Sunlight floods into the room.
It bathes my face in golden glow.
It should feel warm.
I don’t feel warm.
I feel cold.
As cold on the outside as I do on the inside.
I’m wrapped in my duvet and I do mean wrapped. Like the meat in a frozen sausage roll…once alive and now just waiting for something to devour me. I have an awful feeling that the dull ache of this depression might be the thing that does exactly that.
Cold, alone and afraid.
I don’t know I’m depressed.
Not right then. It is only later, after other spells of melancholy and feeling maladjusted, that I am given a label from a doctor and a prescription that I realise what I was feeling.
I still don’t know why I was feeling it.
I don’t really want to get into all that David Copperfield crap that may offer some explanation if I’m being honest with you. It won’t help me and it would simply bore you.
Let’s move on.
What I remember most about that time was the loneliness.
It was my only companion.
That’s a good line isn’t it? I must have read it somewhere. Like the David Copperfield one earlier that I pinched from “Catcher in the Rye”. You shouldn’t plagiarise or take on loan, there’s always someone, somewhere, with a big nose who knows. Ready to trip you up and laugh when you fall.
I would go to lectures every day and then hang around the student union bar for a little bit. I would speak to people on my course and occasionally socialise with them. I can remember seeing Mark Thomas the comedian with a group of people. He made some remark about having sex and a very annoying drunk who had been heckling all night said “Yeah” and I said “How would you know?”. Mark Thomas liked that. He said “Brilliant! That’s what I call my American heckle…you came in late, but you came in and you saved the day.” At least I think that’s what happened. How much of what happened in our past do we really remember? What that we do remember do we remember accurately?
There were other people then.
I had weekends with my real friends from home and my girlfriend.
We went to clubs, gigs, hung out and behaved like all the other cool customers.
All I could really focus on was the fact that it was all going to end and that I would soon be back in my digs looking at four walls and trying to stop myself from thinking about anything other than those four walls.
I don’t remember a single sunny day.
The whole experience of being at university is measured out, in my mind, in bus stops and rain.
As ever, as always, as usual, solace arrived from strangers.
For the strangers.
I lied a lot then…telling everyone that I was fine, acting like a person who was having fun, wearing masks.
But deceit can’t save you so…
I had to burn.
At least that version of myself.
“We are the Pigs” didn’t sound much like Suede.
The glam stomp and punk romp of the debut album had been replaced by something…else.
It was elegant.
It was pop music of the sort only they could make.
All of the above.
But it was that line about deceit being incapable of providing salvation that hit me.
I liked the “we”.
WE are the pigs.
WE are the swine.
WE are the stars of the firing line.
I felt like I was part of that.
Whatever that was.
Whoever they were.
I don’t know when I heard it first but I imagine it was late at night, on the radio, wrapped in the duvet…trying to fight off the cold; again.
“Been dying for hours and hours”
“We’ll shine like the morning and sin in the sun”
“Green fields of destiny high in the sky”
“…or belong to a world that’s gone”
“I take the poison, take the pity”
“Come rescue me…”
“Lying in my bed, watching my mistakes”
“Me and the stars stay up for you”
“How does she feel when she’s next to you?”
“This still life is all I ever do”
“Dog Man Star” took a suck on a pill apparently…the cerebellum stabbed with a curious quill was mine. All of my senses heightened. I felt alive. I felt less alone. I felt the blood pulse through my body and warm me. I felt my hear beat. I felt like somebody, somewhere, somehow…understood.