Part 133: Other People


Have you met any people recently? New ones you aren’t obliged to tolerate for a salary? What a fucking nightmare – especially when you consider their voices, their body hair and their alarming propensity to cause disappointment, upset and embarrassment. No. Seriously. When they aren’t out-and-arseholes hiding beneath a thin veneer of charm and generosity, other people are wearing fancy dress, or posting #tbt Instagram pics of themselves in novelty Christmas jumpers, or banging their empty glass on the bar to attract the bartender’s attention.

And on the rare occasions when they’re neither scumbags nor absolute dorks on whom you must use your most neutral body language in order to avoid inciting sex, they only serve to enable your own terrible personality flaws. Consider: if it wasn’t for other people I would never have thrown up over that old man’s legs, or punched my aunty in the face, or been rejected by my mate Rob, that time I told him I was in love with him, after I crashed his date with another girl.

I’m done with all the people and their neuroses and addictions and ceaseless adherence to troubling and oppressive conventions such as marriage and property investment and not telling each other to go fuck themselves more often. I’m done with pretending I understand about baffling cultural products such as Shakespeare and the Simpsons and Reggae Reggae Sauce.

Solitude is well under-rated. I cannot think of any activity which isn’t more pleasant alone, in your house, with a bowl of lukewarm spaghetti and the X-factor playing at a low volume in the background – and all the people far, far away where you can love them, without having their proximity interfere with the relationship. (Loving people from a distance is easy; it’s up close that’s difficult – when they’re right there where you can’t smudge out the bad bits. Right there with their breath and their chewed up fingernails and their faces that won’t stop getting older.)

Of course, I realise that other people are essential for providing things such as healthcare, good company and table service, and thus I tolerate them to a point. But they’re everywhere, all these people, scuttling sideways like hard-shelled crabs, implicating you in their tragic decisions left and right, telling you about their respect for humanity and how much they love their mum and then cheating on their girlfriend with a prostitute. I am too old now to put up with any bullshit whatsoever. And so I’m slowly weeding out the worst of the people I already know, in order to cultivate a manageable friendship garden pollinated by flowers I don’t want to rip out of the ground and stamp into a fragrant pulp.

It’s very liberating, by the way, to sort friends, acquaintances and one time love interests into metaphorical heaps and decide which you’ll carry with you, and which you’ll leave behind, to fend for themselves, in the bleak years to come. In fact, it’s a very similar feeling to the one I got earlier this year, when I moved back to London and threw away almost all of my possessions in a mad fit of ‘fuck it, life’s too short and this crap is weighing me down.’

I’m light now. Lighter than air on a cloud. And, of course, I’m still on the market, if you’re interested. Tell your brothers, lock up your sons and, you know, for fuck sake, call me. Because solitude, like all things that aren’t yoga, is best practiced in moderation.

*Image from, as per.