All right BT. I forgive you. Let’s give this relationship one more chance. My friends think I am crazy, but then they’re friends with me, so how can I trust their judgement? Let’s forget about the past and make it work this time.
A very friendly engineer came round at midday, checked my line, told me I had a very fast connection (news to me, it hasn’t seemed that way) and was a bit bamboozled by the fact that the hub seemed to be working but wasn’t appearing in my networks. He suggested that one of the devices plugged into it might be affecting the hub so we took them all out and put them all back in one by one. Weirdly the hub now worked with all the connections in place, so if one of them had affected things it wasn’t affecting them any more. And there did seem to be a much improved service with websites loading up much faster than before. Most importantly I was back online and connected to the world in the only way I feel comfortable. Who wants to interact with actual human beings when we can just type things into a computer and make pretend connections with virtual people pretending to be someone they are not?
If I didn’t have 150,000 twitter followers and a newspaper column would the service have been as good? Only you can decide. It doesn’t feel as noble a triumph as my Post Office based twitter campaign which has hopefully very slightly helped all the customers of my local branch.
But it’s just such a relief being back online that I am not thinking straight about anything (and maybe being offline also affected my mood). This is how they suck you in. They hurt you and then they soothe you.
I have been having a delightful time with my daughter, even though she’s been a bit grouchy with what we still assume is early teething. It’s an interesting time in life, before you are responsible for your own actions and where it’s not actually possible to do anything wrong. You’re just a creature, acting on instinct, developing into a human being, but one whom, for now, right and wrong have no meaning. It’s a wonderful existence to have and such a shame that we never remember it. We have no shame or guilt, can not be reprimanded and only obliquely praised. We just are. It’s such charming and beguiling innocence and it’s both beautiful and heart-breaking. Without wanting to be the kind of man who I once mocked for exclaiming “I love my kids”, I am somewhat astonished that the love I feel for Phoebe is expanding exponentially, like an exploding Universe, filling voids that previously weren’t even there. But you can’t enjoy the love (at least not all the time) because the more you care, the more the horrors of something going wrong grip you, even when your fears are paranoid and ridiculous. On the drive to my gig tonight I created a stupid scenario in my head where our girl had gone missing and I had to deal with all the repercussions of that. Obviously your brain plays out these scenarios to prevent them from happening. But I don’t need to play this out. I know it would be horrible already and I don’t understand why my brain is intent on tormenting me with this stuff. It’s not like my brain isn’t me. It hurts my brain as much as it hurts me. So shut the fuck up brain. Let me just enjoy the good things, because if anything did go horribly wrong I’d have plenty of time to survey my destroyed world. I managed to get so into my fantasy nightmare that when my wife rang to tell me everything was fine I cried a bit with relief. When NOTHING HAD BEEN WRONG. If this Universe keeps expanding at the same pace I am going to be ripped apart and a pulsating mess of raw nerves and sinews feeling everything at 10,000% of their capacity. Never have kids. I was happier when I was miserable.
Imagine what it’s going to be like when she can walk around, answer back and deliberately be naughty. Oh my beautiful cock, what have you done to me? I thought you were my friend.
I had fun at my gig in Bordon, a place I had never heard of before which has a tiny theatre (that I still couldn’t quite fill) run by people who clearly love what they do. These are my favourite gigs and whilst it’s good for the bank balance to play the bigger gigs run by people who want to make money, I am still pleased that by accident, rather than design, I can still play somewhere like this. The audience are slightly amazed and grateful that you’ve turned up and everyone is kind and helpful. And I would still make a living if I only played these little gigs. Maybe it would be the best life possible.
I had arrived early so walked around the area around the theatre to see if I got any inspiration for the local claims to fame (only one famous person comes from Bordon Kenneth Blackburne the colonial governor- you know the one). I don’t think I was in the main bit of town. Wikipedia boasts that "Bordon has a variety of shops, including three supermarkets, along with other amenities such as petrol stations,” which is probably one of the most accidentally damning statements on that website. I didn’t see even one of the supermarkets, but came across an isolated Lloyd’s Bank that looked like a hobbit cottage. It was the tiniest bank that I had ever seen and remarkably I had chanced across it as they were replacing the cash machine. The branch itself looked smaller than a cash machine so it was with some sense of wonder that I watched the men work at installing this technology into what was presumably some kind of Tardis. But that gave some lovely local colour to that section of the show.
On the way home I turned on the radio. A man with a slightly annoying voice was talking and he seemed vaguely familiar. After about ten seconds I realised that it was me. I was on Best Behaviour,
which was recorded some time ago, though it feels like years rather than months
Maybe the Universe is stretching so far that I am losing my sense of self. The only way to rescue my fracturing mind is to play some more self-playing snooker.