Posts Tagged: love

Nothing and Forever – a sort of story.


There is no god.

Well….What I mean to say is. There is no God. You know. The one with the capital G and the books that come pre-written with morals tumbling out the pages, littering the streets and just dying to be claimed by anyone passing by.  There’s no pantheon of angels, not a multi-limbed being mothering us all from afar. There’s only Life. And the Universe.
It’s not clear which came first. The original chicken and egg story. I like to think that maybe they came together, each one breeding and travelling, exploring the widths and breadths of Time as fast as they could until the two of them stretched out into Eternity. Or maybe Life expanded as the Universe contracted and something exploded which led to what we have now. Which is of course, a total fucking mess.
You don’t have to believe in god to know that there’s something going on. You don’t have to believe in anything. You just have to look at the evidence. Look at the frequencies – I mean there are just so many. The unlikely friend with whom you just fit and click, despite a myriad of reasons that explain why you logically should not be friends.  The joke that only you and one other find funny but it’s the funniest one and you don’t know why no one else is laughing, but you two…you two have the exact same sense of humour. That sixth sense of knowing something is coming before it comes.  The life changing words that are about to be spoken.  The vision of the crash before the car swerves. We call it a sixth sense for fuck’s sake. Intuition. Gut instinct. A feeling.
Why do we ignore them? We dismiss them as…as what? A chemical imbalance? A coincidence? A hoax?
Why not a shifting moment in the ether? Why not, a breakout of how we used to be, before the overwhelming, unbearable, deafening noise of technology came and slowly began to drown us out. We’ve come too far. We’ll keep on going. We can’t help it. We can feel it you know – we can feel that something has gone terribly wrong. It was never supposed to be like this, I mean for christ’s sake, I’m writing this on a sodding iPhone!  We can feel that somewhere things have gone so badly wrong but we can’t find where. Oh we can look back over centuries but the moment, wherever it was, where everything changed…it’s long gone. It was probably tiny. We’d know it otherwise. We’d see it. And the terrible truth is that if we could see it, if we knew, if we could trace it right back to the second and say “There. It was right there. That was the moment when everything changed forever…” We’d never go back and undo it. We’d keep going. Onward. Upward. Forward. Further and deeper into our awful mistake. That’s what being human is I suppose. Oh we’d never learn. We’d never dare. If we did we’d come undone. All of us. All of…it.
Life and The Universe know of course. They know and they smirk, titter, laugh between them. They pass it back and forth, their laughter. It grows, at our expense. I like to think that Life is a bit of a tease and likes to drive The Universe mad with riddles. Little tricks and twirls, curveballs chucked in with the clues to make The Universe work a little harder to make sense of it all. And The Universe in turn plays its own games. In cahoots with Time and Space, making us wonder how we ever saw things differently to how we see them right now in this moment. But then the moment is gone and we see things differently again as if that were the only way of seeing. Life and The Universe play their games of one-upmanship – our existence is their playground. There is no god. There is only their flirtation. The two lovers stretching on and on into Eternity, flirting and laughing and fucking, fucking each other and fucking with humans to keep each other amused. What would one be without the other, I wonder? Oh there’d be no joy, that’s a certainty. It’s a lonely business to live forever. But Life and  The Universe come as a pair. The game goes on between the two biggest forces we know. An ever expanding, ever changing chess board. The next move is anyone’s.

I Like Online Dating. I Also Do Not Like Online Dating.

Online dating. Yes – it’s a thing. I’ve done it and it’s something I occasionally dip in and out of.  The pattern is that I try it for a month, swear it off forever and then go back to it after a few months, only to be reminded that I hate it and it feels unnatural and so the cycle repeats ad infinitum.

Let’s discuss profiles:

Although I don’t think you have to be a prolific writer to write a decent few lines about yourself, it’s actually not as easy as one might think.  It is surprisingly difficult to write an interesting and accurate paragraph about yourself without feeling incredibly arrogant (because you’re talking about how amazing you are) or without coming across like an actual mental (because you wrote something at 3am thinking it was hilarious when in fact the late night hour had lifted the brain to touch-typing filter and you spilled out a puddle of crazy.)

There are 2 things that repeatedly irritate me about online profiles.

1 – “Willing to lie about how we met.”


This is not attractive. If the first thing I read about you is that you are happy, willing and able to lie, all I can think is “well, what else are you willing to lie about?”

There is nothing shameful about online dating now. It’s just another way to expand your social circle and meet new people.  If you’re so ashamed, either get over it or get off it.  No one is forcing you to create a profile on a dating website. OK, you don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, but if you’ve bothered to fill in your details and add photos and make up a stupid punny name, don’t be ashamed about it on the website filled with the people who are also online dating, and whom one assumes you are trying to attract.  Know your audience!

2 – Variations on the basic theme of “I like going out. I also like staying in.”

This is the equivalent of saying any of the following examples:

*I like being awake. I also like being asleep.

*I like wearing shoes. I also like not wearing shoes.

*I like having cats. I also like having no cats.

*I like daytime. I also like night time.

*I like moving. I also like staying still.

*I like smells. I also like no smells.

*I like eating bananas. I also like eating things that are not bananas.


To clarify, for the cheap seats, what you’re saying is “I like life.”

Brilliant. I also like life. But don’t most people have something a little more specific and interesting than “I enjoy my existence options.” ?

I will accept “I like staying in BUT I PREFER to go out.” or vice versa. Expressing a preference is encouraged. Opinions are the best, are they not? No? Oh all right then, if that’s what you really think.

Are people really this generic? Don’t people like specific things any more like the theatre, literature, art, photography, politics, stimulating conversation, wine, flying, astrophysics, the 80s, silly themed parties?  When did our imaginations and expressive abilities become so fenced in?

So to all the online daters out there:

I can only speak for myself, but I suspect there are other people out there who also want to know what *you* might be like. Yes, you. The unique, specific human being that is entirely and only you. I encourage you to be a bit braver and open up a teensy bit more. Because no one wants to date just anyone. We all want to be with the right person who makes us happy and who we can trust and know and love. But I think the first step on that terrifying path is being honest and saying something that might catch someone’s attention. So don’t be afraid to – because it simply cannot be that all those people who effectively put “I like going out and I like staying in” are actually that dull. It cannot be true, because that would be far too depressing for words.


As a side note – to approximately 85% of the people I’ve seen on dating websites: THAT CANNOT BE YOUR BEST PICTURE!! COME ON! GIVE ME SOMETHING HERE! Jeez.



The Tree and The Lamp Post

It was the windiest day that year.  The boy and the girl stood next to each other at the top of the hill.  Neither of them spoke.  The sun looked like it was falling down the sky, melting towards the horizon like butter being tilted in a pan.

A little way down the hill a tree stood behind a lamp post.  Each time the wind blew, the tree bent towards the lamp post, which appeared to wobble slightly after each swirl of wind.  The wind grew stronger and the lamp post began to flicker as the sunlight dimmed, and dusk settled in and made itself comfortable.  Dust bin lids flew open, plastic bags teased each other in the air, playing a game of kiss-chase none of them would win.  The wind grew even stronger and still the boy and the girl did not move.

As the lamp post’s fitful glimmers became a fully-fledged beam, the wind blew an almighty breath and a sharp clatter of a fallen dustbin caught the girl and boy by surprise.  She jumped and he stumbled and in the precise moment their attentions were diverted, something changed.  The light shone brighter for a split second, the wind blew so hard they were frozen in time.  When they recovered it was as if something had been unlocked.  They both felt it, both saw in the mirrored shocked expressions that each could hear the same voice as the other, and each instinctively knew that it was unmistakeably the voice of the tree.

All the trees around them were blowing with the wind, blown by it, but this tree always bent in the same direction.  She rocked towards the lamp post, no matter which direction the wind blew, no matter how hard the fight against the elemental force and the other trees all blowing the same way.  This tree blew towards the lamp post.  This tree had a voice and the girl and the boy could hear it.

They heard her heartfelt plea to the lamp post for him to notice her.  They heard her wailing and crying and straining, encouraging herself to reach the tree, to push just that little bit further.  They heard her moments of defeat as she thought of giving up and moments of strength as she tried ever harder.  They saw in a flash the years she had spent bending towards him.  They were knocked backwards by the weight of so much feeling.  Her roots disrupted the earth beneath her and every word she uttered was about the lamp post.

On and on the tree stretched and her branches cracked in their strain. She looked each time as if she would get there.  All it would take is one twig-tip but every time she was just too far away.  The wind whipped her back just a little and however hard she stretched she could not reach the object of her desire.

The boy and the girl heard her trying to speak to him.  They heard the story of the tree growing up behind the lamp post.  Years spent, shy and waiting for him to one day turn around and notice her.  They heard how she had finally found the courage to talk to him.  They heard her ask him if he would consider turning around, just once to look at her, see her and maybe one day feel for her the longing she feels for him.

The girl and the boy and the tree waited.  They waited as the lamp post wobbled.  They waited as the tree continued to strain against the wind, to strain against the feeling that her courage was futile.  They waited for the lamp post to answer.  And as they waited, the boy and the girl felt another surge of strength in the wind around them, saw the light brighten once more, and they heard a voice that was not the tree.  It was a voice that echoed through their minds with a clang of metal and a spark of fire.

They heard the lamp post lament to himself that he simply wished he wasn’t so lonely. They heard how he waited, day in, day out, night after night for someone to come along and light the way for him, the way he lights the way for others so often.  They listened to how he imagined he had someone to tower over him and make him feel small, loved and warm.  They thought they heard him sigh with a creaking metallic groan.

The boy and the girl could hardly breathe.  They looked back at the tree and willed her to shout louder, willed her to stretch harder to reach the lamp post who needed her as much as she wanted him.  He just didn’t know it yet.

They thought they heard a clunking laugh from the lamp post.  They looked back at him and heard him berate himself for being so stupid.  For no one could really love a mute, deaf old post.  How foolish he had been for thinking anyone could.  He would always be alone with only his thoughts for company.

The boy and the girl both thought they saw the lamp post slump, almost imperceptibly.  His light now seemed to dim, the orange glow tinged with sadness.

The girl and the boy looked back to the tree who had not yet given up.  If only the tree could reach the lamp post with her branches then he might turn around and see her, he may feel her and know that someone wanted to give him everything he was waiting for.

The boy and the girl instinctively knew that however hard the tree tried she was just too far away.  And however loud the tree shouted, the lamp post would always be deaf and could never hear her.  He would never turn around and see her for he did not even know he could.

The boy and the girl stood next to each other at the top of the hill.  They watched as the night wore on.  After some time, they moved a little closer and held each other’s’ hands.