My Great Life

For many years I believed myself to be a reasonably decent human being – I liked people, or at least if not exactly fond of them then I was at least tolerant of them in a good-natured way, which is almost the same thing. As I’m concerned it’s very nearly the same thing. I’ve come to realise now however that I have no feelings towards my fellow human beings at all – none that is apart from complete irritation. I had been advised by my psychotherapist to write about my childhood but this is not something that I was able to do. I always experience lots of resistance whenever I’m asked to do something and this was no exception. That’s a number of years ago – coming up to 10 years, I’d say – and just in the last week or so I’ve come back to the idea. I have decided to write the story of my life up to this point, although not necessarily starting at the beginning. I can’t remember the beginning anyway so there’s no fear of that! There are numerous styles of writing an autobiography of course – there is a self-congratulatory style, which is more common than you might imagine, but I don’t think I’ll be trying that one. It wouldn’t wash. Then there is the supposedly impartial and objective style, which simply never works so we’ll forget about that. And then there’s the humorous style which is fine if you can pull it off but the plain fact of the matter is that very few of us can pull it off and to try to be witty or humorous without pulling it off is of course worst disaster going in the world of writing. With the exception of the ‘let me tell you about my great life’ type of disaster. My great life, my great life. It’s so damn great that I have to tell you about all about it; it’s so great that I want to write a book about it. I don’t think I’ll going down that road however as I have said – I feel sick in thinking about it. I look upon my life up to this point is a type of accident. Not a particularly pretty accident either. More of an exercise in awkwardness is how I would describe it. Life was a thing that I did know how to do, I’m afraid. I still don’t although possibly it’s true that I don’t care quite so much about it anymore. Although now that I happen to be thinking about it I realise that I wouldn’t mind writing about my life in a more heroic mode, mainly because I’m fascinated to find out what it might feel like to buy into the story that you are doing stuff on purpose, because you want to, and then actually achieving whatever it was that you were aiming at. The two things I find difficult in this scheme are: firstly, that it might be possible to actually know what you wants in life and secondly, that you might be able to deliberately bring it about. Apart from those two things, I rather think that I might be able to get the hang of writing a heroic autobiography. Imagine what that must feel like – believing with every bit of you that you are in charge of your own destiny, that you are driving the train! You’re driving it and you know when you’re going – you know exactly where you going. You are determined too – you are determined to get where you’re going. Your chin is sticking out in that superbly determined sort of a way. Leading with the chin, leading with the chin. That’s one tough chin you’ve got there my friend – like the prow of an icebreaker. It’s as if the whole of your identity is based upon this promise that you have made yourself. ‘I’ll show them!’ you are saying, ‘watch and learn buddy. I’ll show you how it’s done…’ Confidence like this is a wonderful thing of course; it’s a truly splendid thing. A many-splendoured thing. This is how I would like to write the story of my life I think, in exactly this vein. A heroic vein. A ‘go-getter’ type of vein, a ‘can-do’ type of vein. This is the type of thing that everyone admires so much, of course. Can you blame them for their childishly naïve adulation? It must seem like such a truly magnificent accomplishment to one who is hopelessly naïve about such matters, and I’m afraid that must encompass most of humanity. We have such charming little delusions about life don’t we? Obviously these delusions have never been examined to any appreciable extent – that’s not really ‘the done thing’ as far as delusions are concerned after all – but that simply makes them all the quainter. It’s like believing in tooth fairies, or like believing that heaven is a place in the sky, a place very much like where we are right now, only it’s up in the sky, or up in space somewhere. That’s what makes it so special you see, because it’s a place that is right up in the sky. How quaint is that? And so our delusion – that quaint little delusion which we so very naïvely believe in – is the delusion of ourselves.








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