It's not the big stuff that breaks us. It's the collection of small, seemingly inconsequential moments. Like falling down an escalator holding a Boba Fett doll or being alone at a checkout till.
My sole target in life now is to stay out of a nursing home. My personality is ill suited to the long-term hospital or nursing home stay. I don’t do rapports. I can’t build rapports. The staff wouldn’t like me.
From 1978 to 2008 – I lied with alarming regularity.
From 1981 to 1994, the 20th of July 1981 had been the greatest day of my life.
When you sleep four to a room until you’re eighteen, and share a communal bathroom with 13 people till you’re in your mid-twenties, when you have no heating or running hot water, and a 14” portable colour TV – when your dad leaves your mum only to take the bed sit on the floor below, it’s kind of hard to tell the truth, you know.
I’ve struggled to sleep properly since the autumn of ’85.
I didn’t have my own room until 2000.
I miss having a partner at supermarket checkouts. Not the last one. She’d get frustrated as I failed to master self-checkouts. But partners previous to her. When you get in sync with a partner, packing everything quickly, it’s great. On your own, you need to be a Hindu God to pack everything as soon the cashier scans the item in.
My rapport with cashiers is always damaged as I check the receipt too close to their till. I need to learn to do it further away. They don’t need to see me looking to see if they’ve ripped me off.
I make a mean scrambled egg, but it’s not enough to hang onto a woman. My dad warned me: “that scrambled egg is good, son, but it ain’t enough.” I reckon my scrambled egg probably bought me another two months with the last girlfriend.
The final 3 minutes of New Order’s Kiss of Death, from side 2 of the Substance album, make me feel like the world is mine for the taking.
A combination of terrible luck and very bad decisions cost me everything I had late last year. I’m coming back now though. Slowly. But I’m coming back.
That’s the only reason I’m doing Stand Up. To shake my life up. No other reason. I don’t want to go to Edinburgh. I don’t want to appear on panel shows. I have no interest in those things. I just need to shake things up.
Over breakfast last week, my aunt complimented me on my increased muscularity
The other day, I was in aisle 37, Nine Elms Sainsbury’s today, Detergents, Fabric Softeners and Laundry, when I felt myself pulling a face like my dad’s as I turned into it. I can’t quite explain the face, perhaps a slight pursing of the lips. I don’t know why it happened. I pulled a similar face back in Malta in ’92. I was aware this was my dad’s face. Isn’t it weird how we adopt the same mannerisms? Even the mannerisms of the dead. They live on, in you.
In August ’82, I fell down the escalators at Arding & Hobbs in Clapham Junction, whilst holding my newly purchased Boba Fett action figure doll. As I tumbled right down to the bottom, I still kept hold of Boba Fett. But it was at least a year before I was actually able to play with him without being reminded of the accident, and it took me a good 18 months to conquer my escalator phobia.
At 2am, on the 23rd November 2010, having spent over 100 days in room 11 of The Grapevine Hotel in Warwick Way, I finally succumbed to the breakdown and re-enacted the entire Tears For Fears Going to California concert (May 1990), word for word, track by track, in a vest and boxer shorts. It took me 95 minutes.
When I was younger, given how close we were, I’d never have believed I could’ve lived the bulk of my life without my mum as I’m having to.
I’m glad she wasn’t around to see my fall of 2008-2011. I just did not stop losing for three years.
Over breakfast last week, my aunt complimented me on my increased muscularity, before telling me at my age I need to start having kids pronto otherwise I could be having slow kids.
I’m eating a lot of salads recently. I’m not a fan of them and I’m turning up at gigs bloody hungry. I weight the salads up carefully in the supermarket before buying them, but really, I have no idea what I’m doing. At the moment, I’m weighing up lettuces in my hand in a manner similar to when I check myself for lumps. Which isn’t often.
Stepping out of 9 to 5 work for 6 months is the best decision I’ve made in years.
I think what happens in your thirties as a man – it may even be what your thirties are really about – is you’re searching for that hairstyle to carry you through to the end. Your days of ludicrous hairstyles that get people’s backs up are over and it’s about looking respectable and like you’re managing okay. It’s about finding that hairstyle, baldness permitting, that you’re going to die with.
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