‘You can make a living, but it’s not living,’ a friend of mine said earlier this week as we discussed our growing disillusionment with London.
I used to love it here. The dirty East London bars, the music, the fact that everyone I used to meet was a “hair model.” But the sparkle’s gone.
Resting my writing for the past week has forced me to live in the real world. Personally, one of the appeals of writing is that I can let my imagination run riot and take me away from everything.
I don’t get on with modern living so much. Made In Chelsea, Payday Loans, Louboutins. I just don’t understand any of it.
This morning, I’m stood in Bishopsgate Pod, waiting for my Large Chorizo Power Eggs to be scrambled. Everyone is male. Everyone is white. Everyone is aged 25 – 45. Everyone has the coke sweats. And everyone is from Essex.
I’m trying to soak up a hangover. Free bar at last night’s corporate party. I still feel like an imposter, and I suspect that’s because I probably am. The party was a shitstorm of balding guys in baggy suits trying to cheat on their wives. The edgiest thing I did was cadge a cigarette. And I’m paying for it today. B&H. I can still taste the tar.
Of course, like many other frustrated artists, I’m working on an escape plan. Life is too precious and fleeting to let pass by in a flurry of All Bar Ones and corporate account cab rides. But while I’m here, I’ll use it for material.
It’s not hard to find horror in everyday London. Last month an 18 year old kid was stabbed to death with a machete in front of a group of small children in Canonbury. The average price of a flat in Canonbury is just under £600k (a little under $1m to my friends across the Atlantic).
And then there are the little things: Nobody holds the door open for you.
When I was about 18, I got a job in double-glazing telesales. Oh the glamour! On the first day, a guy didn’t hold the door open for me. Reflex action hiss: ‘Are you some sort of a cunt?’ Turns out he was the company’s owner and the little weasel fired me on the spot. Still, no excuse to act like an asshole. It was a shit job anyway. And besides, he’s dead now*.
So while having a break from writing has been both needed and wonderful, writing, it seems, is my perpetual holiday from real life.
*I joke, I haven’t a clue what he’s doing now. Probably living in South London.