Is the Midlife Crisis in crisis?

A light-hearted post from the only friend I have who shares both my love of 80’s music (though he hates the term – sorry, Tom) and my devotion to P.G. Wodehouse – this is an entertaining little piece of writing, most welcome after the horrific start to our week here in the UK

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

During a recent radio interview promoting my debut novel (cue: promotion alert klaxon), I was asked about the Life Assistance Agency’s theme of longevity. That, and the advisability of driving to the Antarctic in a family car, which is certainly one way to achieve a never-ending car journey to plant a flag.

It has been a long-burning ambition of humankind to live forever, but humans have also been responsible for Smell-o-Vision, and Clippy, the MS Word Office assistant who offered even less useful assistance than the Life Assistance Agency, and only ever helped by minimising itself, so just because there’s been an idea doesn’t necessarily make it a good one.

I was being interviewed on BBC Radio Drive Time again, and I now question discussing the inadvisability of eternal life, due to it resulting in watching all the people you love age while you don’t. However, I fear they are still winching cars from hedges throughout…

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Books


Shame you were busy
Sweetie
Though
I went to a masquerade
Ball
Plied my trade
As a medieval whore
Behind the doors
Of a gloomy castle
Received a rose
From a lovable rascal
Lived, breathed, loved
Not a minute was lost
I only wish your lunchtime
Had been as exciting as mine
You were keeping the books
While I dived straight into one
No need to ask
Which one of us missed out

We

Sun in the sea

The sun dips into the sea, making it blaze while the waves, amazed, shyly retreat.

I’m the only witness to this explosive orgy of flames as you’re standing behind me with your arms around my waist and your face buried in my tangled hair.

For that one brief moment, as you inhale deeply with your eyes closed and I attempt to fully grasp this extraordinary spectacle, we are one and the same — fierce, invincible, we are the guardians of the Galaxy.

Fury

image

It is folly to assume
A pure heart humming gentle tunes
Cannot embrace darkness
’tis a mistake to confuse
Kindness with weakness
Should my anger be roused
I will strike terror into the very fibers of your being
Feed ravenously on your tears
Before
Making you feel the full measure of my wrath
My hand shall not tremble
My resolve will not crumble
With the stars in my arsenal
The stormy skies at my disposal
I shall smite
The cowards
With Thor’s mighty hammer
And the strength of my ancestors
Guiding my hand
Deliver
Murderous blows—
Underneath the gaze of statues made of stone—
Set your remains on fire
Watch them burn
Inhale the smoke
Coming off the charred bones
Lips stained scarlet
The taste of blood in my mouth
I’ll spread dread
A plague of despair
Devastation on such a scale
Even vultures will flee
The desolate fields
Visited by my fury
Future generations
Might try
To sow a million seeds
That will die in a ground henceforth sterile
Nothing shall ever grow
Because let it be known
I shall always be victorious
And reign above the ruins of my enemies

La différence


You called me Marie Antoinette
in (pretend) jest
Knowing full well she wasn’t even French
You took aim, sipping Earl Grey
I loaded my pistol with clever quips and intellect
You replied with British wit, threw Maugham in my face
Quoted William Blake
Defied me with Oscar Wilde
Meanwhile
I had Voltaire, Molière and Baudelaire
You decried our catholic habits
I riposted with a line on heretics
It got worse – a sick thirst for the absurd
Propelling some kind of makeshift hearse

Nothing is as sordid as a Republic

I am disgusted by your monarchy

’twas a war between two countries
Like most wars, of course unnecessary

This battle with no soldiers and two generals could not end well

On a morning bathed in silvery light, the frost invaded the forest and a passing stag raised its head, aware of the taste of death in the air

You shot one last time, for real at last
I was hit through the heart
I fell draped in my flag
A tragic Marianne
Blood spreading on my chest
Staining my Coco Chanel
Taking on the shape
Of red poisonous flowers – the stuff of Lovecraft Nightmares

The sky suddenly burst open and it rained champagne
Like it should have on Hugo’s barricades
When Gavroche gave his last breath among other Miserables
With a song on his lips and without complaint
Never let it be said
The French are in any way mundane
We even die with a fanfare
And you, executer and witness
You covered me with your Burberry trench – must have been quite a wrench
Your British anguish
On realising how foolish
You’d been
Was nothing less than extraordinary
Unfortunately it was too late
La différence could no longer be embraced

Things people always say to Writers.

Great piece by my brilliant friend Tom

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

It was recently said I look like a writer, which I tried to pretend wasn’t shorthand for appearing socially inept, malnourished and skint. They then asked me what genre my novel is.

It’s a regular question, and in light of people invariably asking the same things upon hearing that you are a writer, it would be a good idea to have well-prepared answers, which makes my lack of them even more inexplicable.

The most common is, ‘Are you published?” like it’s something that inevitable happens to every writer. Of course you want to grab them by the lapels and scream ‘D’you have any fucking idea how hard it is to get published?’ It’s not something you choose as an option at A-level . If I was published I would be (even more) unbearable, and you’d not be able to enter my house due to piles of unsold copies of the novel…

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Malaise


This is me yesterday: bleary-eyed (hence the sunglasses) suffering from a bad case of ‘the morning after the night before’ as I spent Saturday evening in the pub. I was on my way out of the house to go and vote in the first round of the French presidential elections. I may not live in France anymore but I still love my country fiercely and I very much care what happens to it. There is no question that I should do my duty even from abroad and go cast my vote.

And yet, for the first time in my adult life, there wasn’t a single candidate I identified with. I had to make a tactical choice and vote for the person I thought had the best chance to keep Le Pen away from the presidency, because she is a real menace. It was predicted she would get to the second round of the elections but her chances depended on who would join her there.

Should she win, heaven forbid, I will slap (hard) the first idiot who comes up to me to inform me that the French are obviously a bunch of fascists. Because should she win, it would be thanks to a wave of protest votes against politicians and politics, just like it was with Trump in the US.

Liberals are dismissing people’s concerns, political correctness is breeding resentment, so people are turning to the one misfit who makes loud (false) claims to be different from other politicians – the one who actually addresses (seemingly sincerely) the issues they care about. I can understand that, I used to be a socialist in France until they started patronising the working class on a grand scale. It’s one thing being fucked by the conservatives if you’re working class, you expect it. But when it’s the party that is supposed to be championing your rights doing it, it is that much harder to take.

The problem is that people who vote for a Trump or a Le Pen don’t realise that those would-be leaders are actually insane. And you don’t put insane people in charge of a country. You just don’t, no matter how angry you are and how disenfranchised you feel.
And yet people are doing just that: voting for dangerous lunatics who should be under the constant care of a good psychiatrist.

Where is good old common sense? It’s lacking from our current society and nowhere is it more felt than in the political field. I, along with too many others, am disillusioned – I would rather stick pins in my eyes than vote for a Trump or a Le Pen though.

At the time of writing, the results in France have given us Macron and Le Pen in the second round. I think it’s safe to say she hasn’t got a hope in hell of winning now, everyone will rally round Macron. Still, I have no faith in him like I had no faith in any of the other candidates; this political malaise is real – even if we escape the dreaded Le Pen peril, there’s just nobody to believe in.
I can’t help but ask myself if this what the climate feels like when a revolution is brewing.

Casualties

You are finally mine,

the tip of my tongue traces the fine lines in the corner of your eyes

you grab my face, pulling me closer,

you pulse inside me while white flashes make the room fade in and out

as waves of pleasure roll through me like the sea surging forward,

pausing

holding perfectly still for an exquisite second

and withdrawing

before starting all over again, repeating its infinite journey

Yes, the beast has been released, clawing and biting,

rendered mad by the prolonged waiting –

it won’t be satiated until we fall on the field exhausted –

and then it will be said that lust has claimed its casualties.

Fantasy

Your face is hovering on the edge of my day, steadily driving out all coherent thoughts from my brain.
Night descends and you become a distant galaxy stretched across the sky, pulling me in with the intensity and insanity of a forest fire devouring everything in its path without regard for maps and lines drawn by man.
The dark swallows me whole, no pinpricks of light in the tight fabric of life, just this ferocious lust, the torture of my flesh moving, undulating under your faraway hands, I try but fail to catch my breath as you touch me, and I ignite like dry kindling despite the rivulets running down my legs. I can’t breathe and yet my fingers rake through your hair and my nails engrave deranged poems on your skin, you move inside me, stealthily at first, just as I like it, before gaining strength and speed and I scream into empty space, my throat raw, the primal sounds getting lost in the caves of the Stone Age.
All of this, a wild fantasy we’ve built, one which has coloured too many days not to become reality.
As Spring begins-how fitting- real sex and nothing else, because you and I have the same flames running through our veins and once I’ve tasted every bit of you, and not before then, the world can exercise its privilege to fucking go to hell.

Betrayed


This is the story of a man who took a fancy to a vase made of delicate and fragile porcelain

He was asked not to handle it unless he understood how precious it was, how rare—

this wasn’t a job lot out of a rubbish factory, it had been crafted with love & care

Someone else, the man was told, had been thoughtless, even cruel, and had let the vase fall

It had not shattered but some pieces got broken and scattered all over the floor

It had to be put back together—long and tedious work of many hours

But eventually, it was as beautiful as it had ever been

The man listened to this story

Of past abuse and said he was so sorry to hear it

That he wanted the vase very badly

The man made many promises

The man oozed sincerity,

It seemed he could be trusted

And yet, after just a day, the precious vase he dropped and betrayed

And for the sake of a childish boast, he made public this betrayal

The vase, faced with this further disrespect crumbled a little more

Before it got angry-but resourceful-and called on the spirits of wizards and witches of old

Who fixed the vase in a second and turned the traitor man into a toad

Like all stories, there is a moral here of sorts

Very few men are able to appreciate and take care of precious porcelain

No matter what they fucking claim

It is safer to hide all valuables behind locked doors

*This was written a few hours ago (very quickly and it’s as subtle as Trump’s orange hue, I know) on my way to a date. And yes, I was wearing a kickass leather dress, for those of you who appreciate such details*