Friday, 29 January 2010
The Birth Of The Cynic.......
You happy-go-lucky folk, you really don’t understand how much of a bind it can actually be to live under this terrible affliction. Nothing is black and white with us cynics. Everything is just a hazy shade of shite.
That smile we got from somebody who just walked by us, well, that was obviously because there is something wrong with our face and they were just laughing at us. Hard.
The lovely surprise cake that our closest friend brought us, well, obviously it contains some form of terrible bomb that will explode the moment we cut it and send flaming nuclear goo directly onto our heads and cause us to run screaming from the room with our hair on fire. That is why we cynics fear cake. It’s a scientific fact.
To us cynics, every good thing that happens always has something horrible that will be waiting just around the corner to go and royally screw it all up, and make us just sit there with a I told you so look plastered across our smug, stupid heads, while we weep tears of frustration onto our cheeks that drip down and stain our shirts with the wetness that only bitterness provides.
I know, I know, you are probably just thinking “Chill out man, cease the cynicism. Just stop every now and then and smell the flowers. It’s all beautiful dude.” But us cynics know that if we were to stop and smell the flowers, there will definitely be a rabid squirrel with an unhealthy sex addiction lurking within, so the moment we bend over to take a lungful of that fragrant aroma, the little bastard will leap out like a furry ninja to claw out our eyes out with its little rodent claws and hold them triumphantly aloft over its shoulders like little squishy pom poms, whilst simultaneously trying to have vigorous squirrel type sex with our screaming faceholes. This is a fact. This will definitely happen and is in no way the inane ramblings of a man with far too much time on his hands. So there. Deal with it.
They say that our emotional and psychological makeup is created and formed during our teenage years, and I can certainly see some truth in that. You want to know where my cynicism was birthed. Just take a look at my teenage years, they were awful. And this was due to the fact that whatever holy deity that created us decided that he would have some fun with me the moment I hit the age of about 14.
So what did the holy one inflict upon me? Well, firstly he gave me spots. A normal thing amongst teenage boys, this is true, but he gave me the most impressive spots around. I mean, these things were real beauties. If there was some kind of gooey spot award, mine would have taken first, second, and third prize, and possible some kind of special achievement award as well, just for being extra spotty. And these spots had friends and family that they invited to my face for a party and it was many, many years before they left. The stubborn little shits laughed in the face of every form of medication that I threw at them, and this was a lot. Pills, facial washes, creams, all were mocked by my little spotty chums as they cried out from my cratered visage “Come on! Is that all you’ve got?” whilst forming new chums to join in the fiesta.
I remember one form of cream I was issued by my doctors called Quininderm. This stuff was the equivalent of smearing boiling hot magma on my skin. The first night I applied it, I could hear my spots scream “It burns!” in terrible agony. And it did. When I awoke the next morning, the cream was so powerful it had taken out all the dye from my pillow from where I had been lying on it the night before. I could see a perfect replica of my face imprinted on the fabric like the Turin shroud. I rushed to my mirror in hope, thinking that my chums were finally gone, but they weren’t. They were still there. All red and defiant.
So, I had spots. Not so bad, who doesn’t have spots? So what else did Buddha inflict upon me then? He gave me stupid hair, that's what he did. Hair that had a mind of its own and wouldn’t do what I wanted it too. All I wanted was a fashionable haircut so I wouldn’t stand out and be mocked by my peers. Did it happen? Did it bollocks. My hair and I had a six year battle where both of us refused to listen to the other. Curses were made, tears were formed, but no stylish hair was ever found. All I wanted was something to distract everyone from my face. I wanted to swish into a house party and go “Yeah, the face is a mess, but check out this bitching hair!” and people would gasp and then reach over to touch my lovely locks.
Hair went mental.
Another infliction that I had to put up with was an odd sense of humour, something that regular readers of this blog can certainly attest too. My sense of humour was so dry that the moment I attempted to try and say something amusing near a naked flame, the words themselves would catch on fire and disappear in a puff of black smoke. Basically people just never got it. So when I said something dry and sardonic and hilarious, the normal reaction was an odd look, and then a quick excuse, as the listener scuttled sideways to talk to someone a bit more normal.
Anything left? Oh yeah, what about this? I was socially awkward. Socially awkward around whom, I hear you ask?
Those mysterious and wondrous creatures that were like goddesses to my hormonally imbalanced brain. But with the combination of my spotty face, mental hair, and the odd sense of humour, I felt like I was so introverted around them that I would end up looking so hard inside myself that I would come around in a complete circle and end up staring at my own startled face, and no one wanted to do that. Not with the spots/hair combo.
So I would remain mute around the ladies, maybe throwing in the odd (and I mean, odd) comment here or there that would stop a conversation dead, make everyone stare at me for a few minutes, and then carry on like I had never said anything at all.
So quite often I ended up saying nothing. I felt it was the best thing to do. To fade into the background until it felt like I was made out of wallpaper and could blend into anywhere.
Wasn’t very nice, but what could I do?
I remember vividly being in a pub once with a friend called Steve when I was about 17. Steve was a loud, confident bloke, who could quite easily converse with any female he came across. During this particular time he was holding court with two girls at a table that he had just got chatting too. He was being loud, and in his own mind, witty. He was also being a tit. I was perched at the end of the table like a spotty mute with weird hair, listening to him babble complete shit to these two girls, and for some reason they were lapping it up and looking at him like he was some flash god with gold plated nipples. Across the floor on another table were two older women who were watching us.
For some reason, Steve got up with the two girls and left me alone at the table. Well, I was never alone really. I had my spots, my weird hair, and an almost crushing sensation of self loathing.
I always had that.
Suddenly one of the older women spoke to me from their table.
“You’re too quiet, do you know that?”
“Sorry?” I squeaked back, shocked that somebody had noticed me and had actually used their mouth to say words towards me.
“You’re letting that idiot do all the talking. You can talk as well you know, girls don’t bite.”
I didn’t really know how to reply.
“Steve is just like that. He’s very confident. I’m not like that at all.”
“He’s a wanker.” the woman said with a little shake of her head.
Well, yeah, I had to agree with that.
“Look, you’re not bad looking, just talk to them. It’s easy. Girls like it when you’re just straightforward and honest. The wrong kind of girls like pricks like your friend Steve. Just be yourself, if a girl doesn’t like that, then they ain’t worth knowing, are they?”
I could feel the redness creep over my face over this strangers sudden interest in my wellbeing and I hurriedly made my excuses to leave. But something made me pause halfway across the pub, and I turned around and went back to them, causing them to stop talking and look back up at me.
“Thank you.” I said.
And I meant it.
I’d like to say that from the moment of my mysterious older lady intervention, my social awkwardness disappeared and I became a walking Casanova (with mental hair), but it was a lot more gradual than that. But eventually I guess I blossomed a little, gained more confidence, and grew into the adult that I am today. The cool, hip slinging motherfunker whose skin has cleared up, who made some kind of peaceful truce with the mental hair, and who has honed the sense of humour into something more socially accepting, and can also make the ladies melt with one arched eyebrow (Okay, I may have lied about the last one. Actually, sod it, I may have lied about them all, but this is my tale and I will tell it anyway I want too). And I would like to think that my path to self acceptance was started by a few kind words from a complete stranger.
So I may be a helpless cynic that was given a painful birth because of my terrible teenage years, but maybe, just maybe, I will try and ease up on it a little bit and actually stop once in awhile and smell the flowers. But rest assured, I will be carrying a baseball bat as well, just in case that squirrel is nestled within them.
If he tries to hump my face I will twat the little fucker.