To My Younger Self

This is it.The music I like. The people I like. The art I like. The books I like. The hobbies I like. The games I like. The flat I like. The pace I like. The collections I like. The DVD’s I like. The posters I like. The stickers I like. The clothes I like. The economics I like. The looks I like. The conversation I like. The friends I like. The artists I like. The food I like.

You can forget your naive dreams, though. And be accustomed to violence. And obey the unwritten codes. Decipher the cryptic meanings. Work out your friends leanings. Be able to ignore the constant shouting on the stairs. Pretend and act like you don’t care. Accidentally, pick a loser for a friend. Let him drive you around the bend. Lose the will to live. Go out for the night and start again the next day. Ignore the poverty police. Put on a good show. Pretend you understand. Hang out with the band. Get a cat. Let it stink out your flat. Be a friend to it. Learn from it. Go into debt for it. Love it. Hate it. Try to train it. Ignore your friends psychotic cat. Stand on the roof calling its name. Get the neighbours round again. Invite your friend around. lie on the bed all night. Be ready to walk away from a fight. Relax at leisure. Get your new dreams into your life. Do some drawing. Write a book. Show your friend. The one who drives you around the bend. Let his opinion warp your sense of values and self. Cling like a cat to a bit of faint praise. Buy supplies. Start again. Don’t wind up your friend or watch him go berserk on your possessions and belongings. Don’t wonder why you let it all go so far. Don’t watch as he shoves his possessions into his mother’s car and drives off leaving you alone. Panic. Run away. Have a break. Come back and start again alone this time.

Don’t rush. The book will come. The slugs I can ignore on the floor. Hole up. Wait for relief to arrive. Pack up boxes. Move.

Start again. Break down the barriers to your art. Doodle for fun. Show it to the family. Have fun. Don’t be glum. Find a reason to smile.(bleurgh!) Practise. Practise. Practise. Smile. Ignore the shouting on the stairs. Report your mail getting stolen. Report mindless vandalism of the place you live. Report it all. Get ignored. Get depressed. Get scared to leave your flat. Let the workmen come in and tear the walls apart. Let the mold come and crawl up your walls. Stick up your art. Stick up more art. Make more art. Write more. Break down more barriers. Hit more walls. Ignore neighbours psychotic episodes. Take medication. Get happy. Write more. Get followers and try not to disappear up your own arse. Write more. Read more. Get out more. Have more fun. Go for walks. Be romantic. Be sure. Be brave. Take it from there.

Published by Andrew Mark Watkins

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