Solving men’s hair problems since 1928.
I washed my hair this morning for the first time since the Bad Haircut and it puffed up into the fluffiest bouffant I’ve ever seen. I looked like Liberace. Young readers: this is what Liberace looks like. Used to look like, before he died. Come to think of it, that’s what my hairdresser looks like.
I was so horribly embarrassed throughout the business meeting that I had to attend this morning. I felt like Ronald McDonald. On the way back to my desk I dashed into the nearest chemist and asked for Brylcreem. ‘We’ve got ladies’ hair products here’, said the assistant. ‘That’s great’, I replied, ‘but as you can see I don’t have ladies’ hair’ and grabbed some Brylcreem off the shelf. Then I purchased a comb, asked for a mirror, took a handful of Brylcreem and swept it aggressively through my hair.
Now I look like this, which frankly is not a lot better if you are a girl, but at least now I can pretend it was on purpose. FFS. I will know these drugs are doing something useful when I start to think that my hair is not the fourth worst thing that has ever happened to me.
I think these drugs could do with kicking up a notch. I am less stoned this morning and my sex drive is still MIA but on the other hand I can still feel pain and some degree of emotional need, and if I’m going to take powerful psychoactive pharmaceuticals then I expect them to work. I am not looking for subtle results, it’s not worth sacrificing my sex life for. Speaking of which.
– There’s an angelically beautiful fitness trainer who I’ve been talking to online, on and off, for ages. He patiently waited for me to finish doing business in China and South America, then as soon as I got home I was attacked and he had to wait some more. He was on my case this morning, sending me photos of his exceptionally lovely face and body. ‘I have no sex drive’, I said, and explained why. ‘Oh!’ he said. ‘Well, I can soon sort that out’, and I am tempted to let him try.
– I am missing the scratchy, irritating presence of the Head Honcho. Itch, scratch, itch. I have no interest in sex, but he doesn’t know that. I want him there, by my side, metaphorically if not in person. I don’t want him taking his unpleasant personality and unreliable ministrations to someone else, it’s a horrible thought, it is for me, it is mine. I emailed him and he unblocked me on Skype. I am relieved. I don’t want him to give up on me, that’s not how this relationship works. We fall out with each other constantly and have terrible arguments, but we don’t give up on each other.
Meh. Apparently I am not ready to put down my security blanket just yet. I have to wait three more weeks before I have another appointment with my GP. Then we can either kick this up to a higher dose or else I will stop taking it. I do not have time for half measures.
Curtis Mayfield: Pusherman (1972)
I went out today and walked 10 miles, mostly in the rain, and it was definitely less effort than the last couple of times I’ve been out, I think my muscles are waking up. I did a bit of thinking about the Honcho and how I am going to get my emotional needs met without him there, not that he was doing a great job of meeting them. I don’t know, I am a bit foxed. Judging by the way I manage my relationships, I don’t want real closeness, what I want is regular shots in the arm of heart-stopping, paralysis-inducing desire and romantic love. Preferably from a safe distance, in the context of a relationship that’s not going anywhere. I don’t know if that’s the sort of thing you can advertise for on the internet. Maybe you can. Maybe I underestimate the dating public. Asking for what I want in a direct and clear way has reliably yielded good results up to now. I might try it and see what happens. You never know.
1 Health point.
I just received another text. He is messaging me, looking to get together. This time last week I was vibrating with physical hunger, as is so often the case, esp whenever the Honcho and I have been getting along well. In fact, just over a week ago, I was climbing the walls. I encouraged Blondie as hard as I could and tried to engage him in the exchange of filthy messages, a sport that the Honcho and I regularly enjoy, which only served to prove that my vivid imagination and colourful vocabulary and Blondie’s are not really in the same league. Being a polite Canadian who is a good sport, he tried to keep up.
But that was over a week ago, and a week can be a long time. Right now I would be happy enough to see Blondie, he is nice company, but it is no longer the case that I will be removing his clothes with my teeth, which is what I have led him to expect. If we had sex, I don’t know how much I would be able to get out of it, or when that may change. Fucking hell. Complicated.
I think I will tell Blondie that I have to go away on a business trip, that should keep him interested but off my case in the short term. Then I will just wait a few days and see how I feel, see if anything changes. If it doesn’t change, I might call Socrates. Socrates is great at sex but even more importantly we are quite fond of each other and I would feel perfectly comfortable telling him that I don’t want to fuck him but he can still come over and get into bed with me and we can chat and drink tea.
Where is all this leading, I don’t know. Apparently nearly all my relationships revolve around neurochemically-fuelled physical attraction. In fact, it never crossed my mind until just now that they are supposed to revolve around anything else.
Good evening, readers. It was a dark and wet summer’s day in London, which is my main reason and best excuse for not having gone out today. Instead, I sat around my house, feeling the prescription drugs kick me right in the synapses, and interestedly observing the effects, as follows.
- I feel wrecked, or to put it another way, I am fatigued, slothful and dizzy. I don’t mind this too much as it is inconvenient but not excessively unpleasant and I attribute it to the fact that we are only on Day 4 of this drug, so naturally it is hitting me quite hard. I am sure I will soon develop a tolerance for it.
- I suddenly have a significantly reduced interest in food. Hooray!
- I suddenly have almost no interest in sex and no physical response. This is startling. I knew it was probably coming, but I didn’t expect it to be this complete and this quick to arrive. My sex drive is quite a big part of who I am. Was quite a big part. I find this an interesting situation. I contemplate the Honcho and it’s as though he’s suddenly diminished in stature and somewhat receded into the distance, because when one takes raw sexual compulsion out of the picture, there’s no way for us to reach or communicate with each other, and nothing to say. My emotional feelings about this are neutral, as are my feelings about a lot of things.
After some deliberation, I decided not to feel guilty for spending the day sitting around. First, I went out for groceries so that I don’t starve. Then I counted myself lucky that sitting around all day is an option, not least because my back pain is receding to a level where I can sit down. I don’t think I’ve taken any painkillers today. Lastly, I realised that there are many ways to score Achievement points, so I diligently ploughed through The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (2009, Harper Collins), scoring 1 Books point in the process and looking for tips on how to be happier.
The opening of the book finds Gretchen Rubin in a state of not being particularly depressed. In fact, she has a nice life. She lives in a swanky Manhattan apartment with her attractive husband and gifted children and enjoys being a journalist. Despite this, one can always stand to be a little happier, so she invents this project. She does some research into what philosophy and psychology have to say about happiness, shapes it into a year-long plan and then implements it. As you can see this is all well within the territory of first world problems but nonetheless it is interesting to me, so here are what I thought were the relevant parts.
- January: Boost Energy. Gretchen’s month is organised around goals such as getting enough sleep, exercising, decluttering at home and tackling nagging tasks. I think I am reasonably strong in this area, not that I always succeed, but I know what to do and how to do it and I can take decisive action.
- March: Work. This was an interesting one to consider. I am lucky to have a lot of autonomy in my job. What I should maybe do is identify which parts of my job are the most enjoyable and develop them. Additionally, Gretchen makes her office into a slightly nicer environment and starts using productivity tools, which I am not going to scoff at.
- May: Leisure. I tend to agree with Gretchen that having fun is important. My sense of humour is vital to my personality and sense of wellbeing. The book recommends taking time to be silly and I so heartily endorse that idea but I think I forgot how. I could do with thinking about this. More silliness would be a good thing. Maybe I should arrange to do something outrageously tacky. I would go to Disney if I hadn’t already been. I should go to Sanrio Puroland in Japan. Hmm. I’ve just spent the 45 minutes since I wrote that browsing adventure holidays. Look at that – I could take a two-week tour of Benin and Togo that is called ‘Cradle of Voodoo’. It sounds really good. It would be great if I got to next year and I could say ‘Oh man, 2014 was amazing, I spent two weeks in Africa in the Cradle of Voodoo’.
- June: Make time for your friends, always sound advice. Gretchen additionally sets herself the challenge of making three new friends. I should go to some activities and meet some new people in a context that is not dating. The email account that I mainly reserve for the Honcho also receives regular updates from a London knitting group, I went once and enjoyed it, I should go again. And there’s a debate club that I’ve never been to.
- September: Pursue a passion. This is usually a big part of what fuels TLYW but it has been in short supply lately and might be even shorter if my newly-deceased libido is anything to go by. Maybe this ties in to what I was thinking the other day about fulfilling life ambitions. It might soon be time for me to start playing the vibraphone or the marimba or something like that. Or I could get back into Chinese and work towards taking a test and getting a certificate for it. Or something.
And that’s basically it, the secret of happiness. Other than that, pay attention to what you are doing, be nice to your spouse if you have one, and don’t forget to record all your achievements.
1 Books point.
I was going to go for a swim this evening, later on, when the pool is quiet, but by late afternoon my back was hurting too much to wait any longer for some exercise so I put my trainers on and walked 8.5 miles. I am determined to have a productive weekend with more exercise and outdoor activity.
The happy pills that I got off the NHS are starting to kick in. Bit of a shock to the system. I wouldn’t say I feel happier but I definitely feel more stoned. 1 Health point.
I went to the dentist – my normal dentist, not the Hot Periodontist – and I am glad I went. He says we don’t need to do a bridge just yet, we can wait a year or three or five for that particular tooth to fail, so I am well happy about that. Very happy indeed, means we don’t have to do any extractions, which take time to recover from. In light of that fact, the things we are going to do are minor. We are going to do: 1 crown; replace 1 large and old filling that has worn out; add about half a dozen very small white fillings at my gum line which aren’t painful to do and which make my gum line look better. After all those gum line fillings are done, that’s when he’s going to bleach my teeth for me. So that’s great. I came away with a little dentist’s appointment card and it felt quite like old times.
Then I went to see the hygienist and she patiently scraped off all the coffee and tobacco stains and my teeth look 100% better already, I am really pleased, and whiter teeth are making my hair look better as well, as I hoped they would.
1 Health point. The fact that I am needing to blog about twice a day at the moment, and laboriously collect points one by one, is a mark of how much I am struggling and how much I need TLYW to stay afloat. On the plus side, TLYW actually works and I love it for that. TLYW told me clearly that I needed hair, general medical and dental appointments and a couple of decisive phone calls was all it took to get that sorted out. Now I have much better, if not perfect, hair that at least has shape and no grey bits, a stash of free NHS drugs, much better looking teeth and a clear plan for the remaining dental work. I not only look a lot better than I did at the start of this week, I feel better, because my self-esteem has slightly improved as a result of taking positive action. TLYW works for me because it tells me what to do. When you are depressed, it is not always easy to know what to do, or what to do next, and in any case it all seems too difficult. TLYW signposts it for me, reminds me that none of it is that hard, and then all I have to do is pick up the phone or whatever and just do the things on the list, one at a time, until the life I have draws nearer to the life I want.