I’m going to become famous today. I’m going to become famous or die trying.
It doesn’t matter how long you sit up for, the next morning will patiently sit and wait for you. Get there through sleep or through the caffeine sluiced tunnels of wide awake anxiety, it doesn’t care. It will sit and wait for you. And here it is. Unable to burrow my way back down into my dreams, the light edging the blinds, the schoolkids swearing and clattering past. The usual scenes of bachelor horror, a film noir tableau where the artfully shadowed cadaver is that of my hopes and dreams, dusted with dandruff and cigarette ash, biscuit wrappers, bent and ashy beer cans, shoes, pillows, an arm from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a few scrunched up tissues, their glutinous contents seeming to glow through the weave of the damp paper. The fifty inch TV had maybe not been such a wise purchase. It hadn’t motivated me. I had spent irretrievable hours lost in that blank, glassy expanse, jerking off to pornography where the genitals were bigger than my head, or drip feeding my soul to Netflix for an endless stream of distraction. But no more. Nobody had ever become famous through living like this. At one point in my life the constant squalor had seemed like a necessary trip through the suburbs of despair to a place where I could sit down and reminisce about it on a chatshow. Then it had become obvious that the train was going no further and I was going to be living in the station among the weeds and the piss forever. Or not. A spunk stained sock, a book about serial killers, a plate with a splodge of yellowing mayonnaise, crisp packets and scrunched up Rizlas, a swamp mist of stale weed smoke, still clinging to the carpet, the horrible, blasted Western Front of a wasted life, still here, day after day, crouching in the trench while the bombs burst all around. Day after day. Day after day. But not today. Today there would be no Pornhub, no Deadly Women, no drinking Kronenberg at 10am, no noodling around on the laptop reading 45 Amazing Facts about Django Unchained. Today was going to be different. I was going to start by having a spliff and then putting my socks in order. But first – to vocalise my intent. I posted a status update on FB that read : By the end of the day, I will be famous, Watch this space. Then I thought about if for a few seconds then edited it to read ‘By the end of the day, I will be famous – or dead. Watch this space. Then I chewed my lower lip and made a final change. ‘By the end of the day I will be famous – or dead. Or both. Watch this space.’
By the time I’d smoked half the spliff, people had started responding.
SALLY: Why would you want to be famous, Mr Murray? I can’t think of anything worse.
ME: I don’t know. I feel like I’m not where I should be in my life. Being rich and famous gives you more choices.
SALLY: Being rich maybe does – being famous probably means you have less choices in some way.
Oh, fuck off – I want to say, don’t burst my bubble. Do you know how often we’ve seen bubbles floating over the desolation and carnage recently? Don’t piss on my bonfire.
ME: I want some kind of recognition for something. I need to do something, I suppose, to be recognised for. I’m going to do something today.
SALLY: Not like a school shooting or something?
ME: No. That wouldn’t be ideal.
And somebody else.
JAKE: Uh oh. Are you losing the plot, dude?
At least he didn’t add “again”.
ME: No, dude. Just feeling a bit pissed off with myself. Too much time wasting recently.
JAKE: You need to get yourself a job, fella 🙂
That old chestnut.
JOANNE: You’re not about to go Columbine on us, are you?
ME: Haha. No. You’re the second person to ask that. I hope MI5 isn’t monitoring my emails 🙂
SALLY: I think a day’s not going to be long enough.
A job. I was looking for a job and then I found a job. I try to remember what I might have said to who about my current employment status. I’m pretty sure my mum thinks I’m working at the moment. Did I tell my sister what was going on? Jake – Jake obviously I told that I wasn’t working, And Sally knew about it all.
ME: I’ve been looking for work, dude – there’s not a lot about at the moment. Anyway, I’m not going to be famous working at McDonalds. Unless I get a job there and I DO go on a homicidal rampage.
SALLY: I always say that you should write a book. It would take longer than a day, though 🙂 X
JOANNE: Are you a bit wobbly at the moment?
ME: No more so than usual. But I’m nearly FIFTY, our kid!!! And I’ve done nothing with my life – and I was just looking at my shitty little flat this morning and I just thought, I’ve really had enough of this. Something has to change.
STACY: Hey love – give us a shout if you need a chat 🙂 XX
JAKE: It was only a matter of time 🙂
ME: What was?
JOANNE: Haha – fifty’s the new 40, our kid 🙂 And you’ve done lots of things with your life – you just need to find a proper job doing something you’re happy with.
And now I find myself drifting away from these pecked out conversations and into a Guardian article called ‘Inside the Mind of Donald Trump.’ I feel like I’m already living inside the mind of Donald Trump, where the only furniture is Leonard Cohen’s corpse and the world is on the brink of nuclear annihilation and I go to Youtube and watch a ten minute long film called Nuclear War’s Worse Case Scenario, then end up watching By Dawn’s Early Light on Youtube, then an episode of Black Mirror. I’m standing in my kitchen. It’s thick with smoke. There’s a bulging carrier bag full of rotting food and wrappers. There is rotting food in the fridge. Not a lot of anything in the cupboards. I’ve not had any appetite for a few weeks, so I haven’t bought much food, and what I have bought is probably decaying somewhere in this room while I put on the central heating and roll another doobie and press my arse up against the searing heat of the radiator.