Walking around the supermarket (Sainsburys, actually) I can't help but snigger, a little, at the couples mooching around the aisles, filling their trollies with their monthly shopping. Listening in on their conversations; petit arguments about this and that, the men clearly sulking for being dragged around the shop instead of being allowed to stay at home playing on their games console or taking the 'alone time' to google various porn sites.
Yes, I'm speaking from experience.
Funnier still is a walk down the DVD aisle (or blu-ray if you're hip, like me) listening to the stern chats about not having the money for 'that particular film'. Normally it's the lady saying 'no' and the man begging to be allowed to sneak the film into the trolly.
The magazine aisle clearly shows the couples in their comfort zone. The women on their side of the aisle flicking through various intellectual magazines (like 'Woman's Own' or 'Heat') and the men on their side of the aisle pretending to read the 'interesting article' which so happens to be on the page crammed with tits.
It doesn't take THAT long to read 'Hannah, 27, from Poole'.
The magazine aisle is always the quietest. You can test this next time you're shopping.
I think to myself, how lucky I am. I'm just me. No arguing. No 'should I buy this or will she go mad'. None of that. I just walk around the shop and please myself...
And yet - I'm not actually as lucky as my brain feels when hearing these arguments.
See, I'm the quiet stranger walking around the shop. The one who doesn't need the trolley. The one who can fit his shopping into a basket (albeit a fucking heavy one). Single serve roast beef meals. The one muttering to himself that all the frozen foods are sold in packs of two and I clearly only need one of them... I'm the one missing out on the human interaction; going home to an empty house - my only source of conversation is when I shout at the cat or make silly lizard-type noises at The Bearded Dragon who just looks at me.... with his lizard eyes.... judging me....
I'm the one who'll, one day, be found in his house - dead. The neighbours only alerted that something isn't right, with the house next door, because of the funny smell. I'm the one who'll be discovered, lying on the sofa....lifeless, his cat chewing his fingers due to starvation.
This is my life. Welcome.
Making friends never came easy to me. Believe it or not, but I am painfully shy - a mental sense of humour my only (thin) defence at hiding this from people I meet. A mental sense of humour which then helps to turn people away from me because they can't keep up with the craziness I offer. I stifle some of the things I am itching to say and end up just 'being quiet' again.
I work all day in a job that isn't what I want to do with my life - but I do it (with good heart most of the time) to pay the bills whilst I work on my books and cartoons. I come home, at night, and hide behind a computer screen - hitting Facebook with craziness after craziness; people tuning in just to see what random stuff I'm going to get up to next. Silly video blogs, these blogs (albeit a darker tone), random status updates just to get people laugh ("Neighbours cooking smells lovely. How long do I leave them in the oven for?") - anything to get people to come back to see what I'm going to do. Anything to get people to come back to interact with me - pretend, at least, to be my friend.
I am Jack's Performing Monkey.
Yet, when the chips are down - these people are gone (not all of them - some of them are great and message me to see what's up etc etc....)
I feel like I am here to make people laugh (and I enjoy it mostly) but when the Black Dog comes nipping at my ankle - who is here to make me laugh? Who is here to make a smile creep onto my face?
Maybe this is what I am destined to do. Be the 'Butlins Entertainment' until the day I get the courage to do what's needed. Run on 'stage', do something stupid - then retire back to the quietness of an empty home with only a cat and a lizard for company whilst I let the manic levels, within, build back to a sufficient level to start it all again.... keeping it up until the mask slips, once more and I sink deeper into another depression - ready to start the cycle again.
I tire of people looking at me to make them laugh or smile. I get annoyed when I get messages via social networking sites asking why I'm not funny anymore.
"You're normally funny but at the moment you aren't. You're normally my daily laugh."
It annoys me and yet I can't live without it.
With regards to 'Who am I?'
I'm the shadow in the supermarket, watching normal couples and families interact with each other - a burning pit of jealousy swirling around inside of my tormented gut.