here is distant

melancholic moment medley

I'm not your friend. I dress pixel ducks. Giving a goose hid inside my Valentino white bag.

It's quite nothing. Just a spare tired. Honeygry as fuck because my Valentino white bag.

Go therverywhere. It's fucking noisy. Sad hours pm at my Valentino white bag.

Spill farcicles. Pleasure from Pretty. Stuffing skullenvoid into my Valentino white bag.

I call myself an agnostic, but religion has been a huge part of my life. This post shares my subjective experiences, and how they have shaped my opinion and attitudes towards religion.

I was raised a Catholic in a secular part of the UK, a country with rapidly declining Christianity. My mother is a very devout Catholic and my father is non-religious. Through my father's passivity and my mother's rigid beliefs, a strict religious homelife was cultivated for my three younger siblings and I. Although Catholicism was not super obtrusive to our childhoods, it was presented as the unquestionable way of life. We were brought up with clear versions of right and wrong, and family prayer was quotidian (a family that prays together, stays together). On Sundays we'd go to church for mass, and then to my grandparents house, to dissect/gossip about it.

When I was a child, I'd have no reason to doubt God's existence. My mother said I should thank Jesus for the day, and at school we coloured him in and sang songs for him. I was too young to think much about it, but there wasn't much worth thinking about for someone who'd rather be climbing trees. I learnt that not everyone believes in God. This too didn't bother me, it was just another thing to learn about the world. You can tell a child anything, and they won't dwell on the philosophical implications. Unlike adults, a child rightly knows that to dwell on anything is a waste of time. This is handy, because the concept of hell would be fucking terrifying.

You will burn for eternity if you wank into a sock, unless you admit it to a dog-collared man in a box. My cynicism is retrospective, or if it did exist at the time it would have been quickly quashed by my mother, who viciously feared non-belief, as an evil to banish from the mind. For her children, she bound tightly together faith and duty, to the point that my beliefs were so resolute, they weren't worth thinking about. Religion became a something to tolerate rather than to enrich. As many millions of children will know, tolerating incredibly long church services requires a handful of coping strategies. Church became a place to be with my own thoughts (mainly football or nsfc lol), but not express them. This is how my over-passivity developed.

I spent adolescence avoiding being asked the question 'are you religious?' by my friends, mother and myself. To my mother the answer would've been yeah, not that the question would ever be asked, as the assumed yes wasn't up for discussion. Since it wasn't up for discussion, I could only wonder to myself whether I would go to church as an adult. I'll probably go to church, but I probably won't pray outside of that, I remember thinking. I would play down my religiousness to friends, because although I went to Catholic school, Catholicism was still uncool. Many kids were from non-religious backgrounds, and the strict teachings I'd got from my mother were not much reinforced. The peer environment treated the life of a practising Catholic with no familiarity.

The first Sunday I moved out of home to go to university, I didn't go to church. That was my first opportunity to make my own decision, and it was made based on control, rather religious belief. I had felt coerced when living at home, and powerless in the weekly situation of being woken at 7am for church. Not going to church is a mortal sin, which means that it can lead to damnation if never repented. However, eternal punishment wasn't on my mind as I enjoyed my new Sunday lie-ins. The only unease I felt related to how I was disappointing one of my parents.

My mother's response was a mixture of disappointment and passive aggression. When I was back home, it was the great unsaid that I would continue to go to church, despite my conscious term-time lapses. Whereas my father could cohabitate by being passively non-religious, I was made to feel that I had to be passively religious. I avoided talking about religion, as to do so would be exposure to either information bulletins about how much God loved me, or scathing comments expressing I was weak, taken in by the devil, blind, or stupid. My mum often reiterated the importance of religion, but she too wasn't overly keen to open a constructive dialogue. I guess the one thing worse than knowing your son isn't religious, is hearing the sentiment expressed out loud. This is how my fear of confrontation developed.

As much as religion has been primarily an unhealthy familial psychological battle, I have given the concept itself a lot of thought. For me, the only outlook that makes sense is agnosticism. Science cannot disprove God, because God is not scientific. You can make historical assumptions about the existence of Jesus, but you can't make a scientific argument about his supernaturality. It comes down to faith, which simply some people have, and others don't. I often think: why is the one religion I was born into necessarily the right one? To submit myself to Catholicism, I'd have to surrender agency, which paradoxically I should apparently be using to get into heaven. My conundrum is with choice and dogma: I now cannot have the latter without exercising the former, and if accepting the latter, I must surrender the former.

But the reality of any personal relationship with a macro institution is vastly more complicated than can be reduced to a logical argument like the one above. What it really comes down to is personal experience and from where one draws meaning. Even within Catholicism, I see people come together without unanimous beliefs. People take different things from religion. It attracts people for different, sometimes contradictory, reasons: community or escape love or fear passion or repression learnedness or submissiveness

In my life so far, God has not revealed himself to me, and quite frankly, I find the whole thing completely uninteresting. If God wants me to change my mind, then it is totally within his power.

I love arguing, but hate doing it online.

The inconsistency intrigues me, because offline I've made a real hobby of advocating the devil whenever it is or isn't convenient. Having no passionate opinions, I challenge any idea put forward, facetiously switching between viewpoints, at the whim of a desire to get under the skin of anyone exposing that they might care about something.

My intentions are playful, and at best so will be the response. I get no cruel pleasure from upset, but do so from frustration or blind indignity. I don't deviate from good nature, but my tendancies to search for character flaws and contradictions in beliefs are received better by those who are comfortable referencing their own weaknesses, than by those who aren't.

Online arguing culture has no place for commenters who aren't sure about what is right and who is so wrong. I think that this, combined with the lack of tone and an overly opinionated audience, suggest that the pleasures I get from arguing are not too transferable to the internet.

Having said that, what got me writing this article was a response I wrote here on read.write.as that closely resembled how much of a prick I can be in real life. It's clear that for me, goading took priority over debate, that I was after a reaction rather than a response.

It's some weeks later now, and I'm disappointed I'm still waiting. His original post and initial response have been deleted so although I'm tempted to claim it as a victory, silence was the one outcome I didn't want.




My lack of conversational wholesomeness is unknown to many that know me only as uncomfortably shy. If you want to know what I think, give me a four hour train journey, and get yourself an internet connection and a tolerance for bad poetry.

My humour is reactive, I'm conversationally redactive. I'm just not attractive when I'm interacting.

Hi, I'm a blogger established on write.as. Please read my wispy wanderings, which are nothing more than the journal entries of a lonely 23 year old British male. I don't take myself seriously, but hope you will. Let me tell you about my blogs.

hereisdistant.co.uk melancholic moment medoly Thematic personal words I find therapeutic to construct. Posts are usually based on an anecdote or observation and they explore what I really think / who I really am.

Sober Thoughts a collection of sober thoughts Looser, less coherent stuff without titles. There's the odd poem, rambling, response or just whatever comes to mind.

3OH!3 Fan Club Exclusively Lyrics from 3OH!3 Songs In 2007, I came across Sean Foreman (30H!3), drunk in the corner of a downtown Boulder bar. As he rambled lyrics of songs that remain unreleased, I secretly recorded him. I think they're brilliant, so every now and again I dip into them, transcribing to this blog.

#TalesFromSocialMedia Under this hashtag on hereisdistant.co.uk I write silly articles and stories that are bloody ludicrous. I would make it a separate blog, but I don't have the allowance.




For comment, feedback and hatemail: hereisdistant@gmail.com

Taking the hand of a blog was a nice idea, but the audience's identity is too small for an echoless chamber, and too big for inhibitionless echos. Yes, I'm too afraid to discover myself without the hand of another.

In tmo's blog, the other characters are his own projects, hobbies and company. It's probably a maturity thing that I'm less concerned with backpacking, and more with getting laid. But I'd love to go backpacking, I just need someone to hand me a backpack and send me out on my way. In the Greenwich meantime, I've been trying online dating. I feel as if I've no choice but to place a large amount of faith in tinder. If there was any pride left in this blog, it will now slowly edge away, as I explore the cause of my romantic troubles. The following extract is taken from my teenage days, back when I was 23.

It's pleasing for me to think about the awkward fireworks of mutual attraction. Offline sparks seem somewhat abstract in the spaces where my life is playing out. Places of monotonous adulthood don't foster emotional liberation like playgrounds or smoking areas do. It's no wonder then, that I take comfort in an app which has all the lust of a club, but less self-consciousness. Romance is on the line unless I'm online.

Problem 1: I can't smile. I'm not ugly. However, I'm also not tall, jawlined or nearly as edgy as I want to be. I'm not photogenic either; I've been told I look better in person. This isn't ideal, given the importance my appearance holds at the time of judgement. I try not to overthink the inevitable and numerous preconceptions to grace my face. I'm too busy being physically attracted to about 50% of girls my age. Sadly, the number who fancy me from that population is small, or so the evidence leads me to believe. I'm left with a small matchbox.

Problem 2: Patriarchy. In theory, what should ensue is a love story starting from a strong base of mutual attraction. However, I can never remember which pocket I left my lighter in and anyway, girls only respond to messages they want to be hearing. In attempts to satisfy their tricky demand, I can either be myself (blunt and self-effacing) or concede exclamation marks, spoon-feeding them emojis until orgasm. Surprisingly, neither approach works. The first because my personality is as charismatic as stone, and the second because ingenuity doesn't come naturally to me 😇😇😇.

Problem 3: I want to be loved. Things can only get bitter, right? It's rare both parties are present and interested to the point when a conversation is achieved. However if it does happen, she will deviate from being tolerable and/or I will curtail myself until replying becomes a chore. Round my waist there's a clunky metaphor, I think. I'm not sure if it's a chastity belt or CHASEtity belt, such is my fear of running after the girls I like. I need to be chased more than I want to chase. This results in something nobody wants.

were two words that filled me with pride when I read them in my leaving card. I had just graduated from university and was sad to be leaving my part-time job in a supermarket cafe, after a tenure of three years. At the start of shifts I used to hop into the kitchen, skip into an apron, and jump on the till. This cafe was no idyllic haven for shoppers to sip elderflower cordial. It was dynamic and industrial sized. On busy weekend shifts I'd run the kitchen that was flooded with orders. Or I'd glide around pouring latte art, asking customers if they had everything they needed. Evening shifts could be quieter; I'd save money on meals by eating lasange, panini's or whatever else was otherwise destined for the bright red bin bags.

I wasn't always so bold. It takes time for me to become confident around people. At the start, I was timid and nervous, scared of what people would think of me. Every time I meet someone new, they don't know I'm good at football and it makes me feel inadequate. I'm not a forthcoming person; I tend to struggle creating an identity, preferring others to build it for me. Luckily, when others failed, time succeeded, and after a year I had even made friends. On the surface I'm mousy, underneath I'm cocky. There's no hidden depths but self-loathing is present throughout.

What I needed was a greeting on a leaving card that burst with affirmation. The sentiment within was that I was a charmer, that girls wanted me. Everyone shipped this quiet full-time girl and I, who blushed whenever my name was mentioned. A more outgoing girl ended up in my bed after a night out. Another declared her love for me after I pushed her up against a wall outside a bar. I had a girlfriend the entire time but I was greedy, and tragically desperate to feel wanted. For all the pride I felt with the words Dear Romeo, I felt more self-loathing, as I came home and hid the card away.



I got reminded of this now, as I prepare to leave my current job. On finding out I was leaving, a colleague said to me “who's going to flirt with the Spanish account manager now?”, referring my genial companionships with my desk neighbour and her predecessor (both of whom have boyfriends). On hearing the comment, I felt an instinctive primal pride but it faded very quickly into a sadness which, in retrospect, I think was a manifestation of loneliness. Whilst the flirting is reciprocated and actually quite cute, there's no exertion of vulnerability. I don't feel wanted, and that's what I think I need. From someone, anyone.

Every afternoon chunks of lethal metal spill onto the city, and they're all mad at each other. The evening commute can be frustrating behind the wheel, nose to nose in traffic. But here I find escapism, next to Sat Navs telling poor people to take the next left towards ludicrous APR. Here I find adrenaline, aside the rich who fart into leather seats that they love more than their wives. My bicycle peddles are my window of life, away from days reserved at a desk and nights of undeserved rest.

That is, unless I turn left. If I don't, then I power ahead into the cycle lane, passing Ubers who are stuck up each other's asspipes. I feel the wind in my face as I dart by cars crawling in some slow motion notion. A bus pulls in. A look goes over the shoulder and an arm goes out, as I overtake something 10 times my size. It feels good. I know where the potholes are so I can avoid them with dexterity. Some piece of shit wants to take me on the outside. I humour him past me, but his foot's soon off the gas and at the mercy of the fucker in front of him. They all want to be me, or I think they want to be me. I don't care which.

Turning left avoids the traffic. It's the same distance home, but it's via empty side roads that aren't exactly captivating. Sometimes I turn left, and I do so for three reasons:

1) It's raining 2) I've been drinking 3) I'm depressed

At worst it's three, today it was just number 3.



I've nothing to get home for.

Bus driver Chris Blast has slammed the results of the public inquiry that acquitted the local council of responsibility for the recent influx of traffic collisions on the Chesterman roundabout.

After a massive five reported smashes since the road markings changed at the start of the year, a public inquiry was called in March to attribute responsibility.

The dubious inquiry concluded that the new road markings did not cause the accidents. Supporters of the inquiry result have been heard saying it is the fault of “fucking stupid drivers that need their eyes checked”.

The bus that Chris Blast was driving on Monday collided with a motorbike. Following the accident, Blast told local media that “I question the validity of the inquiry results”.

After Blast declined to pay respects to the motorbike driver, who passed away on impact, he has been receiving constant abuse social media that has distressed Blast through the misquoting of the police report.

Blast said “the motorbike driver's family and friends have been spreading false information on twitter. One said my breathalyser reading was four times over the legal limit, when the police report clearly states I was only three and half times over”.

This incident brings into question the legitimacy of the inquiry result. The credentials of the inquiry leader has been put into major doubt in recent days following unfounded claims about the media's use hyperbole.




#TalesFromSocialMedia

No parent wants to be responsible for a child feeling excluded at school, but it's your fault your son's lunchtimes have changed since the summer holiday. Now, his social status resembles a lame glasses kid or a filthy layabout nothinghead. The ice cool crackerjacks in the playground have all been to the theme park that has everything, especially the kitchen sink! Son has been begging you to go Giant Kitchen Land. He knows what ride he’ll go on first and what he’d be too nervous to try. “We can’t afford it”, you tell him, although it breaks your heart to see him so sad. When he’s tucked up in bed, having sweet dreams of the moment of anticipation before the pop on the toaster ride, you’ll turn to your partner. “We could save up”, you say, “we could go without a few luxuries for a while. It would be worth it, to see the smile on his face”.

Whether you’re a kitchen-loving thrill seeker or just looking for somewhere to take the kids, a fun filled day out is guaranteed when you visit Giant Kitchen Land. Take everything you knew about merry-go-rounds and leave it at the door of our microwave-go-round. Spin at 700 rotations per minute in the Laundry Room, get soaked in the Dishwasher or enjoy some family fun in the Kiddie Kupboards. As if exploiting childish adrenaline wasn’t enough, this place also prides itself on delicious cuisine, just like mum’s kitchen at home! We offer a wide range of places to eat and booze, so no one in the family will be disappointed. Try a burger at the Grill or neck a quick bottle at the Wine Rack.

Your partner is clicking intently online. “What do you think?” You ask him. As you look across and wait for a response, you suddenly understand the agony Son goes through every time he begs you. Staring at his screen, your partner’s facial expression changes gradually, as if he can’t quite believe what he’s seeing. “What? What is it?” You ask him, intrigued and excited by the smile spreading across his face. Finally, the response comes:

We’re going to Giant Kitchen Land! This weekend! Tickets are excellent value for money! I knew that you got a fun-filled family experience with state of the art rides in a quirky setting, so I just assumed prices would be three times that amount! Plus, when you buy in advance online, you save 40% on the price that you’d pay on the day!”




#TalesFromSocialMedia

There's one man and one woman. She's chatting away to his smiling face.

She's describing toilet roll holders. Not the 'contained ones' the man mentions and describes by moving both hands downwards, as if stroking a large orb. It's the 'bar ones'.

Without looking down an index finger extends outwards, quickly drawing a horizontal line from left to right no more than 20cm long.

It's platform 5 at Liverpool South Parkway train station, and they making sure passengers alight the right train.


A curled up leaf left dry by the sun lies on the pavement. I register it too late and stop when it is a metre behind me. It's a lovely day and I'm early for my train so I go back to crunch the leaf satisfyingly.


14 rows packed rows, without an empty seat in sight, all face me as I stand in front of them. They've forgotten how to smile and they don't want to talk.

Her there, that lawyer in the front row, hasn't forgotten how to draft an email to a recruitment agent requesting help in looking for positions in the Middle East or Hong Kong. She wants to start an informal conversation at a time that's convenient for Jamie.

Next to her a white shirt watches his screen. He watches suits prance around with serious expressions on their faces.

Another wanker searches for the best of Madonna. Number four is typing #armani on Instagram. The beady eyes at the end peak up from his book eager not to miss his station. I don't think he will. It's is the last stop and he'll follow the crowd off the train.



Most of all, I hated him because he gave a shit about selling houses

and

a high standard of customer service from the beginning to the end of the moving experience.


When you spend your whole time on trains, it always looks like you have somewhere to be.