Wednesday, September 17, 2008


It was a nut that done it. I have never been sickly. Far from it. I'm the guy with soup and a damp towel for your forehead when the epidemic strikes. But I've been sick, physically ill, for at least four years. Not every day, but on and off.

What the fuck is that? I don't believe in "psychosomatic" illness, and I haven't really been feeling all that stressed anyway. Yeah, I feel a bit of poker-related stress, and it sucks that my job as an editor has turned into a job as a course developer, and the whole shithouse marriage thing wears on you from time to time, but relatively speaking, I've been okay. I have been laughing it off on the whole.

I can't remember whether I've blogged it, but I was having panic attacks related to dying. That sounds much more bleh than it is: I mean I was having existential difficulties that were difficult to get a grip on. I think it's quite common in older men: the whole midlife crisis thing. So I didn't get a motorbike; I got an anxiety disorder instead. But here's the weird thing. Somewhere within dealing with that, I got somewhat of a grip on the thing that has bothered me for my whole adult life. I call it agoraphobia, but it's more like fear of being afraid. Now I've found something I'm really afraid of: the only thing I'm really afraid of, I'm okay with most of the rest of it. I have a fragile, preliminary understanding that it is possible for me to be happy.

I feel in charge. I think that putting it to Mrs Zen that she wasn't making the decision about my going home, nor was she deciding for my kids, made me feel much more positive. (You could spin it as now Zen wears the trousers, but it's never been anything like that I don't.)

But I am under the weather today. I never had food poisoning in all the years I lived in the UK (you're not at all that much risk if you eat vegetarian), but I've had it more than once here. It was a nut, I think. But I like nuts too much for the price not to be worth paying. There's an analogy trying to crawl out of that nut, I'm sure.


I do not know the road to it though. And I know I know a lot, about this world and the things in it, but that's something I don't know. I will not know it until I walk on it.

I know that makes me contrary, because we all know it's money or love or drugs or some other part of our lives. But I don't believe it is. I believe it is none of that and all of that. I believe that I can leave where I am through a door, but I do not know where the door is or what it leads to. It's not a sin not to know. I am not easily satisfied, so it's not like it's a one-word answer.

But I'm easily pleased, so it can't be a whole bookful. (I am actually so easily pleased, comparatively, that I sometimes do not understand the effort some people go to not to please me. I'm pretty sure I'm better to know when I'm pleased.)

Sigh. I was thinking that we are indeed noble in reason. I used to enjoy disputation, but of course I have always known that we each know our answers, we are simply answering different questions. So I am tired of contrariness. I wonder whether the resolution to my midlife crisis will not be a leather jacket but a quiet enjoyment of nuts, minding no one's business but my own. After all, I've never liked you enough to care that much about you. I'm just squeamish.

I think that will be my epitaph: He was squeamish. I can think of worse. But not much.


At 9:21 pm, Blogger Mcleod said...

your mental state dictates you physical state and you are mentally ill so it stands to reason that you have been feeling physically ill! You should also consider the fact that you are such an obnoxious cunt that your long suffering wife could be poisoning you is a real possibility. Especially after you told your wife that she wasn't going to dictate where you lived. Mind i doubt she took a blind bit of notice and muttered "yeah whatever" under her breath.


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