here is distant

I was browsing and came across someone who seems to read it like the morning paper or their twitter timeline. To be fair, I find more appealing than both.

It reminded me why I write to the internet and not to a notebook. It's not just because my handwriting is terrible and I get impatient writing long words without the help of a red squiggly line.

If I was at the pub on a Tuesday at 10pm, then I'd want people to listen my spiels, and so the same is true as I lie alone in my double bed. I want real people to read my stuff.

But I need them to like it. When I read writings written about reading, right away I read into it that my writing is being looked down on by better writers as wrong not right, right?

This shows how my self-worth is externally dependent, even though I know it shouldn't be. I have been writing this blog for both myself and a fictitious audience who love my work. But when an audience revealed itself as real, I felt genuine feelings of inadequacy. Hell, I don't even have a blogging voice.

So this is a reminder that I don't need the approval of others. I blog to to make sense of my world, and to expend some creativity. I don't vomit-blog; I proofread and genuinely treat this as a piece of work to be proud of. There's only so much creativity possible in my daytime spreadsheets, as pretty as I make them.

So I would find it personally valuable if anyone reading has some critique for me, and if they could please leave it in the comments section.

Oh wait, there isn't one... contains a search for a better version of me, through self-pitying anecdotes and humourless introspection. is me writing about what I want to write about.

The desk opposite me was empty, as my boss came to sit next to me, screwing up her nose as she did. It smelt. Not the kind of smell that jabs your nostrils violently, but the more subtle and un-delightful eggy kind, that lingers and loiters in the background.

My boss soon moved and whispered into a colleagues ear. The sound of two people trying not to be heard could barely be drowned out by the sporadic clicks of mice. I smell. There was no one else it could have been round there. I stare at my screen but can't think about Excel.

I'm leaking sewage. Everyone knows. My garments amplify my odours. They all talk about it when I'm at lunch. My holes are valveless. It's what they think about when I talk about clients. I can't look after myself. It's what they all smell when I talk to them about bookings.

Then everyone talked at once. All the voices were hissing over each other. They all tried not at look at me, so that I couldn't guess who they were talking about. Noses held, arms wafting and air freshener pumped. Aria brought in an egg sandwich for lunch and people are asking her to put it in the fridge. I closed the google search for incontinence with quite a lot of relief (but not too much, thank God).

You have just read my 14th blog post of all time, entitled Paranoid Panda-Void

I just don't remember The feeling's escaped me I just need a reminder

The thrill of affection I went looking for it Could have been anyone's kiss Throwing my arms at no one

I do myself a disservice To feel this weak To be this nervous


I have a crush on a girl I sit two metres away from every day. The office is not an environment where I feel comfortable, or capable, of forming any kind of meaningful relationship, but she is friendly towards me and laughs if I joke.

Today she was talking of how she lacks direction her job and feels a bit useless at work sometimes. I will freely admit to this blog that it pleased me to hear it. Most of the characters in the office hide their insecurities behind overt self-satisfaction and are painfully incredulous in the face of anything that even remotely challenges them. My crush's vulnerability and unhappiness feel so much more honest and relatable to me. I genuinely find myself wishing gentle dissatisfaction onto her. Maybe because otherwise she'd never be interested in me, maybe because I am jealous of other people's happiness. I just wish I could connect with her...

...and that she didn't have a boyfriend.

————————————————————————————————- This my 12th blog post. Its title is stolen.


I was checking the latest Instagrams today.

Suddenly my phone went all soft and my finger went through the touchscreen and out the other side, as if I were fingering a generously filled jam doughnut.

The phone was turning to liquid and the latest Instagrams were looking blurrier than usual.

They were all over my hands and were dripping into the carpet.

I called tech support but they said they only deal with software issues.

I'll have to try and fix it tomorrow because I need my phone to send messages and do other important things.


My next post was going to be a guide to sexuality, based on the flurry of tinder dates I'd had. The dates were enjoyable, but there was no whirlwind romance I secretly wanted.

At the time I write this, I haven't met anyone for a couple of weeks, or done much socially at all, and my sexuality has become unhealthily stale and distant. I will try to write about it anyway, but this blog post is not driven by emotion or passion, but a desire to a) write b) do something.

Because I grew up in a heteronormative environment, my attraction towards girls naturally became part of my identity.

I am however regularly exposed to progressive ideas which made me want to question my sexuality.

I've had male crushes before, and am excited by the idea of experimenting.

Instinctively, women turn me on more than men but what if that's just internalised heteronormativity?

I dated a man and had no desire towards him. The next day I dated a women and felt instantly warmed by her presence.

I'm not categorically saying I'm straight, but I am categorically saying I need to get out the flat more.

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Football ruined my life.

If there was no such thing as football, I'd be happy. I'd be somewhere less tragic than this, doing something less miserable than this. I'd be eating grapes, reflecting on what went right. But here I am, spooning ice cream, patching together a themed life-narrative to diagnose the causes of my inadequacies. This is a blog post written by a graduate who still wants to be a footballer. This a blog post about who I really am and how I'm really nothing.

Like most boys in the country, my relationship with football started in childhood. I loved it. At home, there was enough space in our garden for my brother and I to run around playing fake premier league games, and our neighbours were patient enough to throw our wayward shots back over the fence. At school, wayward shots were usually just underneath the imaginary crossbar, or just inside the jumper-post. Much to my mother's annoyance, every lunchtime I would prioritise running around the playing field over preserving my school shoes. But it was worth it, as my school-shoe skills could earn me some serious social currency. I was popular and lunchtimes felt good.

I could do things with a football. I wasn't the best player on the pitch, but it often looked like I was because I was one of the most skilful. I could weave between players at speed. I could bring the ball from in tow to on toe and then a metre behind a defender keeping him rooted to the spot. Football could make me move without thinking, and it made other people like me. If I scored a goal, I'd win a high-five. Otherwise, I'd get some vocal affirmation that I'd done something good. On the pitch I was worth something, I was valuable. I loved having a football at my feet. But football ruined my life.

At high school, footballs weren't allowed so we'd play with a tennis ball. I could still manipulate it, getting it to do anything I wanted and it still made me feel good. But as we got deeper into high school, football wasn't cool anymore. Suddenly, all the football boys just wanted to sit around talking to girls. But I carried on playing football, and would come to class after lunch unattractive and sweaty. But it was worth it: the feeling of having a tennis ball at my feet could never be surpassed by chatting.

I lost touch with the football boys at lunchtimes, but we'd still play real football together at weekends. It would be cold, muddy, and the midlife crisis dads cared too much if we lost. Football training was fitness training, where we'd spend most of the time warming up or putting down cones. When Sunday rolled around, it would be a long drive to a random village, to listen to an overly passionate team-talk and unsuccessfully try to win a header against a post-puberty teen twice my tiny size. My love of football didn't come from team spirit or winning matches. It came from being absorbed in the ball at my feet and how I could use this to win respect off other people.

At 16 it all stopped. My dad, who had been ferrying me across the county for ten years, got his Sundays back. High school finished and sixth form began. All of a sudden I was meeting people who didn't know I was good at football. This shouldn't have been a problem, but my persona on-the-pitch had become an important part of who I was off-the-pitch. Football had made me notoriously cheeky and dangerously cocky, which are not qualities that go well with someone who's painfully shy. I didn't really realise it at the time, but football was a part of my personality, and I needed it when it wasn't there.

It was around this time in my life I took a disinterest in following football. As a child I'd been a keen supporter who was heavily invested in the game. In adulthood, the emotional investment needed to support a team seemed absurd, and amateur punditry became boring. I could still enjoy watching good football, but I didn't care about player stats or which team won. I don't know if it was part of growing up, or a slip of mental health, but this feeling of malaise was seeping throughout my life, drying out everywhere where there was once passion and vigour. Or maybe it was just just because my team got relegated. I felt distanced from those who cared about the beautiful game, despite the fact that football was what made me happy.

When I went to university, I didn't feel comfortable making football part of my identity. Unlike when I was in primary school, football no longer comprised the majority of my peer interaction. Embracing football was to embrace the culture of sport, and with it, a certain masculine identity that I just wasn't compatible with. When being placed in university halls, we were asked our interests, so to be placed with like-minded individuals. I loved football, but didn't want to be matched based on that fact, so I left that box blank. Incidentally, that came back to bite me. When I was put into a accommodation with 4 flatmates who had put American football in that box, I kinda wished I had written football.

That was 5 years ago. I'm 23 now. If someone asks me what my hobbies are I'll still tell them football, because it's true. But 2 minutes later I have to say that I've no opinion on the ludicrous display last night, if Arsenal were trying to walk in, or if they bought on Walcott far too early. To like football, you have to be a certain way, behave a certain way, and know the scores on a Monday morning. In school, you need football to make friends, but now I need friends to play football. I play 5-a-side only semi-regularly, and it's not easy as it should be to find a team.

So how did football ruin my life?

I clocked 1000s of hours playing football as a child, and I was good at it. I played on my own in the garden; every lunchtime at school; every weekend for a team and round the house I moved from room to room with a ball at my feet. Football was how I socialised; it was how I made friends and how I fuelled my self-esteem. I've always been very shy, and football gave me a way to speak with my feet. Football was my social crutch, and in adulthood it was taken away. Every time I meet someone new, they don't know I'm good at football and it makes me feel inadequate. So maybe football didn't quite ruin my life, but it didn't prepare me for it.

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I took LSD two years ago and regularly flashback to my bad trip. Taking LSD was an interesting experience, too abstract to put into words. Luckily, this is a blog that openly yields to bullshit, where I can write anything so long as I reproach it by sentence 3.

I wouldn't say I vividly hallucinated, but external reality did lose all its meaning. I couldn't register the basic concepts that are perquisites of understanding what it is to be in a place. It was unpleasant, but I didn't feel terrified. I didn't know who I was, what I was, or how I was. Familiarity was absent; I knew nothing. Warped versions of three things from my life featured in the trip:

• Work. I knew the people I was with from work. 'Work' became a way to connect to others. • Love. The people I was with did not know me like my girlfriend knew me. 'Love' became something distancing me from others. Love vividly existed, but it was distant. • Change. I knew the current purview was temporary. 'Change' became interchangeable with hope.

Love and change were essentially coping mechanisms to deal with the unfamiliar. As the night wore on, I had to relearn what everything was. Finding a pen and paper I wrote down 'sight', and 'hearing', in an attempt to make sense of what was happening. Taking a walk at 5am, the effects were reduced to street lamps gently curling their shape, and the pavement in front of me softly pulsing.

I since have dreams that mimic how I felt. They are always the same. As I start to fall asleep, I dream of innocuous circumstances from my everyday life. Then it gets to a point where everything changes and the surroundings are overcome by something huge that has no tangible quality. Sometimes it's sudden intoxication, as if I was instantly receiving the effects of drinking a bottle of vodka. The other people fade to the background and I'm overcome by a feeling of slipping uncontrollably into hell. At this point I know it's a dream and that I can pull myself out of it. But it's not easy: I struggle to escape for 10-20 seconds, desperately trying to open my eyes, as if I'm underwater desperate for a breath.

I open my eyes and my heart is beating. I'm full of adrenaline. I'm not terrified anymore, but overcome by the intensity of the experience. It's this bizarre juxtaposition between feeling completely out-of-control, yet having the full knowledge I control when it ends. Not much time has passed since I first closed my eyes, and I soon then fall asleep peacefully for the rest of the night.


It was so hot in there I was sweating.

I had to introduce each body part to the water, one by one.

My genitals were buoyant and my muscles blended into the water.

Water surrounded my ears until the podcast man was saying sounds, not words.

Head tipped back, eyes closed, my breathing holes rode the still surface of the pool.

The stillness was broken with a swoosh as I emerged, like a fish in water.

I rewarded my body by scrubbing it all smooth with clean bubbles.

I felt naked and happy,

You can buy it online. I didn't even have to leave my flat. I confidently googled on incognito, and three or four clicks later I was shopping for bodies. It's not amazon so there was no filter for price, lowest to highest. Prices started from £150 for a one hour outcall. “outcall” in layman's terms is when a girl travels to wherever the client wants. An incall is £20 cheaper, but for someone who lacks the social confidence for Subway, I would implode trying to navigate a fucking brothel. This site had a webchat, so could accommodate clients like me who can't handle a phone call.

Incall or outcall? Which girl? What time? Before I had to answer these questions I had to answer society's question how do you morally justify this? Society doesn't give a shit if you wear clothes made in a sweat shop, or carry around a mobile device assembled by a child. Or if you buy a sandwich from a sandwich shop made for you by someone earning 15 times less than Bella, who visited me for one hour. I justified it because I am lonely, but to no one, because I am ashamed.

I studied the feminist debate on sex work at university. In an oversimplified nutshell there's 3 viewpoints. 1) The act of buying and selling sex is the embodiment of patriarchal male control over the female body, 2) labour cannot be separated from the person possessing it, so sex work is as oppressive as other wage labour and 3) sex work can be empowering for women if they can have control in their work. I can sympathise with each view.

I once knew an unqualified 19 year old cunt who was given a supervisory role in a British factory, only because his skin was white. His employees would pay to visit a woman in the back of a van who was driven in for their break.

Free choice is exercised to whichever extent individual circumstances allow.

Bella was a graduate who worked part-time in bank. Bella wouldn't have been in my flat if she could do anything she wanted. If I could do anything I wanted I wouldn't have spent 8 hours today selling ancillary products to aviation companies. Life is shit. I felt morally ok paying to be with Bella but incredibly socially uncomfortable.

————————————————————————————————— #personal