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My Darkest Hour

February 17, 2010

This happens every night. Next time you see my Significant Other be sure to ask him to corroborate my claim.

Around about 10.30pm every night I’ll go into a self-imposed fug.

Any fly on the wall able to hold a pen and paper would be quick to reach for his or her notepad and scribble down how I can usually be found staring into the middle-distance.

I’m thinking about what’s happened during the day. Running over exchanges. Thinking about how people did or didn’t look in my direction when I said hello. Or maybe they failed to cast an eye in my direction when I uttered what I thought was a brilliant witticism or put-down. I thought could take it. I figured they were tougher than I was. That’s why I cracked the joke at their expense. Maybe I was wrong. Jesus. Maybe they should be tougher next time.

Was the email I sent too strong? Next time, could I really make more of an effort to be charming? Should I cut down on resorting to my usual laughs-in-the-face-of-adversity technique in those situations I perceive to be otherwise potentially professionally damaging? Should I just generally be a bit more straight-laced?

Such is the vicious stick I usually beat myself with at around 10.30pm every night.

On the face of it, this is the kind of blog post which begs one very simple question. Why on earth are you posting this? Isn’t this just a little bit too close to the mark? Isn’t this yet another example of wearing your heart on your sleeve just a little too much than is absolutely necessary? Wouldn’t it be better to switch the visibility on this post to Private? Not everyone has to read it. Not everyone is as interested in you as you are in you. Why the hell did you have to tweet it?

Here’s the thing. It is because I go through this process nearly every night – this tiresome reviewing of the day’s exchanges – that I’m looking for ways of tackling a lifelong habit. Blogging about it – with the near guarantee of ritual humiliation inherent in the process – might be one way of tackling it. I’m prepared to try anything. I’m that desperate.

As I’ve indicated before, I’m unlikely to read a book about improving life nor invest in the usual course of therapy less well-informed individuals recommend. Instead I’m preferring the considerably tougher approach. Confess all. Then see how you feel in the morning. It worked the last time. And, like any reasonably successful sitcom on television, there’s no reason to think it won’t succeed again. Who knows. Maybe this will be the thing which transforms the thing which had formerly jumped the shark into the thing which had suddenly regained popularity. Or something.

So .. my issue this evening? The bugbear I want to get off my chest? The thing I want to say but don’t dare in case I piss loads of people off ?

Simple. It’s this. It’s reading some people’s comments on Twitter. People I see face to face but don’t know all that well. It’s unnerving. It’s destructive. I can’t get a handle on them. Their messages fill me full of doubt.

I’m sorry, but when I read some of their comments I’m left with one overriding impression, one of an undeniable sense of smug self-satisfaction. Mine, not theirs.

I have to remind myself not to jump to the conclusion that it’s a deliberate act on their part. After all – as a much-relied on and probably way-too-bored-of-having-to-deal-with-this-shit-kind-of-friend-will-concur – I do have a tendency to assume the world revolves around me.

That’s right. All of the people I follow on Twitter must surely be carefully constructing their finely honed Tweets with the sole intention of getting at me. That’s what their day consists of, after all. That’s their raison d’etre … to get at me.

And in case you’re reading this blog for the first time and need the blindingly obvious pointed out, that last sentence was me being really fucking sarcastic. Jesus.

But that’s the problem with Twitter you see. It’s something you might want to bear in mind when you start using it. If you want me to follow you because you’re thinking it would be a brilliant way for you to raise your profile or for you to start disseminating links, think twice before you start writing the tweet which accompanies those links you share.

I guarantee you, I will read them in a tone of voice which starts from a place of intense suspicion accompanied by levels of bitterness and resentment which results in me being ultra-suspicious and ultimately damning of intentions. And when I reach that point I am extremely unlikely to even nod hello when I come into contact with you. I’m that jealous. I’m that twisted. I’m that dark.

And yes. If this doesn’t sort out my daily 10.30pm problem it will almost certainly guarantee something else.

Either you’ll be sacked or I will.


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