I want you to dispense with any good mood you may have had, and try to think about the people who annoy you most in your day-to-day life. For my own example, I’m frequently aggravated to the point of gnashing and grinding of teeth on the bus when I share a deck with this guy who phones other people all the time, and I do mean all the time. I’m serious, this cllown must go through his contacts list, whoever was idiotic enough to give their number to him anyway.
I could almost handle it if the conversations had any juice in them at all – I love to eavesdrop on recently released criminals who I also share a bus with, because when they’re talking about peope getting filled in with hacksaws then you cannot help but take notice. But this telephonic bete noire of mine just talks athe most mundane rubbish about his day to anybody. It’s not like he’s a doddery old fool either, he can’t be that much older than me – and before you laugh, I ain’t doddery, not yet, actually, what was the question again?
No psychiatrist has ever managed to catch me and pin me to their long sofa yet, and if I valued my continued liberty to live outside of an asylum that I’d better keep it that way. I will give you one psychological nugget (surprisingly _not_ the best type of nugget) though, not because I’m terribly arrogant enough to believe you really care, but just to give the police a bit of a clue if ever I’m wanted for murder – I am introverted to an incredible degree.
Anyone with any level of introversion will recognise at once the idea of recharging after social interactions. Being introverted doesn’t mean you have to be a shrinking wallflower, a strong silent type or even, God forbid, a boring prat. You can be the life and soul of the party if you like, but you better believe you’ll need that recharge period, that blessed bit of alone time when it comes.
Unfortunately it’s true what they say, you know – one day you become a little bit tired and you never recover from it. It seems to happen in and around the time when you know you won’t be able to do the long nights out anymore. Your bones finally creak in protest, your brain refuses to go at full power, and every muscle in your body is saying no, that’s your lot, we’ve had enough. Your body has gone on fatigue strike.
I can’t have been too surprised about it. I see sleep as some sort of effrontery against me, a challenge that I need to overcome. Unprofitable, uncreative hours spend doing nothing, in bed? I’ll save them for the hangover, but each and every day, no thank you. So I might only have 5 hours of sleep, 4 on a schoolnight. Perhaps predictably, this has given me suitcases under my eyes, a ski slope forehead, bundles of grey hair and the realisation that I’m never going to get back to 100% condition again. Christ, I’m 30 and I’m knackered.
So how do you know when you’re old? You could go off physical signs, but they can be misleading. After all, unexplained pains in muscle and joints? I’ve had them all my life, or at least since I turned 18. It tends to happen to me only after nights out, which only adds to the mystery. But in reality, although I read about people turning 30 and suddenly getting all kinds of aches and pains, I just have to wonder how decrepit they are. Having grey hair is another obvious symbol of elderhood, but again, I’ve confounded follicle science by having greys since I was 15 [link to starwing?] and you could never accuse me of being 16 going on 60, could you?
My last stint at running a city went rather badly. I cared little for the opinion polls, which were grossly misinformed. The pollution and crime were natural by-products of a bustling, modern city. You never hear people criticising Las Vegas do you? My decision to genocide my townsfolk is what really did for me. After having been tried and very nearly convicted of crimes against humanity, it was decided that I would avoid 1,008 years in prison if I promised to never run a town of people ever again.
I needed some group to bully in order to fill my days though, so I took the midnight train towards Cunnyton, a hopeless little berg located far away from human civilisation. So far away in fact that I’d be the only human sod there, a fact brought home to me by the strange cat who began Gestapo questioning me on the train. I swiftly informed him that I was the only totalitarian around here and that he should watch himself. Never saw him again.
I have to wonder what it’s like for those famous people who have completely outgrown their friend group on their way to greatness. It’s happened to me a lot, actually. That is, people around me go on to find success and meanwhile I’m still finding farts funny, especially when I wake myself up with them.
There must be some dreadfully awkward scenarios where the superstar get temporarily embarrassed; after having been whisked away into the world of fame and fortune, they suddenly have to re-face their old childhood. Take noted treacherous Sassenach Graham Norton for example, he’s actually from the same neck of the woods as me, but he’d never tell you this himself of course.