January, almost done.
A twelfth of the year, gone Keyser Söze.
My 2023 has got to slow up, but just doesn’t want to. I drink my celeriac sea-salt smoothie and feel grateful. At one with the universe on this tiny spinning rock. My screen-time is down to eight hours. I can breath-hold for 35 seconds. New Year’s Resolutions? For me.
Can you fix what isn’t broken.
I ditch my time-keeping devices.
Time is illusory, the position of the sun dictates my days. I wake when I feel, stay up all night when inspiration calls. My muse can’t keep her hands off me, the channel is open like never before, heaven is a playground and my creative mind is frisky. Some ideas are wacky, too wacky, I can’t get them down, what would people think. Lol. People tell me I’ve changed, they look worried, talk about a ‘new me’. I’ve always been like this.
Just never believed the hype.
Life begins at 40.
I’m 39. A mix of wisdom and childlike playfulness floods through me. 2023, The year of emptying out. Fill your cup to the brim and it will spill, says the daily stoic reminder on my phone. Nice. I take a carefully filled glass of chilled VOSS and sink into my meditation app.
Meditation clears the mind, sure. But I like to spend it thinking about what people think of me. In that restful state I go over past ancedotes, brunches, jokes that landed, being the funny guy is well and good but I must give others space to bloom. I finish my shower with 3.5 seconds of cold water. Every cell in my body explodes with heamoglobin.
The codeine from the co-codamol gets to work. We all have our peccadillos. Perception, reality, who cares. I feel fantastic. This is what my favourite thinker Sam Harris calls ‘wellbeing’. My haiku sharing circle is this evening, they’re not the brightest bunch but I like to inspire them with my offerings.
The leaves in Kyoto sway/cherry blossom all around/in the air pink heaven
I can’t stop reading.
My book seller in Frisco knows my tastes and sends bundles across the pond. Wall deco. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing like the feel of recycled Oregon ash between my fingers, but where’s the 4x speed button on Donna Tartt when you need a decaf ristretto takeout. If you have time to sit with a book these days what the hell even is your life. Some novice gives me the wrong coffee and I lose my shit. What part of quadruple do you not understand, I shout in his face.
Out in the street, it’s epiphany time. Wardrobe makeover. I wonder what shade of aquamarine to buy new clothes in. Uniformity is confidence. Don’t look outside yourself, the answer lies within, pings my app on eastern wisdom. I look to the sky and muse. Should I go inside, I think to myself. I think so. It’s freezing.
This year is about perfecting simplicity. Every day the same lunch. Kale, pine nuts, tumeric oil, can of kombucha. On Wednesdays and Fridays I’ll eat a baklava, I like the Turkish culture but more than anything I’m a fan of supporting local business. It gives me bad wind, must be my chakras clearing.
Back to the grind.
I got into tech last year, ventures came to nothing. Crypto too unstable. Lots of avenues, no dice. I met some really good people. This year, I’m focusing on writing. Self-expression, thought-pieces, confessionals, that sweet spot between the share and the overshare. The power of the written word. Start your own pod! someone implores me. I’m looking into home studio options. They say the market is saturated but come on, not all voices need to be heard.
Being a writer means 30 minutes of concentrated work daily. Any more and I lose momentum. YouTube tutorials on procrastination help the focus. The algorithms really know me by now, the ads are up my street. I buy a blender.
Music is a constant backdrop. I can’t live without tunes so I’m always on the hunt. I’m getting into classical, feel myself responding to the subtlest melodies. The best of Beethoven is a touch. In need of new methods of self-expression I spend the afternoon researching the jazz-keyboard.
Some days I get angry, so angry I don’t know what to do. I sit in it, seething, feel myself sinking deeper. I rage, I want to break something. The littlest things make me explode. I’ve upped my co-codamol. The doctor says he can’t keep prescribing so I’ve started steaming. It helps sometimes. The feeling of the cold plunge after a long session, namaste.
Where to start.
Five in the mixer. None of them text. Game-players. I’ll play any game you like. I can’t blame them. I’m intimidating, I’ve been told. Everyone has baggage, mine is reputation. Quick to laugh. Sensitive. Firm. An ‘intellect’. I’d intimidate me. But I’m 4th wave, don’t believe in men making the first move. They’ll come calling.
Maybe I aim lower, spread the love. Equality of opportunity. Three nights a week I arouse myself without climax. No destination more sweet than the journey. On Thursdays I take a zoom-class on boiling pasta. 10 weeks to professional al-dente. Gio from Bracknell is impossible to understand. At night I eat the pasta from the pan with oil and pepper. I’m getting good.
I almost call my mother, but don’t.
I watch a nature doc and scroll.
The fucking thermostat is playing up.
Every morning I wake up sodden.
I need new skies. Mull over a long weekend in Tokyo, the canalside of Nakameguro, mochi, the steam rising in the cold air of the morning. But I’m off the gram now, what’s the point. You can’t go on a trip like that and not share it with friends and fam. Letting people into your way of seeing the world, your reality. I do miss checking in sometimes, the likes, comments, that feeling of connection. I haven’t seen most of them in years.
What if I just go. I laugh off the idea. Would be lonely, self-indulgent even.
A click away from reactivating, something stops me.
How can they move on, seeing me living my best life, day in day out. I think about them thinking of me, heavy-heartedly. I want my exes to heal. What’s the saying. If they love you, set them free. Something like that.
What was it she said when she left. I needed to change. Never explained herself. Aren’t I the ‘new me’, the one my friends rave about with a look on their face I can’t quite place. I think about reaching out. But that ship has sailed, reached a new harbour. I search my drawers. Spend the night scouring London for late night chemists. My dealer gives me some garbage. I send him abusive messages into the early hours, delete his number. I heave in bed in sweats, awful dreams.
2023, the world it keeps on spinning.
It’s Friday night, 27th. Dry Jan, not for me. You do you, guys. If you need a month not drinking maybe you’re the dry one lol. Seriously though, an entire month off the sauce might mean there are problems you’re not admitting to. Rich & Smooth or Round & Plummy.
I want to float away in the pages of Donna Tartt, but my wifi is down. I want to smash it, but channel Shiva and Krishna. Deep breath. Feels like progress. My journal beckons to me from the table top. Why not. I fish it out, mull over a couple of lines, musings. I read over my most recent entry, from 2015.
You’re on the right track. Peace! X
We really do change, or do we. We stay the same. Two days before, my eastern wisdom app sends me a vid. Some old Indian guy, Krishnamurti. Nice name bro. It’s the answer I’ve been looking for. It fills me up. I am on the right track. Maybe we don’t change so much after all.
It’s only when the cup is empty that it can be filled. Only when the mind and heart are totally empty, then it can comprehend, then it can live. To be so completely empty, is the highest form of intelligence, the highest form of love.
Steady on mate. I have to agree though.
Speaking from experience, that’s me. Emptying out.
2023. Closing in on 40, never felt so empty. Not like this.