‘It’s a new day and I feel bad,’ I shouted out in the silence of my own head. Only there wasn’t much silence in my own head, not really. There was no silence at all actually, only garbage messages from the garbage world, which I myself had invented. I take full responsibility for it. I am the undisputed master of the Garbage World, Lord of all I survey… No silence here, only talk which means nothing. The toxic babble of fools. The filthy degrading pestilence of Satan himself. I’d gone too far I realized and now I was paying the price. I had taken my eye off the ball and now it was rolling back down the hill at me. Gathering speed as it comes. A vast iron ball the size of a small mountain coming my way, blotting out the sky as it draws closer and closer, crushing everything before it. Turing living bodies into a microscopically thin layer of translucent jelly.
‘It’s a new day and I feel bad,’ I screamed. Why did my life always turn out so bad? What was I doing that was so very wrong? Why did everything always have to end up like this? It starts with a blessing and ends with a curse I quoted, remembering Kevin Ayers. Making life easy, but making it worse. Only the period of time in which the blessing prevails had been so very brief that I had hardly noticed it. I hadn’t noticed it – I had been in too much of a rush to get to the second stage. Blink and you miss, I said to myself bitterly. And I did every time. Blink, that is. I blink and so I miss it. And then when I did start to pay attention and notice what was going on the blessing has long since gone. It has long since fled. It was not even a memory, for I never knew it. More of an inference than anything – I knew it has to have been there somewhere. The Golden Age of our youth. The blessing stage was long since over and I – invariably, inevitably – was sitting there in the path of an oncoming giant planet-sized boulder made of black iron rolling down the hill at me. Gathering momentum. The first act of the play over in a flash, the second act looming large in my consciousness. An Eternal Now.
It’s called ‘the vast iron ball rolling down the hill at me act’ and the plot is always the same. The plot is a foregone conclusion. No twists, no surprises there – we see the denouement coming long before it arrives. And then it does arrive, just as it always was going to. It arrives dead on cue just like it always does. Just as it was always going to. Everything always leads up to this point and I’m always here, waiting to reap the whirlwind. Waiting to go head-to-head with my crushing destiny. Wondering why this always happens. Wondering what I’ve done wrong. Wondering what I always do wrong…
‘I’m having a bad day,’ I moan, full of irritability and bile. Why does it always. ‘Why does it always?’ I ask petulently, full of petty resentment and toxic bitterness, full of resistance to a fate which I fully deserve. Why do I always. Why do I always. I’m paying the price now, I think. I’m paying the price. Why am I always paying the price, I wonder? Why am I always? Why am I always. I’m having a bad day. I’m having a bad day, I moan. Why can I never win out for a change? Why is everything always so unfair? Why do things never go my way, not even once? Not even the one time. Even once would be something. Why can’t it ever work out for me? Why do I always get it wrong? I had done the very wrong thing again and now it has rebounded on me. It’s caught up with me as it always does. But – also as always – I still didn’t know where I had gone wrong. Where I always go wrong….
Image: Rock of Ages 2