Tuesday, 11 January 2011


You should never run for the bus. Care not about how long it might take for the next one to come along. Never overestimate your proximity to the fleeting tail end of the bus, the exhaust fumes getting sucked up by the gasping sacs of air you call your lungs. (And for the love of God) Don't let the rain tempt you. The rain is your enemy. Why do you think it rains anyway? Yes, I know, they're God's tears and everything, but also mainly because rain knows how hysterically vain peoplekind is when water hits its collective assortment of curtains, crops, cornrolls, comb-overs, fauxhawks, mohawks, mullets and moptops and buzz cuts, bowl cuts, bouffants and blowouts. Running for the bus can only end in ignominious fashion, the bus(tard) having acknowledged the effort you made to meet him driving off into the rainset leaving you with nothing but an audience who dutifully provide the muffled sniggers as you once more faceplant into smog as the bus(tard) exhausts the last farts from its cantankerous pipes.

So the other day, I ran for the bus. I was on the phone (to my friend Simon who is telling me the Arsenal score from earlier that day, a 1-1 draw at home to Leeds, a team we should be comfortably smashing) so I kinda styled it out by continuing my run down the road so I looked less like 'man-who-has-missed-the-bus-ignominiously-even-though-he-himself-knows-that-you-never-run-for-the-bus' and more like I was just 'man-who-had-received-some-really-good-news-maybe-like-his-girlfriend-is-pregnant-or-something-and-he's-just-running-down-the-road-because-that's-what-you-do-when-you-get-really-good-news'. I'm still winning because the bus got stopped by the lights about ten seconds later. I went up to the door where there was a super-swell gal sat in the driving seat. I gave her The Eyes and not The Eye, but The Eyes. These were the pleading eyes of a spasmodic Italian midfield general insisting to the referee through hand gesticulations that he 'got the ball'. The super-swell bus lady lets me on, hence the super-swell nickname. As I went to get off the bus, I went back up to the window to once again express gratitude at her super-swell kindness (and let's face it, common sense) for having allowed me to board the bus at an illegal boarding point, walked round the front to cross the road when I was halfway across before a Vespa tickled my toes as it whistled past my face, tooting as it went. I had just had a brush with death. I was ashamed I had been complacent merely one and a half days since my great Epiphany.

One and a half days ago, I had a great Epiphany. I'm 25 years old. I'm in my mid-twenties now. I'm no longer my father's son. I'm my own man now. I live in my own flat, where I eat my own food, smoke my own weed and masturbate naked in my own front room. I'm not a child anymore. I've got to stop planning my future and instead try to live my present. Most people my age worry about what they'd have acheived by the time they're 30. I'm a rock star, though. Morbid thoughts of my own immortality infiltrate my skyline and I think to myself, what if I got merked off the planet, dead, done, gone aged 27? That'd be pretty cool to go at 27, join the 27 Club and sit alongside such alumni as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Robert Johnson, Kurt Cobain, Jean Michel-Basquiat et al, but hold your horses, what if I did die at 27 and haven't acheived like these badmans have? I couldn't possibly be a proud member of the 27 Club and sit alongside such alumni. In order to reverse the status quo, I need to get my house in order. That gives me a year and a half to get my shit together.

Sure, this is a trite epiphany, the sort of epiphany that one comes to when someone close to them dies in a motorcycle accident. After a period of understandable grief, they then run about town declaring how the tragic death of the aforementioned dead one has made them realize that life is too short, a sentiment accompanied by a head tilted at two o'clock, hands clasped together and a furrowed brow. Of course it's a trite epiphany. However, to suggest that something is trite or cliched is a pejorative term to suggest that it is overused and therefore lacking its original impact. This can be easily explained as something that is good would tend to be overused and the issue of the lack of impact through repeated airplay can be explained simply through the law of diminishing returns. Most importantly, why would you overuse something shit?

Well, actually, loads of people overuse shit things. There is nothing wrong with the 'life is too short' bit; it's the 'and from now on in, I will live as if each day is my last'. That's the shit bit, because I reckon I can declare with a certain amount of certainty that no-one has ever lived each day as if it were their last. If you lived each day like it were your last, you'd be doing something much more important than reading this. And you certainly wouldn't get anything done. If it was your last day on earth, you'd do something silly, like withdraw all the monies out of your account and spend it on stuff you had always wanted to do and then you wake up tomorrow and you've got no house and no job and no girlfriend because you went on a monster coke bender and ended up in bed with a bevvy of bisexual lovelies. No, rather than live each day like it was your last, live your life as if all the minor decisions you make during a regular, ordinary day might be the last time you ever make that particular decision. Walk the road less travelled. Go off the beaten track. Get Ribena instead of Robinson's. No-one's going to make these decisions for you because no-one cares more about you than you. You came here alone, you leave here alone. I can't guarantee success. I can't guarantee happiness. But what I can guarantee is that if that Vespa mows me down two years from now and I'm in the departure lounge being interviewed by Davina McCall and it gets to the end of the interview and she shows me my Best Bits, I can rest knowing that I died trying. Being a rock star isn't just about shredding your Gibson SG til you got blisters on your fingers. It's about doing the stuff that everyone else is afraid to do. It's about doing the stuff you're afraid to do. It's about the endeavour for endeavour.