I’m Not Dead

As the title says: I am not dead, yet in all honesty I wonder fucking why not. Obviously from my own observations I love myself too much for suicide to be a literal thing, it’s more of a deep dark wallowing feeling like how I imagine the Queen feels talking to Jeremy Corbyn.

I’ve betrayed the little promise to myself to write more perhaps because I’ve managed to, in a few cleverly placed fuck ups, dismantle my life again and again much to the dismay of my co-workers and friends. The highlight of my month was a very drunk ex coming into the bar where I work to call me a shit and chat up my manager to make me jealous. Unfortunately, the desired effect was lost as all I felt was confusion and a stress headache from all the to-and-fro I did from the sink to get her glasses of water. The general manager legitimately considered changing my name on the till to ‘Bastard’. Something I’m not sure what to feel about which perhaps indeed, makes me a bastard somehow.

In the last two weeks things have settled and I’ve started seeing someone who has thus far been perhaps the most stable human being I’ve been with. Although last night post a mutually disappointing sexual encounter I felt so much like a pissing puppy I quickly left much to her dismay and confusion by midnight.

People always say that sex isn’t the be all and end all but considering the highly integral part in pretty much everything in our lives sex plays, the unfortunate truth is that it is. From Bratz dolls with mini-skirts to pretty much Kevin Spacey, sex is in the forefront of the media circus that is humanity in 2018 – what an incredible fucking ‘covfefe’ right? Christ even the literal big cheese, Donald Trump, is embroiled in a scandal around sex; by all accounts on an entirely different level to the lack of any climax issue from my night, but it just helps the point. BBC News sent me a news alert on my phone to inform me that a porn star is suing the president because apparently, we live in a disturbing episode of South Park rather than the intelligent Orson Wells dystopia we all sort of didn’t wish for (but definitely did for the sake of the sheer fact we can all boast we’ve actually read anything by Orson Wells – I for one haven’t). It’s all fine though of course, Freud was about as disconnected from reality as Theresa May is from the youth vote so not to worry, blame the media not your weird relationship with your mother.

Aside from the internal screeching I’ve been experiencing for the past day the whole situation seems very arbitrary from an outsider’s perspective. This shit probably happens to millions of people every day and then they, like me, spend the next twenty-four hours wallowing in pyjamas, binge watching Hell’s Kitchen – it’s been updated on Netflix for anyone wondering. The most depressing thing though is that this normally comes to people having sex for the very first time or are in their mid-forties which means once again I’m coming across like an unfortunate Gen-Y not really adapting to the world outside of my AOL dial-up internet and Sabbutteo.

Fuck, I’ve become my dad. That’s it: time to take me off to the local for unnamed amber beer; confusing, ill-informed racist rants; all while wearing at least five-year-old polos. Obviously shoot me immediately after because it would be the kindest thing to do. It’d never be for me I can’t stomach racism, let alone amber beer.

I’m Not Dead


So, the new year has come and gone bringing the grim reminder that despite Jules Holland’s tacky festive buzz, things are still the same if not fucking worse. I can’t decide on if it’s the weather; my inability to make productive, meaningful decisions; or this weird caffeine-induced nausea I have from my relatively late-night coffee. This time last year I started watching The Good Wife on Netflix and right now as I type it’s playing on in the background making me once again wish I picked anything other than media production for a vocation. I blame Julianna Margulies’ dead eyes, in all honesty.

I have key things I need to resolve for this year, the first and primary priority is doing the coursework I was meant to start several weeks ago but alas, each time I go to open the study books I have the strange urge to tear my fucking eyes out, and impale the bloody empty sockets on the nibs of the new gel pens I bought from WHSmith’s for the new semester. It’s dangerous how much I’ve thought that hypothetical fantasy through although it’s refreshing to be different from fantasising over all the joy I would be revelling in the roads not taken over the past two years of university. Perhaps I should take my own advice that I gave to my housemate who a few weeks ago was in a rage over ketchup consumption: ‘jerk off and go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning if not with less self-respect’. I wonder how many wars have started in the world thanks to world leaders not taking that on board. Its fun to think we live on a planet where Bush declared war on Iraq because in some old dried up, hill-billy fashion he was just sexually frustrated. If not fun, at the very least sadly ironic and just another feather in the cap for toxic masculinity. Well not just toxic masculinity’s fault – maybe Margaret Thatcher, for example, just felt weird about getting intimate in No. 10 and decided to fuck the worker’s unions instead.

Christ, that was a tangent.

In other news, another sound resolution that I will definitely not take on board – or possibly even acknowledge in anyway outside of this piece – is to eat more vegetables because that incredibly cliché Jamie Oliver bullshit resolution is much more manageable than pressing matters. I don’t even know why I don’t eat more vegetables and I’m blaming all the vegan-bashing that I’ve been doing for the past year or so. I could go back to living off cabbage soup again and loose more weight that I desperately need as I slip out of David Tennant’s Doctor skinny and into the zones of an early-two-thousands Victoria Beckham. The M&S steak habit is becoming decadent, after all.

Two resolutions are enough, right? Fuck it, it’ll be fine and no one needs to be told what to do by an arbitrary date invented by Romans. That perhaps is another nugget in this weird ramble that should be taken on board more by people for self-improvement in the ever-arbitrary new year. Damn, I’m quite impressive with this sort of thing when I stop talking about myself.

Holy shit, I’m a narcissist – resolution three: don’t do that in 2018.



The amount of work I’ve suddenly had to do has made me turn to writing for a little procrastination. The deadlines coming up, the endless barrage of shifts serving drinks to terrible people and most recently – and most unexpectedly – romance coming at me from all sides. I’ve got a to-do list bigger than the Brexit bill and my way of dealing with it so far has been as improvisational and as random as David Davis’ negotiation style.

Maybe it’s just an inadvertent play act of Californication where I, in this strange moment, am Hank Moody, ‘drowning in a sea of pointless pussy’ much to the dismay and disgust of myself and peers. A massive exaggeration perhaps with that quote yet it’s the only way to describe it. Perhaps the solution is a case of pick someone or none of them and learn to love them or the decision. Being alone or without company for a long time develops a strange status quo and now this peaceful lake has a great big fucking turd floating across its waters. All options lead to compromise and as Hank Moody would attest to, quite simply, the word ‘fuck’. Like David Davis, I’m going to make it all up as I go along and when it turns out shit yet bearable or simply bearable, I’ll climb to atop Clifford’s Tower and proclaim: ‘aha! This was my plan all along’ and hope it sounds convincing, at least for myself.

It’s so draining, the lot of it. The long nights at the bar; the fun yet ultimately expensive nights out and, work – the actual reason I came to university in the first place. Is this just what to expect at second year of university? A delicate act of keeping a torrent of shit at bay with a flimsy umbrella made from the skin off your back, all the while shouting, ‘this is fine, it’s all fine, I’m fine’. Or is that just life itself rather than simply university? It doesn’t help that every project that we seem to create – if you can call what we do on this course creating – ends up like The Room and without all the charm of The Disaster Artist. Professional dissatisfaction behind the bar and camera, and then again in the romantic life. Fuck, not even twenty and I’m crashing against the ceiling that my dad is hitting now at forty-five.

Time is the enemy now more than ever as there’s never enough of it, not enough for sleep or half decent decision making. I keep finding myself saying to people that I’m surprised there hasn’t been more investment into time travel research; like pull your fucking finger out, Elon Musk, I need at least a week to work out what I’d prefer to spend my time around: a vegan fringe, stumpy thumbs or a Geordie accent. A sentiment that probably makes no sense whatsoever to anyone existing outside the soap opera of my life right now, but strangely despite the even more strange context of this clusterfuck, the wind is blowing towards the vegan fringe.

In any case: I need to drop a memo to Elon Musk, I hear he’s quite responsive on Twitter.


Catching Up/Shark Bait

The last few weeks have perhaps been the busiest in a long time. Which, to be honest, isn’t saying much considering that in the last month I’ve seemed to have lived more life than I have in a year. At long last, I got a job: bartending at a dive bar in York. While it is perhaps not the best place for someone with an already very limited faith in humanity and an addictive personality to boot, it’s been surprisingly one of the best things I’ve done. So far being the ‘Shark Bait’, I’ve been referenced to as the ‘otter’ and as of yet, I can’t seem to work out if it’s in reference to my love of smooth pebbles – if it is, I have no idea how my work mates would know about it – or, it’s just I’m too short and skinny to be a bear.

It’s going rather well, as a way to meet new people, learn how to make drinks and most importantly, get out of the fucking house. That last part is becoming a problem considering tonight and the last are the first two where I have been absent from the bar since I started working there, on or off shift. A part of me feels like it’s a rite of passage for everyone who works at a bar to become a little addicted to the atmosphere or at least any place where you enjoy working. As someone who has only ever been a prefect or a pot-washer for six weeks, its strangely refreshing, terrifying and brilliant. It seems that every shift is like a slide at a water park: lots of build up; an uneasy gut before the rush; bemused life guards who know what you’re in for and then, wham. A torrent of drunk customers needing ID checks, cocktails, jaeger-bombs and a quick exit to throw up.  One thing is for sure: there are a lot of absolute wanker customers.

I took a break from the action last week and took a day trip to Leeds which I was told was the heart of sophisticated Yorkshire and I know now, to never trust a single lying word that comes out of that person’s mouth again. Despite the grandeur of the metropolitan city; the bustle reinforced by the difficulty getting an Uber to the station; and the endless fucking Starbucks outlets, the Wagamamas there does a real shitty job of a teriyaki soba. I’ve spoken about greener grass before and how in fact there is no such thing as greener grass and it’s all a self-serving fallacy, something wholly reinforced by how disillusioned I was with the place. While my friends claim that ‘it’s the best for a night out’, I don’t think you can beat a familiar gin and tonic in the bar you work at with people you can actually talk to.

While I have been busy and am set to be busier with university work, I hope to get more involved in writing. Every day that has passed and I haven’t exposed my whiny bullshit to the world, I feel like a bad Catholic guiltily glancing at the confessional booth. Which ironically, as an agnostic in a spiritual if not Catholic family, hopping from one existential crisis to the next, is exactly me. On the positive, the time I no longer have is being filled by actual real life not just festering in my room getting angry at things I have no control over.  Still, I can’t pull a good pint to save my life – all froth no ale. Also, did I just coin a new idiom? I’ll be throwing that one about the bar that’s for sure.

‘Shark Bait’ for the win.

Catching Up/Shark Bait


I’ve returned to York which, while something not wholly interesting, is a personal standout for me considering the strange conclusion that I’ve come to revolving around one word: home. I was walking just last night through the mish-mash of medieval architecture, and overtly pretentious restaurants and realised that it’s for me. Despite the fucking hipsters and old people fighting for dominance on the high street, I’ve come to see it as my patch. It’s also a self-declaration that that last thing I want to do, is go back to my old world that Nigel Farage lovingly donned a slum. He was making a comment in particular about the EU migrant influx but if you ignore that context and look at the large city and the entirety of its population, he’s not far off right.

On the down side, my new housemates just accosted me in the living room, demanding I pay money towards a sound bar that I didn’t want or need. The bastards woke me up this morning as they played ‘Misty Mountains’ from The Hobbit on full blast. While I may be living with a bunch of fucking nerds making me continue to consider my connection to reality as whole, the realisation of stability is weirdly comforting.

Recently, I’ve been writing less considering I tend to only write when something has really irritated me or somewhat given me pause to think about how while things are good, something is irritating me. Maybe they’ll come a time where my passion for ranting and aversion to healthy clinical therapy will fade away like tacky shot transition in the Star Wars prequels.

And just like that, the dream is shattered.

There’s an abundance of noise from downstairs. My housemate is doing impressions with a bike helmet. I miss the days of loneliness when no one was here for six weeks and the house was silent and I wasn’t bitched at about paying a tenner for an unwanted sound bar. While it may have been a fucking deal down from two-hundred pounds to sixty, Irritating Flatmate No. 4, it was still sixty fucking pounds! When we all signed the contract, it was decided the house would function on consensus and now I feel more left out than a quadriplegic at Go Ape.

I, like many, am hopeful that things won’t get any worse yet remain realistic about lack of improvement. The dream of a tranquil home is shattered and as I type someone I banging on my door and shouting: ‘you’re quiet, are you dead?’. Fuck me.



A few weeks ago, I was writing about how much I missed old friends and that we are like a family. Today, after spending only a few days with them, I want to tear my eyes out like Sam Neill in Event Horizon. People in general should avoid making purposefully stupid decisions and also avoid people they don’t trust enough not to stop and think like The Office’s Dwight Schrute, ‘would an idiot do that?’ and ‘not do that thing’. It’s just another stark reminder to me and should be to everyone else, that the things that used to bother us at school will be the same at university and those at university will be the same later in life. Rose tinted glasses of nostalgia only go so far to hiding the fact that your friend is a complete liability when drunk or that another needs more attention than a Tamagotchi or will die as such.

Life’s too short for people to change.

That’s the truth. It’s a double-edged sword since we all don’t have the time to waste in our tiny lives, so little to make room for actual fucking character development only possible through sudden and unexpected dilemmas that were unbelievable even in Lost. It’s the cancerous little optimist in me, being choked on the smog of the reality of human nature, that always expects to be surprised when I come home for a few days. I always assume that I won’t notice the utter bollocks that’s thrown at me or if I do, I’ll be able to dodge it with an unwavering false smile – I was never a very good actor in the first place. My own unwillingness to change and accept is perhaps a perfect example of my point.

In York, I’m becoming sick of people the same way I was sick of the people here and it’s almost as if my own unrealistic expectations of what makes a half-way decent human being are far too high. They probably are as perhaps it’s a case of personal neuroticism that makes me so wishy-washy towards people. I fully understand anyone to has searched for pastures new and ended up in the same place they were before like demented infinity loop. It’s a daunting and horrible feeling in the gut because it makes me wonder, what if there isn’t a place I like with people I like? It’s the disconnection from the rest of the world that is a wholly lonely feeling.

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of a connected Earth is accidentally alienating further the disconnected. Life without internet in 2017 is an inconvenience at best and isn’t that the perfect metaphor for connectivity to a human being? Boiled down to clicking ‘like’ on a mildly funny Facebook post. Is the lack of a ‘dislike’ button more telling than the presence of a ‘like’? Maybe if we did have one, our self-destructive nature would see the ‘dislike’ turned into a declaration of war and those community notice boards on Facebook would turn into battlegrounds. Would poppies bloom from our screens out of the ruined soils of the digital no-mans-land?

That was possibly a bit of a tangent but the point still stands. Is it those who see people for who they really are the ones who end up alone? I for one don’t buy into the hopeful modern-day morality plays that Hollywood keeps pumping out. In our limited existences change is totally futile because the changes we make to ourselves or hope others will make have such an equally limited effect on the landscape of our own history, hell, even human history. Let’s all through away that totally misleading optimist in us and all that hope that leads to nothing but disappointment and subsequent frustration in people. We should all be able to stand up, and firmly say with confidence and absolution to those unchanging people: ‘you guys are fucking annoying’.



For the past few days I’ve been entertaining family who stayed here in York. Out of that time, the stand out moment was when a taxi driver expressed his dismay at another driver not moving when the traffic light turned green. His words were ‘you couldn’t make it up’, ‘you couldn’t write this’, ‘this is something absolutely unbelievable’ and my personal favourite, ‘from being a taxi driver for twenty years, I’m still stunned at how incredible drivers can be’. My take-away from his apparent level of shock was: Christ, you must have a really boring fucking life.

It was depressing it really was and that became so ‘incredible’ that I forgot about the initial annoyance I felt from having to wait for the driver in front to move. Moments like that remind me of why I came to university in the first place. It wasn’t to get a meaningful degree or to make some kind of impassioned difference in the world, it was to make sure that I had somewhere to go that wasn’t working a similar nine-to-five where some prick driver becomes something ‘you couldn’t write’. I’m up to my neck in debt and I think it’s a fair trade off because otherwise I’d be stuck in a dead-end town that Nigel Farage called a slum, working with my mother and step-father in a regional based vending machine company – quite possibly coming home every day complaining about how much of a bitch Carol is like they have for fifteen years.

I haven’t been writing as much as I would have liked recently perhaps waiting for some sort of inspiration without realising that I always have something to write about. That being every time I walk down the street, sit down in lecture, hell, buy an overpriced hot chocolate from Costa, I’m reminded that I’m not back home. It’s not being stuck in a purgatory made normality. Understandably, it makes me sound like a prick with a superiority complex the size of the US national deficit, but is that not the whole point of ambition whether it be to win The Apprentice or just to be able to live a life of one’s own choosing?

My mother keeps telling me to remember where I come from like every other clichéd escapist story who has left home to find pastures new. Yet I like every other cliché will be eating my words the day the debt accumulated by that ambition will land me in a nine-to-five. To be fair, from what I hear, Carol is a massive pain in the arse.