Got this email off CJ yesterday:
Oz, thought I'd better contact you in case you thought I was having a nervous breakdown or something. As it happens I am.
Well, not so much a nervous breakdown as a continuation of the same mid-life crisis I've been going thru for the last about 5 years: meaning that I just totally lack confidence about who I'm supposed to be these days. Can't take drugs. Can't drink. Can't face crowded rooms. Can't stand loud music. Can't allow myself to be attracted to people. Can't bear the sight of other people having fun. Etc Etc.
Um, I also can't remember what happened to me the last time I saw you. Did I manage to pay you back the money I owed? I know I had none left in my pocket when I woke up the following day, also burdoned with a terrible sense of guilt about god-knows what. My very existence I think.
Anyway, I don't know if you are still interested in helping me out with the site. It definitely needs updating, plus I'd like to be able to sell some of my books thru it, if you know how to go about that. I have about 200 copies of Fierce Dancing, and about 100 of the Arthur book, which I'd like to sell. I need to start writing again or I really am going to go bananas.
All the best,
I wrote back:
Naw, I didn't think you were having a nervous breakdown! I just thought the lazy bugger can't be arsed to email!
Mid life crisis; shmid live crisis.You’ve never been that confident about who you are anyway have you mate? Always questioning everything, over analysing! Trying to understand. That’s one of the things I love about you. Recently: more quietly just getting on with it, I thought. A quieter confidence. An intense confidence still. Always fired me up mate. And still does. I can’t believe you feel so down. Who are we supposed to be anyway? Get thinking about questions like that and you’re gonna need a 3 year degree in philosophy before you even begin to understand the question. You never could take drugs or hold your drink or stand loud music <;-)> So don’t take drugs! Or drink so much! Stay in and read a book! Be yourself.
I’m totally with you though on the ‘Can't allow myself to be attracted to people’ idea. That’s a whole heap of complexity there mate.Last time we met we were a few sheets to the wind but I think we had fun! And a good talk. I though you talked a lot of sense. Don’t remember about any money owing thing though. Must be because I renewed your website subscription fees.We gotta meet and talk some more about this. When you free?
That 'Last time we met we were a few sheets to the wind' comment was a bit of an under-exaggeration. We were totally fucked! CJ's arm was trembling like he had some brain disease. That was the night he told me he'd seen my ex Nicky. She'd come running up to him whilst he was delivering his letters (he's a postman) and had a chat with him talking about the old days. He said she asked after me and then started crying.
Pains my heart to hear that. I'm still deeply hurt by the way she split our relationship. She left me a note on the coffee table for me to read when I'd got home from work. Nice. She left me and went to live in a van with the sound system's ex lighting man. Still fucking hurts to write about it here but it has to be said. She left all her friends; all her old life. Hasn't been in touch with anyone since. Till she pulled CJ up that winters day in 2006.
So, had this drink with CJ last night. He was quite depressed. Couldn't get back into his writing again. Was dry. Restricted by his job and the need to get up at 5 in the morning. Not wanting to drink because he thinks he has problems there. Frightened to have a relationship; fearful of intimacy. Yet wanting it so bad it was beginning to make him ill. He didn't ask me about my life or how I felt but then I figured I was there for him that night and needed to be a listener for him. Which I was. I invited him to my DJ gig but whether he decides to come or not remains to
As a footnote to CJ's website, check out his blog (not updated for a while for obvious reasons) but still worth checking out. Its called ten thousand days.