When I was 16, I was lucky enough to take part in a month long trip to Peru. For most of that you are a mile above sea level, on or above the cloud line. At night it is beautiful.
Mentioning the constellation is always a rather clichéd way of opening a discussion on theism or lack of it but it is probably one of the best ways of doing so. Other places where one may experience the same feeling are atop a mountain, looking across a great cityscape or perhaps best still in the ever-enduring peace that comes when knelt alone under the raised arch of a beautifully crafted cathedral.
I often despair at some of the reasoning behind the existance of God. My favourite irritation is that 'The Evidence is all around us.'
To this I must requote (as have many before me) the famous Douglas Adams line, "Is not the garden beautiful enough without inventing fairies to live at the bottom of it."
For millenia people have looked in awe at the stars and wondered 'Why?'. That has always seemed a little odd to me. The question in my mind is not 'why are they there?', that takes far too much brainpower alltogether. Instead I am content to simply be awed.
There is beauty in civilisation, from what we have made of it. Staggering beauty. There is beauty in nature too. Elegance, chaos, awe. Everything.
Anybody who can look at these things, experience them fully and yet still be underwhelmed enough to wonder about the identity of their maker or whether the movements of these great forces will somehow be part of some divine plan or other seems to me to be somewhat cynical.
Some things from my trip.
A desert in the sky.
An old old town.
Orchids. One of the rarest plants on the planet.
I am not preaching. Nor do I think that I am particularly original. Nor do I think that my examples based entirely on my own experiences are particularly great (a simple glance at the pages of the National Geographic should prove otherwise), but what I do think is that there is too much in this world to narrow it down into the dusty pages of an ancient book.
Being a bookworm, I am often asked who my favourite writer is. The answer I give changes with my mood. But the two biggest hitters are Cormac Mccarthy and John Steinbeck.
These are hardly controversial choices. I am sure both feature in many modern readers' lists. But there is a specific reason for my choosing.
First off, I love escapism. It's a dirty word in literary circles. But then, who actually wants to be in literary circles anyway? The answer by the way is absolutely nobody worth knowing. This almost certainly deals with why I cannot cope with crime fiction, in almost any medium. I genuinely do not care how stylishly it is written, whether Agatha Christie or a well shot noir epic. With very few exceptions the chances are I will not be having a good time. It also perhaps exposes my predisposition towards the fantastic: Borges, Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Marquez.
But nothing grabs me more than the endless prairie of my favourite writers (even when in post-apocalyptic 'The Road' form).
I know what it is. I was brought up in a city with a sanitised life. It's fine, I know that my feelings are hardly unique. But I challenge anyone to read All The Pretty Horses or East of Eden and not lust after a simpler, harder but arguably more satisfying way of life. Romantic maybe.
Maybe it's because I have never been there either. The American west fascinates me, but it is not a place I have visited nor forsee going to any time soon.
Perhaps I view things differently because I am an ungrateful shit who does not realise exactly how lucky I am. I have a lot of things that I want. I have had a relatively good life. But I do not think that I am completely loopy in my invisaging of the worlds of Mccarthy et all as one of a more genuine happiness than found here.
Most people in cities, including myself struggle against the tide. The morning commute. The mesh of people. The tide that drags you not to the top or to the bottom, but for most of us a wash of mediocrity.
At least on your own you can build your own world.
And in your own world you are king.
Look to your right. See that guy. Doesn't he look amazing? Isn't there a little glint in that eye, winking out of that makeup covered face that really speaks to you?
Let's not lie. I watch this film too much.
And if you don't know what film I'm talking about, it's because you haven't lived.
It is called, "The Warriors". It was made in 1979. It has the worst script of all time. Here are some examples.
They're remaking this film. Naturally I think that that is a dreadful idea. This because I am a massive snob who hates new stuff. People often pull this sort of opinion apart. They say, "Hey liven up gramps. Get the hell off that zimmoframe and enjoy your youth and vigour."
Frankly I'd like to keep my opinion and no I'm not on the arthritis and hemorrhoids just yet.
So before the catastrophe that is the remade Warriors arrives. Get yourself a copy of the classic.
First off, doing things that actually, y'know, matter like replying to my messages. This irritates me since I have little idea as to why.
However, onwards and upwards. There is an advert in the Stage that I shall be applying to and I do not expect much to come of it.
Then there is ELance. Freelance writing is an odd little thing since it is difficult to get into, but I am hoping that a few professional jobs will mean that I do not have to work full-time for a little while. At least that way I can keep myself available for some decent work experience.
I should add something else to that. I am afraid. Afraid of being left behind, afraid of malaise. Afraid of being dependent rather than being an independent person, afraid of being lost in the usual ebb of a dullards £20'000 sales job and a flat in shitville where the rest of the joyless twats live out their sorry lives. I would be no good at a dullards sales job anyway.
Today I have found the solution. That holy grail of a place that gives me nothing but focus.
A strange idea maybe, but to me simply being out of the house is a blessing. My productivity has skyrocketed and I have already started to catch up on my payed work. Now if only I wasn't going to play minigolf instead of doing something a little more productive.... ah screw it, life's too short. MINIGOLF FOR THE WIN
Oh. Whilst I have you, I will still be writing to these radio places. Along with a couple of creative production places looking for a 'lil work experience. Really I need to get on with a bit of the ol' podcasting though. That seems like a far better idea.
So here are my lessons for the day.
JACOB GREGORY MICHAEL HATTON
1. You have left university.
2. Coming home is your own fucking fault, you knew it would make you unhappy and it has.
3. At least admit that 50% of this is because you think it will be harder to get laid down here.
4. Get out of the house before 2pm. That is not a work ethic.
5. Sack in your piece of shit job AS SOON as you find something better.
6. Actually find something better.
7. Be happy with what you have.