerned of alienating and disgusting my friends and family by typing my inner monologue ad verbatim. Luckily enough for you, dear reader, I have alienated and disgusted with a cunning mix of prolific sexual stunts, drunken acts of violence and woeful self pity to the point that there is nobody who would be surprised or indeed care. Several people have died too but that was not my doing.
The fact that it’s a prerequisite of the degree to have one of these things is by the by; apparently future employers will look back at our work over the three years to see how we grow and mature as responsible, ethical professionals before welcoming us to their phone-hacking bosom. I imaging mine will instead offer all the hallmarks of a slow descent into madness, my later entries being drafted on my inner thighs with lit cigarettes and a fillet knife.
I certainly don’t think I have what it takes to be the kind of reporter that people will confide in, if I’m lucky I’ll get paid enough for a bitter, hate filled column to buy an electric car to live in so I can travel the world having terrifying adventures that I tweet about because deep down I just want to be loved.
I’m naked at the moment. It was 25 degrees today. The hot water pipes run through my room and act like radiators. The shower is a push button kind like the taps you get in shopping centre toilets; the water cuts out after about twenty seconds and when you press it again it comes out hotter than steam before cooling to a more manageable ‘fucking scolding.’ But yes, I’m naked.
But this isn’t the first writing I’ve done since I gave up on the journals. I’ve written two books which, having self published, have been about as successful as if I’d made a 911 colouring-in book then coloured in all the pictures myself with the blood of local dogs. But they can be found all over the place, Amazon is your best bet; they’re basically semi autobiographical tales of sex, murder and mythical beasts. I submitted the second I wrote to a whole load of literary agents, basically everyone in The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook; I decided that rather than write a traditional opening letter and synopsis I would scrawl PLEASE HELP ME in marker pen on the cover of the books.
In retrospect this may not have been the best course of action although several of these ‘signed’ copies have been turning up on eBay so I take some solace in knowing that although the content may be shite, I at least did a convincing job on the design.
I’m going to have a re-hash of an old article I wrote following the style sheet provided by the university. Hopefully I can get it on the university site although it’s been turned down by the Copenhagen Post, The Big Issue and Mensa Magazine so I won’t hold my breath. I think I’ll also put some short stories up here too, filler perhaps but maybe someone will get a kick out of them. In addition to this I will be using Twitter regularly as well, expect the kind of inane chatter previously saved for the squirrels in the park.
If I can just get over my fear of other human beings this time at Teesside should prove immensely rewarding and enjoyable. The faculty seem to ooze competence and approachability like ectoplasm and our classroom looks like it was carved inside a volcano in a Bond film; I’m pretty sure I’m older than a couple of the teachers too.
That’s all for now. If you’re read this far, well done and thank you. The safe word is ‘strawberry’.