Sunday, December 18, 2005

Session one.

Well, I did find a computer after all!

OK, I’m not actually going to have formal therapy sessions here, but it looked good…
This is about stages in life. I don’t know if other people pass through similar ones, these are just mine, but the process would seem to make sense generally so may well do. Life was an adventure to start with. I wanted to see everything and go everywhere, and as far as one can, did. Being near London I blitzed the theatres, went to the cinema all the time, and tried to get abroad in as many ways as possible. My parents paid for everything so there was really no restriction on anything except the foreign trips. Then some of the holidays started to go wrong. I soon realised what started as fun had the potential to turn into a major situation, and each foreign trip could then end in a desperate rush to return to civilisation. For some reason Israel seemed the most prone to this, but I could then see the potential wherever I was where you had to fly and they speak a foreign language.
Then, after four years at college being in an audience started to lose its appeal. The last year’s crowded and hot summer lectures merged with any other audience until I couldn’t really see the difference between them. I started to want to get out of these places and spent very little time in any since.

Running ahead twenty years I now value people more than anything else. I’ve really used up the rest, from window shopping to going out for tea nearly every day for ten years. My house had long since become crammed with every possible item you can buy, and have clothes, shoes and books to last for the rest of my life. But being in the house alone surrounded by toys and objects means nothing. It’s just like a child’s playpen where there’s plenty to do but are normally alone and trapped. I’d never get one of those if I have kids, they always made me think of prison even when about 4 or 5 when my friends’ brothers or sisters had them. What counts for me are the little things that happen with someone else around the house. The way whatever happens is witnessed by someone else and can comment on it, and even get help if something needs clearing up or moving. Being able to share what I do on the computer with someone, and talk while I do housework makes ordinary or tedious events into something interesting, and I believe if this ever happens I’ll always appreciate it.
So I have moved through certain stages in life, and used them up, and am left with the people rather than the places or things. And coming to a house where everything is mine, nobody else’s books to explore, or others’ papers or notes around means it’s a constant reminder it’s only me, and will be like that every day ad infinitum (OK, technically ad mortuum, but who’s a Latin scholar?).

But I do wonder if other people run out of things that interested them once, and gradually move on to more and more simpler things that make them happy as I do. I’ve done both, and whereas the busy activities become worn out, the everyday ordinary interactions between two or more people who know each other well enough should never do so. You reach the stage when you are just comfortable being in the same room or house, without a need to talk unless there’s something to talk about. This to me is more than enough, with no need or interest for constant or even occasional extra entertainment. I haven’t given up other areas of life though, I am aiming for a new stage I have almost no experience of, and one which I’ve always wanted to do. That of becoming a media personality. At least there’s no age limit of arriving on the scene, and I have enough potential time ahead not to fizzle out and die as soon as I make a mark. And unlike going to watch other celebrities, which we can nearly all do every day if we feel that way inclined, no one can ever choose to become a celebrity, it just happens if you push enough and are very lucky as well. So I would never dream of hoping in public for something I had no chance of getting, as I’ve already started this career this year, but none of the products have been released yet. But this is what I hope will replace my old role of witness with one of participant, the one on stage instead of in front of it. I have had a number of piano/organ related performances, with a bit of comedy often thrown in, but they are hard work and always both solo and tend to last a few hours. I did once (I completely overlooked this till now as it was unplanned) appear on the same bill as Jenny Éclair! Though I’ve been doing this since I was 12, every other performance was planned and normally for parties. This however I was in the audience, and Jenny and my friend’s cousin Simon were the main acts, along with Earl Okin, the musician. My friend’s sister was running it which is why I was there. At the interval I asked if they wanted me to play the piano, which I did, and then my friend came in and told me Earl Okin hadn’t turned up. I was already playing the piano (it was in a bar with a small stage in the middle) and said well if Simon lends me his keyboard I can sing a couple of rude songs (as Jenny Éclair’s act focused mainly on feminine hygiene I felt it was appropriate). He said go for it, at least we won’t have half a programme missing, so I proceeded to sing and play Ivor Bigun’s songs I’m a wanker, I’ve farted, and My brother’s got piles. It actually went down pretty well except for said friend’s mother who was so embarrassed she didn’t speak to me for six months. I presume Jenny had left already but I would be interested if she heard me!

So that was technically so far my finest vocal moment, equalled last year by appearing in the Big Brother final night shaking Jason’s hand. Everyone at the community centre recognised me and crowded round when I next walked in ‘You were on TV!’. The power of the media…But of course both such accidents (the big brother incident was a complete fluke as they decided to follow the housemates outside as they met the fans) will pale into insignificance if and when my proper appearance on TV (Sky anyhow) finally happens next year. If it leads to more, the new stage will be well under way, and one I’d dreamed about almost as long as I remember. In fact I dreamt about being in the BB house with Jon Tickle in 2003, and a few weeks later decided to drive up there on finals night to see if any of them would be milling around, and they were all in a party facing the main road with a huge patio door to watch them through. And yes, I did see JT and all the others, except I didn’t speak to them. But after getting knocked back for an eviction night the year after that I called their bluff a few weeks later by meeting four housemates and getting on telly without the ignominy of being herded into the enclosure with about 1000 people for a few hours with apparently no toilet facilities, and would probably have been left with the equivalent of shell shock. Instead I saw far more housemates into the bargain as you only see one on eviction night, and are very unlikely to meet them or get on TV unless you’re right at the front. But five seconds and silent is not to be my first and only media appearance. I want it to happen properly now, and will have to be patient and wait and see what happens in 2006. Meanwhile I’m still at stage zero, ie sod all!

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