Recently I've been feeling quite depressed and listening to a lot of Taylor Swift. Not depressed in the crippling mental health illness of Robin Williams, but just a light shade of grey, without any of the bad erotica. And I think it pinpoints, nutcracker-like, on the fact that to many people, in many ways, I've been acting like an egotistical cunt.
As any period of time we divide, 2014 has had nice moments and these kind of moments:
If you believe Facebook, of course, it's been all prosecco successes. I'm wary of how much I post on social media, because I don't want to alienate people. Long-suffering friends in real life are often fielding 'am I posting too much?' questions. I imagine there are a fair few users who have clicked the 'I don't want to see this' option after yet another gushing 'Thank you to everyone who came to...' status, sprinkled liberally with my increasingly favourite adjectives: 'amazing', 'brilliant' and 'wonderful'.
I sculpt a heroic profile for myself on social media. The nurturer of self-expression etc. And I do genuinely care about other people; I believe that if the Tory ideology of money-grabbing individualism was a person it would closely resemble Jimmy Saville. But Facebook is everyone's private 1984; the persona sculpted there is an illusory Pygmalion's statue, free of marring flaws.
My flaws of course are manifest, green weeds writhing on a dark pool's floor, and I can be selfish and vindictive and petty. I pick up boys like playing cards, then throw them away, and then I have the gall to write an emotionally wrought, heartfelt status when somebody does the same to me. On the one side of the meph scales you can attribute it to the walking thornbushes of insecurities that seem to make up a lot of gay men, but you either have to own those insecurities or you end up like some of the very worst people I've met on the gay scene: bitter bullies with the personality and charm of Jeffrey Dahmer's fridge.
What I'm struggling with right now is arguably my worst flaw; when I begin to believe in my own hubris. Enough people have been kind and nice enough to support me, and there have been actual successes enough, that I've started to think everything I do is right. I'm not writing this post for 'oh pity the poor prick who can't control his own arrogance', but I feel if I admit it then maybe that's the first step to defeating it.
And when I'm being Phaethon-like, that's when the cuntiness pops up like a viagra'd erection, and I become a bad caricacture of myself. If somebody dares to criticise or suggest there may be a better method to my own proposal, I begin emanating dark energy like a particularly sulky adolescent black hole. Like in rehearsals for A Midsummer Night's Dream last week, when a lovely young lady suggested nicely and politely there wasn't enough of a female voice in the new scenes I'd written, suddenly I was like:
(Did you see what I did there? Even in my apologia confession, I can't resist a shameless self-promotion plug. Never miss a trick for a quick buck, sisters.)
It's with my writing that I get most precious - a sentence that could possibly be the biggest understatement I've ever written. And so I say sorry to anybody who's ever had to bear the brunt of my gathering thunderclouds. My housemates are out right now, the flat is very quiet and in the time I've taken to write this entry, the late December light has slowly died. In this stillness I understand what's important to me: happiness, being together, love, friendship. This isn't false heroism, I hope, but maybe reasons why I've been down lately, because like anybody I dislike being disliked and it's hard to shake it off, however much you listen to Taylor Swift.
I have many resolutions for 2015: to cut down on drinking, and to quit other vices; to stop sleeping around and concentrate on finding something good. But maybe my primary objective is to stop being a cunt.