Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Bard Of Semilong Goes Back To School

I'm applying to do the English degree I meant to do 28 years ago before I dropped out, driven by a vision of artistic purity & independence that left me doing a job I hated and living on nothing but the poison in my belly.

I don't want to waste the rest of my life doing things that murder my mind and ruin my general good will towards humanity, secretly loathing myself the whole time because I don't have the balls to get out. That's how I spent the last fifteen years (lol, as you kids say)(but I'm not really joking). Maybe I loved the job once but looking back through the journals I wrote throughout that time I struggle to find any evidence of it. In the last year, dragging myself out of bed in the mornings to go in and face the same old shit that I'd been facing year in/ year out since the mid-Nineties was getting to be pretty hard indeed, especially when my employer began harassing me about my health, and the home I worked in turned into a Stalinist hellhole where everybody was under the gun. I couldn't write, I couldn't meditate; I felt I had become a completely hollow man.

I'm out of that now, mercifully, but the dole won't pay me to sit around on my big bum writing just because I'm not in the peak of health anymore, unfortunately, though it was one of my scenarios for the future. And even if they would have done I'm not sure I'd want to go down there every week or every fortnight, however frequently they make you visit these days, and have to answer to some kid who doesn't know half of what I know (in the Raymond Carver sense) just to keep my freedom.

Freedom's just a different kind of slavery anyway, in my opinion. I've spent too much of my life refusing to take control of my own fate, just because I don't dare to dream (that sounds corny, but it's kind of right). Because I don't dare to try to be as big as I can be, in case I fail and have to accept I'm less marvellous than my arrogance wishes to believe.

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