Although my two weeks in the western USA weren’t an unalloyed success, my holiday was certainly enjoyable and fascinating, despite the cold I suffered while in San Francisco (and which may have been exacerbated by getting rained on in Yosemite the day before). I saw the Grand Canyon from above during a helicopter ride, shot real guns at targets in Las Vegas, walked around Alcatraz (and felt oddly like I’d come home), and somehow made friends with my group, despite eight of the other twelve people being Danish (i.e. constantly chatting in their own language) and under 21! And our anthem for the trip proved to be that annoyingly-catchy new Daft Punk song “Get Lucky” (and no, I didn’t, sadly).
No, my problem is that returning to my mundane existence after this remarkable adventure is proving to be very, very difficult. Jet lag (and the tail end of the cold) is bad enough, but I find myself truly despairing of ever being happy in my life here. With my holiday behind me, I feel I have nothing left to look forward to, and the past couple of days have been intolerable in the office; suffice to say, two people I like are now leaving (to go with the nice lady who’s becoming a childminder in October), and my supervisor has just revealed she’s pregnant, so she’ll be on maternity leave before too long as well.
Meanwhile, the annoying woman shows no signs of so much as taking annual leave, and only a miracle has stopped her coming over and demanding a full description of my holiday. She is of course the reason I put on my headphones and listen to Gwar while I work, so imagine my surprise today when I realised she was standing over me as I did so, hoping to give me a message (apparently e-mail doesn’t exist anywhere in the world ever, then) and to “say hello” to me, as though she still thinks the reason I don’t like her is that she hasn’t been nice enough to me, rather than the exact opposite.
Yeah, I’m a jerk, so noted, but she’s really, really annoying, and it’s so fundamental to her very nature that there is absolutely no chance of me ever accepting her!
Much as I’d love to quit this job forever, I just have nowhere else to go; I still have no useful qualifications for getting a job in IT, and I don’t want to go to another admin job, because I’ll just get stuck in the same low-paid under-utilised situation (and probably with someone even more annoying). There’s also no chance of a job in Barnet council (i.e. something I could walk to instead of using the damn Northern Line), since they’re eagerly pressing ahead with their idiotic “One Barnet” mass-privatisation, so even if I got a job there, I’d have to relocate to another part of the country anyway!
Nice, isn’t it? I’m back a couple of days and already I want to quit my job and risk unemployment — travelling the western states of America has left me entirely dissatisfied with my normal life. But wait, it doesn’t end there…
It became clear during my trip that one major stumbling block in the way of my happiness is my sexual frustration, my innate belief that I’m never gonna “get any” — and the belief, drummed into me by my “friends” at university, that I shouldn’t even complain about it or regard it as any less than deserved, because to do so would make me “desperate”. My foolish attempts to “get” with at least two of the women on my trip (one nice to me but attached, the other 15 years my junior and clearly uninterested) almost ruined everything… it seems that I’ve made no progress since I was 18, and my libido is still trying to spoil my life (much as it did at university, indeed).
In fact, after one particularly drunken night (hey, at least I got off the wagon), I began researching the phrase “oath of celibacy”, because I felt that my romantic advances have never made women happy or flattered, only embarrassed and uncomfortable. Yeah, stupid, I know, as dumb as my previous research into chemical castration, but the simple fact is that my heterosexuality has never brought me one iota of genuine pleasure in my entire life, only frustration (at my inevitable lack of success) and shame (for, ahem, doing what guys do to cope with the lack of a girlfriend).
I’m not even looking for a relationship at this time — I couldn’t ask a woman to share my life when I’m so fundamentally sick of it in its current form — but I have no ability to “pick up chicks” or “get laid”. The guy from this previous article would doubtless say I should just go to a prostitute, but somehow that notion disgusts me — and not just because ladies of the night always use very dishonest advertising (you expect a lingerie model and end up with Nut-Gobbler from that South Park episode), but also the very sleazy and STD-ridden nature of the beast. But I never meet single women in real life, and I have almost no friends in London with whom I can socialise (as you would expect, all my friends from previous years have moved away and paired off), so I’m left with the prospect of going to clubs alone, like a complete loser. Not entirely unlike when I was at university, then…
So what am I gonna do with myself? (No, not like that, get your minds out of the gutter!) I can’t go on like this, wallowing in self-pity and cursing womankind as a whole for my problems, and I’m determined to sort this out once and for all. Here, then, is my plan for the months ahead:
- Get over my jet lag and cold, which will be a major part of my recovery;
- Take another IT class (or however many it takes), and search for jobs of the “trainee programmer” variety — I don’t mind starting at the bottom, but frankly I’m done with soul-crushing dead end admin jobs forever;
- Find things to do outside my own home, so I’m not stuck here every night, and make new friends in London; my friend from climbing may prove to be pivotal in this (and maybe it’ll help him feel better too).
The most fundamental thing I need to do, though, is simply to get laid. Yes, you read that right: old “nice guy” Dave-ros wants nothing more than a fling, a one-night stand, with a beautiful (or at least passably attractive) stranger.
It won’t solve all my problems (it didn’t for Jimmy in that South Park episode above), but hopefully it’ll stop me obsessing so much, and give me some confidence for the future. After all, the real problem I have now is feelings of hopelessness and futility, and the idea that not only can I not succeed but that I shouldn’t even be trying; if I can get past that, I can concentrate on the more important things. I’ll certainly never be happy just waiting around for the “girl of my dreams” to teleport into my room, and to be blunt, I need to get where I should have been by around age 21, and most blokes were several years earlier.
How to achieve the last aim? Well, to be honest, I’ve given up entirely on English women, for all the times they’ve spurned me, so my goal in this instance is to figure out what clubs and bars are frequented by the foreign girls who are on holiday in London, and work that particular vein (no, I told you already, wash your minds out!). Then once that little detail is out of the way, hopefully either I’ll be able to focus on the things in my life which really matter, and not be so damned distracted by desire all the time… or I’ll be some kind of sex god with nymphomaniacs at my beck and call, and the other problems won’t matter.
Hmm, which to wish for… all I know is, I don’t want things to stay as they are now!