Fancy a date? Like, with me?
No? Ok then. Cool
Stripping away onion skin slivers of my soul with every swipe
As I arbitrarily decide whether or not I want to
Fuck it, right, right, right,
Who even needs to look anymore?
The faces blend into one,
The monotonous poses
Juxtaposed and superimposed
Before the eyes of this impostor.
My tongue, tipped in silver but
Finished with tin,
Reeling off lie after cliched lie
From some unwritten manual of manipulation,
But you lap them all up because
You want to believe;
You’re as dead as me inside and you want to
Let yourself pretend that this is real.
A meeting under false pretenses,
We both surrender to our cognitive dissonance.
A chat, a drink, a desperate, joyless fuck
Where you try to convince yourself that
It feels good,
And I try to convince myself that I can
Feel any fucking thing at all.
So here we lie, monstrous in our deception;
Equal weight but a single target,
Yet victims both, another layer gone,
One step closer to the core,
One sliver closer to the end.
So we smile and part ways and suggest
Another meeting we both know is never going to happen
And we spend the night writhing in guilt and shame
And self-hatred and emptiness,
Before we reach for the cure.
You know what’s so sad?
The only date I can get:
So here we are, another year on. I don’t feel any different. Well, I have a thumping headache. I don’t know where that came from. But inside I don’t feel any great awakening or enlightenment.
I’m not really sure why we celebrate birthdays. When I was a kid, I celebrated birthdays because I got free stuff and loads of cake. When I was a teenager I celebrated birthdays because there was an increased chance of getting kisses from girls. These days, I don’t want free stuff and I don’t know any girls.
So I guess the only thing left to celebrate is cake. But even that is losing its appeal.
Yesterday I went to see my Dad. My brother had tried to organise a family get-together at my Dad’s place for my birthday, but the only people who bothered to show were him and his girlfriend. So we sat and ate and talked about the only real topic of conversation we could find; how much we hated the managers at the place where I used to work and where my brother still works. It was amusing at times, but just odd, now that I look back on it.
While I was at Dad’s, he gave me a letter which had arrived, addressed to me. It was from my old school, inviting me to a class reunion. my time at Rugby School was not a happy one. Not coming from the privileged background of most of the students (I got a scholarship which meant the fees were waived), I was seen as one of the filthy unwashed peasant underclass, by both students and teachers. I earned the nickname “Stig” (taken from the book “Stig of the Dump” by Clive King). I was constantly in detention, which was conveniently held at 8pm on a Saturday night for two hours. Every week I was in there, usually with no reason given. Stops me causing trouble, right?
See, they called me a trouble maker. I prefer the term “revolutionary”, personally. I was constantly in trouble for bending or breaking rules. “There’s a set way of doing things,” they’d say. Now, for those of you not familiar with Rugby School, this is the place where Rugby Football was invented. Invented by one William Webb-Ellis, a statue of whom graces the space in front of the school. There is also a plaque, which reads:
COMMEMORATES THE EXPLOIT OF
WILLIAM WEBB ELLIS
WHO WITH A FINE DISREGARD FOR THE RULES OF FOOTBALL
AS PLAYED IN HIS TIME
FIRST TOOK THE BALL IN HIS ARMS AND RAN WITH IT
THUS ORIGINATING THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURE OF
THE RUGBY GAME
A fine disregard for the rules. Presumably my disregard for the rules was not fine enough. I mean, my father didn’t have a tremendous amount of money. Other students’ fathers did. Like the student who was caught dealing cocaine, but was not expelled or even suspended from school as his father paid for a new wing of the school library. In contrast, I was nearly expelled for putting yoghurt in someone’s gym shoes (which I still maintain is an hilarious prank).
Needless to say I don’t really have any desire to go back to that place and see how successful everyone else has been, using their inexhaustible parental funding to follow the dreams they never once had to fight for. I guess their level of true success depends on how one measures success. I have no doubt that my criteria is wildly different to theirs. Regardless, I have no desire to go back there.
But I’m getting off topic.
Actually I’m not really sure there was a topic. I’m sat here in the library on my birthday, spilling my guts to the world. Or trying to at least.
Did I mention I was supposed to have a date on Wednesday? Pretty neat, right? Well she sent me an email saying she’d met someone else and that she was calling it off. Now I’ve had a number of people decide that they’re not interested in me from the start. I’ve had a number decide that they’re not interested after getting to know me a bit. But arranging to meet up and then deciding in the interim that I’m not worth the bother? That’s a new one. So thanks for that.
I guess I’ll go back to looking for that redhead riding a dinosaur. She’s gotta be out there somewhere. If I tell her it’s my birthday, maybe I’ll get a kiss.
I have decided that my new chat-up line will be “What is your favourite dinosaur?”
There are many reasons for this. The most obvious reason is that it allows me to gauge the level of knowledge which a potential romantic partner has regarding extinct prehistoric reptiles.
For example, if a woman were to reply: “What are you talking about?” then it would be quite clear to me that there would be no point in pursuing any sort of romantic endeavour. What use is anyone who does not even have a basic knowledge of dinosaurs (and I mean that in a general sense, not merely in the context of ridiculous dating criteria)?
If the woman were to reply: “Oh, Brontosaurus!” then she would also be of no interest to me. Anyone who knows anything about dinosaurs knows that Brontosaurus is a scientifically redundant synonym of Apatosaurus. If the woman had qualified this, explaining that originally Apatosaurus excelsus had been named Brontosaurus excelsus (prior to almost all scientists deciding that the Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus specimens belong in the same genus), but that the name “thunder lizard” sounds better than “deceptive lizard”, then there might be some slim hope of me buying her a drink, but this seems unlikely in the extreme (especially as “deceptive lizard” is WAY cooler).
Of course, it could be that the potential date has seen Jurassic Park, and so may try to be clever by saying “Velociraptor”. This in itself isn’t so bad – Velociraptor was actually pretty awesome – but if she thinks that Velociraptors in real life were anywhere near the size of those portrayed in Jurassic Park, then we may have some problems. Further questioning would be required for this answer. Perhaps some comparisons to Deinonychus or Utahraptor, just to see if she really does know what she’s talking about.
Of course, it could be that the lady in question doesn’t know too much about dinosaurs, but she knows enough, and has some additional praiseworthy knowledge to counterbalance her lack of palaeontological know-how. Mathematics knowledge for example. I mean, if a girl were to say “My favourite dinosaur is Stegosaurus,” I might at first brush her off and lose interest. If, however, she were to continue with “because he looks like a graph of normal distribution, but with spikes on,” then I would definitely be interested in pursuing this one.
So it could be that the object of my potential affection does know a fair amount about dinosaurs. Maybe her favourite is one of the Ornithomimidae, like Gallimimus, Ornithomimus or Dromiceiomimus (which of course would require another taxonomic debate on the legitimacy of the name). Perhaps she likes Styracosaurus, because he’s the “Spinal Tap” of the ceratopsians (his horns go up to 11). Maybe she likes Tyrannosaurus Rex, but only if he was covered in feathers and was a carrion feeder rather than the predator he is often made out to be. Or perhaps she favours one of the lesser known Tyrannosaurs, such as Daspletosaurus or Gorgosaurus.
The best answer anyone could give would of course be “oooh, good question! Are we talking about pradatory instinct, intelligence, sheer size? Hmmm, there’s lots that I like, but I’m hard pushed to pick one. Maybe $dinosaur, or perhaps $another_dinosaur, but then if $dinosaur and $another_dinosaur lived in the same time period, on the same land mass, perhaps it would be different…” Not only does this imply that they are well versed in The Way of the Dinosaur, but also that they appreciate that there are numerous different factors involved in assessing which dinosaur (or anything, for that matter) might be “best”.
I’m still single.
So in an act born of desperation and possibly an overenthusiastic caffeine intake, I decided to sign up for one of those free online dating sites. It was about 1:36 am and I didn’t feel remotely tired, so in the absence of any functioning people to talk to I thought I’d spend some time pretending I was in some sort of judgemental bar-room beauty contest. The following is my profile, quoted virtually verbatim.
I enjoy writing, and tend to embellish my words (both written and verbal) in flowery prose. I make no apologies for the length of this profile, nor for my use of polysyllabic words. Language is beautiful, and I’d like to find someone who shares that opinion. So, now that introductions are over, let’s get down to business…I have these silly romantic notions in my head that life should be about one long continuous journey, rather than a series of discrete destinations. As such I am possessed with a certain wanderlust, although haven’t been able to properly indulge in many of the voyages I’d like to undertake. I have a list though, and I’m working on crossing the items off. I would like to share my journey with someone who understands. A travelling companion, if you will. Someone who shares my love of exploring the unknown, making snap decisions, throwing caution to the wind and burning bridges wherever we go.
When I am not out walking in the deserted little roads around my village (usually imagining that I am the last survivor of a world-ending apocalypse, resistance fighter in occupied France, or the leader of the low-tek insurrection against the cult of the machine-god), I do a lot of reading. I read a lot of Sci-Fi (especially cyberpunk), Fantasy (especially low-fantasy) and political non-fiction. It’s difficult to list my favourite authors as I appreciate so many for a plethora of reasons, but always in my top lists would be: William Gibson, Terry Brooks, Raymond E. Feist, H.G. Wells, George Monbiot and Noam Chomsky. I also adore poetry, from the romantic era (Byron, Shelley etc.) through to contemporary poets such as Taalam Acey. I do not know whether my overactive imagination preceded my love for literature or vice versa, but regardless, the two are now synergistically intertwined.
Other hobbies include modelling (that is to say, building and painting models, not posing for cameras in the hope that I will have my visage plastered across a glossy magazine), roleplaying, wargaming, and computer programming. So I’s go so far as to say I would probably fit into some sort of “nerd” bracket, if you were so shallow as to categorise me based on my preferred pastimes.
Hmm… I am starting to think that perhaps I’m writing a little too much here. Never mind, that’s section one done. Next up – goals and aspirations. I guess I don’t really have many. I want to travel the world. I want to spend long nights contemplating the mysteries of the universe. I want to build a fire on a deserted beach, and dance around it until I collapse from exhaustion. I want to dress in period costume and walk across the moors, reciting poetry and reenacting scenes from Wuthering Heights. There’s probably more as well. The list is constantly in flux.
What makes me unique? My inability to accept the standardised life-as-presented by modern society. I’m a misfit by choice; I see the world through different eyes. I march to the beat of a different drum. I could go on reciting clichés all night, but you get the picture. Oh and the stripy beard and 3 foot long dreadlocks are not really things you see every day…
My taste in music is wild and varied. I’m not really a fan of commercial music (and by commercial I don’t just mean pop music, but also overly produced rock and metal also). I am a big fan of industrial (which encompasses industrial rock, EBM, futurepop, gabba, aggrotech etc.), and I adore psytrance and goatrance. I enjoy dancing to Dubstep, Drumstep, Complextro etc., but it’s not the sort of thing I listen to outside of a club environment. Likewise hardstyle/jumpstyle, hard dance etc. At home I enjoy listening to trip-hop (especially French trip-hop), dub, classical, and any fusion of other genres. I adore folk music (especially folk with punk influences), and play a lot on my guitar. I have been known to busk in Caldecott Park and have made a reasonable sum doing so. Come and say hi if you see me. Favourite bands I guess would have to be: New Model Army, Levellers (although mostly pre-1997), PWEI, KMFDM, Lukhash, Hungry Lucy, Tryad, and a plethora of other bands you probably haven’t heard of (the last three makle their music freely available, so you have no excuse not to check them out).
I’ll mention films too. I don’t watch TV and have no interest in it, but I do enjoy cinema. I like slow-paced, character driven films which deal with controversial subjects and do not have happy endings. Th sorts of films most people hate. To give some perspective, I thought “The Road” had too happy an ending. I like things to be impossibly grim. I like to leave the cinema with a bitter taste in my mouth, barely suppressing rage and frustration at the protagonists poor circumstances. I have no idea why, it’s just “how I roll”.
Well that’s all the recommended bases covered. According to the entry form, I’m guaranteed to be “successful” now. I’m not sure how they measure success, but we’ll see.
Oh there was also a section about where I’d want to go on a first date.
First date? I guess it would depend on the circumstances. Dinner at a quiet restaurant maybe, followed by a walk through some interesting location, probably some sort of discussion about some aspect of art, culture, politics etc.
Or a trip to the theatre.
Let’s face it, I’m terrible at this, which is probably why I’m still single.