The interesting thing about commuting - if the rail companies or unions don't mess it up - is that it gives me a couple of hours a day where I must decide how to occupy myself. Time was when I used this space as an opportunity to catch up on sleep or get pissed reading the 50p Evening Standard.*
Now, my time is pretty much spent writing or reading books. Is it because I'm older I don't want to waste my time with fripperies? Possibly - who knows, who cares? But one thing is true though; I've written more in the last six months commuting whilst I've held down a job in London than I ever did in the previous twelve months at home supposedly 'writing'.
I know, I know. Profundity drips from my fingers tonight.
Anyway, one of the short stories I wrote this summer between Burgess Hill and London is to be published next month. The clever, creative editors at Artificium chose to publish 'Second Thoughts' and I can't praise enough their discerning judgement. They spot talent. Rightly and regularly... Well, at least twice.
Second Thoughts details the dating problems of a short, bald, middle aged professional man. It breaks rules, conventions and, probably, wind.**
Now where the hell did I get the inspiration for this story? Well, I had to dig deep, to be totally honest. Real deep. Had to put myself into the character of this prince among men, this diamond in the dirt, this prophet without honour. See life from another point of view. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes... All that.
Okay, it's kinda based on me.
But apart from the high standard of writing, the taboo breaking honesty, the epic characterisation, this story - like one of the many oriental massage parlours on Lavender Hill - promises a happy ending. Maybe that's my new thing. Optimism. Empathy. Smiles.
Actually, there are only about ten things that make me smile in this world. Many are cruel or twisted, some illegal, some just, well, weird....
But one of the things that makes me happy, is the Mick Taylor (led) Rolling Stones 1969-74. Watch Mick tear it up on one of fav Stones songs - Gimme Shelter. Okay, this is nothing to do with second chances or, indeed, this blog-ramble but, as Aristotle once said, "Fuck that, bring on the dancing girls. And another amphora of wine! Who took my olives?"
* I wrote an article one night for the dearly departed London newspaper which they accepted. It described the culture of drinking on the 6pm train home. When I sobered up I begged them to pull the article and offered in its place - The 10 Rules of The Office Leaving Do which they duly published. Good orginal. Good recovery. I am...I said.
** Crap joke, I know and yet, and yet.
*** The more discerning - and frankly odd - members of my blog community will recognise this picture of yours truly as a still from my recent, already legendary, performance of Fixing To Leave.