I was playing for kudos in the game. You probably think this is just some story that I’m telling and that this is my opening gambit. It’s not an opening gambit and I’m not going to move on and launch right into some story. A witty anecdote, perhaps. I’m being deadly serious here – I was playing for kudos in the game. I am playing the kudos and what could be more serious than that? What could be more serious than making a play for kudos and then failing when everyone knows that you want it so badly? What could feel worse than that – ask yourself that? What could possibly hurt more?
Mind you if I ever won the kudos then what the hell would I do it anyway? That’s the other side of the story. Would it actually change anything? I try to imagine myself having finally pulled it off and earned the kudos fair and square, in whatever way I might do that, and then I think about what I would do then, what things will be like then. I try to imagine what my life would be like – my new kudos-enhanced life. You might think that I’d experience some kind of rosy glow at this delightful prospect, but no – there’s nothing. My fantasy picture of myself with an abundant (or at least an adequate supply) of kudos turns out to be no different from my current fantasy of me as I actually am now, kudos-less but nevertheless eternally optimistic in this regard. Although that isn’t quite right. Not entirely accurate. I used to be optimistic perhaps. I assume that I did at least. But now when I come to think of it I realize that even kudos doesn’t motivate me anymore. It actually sickens me.
It’s the same thing as when you hear someone talking about how they are going to buy a lotto ticket because the jackpot is €6 million etc, etc. You know the way people go on. I just get a sense of ennui – I guess you’d call it. I experience nothing but pure undiluted ennui. For God’s sake, I say to myself, you’re a total fucking idiot now and you going to be exactly the same total fucking idiot even if you do win the 6 million! Do you think €6 million is going to magically transform you from being a complete and utter tool? I know I sound non-compassionate. I’m not though – I’m being realistic. Since when has being realistic been non-compassionate’? Why are we so afraid of facing the truth?
It’s not really kudos that I’m hungry for. I know that well enough at this stage. All this talk of hunting kudos, hunting kudos, hunting kudos, what a load of shit, right? Is there anything worse in the whole wide world than those ludicrous lame-ass motivational speaker type guys – and it usually does seem to be guys – harping on the moronically about ‘success’ and ‘achieving your dreams’ and all that bullshit? Don’t they get anything? As if ‘success’ changes anything. As if ‘achieving your goals’ is going to make the slightest bit of difference. You are still gonna be the same lame-ass sad fuck as ever, don’t you worry. Shaking a bit of magical ‘kudos dust’ over it ain’t gonna change anything!
What we’re searching for doesn’t actually have anything to do with us – that’s something I’ve come to learn. You can’t earn it or possess it because we have no relationship with it in the first place. We have no relationship with it and we never can! What I’m searching for – I’ve come to realise – is something that I’m never going to understand. I don’t even want to understand it. I don’t want to understand what I’m looking for because I’m far too small-minded and fearful for that and so rather than making ‘the big jump’ – whatever that is – I just keep grubbing around in the shadows. Playing dumb pathetic games. So you see, kudos isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be. Not by a long chalk. It’s the filthy repellent slime that adheres to us when we roll around in the gutter long enough. It’s the bad smell that clings to us when we forget to change our underwear for a few months. It’s the mark of our complete and utter cowardly refusal to face reality. But what the hell – we might as well keep on competing for it, right? Like so many mangy worm-infested street curs fighting viciously for a scrap of gone-off meat…