The Jack Walk

I find real catharsis in taking dogs on walks. This is because dogs effectively live to be walked. It’s all they ever want to do. From the moment you take a dog out of the house, it seems to explode with happiness, wagging its tongue, panting uncontrollably and immersing itself in every aspect of the journey.  For this reason the dog walker feels like she is doing a good deed, and can see the results plainly in front of her in the form of an utterly contented beast. It isn’t like walking a human, where you have to maintain some kind of conversation, in fact, you’re perfectly free to stick your music in and forget they’re even there if you would like. Furthermore it provides an excuse to switch off the television, put the laptop away, get out of that door, get in and amongst the fields and the trees and experience Barrow Upon Soar’s rich tapestry of nature.

I got an opportunity to take my mother’s friend’s Jack Russells out yesterday and it turned out to be anything but cathartic. They weren’t her Jacks, they were her friend’s, who was out gallivanting on holiday in some sultry corner of the globe, presumably indulging freely in a bacchanalia of drugs, alcohol and sex. There were two dogs, one of them vivacious and young, the other one slow and whacked out like a family teddy bear out of the attic. I grabbed my stylish digital-camo sunnies, stuck the dogs on the lead and took them over to Millennium Park- a very pleasant recreational area near where I live, complete with a giant sun-dial to make telling time that little bit more convenient.

The walk was going perfectly well and to my satisfaction there were no rival dog walkers around to cause me any trouble. I was told by the owner that I could take the leads off the slow and whacked out Jack if I so wished- there would be no hazards there. I flirted with the idea for a while, at first thinking it too outrageous to go through with, but the dogs were so timid and well behaved and the concept of a lead is so authoritarian to me that I soon succumbed, and released both dogs from their tyrannical leashes.

At first the younger Jack scouted ahead, just within my range of vision. The older creature hung way back, moving at a slow pace. All of a sudden I had to turn my attention towards multiple directions at once as the dogs scattered all over the place. I was doing okay however, I could call the dog at the front and it would turn back and slow up for a few moments. The back dog was of course, no threat whatsoever and would be more likely to collapse at any given moment than cause me any grief.

Or so I thought. In a few moments the elderly Jack overtook me and began to chase its younger more athletic companion. I took a moment to laugh at the way in which it moved, its back legs moving at once, in a hopping motion, its front legs pedalling like a Loony Tunes character fleeing from the baddie. As we–the unseemly and incompetent convoy–kept moving through the field, I noticed a bench to my left and thought, ‘all right, let’s take a breather, maybe the dogs will run about a bit and play. Get it out of their system- so to speak’. The kid Jack wasn’t having it however and was motivated only by distance. The geriatric was still slowly making ground in second place. With a sigh I rose from my seat and began my pursuit.

Then in the blink of an eye I saw something I could scarcely have imagined previously. The decrepit beast burst into a pace akin to light speed and in a flash was out in front. I thought ‘well that’s very impressive Old Jack, but you won’t last long at that rate. Schoolboy error.’ But there was no looking back. He was out of here. Showing no signs of deceleration. Into hyper space.

The bat shit crazy incontinent old fiend soon overtook the kid dog, whom it was also fair to say was well and truly going places himself and in a matter of seconds, they were out of Millennium Park gates. In one moment it hit me that the walk had taken on a wholly different dynamic whereby I was not the walker but the walked.

I felt like a bad supply teacher. Moreover, Old Jack had well and truly conned me, all the while dreaming of escape, lulling me into a false sense of security at the beginning of the walk, playing the codger, then jetting off at the opportune moment. Had it been waiting all of its life for this chance? Was this its best hope for true freedom?

They ran straight out into the right hand side of the road; the oncoming side. A Chelsea tractor was forced to come to an abrupt halt to avoid running over the things. The driver honked his horn and waited for the dog to go round him before again pelting off ahead (at the cost of the biosphere). Fortunately for me, Young Jack was never really taking any of this seriously. This was no life and death situation for him, it was all just a funny joke, he was now content to amble along in second. Following his friend but by no means gunning to fly head first into the jaws of death alongside him. Meanwhile at the back I was tagging along, occasionally switching from brisk walking to bursts of half-hearted jogging, shouting the dog’s name every few seconds. Though it had once listened, it was not listening now. To my left a gardener was pruning his hedge, and looked up to see what was happening. I half expected him to moan at me for having lost control of my pets but he took pity on me and smiled before returning to his secateurs. I paused to think about how I must have looked, jogging, distressed, carrying two dogless leads, my cheeks bulging like hamster cheeks following my recent jaw surgery, and wearing my suave digi-shades, and a T-Shirt that said X-tra large Condoms, great sex, great protection.

I could barely make out the dogs any more, all I could see were furry balls floating over the roundabout. One after the other with a ten second interval. After a few more car horns the balls got to the top of my estate. I took it upon myself to catch up this time and used my massive pistons to propel me like lightning. At this point I was half-expecting to find a writhing dog corpse at every roundabout.

As I ambled on no such corpses were found. To my delight, Young Jack was soon within my grasp. I lassoed the beast and gained control of it once again. Old Jack however was last seen cackling and smiling to himself as he sprinted towards the horizon to his lifelong awaited freedom.

Fate

To believe in fate or that dull mantra ‘everything happens for a reason’ is to forgo all rational thinking and succumb to popular delusion. You might as well believe in witchcraft for all the sense that’s in it.

You get people who comment on things like crossing on the stairs, smashing a mirror or walking under a ladder. These are meaningless platitudes, mostly benign. But when people subscribe to fate, that’s when I want to intervene. When something bad happens and somebody puts an arm round your shoulder and says ‘it’s okay, everything happens for a reason,’ – the truth is that there is no reason, and you’d be exceptionally foolish to think that if things then suddenly got a lot better for you, it would be some form of justice. If that happened, you got lucky. We are not the solitary authors of our successes and failures. Rather we are slaves to chance.

Now, I’ve always been a determinist. I think that for the entire Universe, there is one specific set of events which will happen and does happen. The concepts of past, present and future are created by humans and have no real scientific place, they are effectively just words, used merely for convenience. There is surely no reason to suggest that all three of them cannot be combined together, and this can be understood as ‘the way it goes’.

So in a way, yes, we are fated to live the life that we will live. Free will does not exist. We cannot have perceivably acted differently in the past, because if we did so, we would not have been us. We would have been something quite different. In a moment of decision making, we are influenced by the thoughts we have at the time (which we are not in control of), which in turn are influenced by the events of our past (which we are not in control of), chemical reactions in the brain (which we are not in control of) and environmental factors, i.e what’s going on around you at the time (which we are not in control of). We are always at the mercy of these factors, and we should not encourage people to believe that some strange supernatural force is constantly watching their back, looking to do you a favour, or if you’re a negative thinker, to bury you in the dust.

 

 

Unemployment

Being unemployed is no walk in the park. I mean, you can go for a walk in the park if you want, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, but you’re much more likely to lie in bed, alternating between checking emails, falling asleep, and watching the news. I’ve been rolling slowly down the hill for a while now, and I’m starting to get used to it, but the funny thing is, all this time, I’ve desperately wanted to have a job, but I just haven’t managed to land one.

My day consists of getting up at about 9/10, reading, exercising, eating, looking for jobs, watching TV, videos and listening to music, looking for jobs, eating, and reading. Excluding the looking for jobs bit, these are actually my favourite things to do. So I often thoroughly enjoy the day, it’s just a relaxing 24 hours in which I am my own boss, on my own devices, and with a license to devour as much good media and literature as I like. So why is it that I crave so desperately a 40 hour, 5 day a week contract in which I am most likely going to be forced to do something I wouldn’t choose to do in my free time, like baking or assembling cabinets?

Money.

My brain couldn’t be more grateful for what I’m doing right now, I’m sharp as a diamond.

But my wallet has got a hole in it the size of a planetary crater and it’s crying out for help.

I’l be sorted soon and it will be like I was never unemployed in the first place. And when I do get a job, I’m gonna be so rich. I can’t wait.

Cobwebs and Blancmange

I had invited myself to stay over at a girl’s apartment. I don’t know why. She was a girl I used to like at school. I couldn’t remember spending the night there, I just remember when I got into her bed I saw that all around it was surrounded by cobwebs, little spiders and flies. On arrival there was a little show for me actually; a blue and red insect was enveloped in a little web that went upwards at the foot of the bed like a tube. It looked like a ghostly pitcher plant. Before I could take the time to mourn the insecticide, I noticed it start to sway and shake, and I was waiting for the wily arachnid to appear and engulf it at any moment, you know the way they do- get all on top of it, paralyse it with a bit of venom, wrap it up and then suck up the insides. But there was no spider, and the ladybird just waggled and waggled its way out then bust out of the web and flew off, increasing in size as it did so. I watched as it flew out of the door. It may have been missing a few legs, but at least it was free. It would have been all right now. Maybe.

I had dreaded staying in that little single bed, surrounded with cobwebs. I thought, I’m going to ask her, ‘does all this not bother you at all?’. Then I must have gone to bed at some point, I don’t remember. I woke up and entered the kitchen to discover it was painted yellow. Her partner was there. I knew she had a new partner, but I didn’t know it was a chick. Funny how people just turn into lesbians sometimes. I just went along with it.

I approached the yellow cupboard to make myself some breakfast, with my towel wrapped around my waist. For some reason the only thing I noticed in the cupboard was a shot glass of yellow and pink blancmange, which I grabbed immediately, with a small bottle of milk.

Is that even how you make blancmange?

Is blancmange even particularly suitable for breakfast?

I felt pretty comfortable, like I could just stick one of those Jonas Rathsman mixes on, Elements, and then just dance around the kitchen while I did my thing to some nice, funky, colourful techno.

I thought I’d say good morning, and ask ‘are we all right?’

Her response- ‘You do realise I play rugby for Oxford?’

It was a killer that one was. I broke into awkward laughter, ‘why would you say that?!’

She didn’t know how to answer. I noticed she was quite an attractive blonde girl. However, all was not well- she had been indoctrinated, she was wearing a dark blue hoodie that was probably one of those ‘University’ brands, or a leaver’s hoodie from one of those private schools that make their students feel like a million dollars purely because their parents are stuck up enough to send them there. She was one of those who wasn’t up to her own life, she was defeated by herself at every turn. Life is like a video game, and some people simply aren’t good enough, so they only get so far, and get killed on the same level, by the same monster, over and over and over again. It must be so demoralising, but they carry on trying.

She definitely had a horse.

‘I just wanted to make that clear.’

This one hated me, absolutely hated me. She must have told her everything about me. This one probably had very good reason to be skeptical about me, but contemplating rugby tackling me was extreme. I realised my blancmange was only slightly increasing in thickness with the milk I added, so I kept adding more and achieving the same awful results.

‘All right to jump in the shower after I’ve made breakfast?’

‘Another shower?’

‘No,’ said the unfamiliar lesbian.

‘No worries.’

‘You used my towel yesterday didn’t you?’ asked the girl whom I used to be so fond of those many years ago.

‘Yeah,’

‘I bet it stinks now!’

I thought to myself- ‘why would it stink if I used it to dry myself after showering?’

They kept quarrelling with each other about things. I could only hear murmurs and groans.  I didn’t listen, but then she spoke to me.

‘Stay in my bed last night did you?’ she snapped.

‘Yeah I assumed it would be okay?’

‘Well it’s not,’ I remember that stare. I tried not to look back, lest I turn to stone.

‘So how do you make blancmange, does it just set eventually or does it go in the microwave or…?’

‘I’m fed up of this,’ the Oxford lesbian stormed off, grabbing the keys to one of those Fiats that all girls of about that age seem to drive. She looked distressed, but deep down you could tell that she relished making a scene. It was probably her greatest form of self expression.

The remaining one then groaned from the kitchen table, all stressed and in her pyjamas. She had a series of application forms in front of her and you could tell she didn’t understand what any of them meant. She’d have been better off tearing them to pieces. She ended up sweeping them off the table onto the empty chair opposite, then started groaning again.

‘Do you ever think about getting a life?’

‘Well that was awfully abrupt of you.’

‘Well, do you?’

‘Isn’t it a bit early in the morning for questions like that?’

I looked down at what I was doing in shock. I left the shot glass on the side by the fridge, and had since acquired a butter tub full of more blancmange, and was adding beetroot to one side. It turned into a beet coloured mess, but I was persevering. It was frightening.

She was getting animated now. She was clearing undergoing an identity crisis. I wish I knew who I was sometimes too.

‘I cleaned up your room for you. There were cobwebs everywhere, and spiders corpses and God knows what.’

‘I don’t care!’

I paused for a brief period, sighing at what I had created on the work surface. The horror. The unprecedented purple and yellow horror. I sighed.

Everything was so yellow, so horribly yellow all of a sudden. The walls, the floor, the ceiling. 

‘You really have transformed into a very miserable and nasty person haven’t you?’

 

The Rise of Intellechno

We are the most intellectual species the planet has ever been home to, and it’s about time we started acting like it.

We’ve all been to stomp nights, where the music sounds like gravel. It goes like this…

 

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, STOMP

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, STOMP

 

or perhaps the very similar but ever so slightly different…

 

STOMP, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

STOMP, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

 

then maybe the chorus comes in and another emphasised STOMP takes you all by surprise…

 

STOMP, stomp, STOMP, Stomp…

‘Oof.’

‘Woahh, isn’t this guy clever.’

‘Yes, he is, yes.’

 

So again, it’s the same track, but slightly different. And when you get that something slightly different your response is to be relieved, or even, in extreme cases, become so deluded as to think that what you’re listening to is progressive. ‘See what that guy did there’. Listen to me now children, it’s not progressive. It’s not even techno. It’s just banging. Literal banging.

The fact is, it just isn’t intelligent enough is it? To make a combination of stomps and put them in a slightly different order then repeat them over and over again, and then for the next song, to slightly alter the stomp sequence, and then continue this for the rest of the set.  Oh Christ. I went to see Sidney Charles, Sante, and Syrossian 32B at Rainbow and heard the most cacophonous, rugged, most unintelligent, banging ever to be produced by the speakers of Man. And regarding the people who were stood about- Oh colossal hordes of the vilest simpletons! I bet they couldn’t even point to the UK on a map, let alone the Ukraine! The crowd they were attracting were shouting things like ‘oi, oi, oi!’ and playing with an inflatable hammer. We are the most intellectual species the planet has ever been home to, and it’s about time we started acting like it.

So thank God for Artists like Tale Of Us, Mind Against, Recondite, Fur Coat, Scuba, Locked Groove,  Solomun, SevenDoors, Stephan Bodzin, Adana Twins, Clarian, Eagles and Butterflies, DJ Tennis (and many more) for coming up with a new genre altogether, known colloquially as ‘intellechno’, a kind of techno designed for the most intellectual of techno fans, like me, my friend from uni, Ben (Fryll) and Shen.

So last Saturday night I grabbed my encyclopedia and my scientific calculator and went to see Tale Of Us at the Black Box, and have never been quite so intellectually stimulated as I was by the quality of that techno, the variety of sounds, the minimalism, the spaced out synths, it’s no wonder that so many fans and producers of this new sub-zero cool techno eventually end up turning into professors at Ivy League institutions. The music takes you on a journey, abandoning the childish constrictions of the ‘funky’. I’m telling you now, fuck disco. The world ain’t a happy place most of the time, and life is inherently sad, which is why in order to consolidate for this, we need an injection of a few sad particles, like a vaccine. We come to terms with the melancholy, and thus, we are uplifted. This is our way of becoming immune to sadness. Music has tremendous healing capabilities, it’s cathartic, like Greek tragedy. Just ask Aristotle, he loves melodic tech.

So yeah, fuck disco. Life for me isn’t disco with its smothering sense of ‘joy’, it’s slowness and its ‘musical instruments’.

Nor is life hip hop, I can’t relate to your disgusting anti-shakespearean use of language, your gang-based lies, your bragging about your car, or your trainers. Yes I can imagine Brooklyn can be a very inhospitable environment, but why do you think I’m interested? I don’t care. Turn it off please Dean, there’s a good lad.

Grime is initially enticing, because I admire the audacity of any genre that prides itself off it’s filthiness, where its artists spend all day slagging off each other’s mums and spitting at one another, it’s a nice extended metaphor, very amusing, but let’s not get carried away, that isn’t us either. Do you wear those jeans? When you think of a battle, do you think Pro Green or Gladiator? Yeah that’s what I thought. Anyway…

Chart music is for impressionable children and confused adults.

House isn’t a thing.

Garage is cheaper than chip shop chips, purchased with discount.

Jazz is something that happened many, many years ago and is currently in the process of fossilisation, with very few people caring.

Metal is for people who are mentally ill or feral.

All of these genres have produced some utterly incredible music, fantastic art work, clever lyrics and some fiery beats, but that’s in the past now. I’m not done with it, I’ll go back there every now and again, but not often, because the last thing I want to do is live in the past. It’s time to move on. It’s time to progress. It’s time to develop. It’s time to change the record. Those people who change the track at parties, demanding to play something they know from the past, they want shooting on the spot. That would show them. Regressive hunks of flesh, wandering about, desperately seeking the AUX cable, too dumb to realise that they’re massively interfering with our intellectual development. Who even invites these people?

I just want to listen to some nice, hygienic, melodic, intense intellectual music, and that’s exactly what I am doing, back at the flat, hanging up the washing, in the shower, when I’m out and about, whilst praying, at the rave itself, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, it’s paradise. Find a proper mix from any of the intellectual artists listed above, and listen to the stuff they play. There is not one sound to it is not beautiful, not one note which is superfluous, not one key that does not resonate inside the throbbing intellectual human brain.

You go to see any of these intellectual artists and you realise that this stuff is it (needless to say, I had the best time of my entire life on Saturday, plaudits also deservedly attributed to ShenChop and the Black Box for being devastating, as usual).

Music has to generate intensity, it is intensity which makes music captivating, distinctive, and it is intensity that drives crowds absolutely bat-shit-crazy with euphoria. And you know when that kind of euphoria happens, it’s like a Revelation. Like God has popped in to the building to say hello to his Creation. And he saw that is was proper techno.

This doesn’t happen a lot, and it’s difficult to describe to people who weren’t there or haven’t witnessed such a spectacle before, they’ll tell you they’ve seen it before whilst watching Kerri Chandler or Richy Ahmed, or in Church on a Sunday and you just have to sigh and then go home and bang your head up against the toaster until you stop caring as much.

I’ve seen it first hand and I know what it’s like.

It’s like this.

 

‘We’re going outside!’

 

 

 

 

5 Exciting Alternatives To Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO isn’t for everyone. Yes- in our youths we may have immersed ourselves in the wonderfully diverse and intricate world of pocket monsters, swapping cards on the playground and sitting on the sofa playing on our Game Boys all day. But 15 years later, we know that walking around in zombie mode, smartphone in hand, playing on a highly infantile Black Mirror-esque application isn’t the only way to enjoy exploring the real world. Here are a series of alternative suggestions for you if you feel like you’re missing out.

  1. Set up a series of large metal traps with gaping razor sharp jaws in built up areas, such as shopping centres and car parks- Potential catches can be anything from pigeons, rats or even citizens who could potentially be playing Pokemon Go themselves. If like myself and unlike American people, you enjoy irony, then the potential rewards here speak for themselves.

    bull-ring
    The Bullring is one of the most coveted areas for creature trapping in the whole of the Midlands.
  2. Buy a package of tranquillising blow-darts off the deep web and go hunting- Go to the woods and shoot a series of woodland creatures, take them home, and put them in a small cage. When they wake up, watch them all fight to the death, then choose to train the winner. It will most likely be the badger, a species of animal which can quickly be taught moves such as Cut, Dig, and Bite (as a move Bite can be particularly effective, as the badger bite, whilst being extremely strong, will also infect the opponent with tuberculosis, leading to imminent consumption and death). Badgers are also known to provide great companionship and with a decent one you would laugh your way through any real life equivalent of the Pokemon League. (FACT: There are so many Pokemon based on badgers, you have no idea).

    typhlosion_variants_by_drzombiefox-d8pu5t0
    Just have a look at this. They’ve even got a honey badger variant. But let’s not allow ourselves to get carried away here – LordoftheReeves.com would like to take this opportunity to make readers aware that we do NOT in any way endorse making the trip to Africa, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent to tranquillise a honey badger because it would FUCK you up if you did. Those things are volatile killing machines and would tear you to pieces in a matter of seconds and with no provocation. Whether they can be cultivated and trained by humans is yet to be discovered, but personally, as a moderately sane human being, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to find out.
  3. Collect bottle tops- Collectors often report that this can be a deeply rewarding, often spiritual practice. Make sure that every top is of a different design, and that there are no duplicates copies in your collection. As you would expect, collecting involves visiting a lot of drinking establishments, and therefore consuming a lot of alcohol, which might ultimately distract you from the fact that we are living in the age of the apocalypse and we’re all doomed, which is perhaps the reason why people have become dependant upon these God-awful apps in the first place. And if you’re teetotal, you can always encourage friends or family whom you don’t particularly care about to discover the joys of alcoholism, and then get them to collect the tops for you in exchange for liquid rewards.

    bottle-cap-floor
    While all the idiots are staring at their iPhones and accidentally stumbling upon rotting corpses in the bottom of quarries in Massachusetts, you can be creating a vibrant mosaic to decorate the floor of your sauna.
  4. Put your smartphone in the microwave just to see what happens.

    phone-in-microwave-e1461940810741
    Could be fun?
  5. Read a book.

webcam-toy-photo56

 

White shores and beyond- the perpetual anti-climax

Nothing is ever as good as you hope it will be. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but after experiencing a lot of life, one has to accept that everything eagerly anticipated, on occurrence, is ultimately destined to be a disappointment. This is the attitude that many of my friends now take, they expect failure, and therefore make lifestyle decisions in favour of the familiar, the comfortable, the easy. They think they’re being clever, in limiting disappointment, choosing the reliable old damage-limitation approach. You must protect yourself from the perpetual anti-climax at all costs!

Conservatism.

This is a stance I’ve desperately tried to avoid taking all of my life. And for reasons that I still consider to be entirely valid. Having this position of scepticism is bad for a number of reasons I can think of, because

  1. It precludes being adventurous, achieving high goals, doing interesting things, taking risks. It makes life boring.
  2. Life itself would be not worth living unless it is something that can potentially continually improve with time.
  3. It’s arguably a highly cowardly perspective, as it is a form of giving up in the face of adversity.
  4. There is simply far too much to be lost, and so little to be gained. Every day is a thousand failed opportunities. Understanding the extent of these missed opportunities would be agony to our minds if only we knew what we have missed due to our habitual laziness, cowardice, stubbornness, arrogance and ignorance.

I’ve been an idealist, a romantic, a panglossian fool. I’ve written the scripts in my brain and then the play never happens, or if it does happen it’s a twisted, dull simulacrum of what I intended, and all of a sudden I’m starkly reminded that I’m not a character in a 19th century Russian novel or a TV series (that probably doesn’t even exist anyway but I still wholeheartedly believe in my chimerical brain I will probably write, star in and recreate in my actual life). I finally  decide to speak to the girl in my seminar who seems nice, handsome, dresses cool, appears to have a personality, and she answers my questions as briefly and abruptly as possible, gradually quickens her walking pace and says “Dave, is that you?” then takes the first opportunity she can to escape out of the nearest fire exit.

Another instance of disappointing reality vs Utopian dreams (and the former resoundingly crushing the latter into a thousand pieces)- last weekend one of my friends’ vast, lovely house was vacant and available for a gathering, which I allowed myself to be optimistic about for weeks. Ooh yes! We can get the decks, put them on the vast expanse of work surface in the kitchen and my little friend who knows how to DJ, the only person who listens to the same music as me, can plug in his USB stick of meticulously curated IDM tracks (yes, intelligent dance music is actually a genre [and overshadows the deceptive and meaningless blanket term ‘techno’ which is no good to any of us]) and we can all take the right drugs and all dance together and all really get down to someone like Joris Voorn or Solomon and everyone will smile together and it will conjure ‘one of those moments’ – the moments we constantly seek.

The night before this was going to take place, in a drunken state I sent a long and grotesquely mawkish text to all of my friends who were coming, emphasising the importance of the occasion. It encouraged attendants to honour the occasion, treating it as if it was a proper rave with an emphasis on dancing and loads of other things I can no longer remember, as I deleted it from my phone as soon as I got the chance. And deservedly, the next day I was under heavy scrutiny, at risk of being righteously lambasted by anyone and at any second. The execution was despicable, but behind the horribleness, was hope.

What eventually transpired was a complete disaster, descending into mindless techno- warfare and nothingness. My mate with the USBs decided he ‘couldn’t be bothered to DJ’ and was nowhere to be seen, preferring to dissolve into a bag of coke for the evening. A couple of my friends played some nice stuff but truth be told, it was never what I hoped for. In a flurry of contempt I ran over to the cutlery draw and withdrew two of the largest knives I could find and threatened to stab him if he continued to play music.

Following this we were scattered across the house, no one knew where anyone was, there was a couple or a threesome in the dark corners of every bedroom. There was no certainty, and no unity. Many lost interest in the night altogether, some whom had travelled from far and wide to attend, and decided to leave early, preferring the comfort of their own beds. The rest of us continued to do what we were doing. It was a good night. But nowhere near good enough.  And it’s not like that’s anything new. And that’s why it’s so sad. Sooner or later, we will have lost faith altogether. Imprisoned, destined to re-enact the same dissatisfying, mechanical routine over and over again. Disappointment after disappointment. When I suggested we should perhaps invite other people to parties like this another one of my wiser friends put it well the other night when he said, ‘we can’t even socialise with each other, let alone with other people’.

I could chuck this experience in with about 5 holidays and about 3 festivals, about 3 friendships and my University experience, all of which I felt this same tedious level of dissatisfaction having finished. I’ve learned from these miscalculations. Other than a few fragmented memories of ‘happiness’ and momentary triumphs, these are mostly valuable as learning curves for me. Stark reminders not to get carried away by the rhetoric of the hedonists. Cook from Skins is not and never will be a real person. Drugs, aren’t what they purport to be. It turns out that all this idealism is is a desperation to escape, to escape one’s own life and become somebody else. And when you realise that that’s exactly what you’re going for,  you’ll realise how bollocks all of this truly is. The question still remains, should we want more or should we want to be happy with less? Is there a middle ground? We’re lost, even if we don’t realise it.

I don’t know if any of this applies to you, your life might be joy after joy as your Facebook profile suggests, with those photos of you smiling like a crocodile in your graduation robes, or standing by some idyllic beach clutching your partner’s waist like you’re indestructible, or sitting in some swanky bar with a colourful cocktail in your hand with an umbrella sticking out of it, experiencing wonder after wonder, you might be loving every single chapter of your life more and more as it unfolds. And if so, congratulations! But I fear that the reality for most people, is more akin to my anonymous character who wanders across the Island of disused electrical appliances, alone and lost, constantly telling himself that ‘it will happen’, when he knows full well, deep down that it won’t. But he hopes nonetheless, clinging to the slightest possibility that it might. If not, he’d be off to B + Q for an extension lead (toaster, bath, post-it note, biro, goodbye).

We, the hopeful are no different from the devout in that we delude ourselves with the improbable. Without doing so, life would be intolerable. But what if even this is a delusion? I should stop over thinking it and realise life is fantastic if we just sit back chill the fuck out, and enjoy the finer things. Like listening to Kiasmos or reading Larkin, taking the piss out of a horrible friend, watching Peep Show, walking through the woods, eating a delicious bowl of cereal with raisins in it, standing in the away end at football matches, taking the dog for a nice walk, playing heads and volleys (according to the proper rules) or just that massively liberating sweaty feeling after a workout when you’ve got a slimy back and soaking wet hair and the endorphins are swimming around in your brain and you’re free because you don’t have to exercise anymore for the entire day! These things will always be there and then, and then…

And then the  grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.

What? Gandalf? See what?

White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

Well, that isn’t so bad.

No. No, it isn’t.