Tuesday, 29 September 2015


You will be allowed to form the impression that there is something called ‘closure’, and that this is something you can somehow ‘get’. You will chase this impression and you will do stupid things. You will confide in the wrong people. You will confide in the right people, but you will confide in them to the point where your confidences become a wearying burden, to the point where even you will be able to identify the micro-expressions of tiredness and tension that ghost across their faces when you open your mouth after taking your third drink. Gradually you will find yourselves not winding up at the same parties, and you will wonder if they are avoiding you. They will assure you they are not, but things are really taking off for them right now and they’re so busy and it’s a shame.
You will tell them you know how that feels! But you will think things are not taking off for me.

You will post things, in the middle of the night, that will lead people to send you messages asking if you have people around who can help. You will think if that was the case, would I be saying this here, asshole? You will think that’s code for ‘people other than me’. You will reply oh I’m fine really, just venting. My flatmates are sleeping. They’re here but they’re sleeping. I promise I won’t do anything stupid. You will feel that you have, in fact, just done something stupid.

You will form the impression that the way to get closure is not to surround yourself with Negative People. You will prune your friends list. You will be relentlessly upbeat. You will stop being invited to parties but you are okay with this because your body is a temple and alcohol is a poison. You will stand in front of your bathroom mirror repeating words and you will go to work and hit targets and smile and laugh at the jokes your line manager makes. You will focus on attracting what you want. You will start sharing photos with inspirational sayings on them from sites with vague titles. A friend will send you a long email, with links, explaining that one of the photos you have linked comes from a site which opposes vaccination for measles, and which by a conservative estimate is responsible for a global uptick in deaths from this disease. You will delete them. You will not surround yourself with Negative People. Another friend will send you a message explaining that one of the inspirational messages you have shared is actually a quotation from Mein Kampf. You will delete them. You will not surround yourself with Negative People.

You will go out to a party with the local Positive People you surround yourself with and at this party you will have your first drink in months. Three drinks in, the Positive Person whose album ‘Beach Pictures 2014’ you have committed to memory will start talking to you about how jet fuel cannot melt steel beams and you will realise that you have spent six months of your  life surrounding yourself with Aggressively Delusional People. You will suddenly realise that you are utterly sick of angels, love languages, changing profile pictures to spread awareness of colorectal cancer, betting your mother you can get 5 million likes and teaching your kids lessons about how quickly nudes can spread on Facebook. Five drinks in you will tell the Positive People how sick you are of all this, and ask them if they, honestly, aren’t sick of it as well? Don’t they know about measles? Don’t they know about the Hitler quotes? Have they ever thought of checking? Do they never think that okay, maybe it does take more muscles to frown than it does to smile but maybe those are muscles you might one day need, and if you can do Kegels every day then surely to God you can allow yourself to frown?

The party will wrap up halfway through your sixth drink. In the morning you will have fewer friends on Facebook. They do not surround themselves with Negative People.

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