Sunday, 10 January 2016

Things Get Lemmied

There is a whole lorry load of stuff that I still want to do. I mean, I've scuba dived, parachuted, been a cop, been a salvage diver for NATO (really), been a special feature on the DVD of my favouritest ever movie and even got to hang out backstage with my favourite punk rock band on a regular basis.

I've done stuff. And it was fun.

Problem is that, like many people I have procrastinated and worried and put things off for another day and sooner or later the unrelenting monster that is Time will simply shrug and go "Well fuck you then!" and just move on.

There are many, many examples in my life of me doing something awesome and getting payback that was even awesomer. For a Ramones gig in 1995 at the Astoria, London I was right at the front of the queue and therefore right up against the crush barrier for the gig. I caught Johnny Ramone's plectrum when he (almost contemptuously) flicked it into the audience during the second encore. About 10 hands reached out, but mine was the one that caught it. Same gig I met the head of the UK fan club who got the album sleeve signed for me by Marky and CJ Ramone. I also got her to put me on the guest list the following night for Leicester university. Now that three of the original Ramones are dead, that gig was part of a day I consider well and truly seized.

In 2005 I was a Special Constable with City of London Police and on July 7th, just after the terrorist attacks occurred, I went in and helped out and have a letter from the Chief Superintendent of that era, thanking me for my "selfless act." Something to show the grandkids one day.

I've had my photo taken with Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones (met her by accident in the local chemist) and had coffee with Enzo G Castellari, one of my favourite film directors. I've lived in Rome, Milan and Mexico. I stopped counting how many women I've had sex with when I got to 45. I've fulfilled sexual fantasies that I thought only happened in porn films (and been told afterwards "that was good").

I've gone water skiing, fired real guns, shot an octopus with a spear gun (and then cooked & eaten it) and been one of ten people selected by Eyal Yanilov, the head of Krav Maga Global, to fight at a seminar he was hosting. I've seen albino tigers, written nine books and even got in a bar room brawl.

If I was on my deathbed and said the above to the assembled weeping relatives and the priest giving me would appear I'd led a fairly badass life.

But here's the rub.

That stuff all really happened but it's spread out thinly amongst a great chunk of Sitting On My Arse, Putting It Off Till Later and even a bit of I'm Too Tired Right Now. For every awesome thing I've done there's twenty more that I let slip away.

Despite my apparent confidence, I'm taking anxiety suppressants and have been for about 4 years. I am crap at chatting women up even though I'm more than able to have a reasonable conversation with one. I worry and fret and bite my nails and watch television and do any number of things in order to not have to do what I deep down believe is what I want or need.

On February 12th last year I finally decided that this story needed an ending. I unblocked the Red Jumper girl from the blocked list on Facebook (yes, I blocked HER...the perils of unrequited love and a self cannibalising imagination) and with a cup of filter coffee next to me, took a deep breath and said sorry in a brief message. Two hours later I was on Radford Road in Leamington Spa when the phone beeped and she had replied. I remember it was raining and I had to wipe drops of water off the phone as I, with a trembling hand, saw what she had to say to me in reply. It said:

"Hi Lance. It's good to hear from you. I'm not upset. It has been a long time. What are you up to now?"

This was further proof of my desire to live in the safety and blandness of a world numbed by my own self denial. All that love and passion (that she didn't even really know about until she read that blog 9 years later) had swirled and churned in my head and driven me almost insane. Maybe if at the time I fell in love with her I had actually FUCKING TOLD HER then things would have been different. Now, I'll probably never know.

I keep meaning to learn Spanish and putting it off. As I already speak Italian it would be a small yet studious step to venture into the sister language. Maybe in six months I'll have a foundation in the language to work on and be able to hold a conversation in it. However, I've put this off for years along with learning Greek (my excuse being that the alphabet looks like something from Star Wars and basically my father lives in Crete where 90% of people speak English anyway).

Five and a half years ago I was given a book called "The Art of Lucid Dreaming" which in theory, will allow you to take control of your dreams. I have read about two pages of the book and it has sat on my shelf gathering dust along with the katana book ends that prop it and its companions up.

I snapped my anterior crusciate ligament in my left knee in 2001 and it was only September of 2015 that I actually got the bastard thing operated on. I would do sports and even Krav Maga with painkillers and a knee brace and just "put up with it". I finally bit the bullet and got the gristle scraped out and I can already feel that this was a wise investment.

I don't like my job but don't really make any effort to find another. I like to cook but can't really be fucked to cook anything beyond recipes I know in my head.

The list goes on

So....last week the lead singer and founding force behind the rock band Motorhead died. Lemmy was a legend in several people's lifetimes. He lasted all of their most recent world tour and then croaked TWO DAYS after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 70. The rest of the band have said there will be no more touring and that is it. I saw the Ramones and got Johnny's plectrum and have zero regrets about liking the band beyond the fact that I got into them later than I should have. I'd always had it at the back of my mind that it would be fun to go and see Motorhead. After all, genius comedian Billy Connolly once said "I went to see Motorhead the other night. It was three hours long and an experience I highly recommend. However the only words I could understand were 'the ace of spades' ."

Putting this off for so long has been up there on my list of "Do It Later" with not seeing the Rolling Stones or not seeing AC/DC live. It's there with getting my Practitioner 5 exam in Krav or getting that new tattoo I want so badly. It counts alongside writing my book about Royal Mail or the third novel in The Tales of Alegria, my anti-bullying themed kids books.

Like many people I put things off until they get Lemmied, meaning that it is too late because that thing is rendered obsolete or dead. Life is a mixture of experiences and hesitation may be prudent, but laziness in the face of knowledge is a big fat sin.

Tomorrow I will be doing the first half of a 2 day course in Paediatric First Aid. I'm doing yoga every day. My hair is long like I want it and for the first time in my life I have a decent beard that doesn't itch like a bitch.

Lemmy dying was basically a signal to make me realise that life will simply float by without caring a toss if I missed it.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post!

    I too have a Ramones plectrum, obtained by virtue of being a shortarse. At the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1970 something all the grasping hands missed it, and (being nearer to the floor than others) I managed to pick up the prize, stowing it away in sweaty leather jacket before I got mugged.

    I'm way ahead of you for motorhead gigs (4 in all), on which I blame my tinnitus. They were fucking great!

    Unfortunately, I'm waaaaaay behind you on the adventurous shagging front.

    Still, the motorhead gigs were good,a dn the Ramones plectrum has been reverentially passed on to my son.

    I just hope the bugger hasn't lost it.



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