“So why haven’t you?”

I never know how to take this, it sounds weird to me, patronising, remote, distancing.

Like you’ve gone to the local skate park and you’re standing in front of all the cool teens in their tight jeans and bandanas or whatever it is teens are wearing and you’ve just said “Hey, watch this sick kick flip i can do.” And then you proceed to just stand in place and piss your pants and all of the teens laugh at you and tell you to go back home to your skull collection and braid your hair in to intricate symbols that have something to do with the illuminati, or whatever it is cool teens are collecting/doing. 

But you can’t even leave, you just fuck up more by standing around and now it’s night time and all the cool teens have left to make way for the threatening teens and you’re just looking up at the stars with your piss jeans gradually drying off, but on the plus side the threatening teens won’t come near you because you smell like piss.

And it’s something i don’t think any single suicidal person has ever known the answer to, why haven’t we? There are so many answers. 

Because i want to be there for my best friends wedding, because i want to be there when my friends are sad, because i want to see mum on christmas, because i want to hold my kid, because i want to be out dancing at 4a.m., because i want to have an argument in public, because i like crying in public, because sometimes i don’t hate myself, because i want to see how well life turns out for everyone, because i want to be able to love again, because i want to be able to smile at someone in 20 years, because i want to turn the lights out and hear the sound of my next door neighbours fighting.

Because deep inside i somewhere have the very weird notion that i am a person and i am not insane and that everything might just be okay.

And i might have to remind myself of this daily, i might have to remind myself every hour, or on particularly bad days every second, but i think it’s why i’m still alive. But i find it hard to express this to the people who ask me in everyday life, because it’s impossible to sum up. I have entire days where it’s all i can think about, it’s just a fact that the world would be better off without me, and people can argue against me on this on those days but they won’t win, it’s just a fact to me, it’s just a certainty, those things i want? They don’t matter, they won’t happen, it’s hard to explain to people what feels like a massive contradiction, that you want to live but you have to die.

And those days scare me, and recently i’ve been having a lot of them just these days of silent focused self hatred, daring myself to hang myself in the bathroom, to jump in front of that car, to do anything but live. It’s just this weird little battle inside me and i feel like i’m just kind of watching on the sideline, like i was at a football game where i didn’t really care about either team, i’m just sitting there watching and waiting to see what’s going to happen.

So that’s my answer, my answer is that i’m not sure why i haven’t, i don’t think i want to, even though i know with such certainty sometimes that it’s the best thing i could do for everyone. Because underneath that is the small, simple notion that i am a human and that life is fucked up and i am fucked up and you are fucked up and maybe that’s alright. And maybe at some point one side or the other is going to win, i don’t know, i’m not sure, i’m never sure, but for now i’m kind of fine standing in the skate park at night smelling of piss.

teenage sexuality

There is nothing sexier than a teenage boy, unless that teenage boy is me and i am completely and utterly misunderstanding the basics of human sexuality. (Wait, i should definitely rephrase this.)

When i was about 17 i was at the height of my sexual frustration. I’d gone through most of the typical teenage phases. Emo, goth, too many chains, hair extensions that cost nearly £200, not enough chains. You know, typical teenage phases. But at 17 i’d kind of settled on a vague cross between Dr. Who and Mumford & Sons, i.e. a lot of thrift shop oxford shirts, tweed jackets and bowties. It also happens that around this time i was around 17 stone and had for some reason decided it would be in my best interests to permanently shave my hair to a number 1. Meaning that i looked kind of like a human toad from Wind in the Willows.

And i was desperate, let me underline that, desperate,  to not have sex.

Simply put i was terrified at the idea of having sex, i’d been raised on porn, very awkward sex education, my dad telling me to go out there and fuck everyone, the rantings and ravings of catholic school, my shit bag friends and one horrible experience it’s best not to talk about.

So basically what i learned in this period about sex was that it was wrong, it was vital, girls had to have multiple orgasms, that my friend managed to have sex when he went on holiday and she invited this other girl back to his room he was sharing with his parents, but his parents were out and it was awesome, if you didn’t last for at least an hour then you were useless, and according to my friend if your penis was under 7 inches then you might as well kill yourself.

(still don’t know which if any of these facts are true or false.)

But sex was all i wanted. I was desperate to do this thing that i had convinced myself i would never be very good at. Conflicted mentality. So during this period i did all the normal things that boys do to get girls to like them (Wheelies, drinking coffee after 10p.m., mysteriously sitting in their parents greenhouses chain smoking cigarettes, reading camus, wearing too many bracelets) And sometimes these things, or a combination of these things worked and the girl liked me, which was great and terrifying because it meant there was a chance i could have sex.

And then as soon as i got even close to having sex i would freak out, because as a boy i had to know everything, i had to be a pornstar. And pornstars don’t have insecurities about anything, they don’t freak out when they take their top off about if the girl looks at their back which they’ve decided looks weird.

No, pornstars just stand around in the nude flexing their wieners like biceps, all just like “Hnnh, yeah, I know how vaginas work bro, my wiener is the pickle that the ladies order from the deli and then they take my wiener home from the shop and make a sandwich with it and then they’re like, mmm, damn, this sandwich is satisfying and to prove that i am going to squirt because this is 100% something that happens when sex goes down, it is proof you are doing it right.”

So what happened was about a year of me trying desperately to touch people but not have sex, here is a list of some things i did said to avoid it.

  1. One time when a girl stayed over and i genuinely said the words “We can’t have sex, because my mum said we can’t have sex, she’s okay with other stuff but she definitely said no sex. No, even if we’re quiet she’ll definitely know.”
  2. One time i was lying in bed with a girl and she touched my wiener and i jumped out of bed and yelled i have to go to the bathroom, i then walked out of her door and fell down a flight of stairs and her mum came to check up on me and politely ignored the fact i was standing bruised at the bottom of the stairs trying to cover my junk with both hands

Another go to move was just fingering girls because that way i could feel like i did something and the other person had a good time and not have to show them how terrible i was. Now at this point i thought fingering revolved around putting as many fingers as you could inside and then just moving them back and forth until the girl asked you to stop because it was starting to hurt.

Looking back on these fingerings the girls may not have been moaning so much out of pleasure as a kind of defense mechanism to try and get me to just fucking stop. I would go back and ask some of these girls but i don’t want to trigger some kind of vaginal trauma PTSD (I am so sorry).

Anyway, eventually i somehow tricked a girl in to dating me (which was a terrible idea and still is due to how completely out of touch and closed off i am, she was great and probably still is.) And all of a sudden i couldn’t escape sex.

I think the first time i lasted four seconds, and honestly that’s a generous estimate, and i was mortified, i could barely look at her afterwards, i just wanted the ground to swallow me up and disappear forever. I knew porn, i was obsessive about porn, i knew what was meant to happen, and it wasn’t what i’d just done, we kept at it but every time was awful, and honestly it was for years.

It took me years and two very, very patient, almost saintlike girlfriends to help me understand how to do everything right, how to learn to relax and actually enjoy sex instead of being so inside my own head with anxiety that i just couldn’t enjoy anything that happened.

And i guess that’s what i’ve learned from all of this, my penis is no big deal, sex is no big deal, it’s just sex, listen to the other person, ask them questions about their body, no two people are the same and it’s not a bad thing to ask them what they like and dislike, it’s a good thing, it’s a caring thing and it’s not something to be embarassed about, and if you ever just don’t want to? then don’t, if sex doesn’t feel right then it’s not going to be right.

Shit Towne.

I am a ghost now.

I am a cross legged, coffee drinking ghost sitting circles around himself, I am far from home and remembering the first time i was a ghost.

It was in my second year of university and most of my lectures were in this large metal building that looked like a library devoted entirely to books on unsolved murders and maybe a small selection on the architecture of slaughter houses.

And i was having trouble, not that i would ever admit it, I was having trouble just being around other people, especially people on my course, I had entire days where if someone came up to me and tried to make small talk i would just say something really loud about how i had to go, i would then skip lectures and go back home, or just pretended i had to go do something else and walked around trying to make myself as small as possible in a corner of the library.

When i wasn’t at home or hiding i was walking, i walked around a lot and smoked a lot and drank a lot of 73p (may have been 83p) coffee and then smoked even more to cover up the shakes.

And then one day i found it, my own space. It was on the third floor of the metal building, the floor that was under construction for the entire time i was there. I’m honestly not even sure i was up there, maybe some one made eye contact with me and i got all spooked and scampered off in a random direction, who knows, who cares, all that matters is that i’d found my home.

Home was unfortuantly a concrete bathroom that didn’t have working electricity most of the time, but what it lacked in lighting it made up for in having a disgusting looking couch. And it was perfect, i quickly gave it a name, Shit Towne, the e is important, and moved in.

Every hour, every gap between lectures i would sit up on that couch, reading, studying, trying to teach myself to draw by sketching out the chicken shop that was the only thing you could see out of the only window in Shit Towne, it was great. I could relax, i didn’t have to worry about anything as long as i was there, i could just be.

I think your number ended in 135, why can’t i remember that any more, fuck.

I became a ghost, haunting a concrete room with a cubicle, a couch on the other side and a broken urinal, but i never really noticed it until one day while i was sitting on the couch reading through some book when i heard the creak of the door.

I froze up, i sat still, i wanted to peek round the cubicle to see who it was but what if it was finally a builder, how would i explain building there, maybe i could say i was also a builder, or an electrician. But then i noticed feet and there was the creak of the cubicle door and then violent shitting.

Which was disconcerting for two reasons.

  1. They didn’t keep toilet paper up here, so what was the person going to wipe with? (I brought my own from home thank you very much)
  2. I was sitting an inch away from someone violently shitting.

It took everything i had not to burst out laughing, instead i just bit my lips really, super hard and kind of vibrated weirdly, which is probably way creepier than just leaving, i mean imagine shitting with the sound of someone vibrating right next to you for almost a full minute compared to the quick sound of footsteps getting the hell out of there.

Anyway, after a minute or so the dude flushed and left, i like to think he knew i was there and that’s why he didn’t wash his hands, just so he wouldn’t have to meet my eyes, or he was just gross, either way he wasn’t my type of guy.

And i kind of realised there and then that i was a ghost, kind of there, kind of not, in the sense that i am invisible enough to shit next to without any one realising i was there, and i’m not sure how i feel about that, how i feel about any of this, i like being hidden, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel weird sometimes.

But right now i’m a ghost again, i’m sitting in a library, just another dude with glasses who looks like he’s trying not to cry, and it feels okay.