In the final episode of TV show Ashes To Ashes we discover that the awesome Gene Hunt is a ghost. An archangel sent to watch over the souls of British cops who died without resolving issues in their lives. The purgatory they inhabit is one that they can eventually move on from, to either Heaven or Hell.
Gene is a badass. Hard drinking, hard smoking, a straight talker and not a man you want to mess with. He can’t cook, is borderline alcoholic and swears a lot. These qualities caused male viewers to think he was ace, and female viewers to consider sitting on his face.
The denouement of the show is also that Hunt died on duty aged 19, on his first day in the job of a policeman in the the real world. He was full of bravado and courage, wanting to save the world and when he came to the purgatory, he refused to move on, staying to become the cop he always dreamed of being, and eventually forgetting that he was dead.
The problem with this was that it put an entirely new slant on Chief Inspector Hunt’s formerly endearing and macho characteristics.
He drank like an alcoholic. We thought that was cool. He smoked like a chimney and we thought that was cool too. His idea of a compliment to a woman he’s just asked out on a date is to say “wear something slutty.” He drives a big, fast car, which is the coolest thing yet. He thinks showing emotion is for girls, puffs, or fairies.
What a guy!!!
Then you realise that he had simply taken his 19 year old mindset into the world of an adult. He never grew up.
This is lampshaded by one character who points out that Gene has an “immature relationship with both women and alcohol.”
My purgatory has been that I always wanted to remain young. I didn’t drink the blood of virgins or bathe in ass’s milk but I developed a mindset that basically meant I never had to face reality as an adult. People tell me often that I don’t look my age (I turn 43 this October) and estimates from people who don’t know me range from 25 to 37. I denied responsibility for so long, simply cherry picking the bits of adulthood I needed to survive and overall have a ruddy good time. I genuinely believe this had an effect on my face and body as I have retained younger features well into middle age. This isn’t a boast, I don’t look like a child after all, but when you believe subconsciously that growing up is a bad thing…maybe you never really will.
I had a family where the only person allowed to have moods or vent frustration was my mother. This meant that the behaviour usually reserved for teeenagers was taken up by her and her alone. This gave me a very scary view of what following her path in life would entail (i.e. actually growing up).
I’ve never been married, never had kids and am free and single. Well, that’s the positive way of looking at it, the negative spin is that I’ve never held down a job for longer than 2 or 3 years. Never made more than 25 grand a year in any job and never had a serious relationship with a woman that lasted more than a year.
The reason is, that the joys of adulthood that are F.U.N are loved by kids who never grow up, even if their bodies do. So someone with a teenage mindset to life will love getting drunk, shagging and driving cars or motorbikes…while not indulging in horrid adult shit like having children, buying a house or investing money.
The other main problem with this is that when you react to situations, you react with a child or teenager’s emotional maturity and not one that corresponds with how old you really are.
I’ve had lots of sex in my life and most of it was fun. Most of it didn’t mean anything, but…
I fell in love when I was 26. Didn’t work out. I was hung up on her for years, and only recently got over it. It loitered in my head like a bad smell. I was insanely jealous when she got a new boyf, even though it was a couple of years after we had split up.
I fell in love again at 32. That didn’t work out either. I was jealous of the guys that came after me, told her I’d put any guy in hospital I ever saw her with, and lost her completely as a friend when I wrote on this very blog 3 years ago that she’d invited me to her wedding and I had replied “not unless you want to be a widow on the same fucking day!”
I fell in love again at 39 and this time it was real. Hey, no more messing about. THIS IS REAL. But unfortunately, although I was by now 14 years older than my mother had been when she gave birth to me…I was unprepared for the realities of having to take someone else’s feelings into account. I drank too much, didn’t keep promises and was moody and depressed a lot of the time. When we finally broke up I said to her “I think you simply wanted to have someone in your life whose first words every morning to you were ‘I love you!’”
After a long pause she replied “your first words every morning were usually ‘I’m sorry!’”
So, back to the same thing again. Loneliness and boredom. But hey! I can shag anyone who wants to shag me.
I took up Krav Maga in February of last year. I told myself it was to keep fit and that I’d enjoyed it when I lived in
Reality was I wanted to be like Gannicus in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
(albeit without the fatalities, fighting blindfolded or ripping some bloke’s
jaw off with a spear).
I went to the gym. I said this was to be supple and increase my energy levels for my day job. In reality I wanted to make women swoon when I took my shirt off (and possibly certain blokes).
The Peter Pan Thing can make you very lonely. You can’t get close to other people because they are not on the same emotional level as you. While a 16 year old might be able to relate to you, you’ll be considered odd at the very least for hanging out with teenagers unless you’re a Scout leader. Your interactions with people over 25 will be uncomfortable and grating. You will shy away from contact because the child within you expects to get hurt and doesn’t trust others. Today I found myself talking to people around me at a gym class, and actually trying to trust them. It was very scary and I could feel my anxiety emerging like an eruption of acne. All for simply trying to talk to other people.
Peter Pan. You’re a cunt.