Archive for September 2009
I’m sick of smoking. I really am.
I’m sick of paying six quid every single day, I’m sick of putting on clothes that should smell like washing powder but smell stale and old instead. I’m sick of having yellow fingers, I’m sick of getting jittery when I run out or haven’t had one for an hour or so. I’m sick of having no money at the end of the month, I’m sick of the fact that given the choice as to whether I eat or smoke, I’ll choose the cigarettes every time.
So can someone please tell me why I stood in the middle of Soho Square yesterday after a fairly successful week of abstinence, inhaling from a fag with a look of such bliss on my face you’d have thought I was getting the blow job of my life?
I had my first cigarette at the age of eleven. After mercilessly baiting my father for as long as I can remember about wanting to smoke like him, he sat in front of me, lit a cigarette and told me to finish the whole one in front of him.
So that’s exactly what I did. Perhaps I had been fortified from passive smoking, perhaps my natural stubbornness drove me to show old Pa I wasn’t going to be beaten, but there was no coughing, no spluttering, not even a gag. I happily puffed away like I had been doing it all my life.
And guess what? I enjoyed it.
I know when I took it up full time at the age of seventeen I was probably trying to fit in, but I felt like smoking suited me. It felt good having a fag in my hand. Smoking appeals to the bad boy image, it smacks of not playing by the rules, of being a bit edgy. Think James Dean, the cast of Grease, Sharon Stone in the interrogation scene from Basic Instinct. You wouldn’t take any of them home to meet your mother, but they’d sure as hell give you a good time in the sack.
Fast forward thirteen years and I’ve decided I’m done with the demon darts. It’s not sexy, it stinks. It’s not cool to be standing outside in the freezing cold in winter because you’re banished by law from every bar and club. Shamefully walking into the off licence at the end of the road with my last £2.50 and buying the cheapest pack of ten on the shelf is just plain sad.
So why do I kick them time and time again just to go and ruin it all for a few minutes of feeling like a “bad boy” again?
Am I so utterly seduced by the marketing that I’m still clinging desperately to the rebelliousness of my teens? Would I really feel that incomplete without cigarettes? Am I so weak that I can’t cope with just a few days of feeling a bit uncomfortable while I kill of a few nicotine receptors?
Am I not ready to give up yet, or was I just born to smoke?
Recently I went on holiday to Madrid, and like any self-respecting gayer, I hit the gym with a vengeance beforehand, and strutted my way to Heathrow Airport with shoulders that looked a little like I had cannonballs stuffed in them and tits that, in my opinion, gave Jordan a run for her money.
OK, so that’s not strictly true, but man did I feel confident. Months of hard labour and comments from friends about my newly-bulging biceps had left me feeling like I could more than hold my own against the muscle boys of Madrid.
On the first day at the Lido I realised what the phrase “body beautiful” really meant.
Everywhere I looked I saw perfection. Beautiful, bronzed, speedo-wearing perfection.
You know that scene in Spider-man where Peter Parker comes home after being bitten by the little radioactive bastard in the lab? He rips off his shirt to reveal a puny, skinny body before he passes out on the floor, then wakes up the next morning with pumped up pecs and a six pack. All of a sudden he’s a new man.
Now imagine that scene in reverse and you get an idea of how I was feeling as I stood at the entrance to the Lido. I spent most of the first day lying on my front, drilling a hole into the concrete from my stonking boner and trying to cover up my sorry excuse for a beach body.
You have to put in a lot of hard work into achieving a body like those guys had, unless you take the easy option and use steroids. But what happens when you take it too far?
I used to know a guy who was addicted to exercise. We’re not friends any more – I couldn’t put up with him to be honest. He ran every morning, swam every lunchtime and went to the gym for an hour every evening, usually with a spinning class after that. He used to turn down dates and offers of socialising with us so he could train more.
I would have felt sorry for him if he hadn’t spent most of the time he wasn’t training loudly putting other people down when they were slightly overweight or less attractive than him.
As well as the obvious dangers of steroids, I’ve also read reports of guys taking a powerful stimulant called Epehdrine before they work out so they can train harder. I’ve noticed a few people in the gym who seem anxious or jittery and often wonder if they’re on it. I also know for a fact that Ephedrine causes chronic insomnia, so usually they turn to sleeping pills or booze in order to get to sleep.
Now I’m not going to deny that these examples of hard training look amazing, but seriously, if they don’t die of organ failure because of their ridiculously low calorie intake, they’ll probably either get cancer from sunbed abuse, or a heart attack from all the drugs they’re using to help them on their way to the body beautiful.
Is being perfect really worth that?
As the days rolled on by the Lido I got so used to the constant parade of plucked, preened and pumped bodies walking around that they all started to become curiously unsexual. I mean, every single one of them looked the same!
My boyfriend at the time asked me what on earth I saw in him when there were all these Adonises walking around to tempt me.
“I fancy you because you don’t look like one of them” was my reply
Screw the body beautiful. Give me a real human being any day.
This is my blog, then.
It’s strange. You suddenly think: “I’m going to start a blog!”. You get all excited, setting it up, choosing an avatar, coming up with a funky theme, title, colour scheme, etc.
Then you sit down and think: “Hmm…what am I actually going to write about?”
I’m going to try my hardest not to get all Sex and The City on your ass, but seeing as how my daily life involves working my butt off, writing, socialising and looking for a date, I suppose it’s inevitable you’ll end up drawing comparisons.
So let me set the record straight.
For starters I’m male (guy_interrupted should have given it away). I’ve just turned thirty. I work as an editor, writing and managing content for a couple of pretty big websites – a hard, but well paid job. I’m gay (in both senses of the word), single (my last boyfriend split with me a week before my birthday – cheapskate) and I seem to have a love life closely resembling a ride at Alton Towers (costly, often terrifying and sometimes leaving you feeling a bit sick afterward – not to mention the long periods of waiting around in between).
I’m neurotic and sarcastic, I like action films, rock music and going to the gym. I’m also rather addicted to my BlackBerry, which makes a nice, healthy change from crack.
Oh, and I’ve done a bit of modelling on the side. Which is tacky, but if someone wants to pay me to stand in front of a camera and look moody then I ain’t complainin’.
I’ve had my fair share of dramas in life, from violent relationships, bankruptcy (see previous – he stole all my money). An HIV diagnosis (seven years healthy and counting), earth shattering breakups, depression and drink and drug abuse. I refer you to paragraph seven – I wasn’t joking.
Yeah, I suppose you could say I’m glad to have left my twenties behind…
Thankfully for my mother’s sanity, I’ve picked myself up, dusted myself off and I’m now a perfectly well-adjusted individual who’s glad he took a big ol’ bite of life’s apple (even if it loosened a couple of teeth) because it’s given me a good outlook on things – and plenty of material to put on this blog.
The male Carrie Bradshaw I am not – in fact most people would compare me to Miranda in terms of my dry humour and slightly cynical outlook. I’m not ginger, but I do have an enormous crush on the guy who played her husband.
So I guess you could say this is my therapy. My diary. A place where I get to share my thoughts and feelings on everything that goes on in my washing machine of a brain.
I’ll let you decide whether you want to keep turning the pages….