I remember watching old James Brown concerts where towards the end he’d act like he was suddenly overcome with exhaustion from too much selfless soul sacrifice. He’d reach breaking point and start to stagger away from the microphone. At which point one of his disciples would leap up and put a special tiredness cloak around his shoulders before ever-so-carefully escorting the messiah of funk off stage.
But before he made it off, James would get a second wind, cast off the cloak, and defy the unfunky demon fatigue, to return to the microphone and sacrifice yet more of himself for the good of funkmanity.
And this ridiculous spectacle would repeat any number of times until I thought “Wait a minute, this duplicitous fucker’s putting it on. He’s not really tired at all. It’s all an act!”, and I started losing faith in Mr Brown’s soulful integrity.
Well I feel a bit like James Brown today. Because I’m unwittingly peddling the same line of bullshit here in blog form. And I’m not proud of myself let me tell you.
As my legion die-hard followers(crisp packet and tumbleweed) will no doubt remember, I took a break from the blog a good while back. I found that life’s pressures were bearing down hard on me and I was spending far too much time on writing posts or trying to reciprocate reads and likes from fellow bloggers. Something had to give and sadly it was the blog. I’d already tried limiting the number of posts I wrote, but I quickly found out that I’m an obsessive all-or-nothing kind of guy who, left to his own devices, is horribly prone to addiction.
So in my case, it feels like I really need to make some kind of James Brownesque grand public statement of intent, or nothing changes. An act of reluctant but necessary damage limitation, like that guy in 127 Hours cutting his own arm off with a crappy pen knife.
I refuse to drink my own piss though, and you can’t make me. Well maybe you could twist my arm if you added a bit of blackcurrant cordial, a slice of lemon and an umbrella.
OH ALRIGHT THEN!
OK I just drank my own piss.
It was a bit tart for my taste, despite the fun additions, and I must say I deeply regret doing it now.
Nothing has changed, and I’m going to have to proceed with plan A I’m afraid. Once I’ve had a good gargle with some disinfectant.
The original act of putting the brakes on the blog helped me refocus on a project I badly needed to get off the ground. I surprised myself how much I managed to achieve in the intervening stolen moments, in spite of batshit crazy life circumstances trying to sabotage it in-between. It can be done.
I never even intended on coming back to the blog until I’d got certain priorities out of the way and cleared the decks. But I foolishly tricked myself into coming back sooner in the midst of a very testing few weeks involving (yet more) hospitals, admin mayhem, and aggravation at home which I’m not even gonna try to get into here.
I cracked up and treated myself to the bullshit excuse that during the hiatuses, I was good for nothing else except writing inane blog posts. And I’ve gotta say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed losing myself among the blog mangroves during this horrible time.
But like a giant halibut genetically spliced with Mike Tysons’s fist, life is bitch slapping me in the face with wake up calls now like “What the unholy FOCK are you even doing spending all this time on that silly blog again, when the werewolves are at the door and you STILL have all those much more important priorities to attend to??? You major fucking TWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!”.
I am finding my time is increasingly being consumed with caring for elderly parents, one of whom I’m fairly confident has been possessed by Loki, the viking god of miserable old conniving bastards(note to self: check that reference just to make sure). My other priorities are horribly getting away from me, and I cannot let that happen.
(reality check: just in the time I’ve been writing this, I’ve been taken off something like 10 times to attend to caring duties – it’s driving me fucking insane)
So like a sad James Brown wannabe, I’m about to repeat the effete theatrical gesture of staggering off stage for a little while, to recuperate snug inside my tiredness cloak. But you can rest assured that it’s probably only a matter of time until I cast off the cloak, and come jazz dancing back to the microphone to returgify the placid waters of your minds with my brand of disturbing onanistic gloop, which sells worse than hedgehog sandwiches at a balloon convention.
It’s damn hard to do and, again, I think this is why I have to do it by means of such a pointed gesture. When I get down to it, mine is a solitary existence where my only interactions seem to be needy people demanding things or the logistical twattery that goes with all of that. Not a lot of laughs. And I think somehow blogging gives me the illusion of a fun connection with the outside world that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
But it’s something I just have to do or else my future is starting to look rather dark.
So I will bid you all farewell and leave you with one final poem I’ve had tucked in my back pocket since that winter day when my sister’s little Lhasa Apso went temporarily mental and dragged me laughing(me not the dog) through a swampy patch of puddles and long grass in the park.
This one’ll be appearing in my forthcoming book of poems on the subjects of OCD and depression. Possibly the most miserable strange book of poetry ever, but one which I needed to get out of my system.
Sweet lady in the park,
I caught you looking back at me.
I haven’t felt that spark,
since maybe 1983.
You glimpsed me through the fog,
off guard and chuckling like a child,
led headlong through the bog,
dragged by a dog rampaging wild.
I wondered what you thought,
and how you filled in all my gaps.
I wondered if I ought,
to come and say hello perhaps.
But then it crossed my mind,
that I can’t be that man for long.
I leave him far behind,
around the time my brain goes wrong.
You’d wonder where he went,
and I would make you ill-at-ease.
I wish they would invent,
a sodding cure for this disease.
Sweet lady in the park,
oh how it aches to walk away.
It’s getting kind of dark
though, and I cannot talk today.