By and Large.

It seems a strange purgatorial reality, this place I’ll (apparently) always call home. How many wasteful hours have I spent, grey-skinned and cold as the Scottish sun, projecting desires for something more onto being in this place? Oh, no doubt there’ll be those who seek to repeat hackneyed adages regarding expectations and, well, no shit. Everybody knows it’s a fucking stupid thing to engage in. But this isn’t about expectations or the magnitude of my stupidity… well… perhaps I’ll revise that statement should I manage to stay away from my usual wont to get tangential.

Speaking of which, there has been some conversation recently (or, well, quite some time ago now) regarding the nature of this very periodical, not the least part of which was concerned with precisely the fact that it is not actually very periodical, but rather quite random and infrequent. Leaving aside how unknown and deeply disturbed a person my dear wifey seems (or seemed) to think this whole endeavour indicates I am, the blog, so I am told, has potential, but lacks a certain coherence, being rather too fond tangents, and not quite so concerned with coming back to the original point.

Which, in turn, puts me in mind of a frien’ds blog… well, actually, I am not sure if he is a friend. He used to be, most certainly, but it would seem that these days I am merely one of those “people I [he] haven’t spoken to in god knows how long”. As far as I’m concerned, the longer you go without speaking to your mates, the more you have to natter about when you do… not apparently the case here…

Anyhoo, the point was that a post of his on his own (probably much more) periodical that I came across recently, but was written quite some time ago, did the same thing, failing to return to the original point. I was really quite keen to hear exactly how he was going to justify the notion that “Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate for the US could be the best thing that’s happened to feminism in a while”. Fuck me.

At any rate, this is a bit beside the point, which is the point I guess, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

So: A beautiful and insightful friend of mine once described the act of writing poetry as being like arriving for the first time in England. Like coming home to a place you’ve never been before. I don’t know what it says about the poetical nature of life at present, or of this place, but here it’s precisely the opposite. Going away to somewhere you know like the proverbial back of your hand. Rediscovering everything, only to realise that you know it all already and that nothing other than your own self has changed a fucking jot. In fact, everything is so much so, that after the first couple of weeks, you suddenly find yourself wondering whether you’ve actually been away at all. Was all those years in the great grey north merely a dream, a cleverly created little imaginary interlude to explain why the fuck I find myself doing the same shit, working in the same. fucking. cafe. (literally) that I was in last time I was here?

At least, I suppose, the very scenario I bemoan, has also given me a chance, having now ceased to work at all, let alone in the same cafe, to realise that while I like the idea of owning a little coffee roastery, and sitting around all day, roasting beans, getting completely wasted on an overdose of caffeine, and chatting to anyone prepared to be as much of a coffee geek (um, wanker) as I am, I am not in fact, at all interested in working in bloody cafes anymore.

Despite my previous delusions to the contrary, shattered by the afore mentioned return to the homelands, there is not a particularly good coffee culture in Australia any more. Well I should probably be more specific and say Sydney. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean there is no good coffee in Sydney. Au contraire, there is some amazing coffee in Sydney, but there are also, by and large, a bunch of cliquey wankers, who seem to think the best way to go about everything is to compete. God forbid someone actually has a genuine discussion about the methods, ideologies, and pitfalls of being a coffee cock. The chance of inadvertently giving away a golden little tidbit, that might increase someone else’s knowledge, up their game, and maybe, just maybe, mean that you might not be the longest shlong on the block any more is apparently just too much for the Sydney barista to bear. Better, much much better, to hold your cards closer to your chest and keep a tight grip (like the one you keep on your prick) on your delusions of grandeur.

Again, don’t get my wrong, I can masturbate about coffee with the best of them, tugging away long into the night, far beyond the limits of my own, natural source of energy, fuelled by the very substance that brings me ever closer to mental ejaculation. But while I can flap my gums about it till they bleed, I am under no illusions. I. Make. Coffee. For. A. Living… Hardly glamorous (unless you’re one of those who subscribe to the assertions of afore mentioned Australian baristas), and hardly very fulfilling. There’s an art to it sure, but it ain’t no great unburdening of one’s soul. A fucking monkey (not even an ape), blessed with an extra chromosome, and with his good hand tied behind his back could learn to do it. So get. the. fuck. over. yourselves.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, the point was, that I’m a little over it. A little over squandering my talents, misusing my intelligence (what little of it I haven’t smoked away), and generally slaving away, sweating my arse off, and staining my fingers with used coffee grounds. For what? For the, temporary satisfaction of a bunch of drug addicts? Fuck that.

I’ve come home to find that all the blissfully effortless and comforting aspects of having one’s friends and family around, all of the familiarity, has gone only so far as to point out the glaring inadequacies of my attempts at contentment and creative fulfilment.

What the fuck I am going to do instead, what new ventures I can find behind which to hide my fear of putting myself out there in the world, I have no bloody idea. I’m open to suggestions.


~ by Gethin A. Lynes on January 21st, 2011.

3 Responses to “By and Large.”

  1. Competition! Everything’s a fucking competition nowadays. Fucking retarded. It is held up as though it always produces a better outcome, driving people to better themselves. I really hate the way that ideas like that assume the need to selfishly motivate people. Now, I’m sure many would argue that it was a ‘realist’ view of the world, I personally feel it lacks imagination. Get people to care for the purpose at hand and the bettering of their endevour, add a dash of co-operation and surely the outcome would far surpass what one individual could come up with by themselves.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I realise that some persons do indeed require the idea of competition, of outdoing everybody else, to get themselves going, and that the nature of competition is not necessarily secretive, but fuck me, to pretend it is the best way to live in almost every instance, strikes me as more than a little ridiculous.

    And mate, don’t get too caught in the trap of assuming everything and everyone is the same, even if only in essence. When engaging with something from ones past it is all too easy to reacquire many of the clothes that you wore then.

    Anyhoo, there’s my return rant.

    • I am not quite sure (and it wouldn’t be the first time today someone suggested I am thick as two bricks) what the two halves of your penultimate paragraph have to do with each other. Are you suggesting that reacquiring my old clothes, so to speak, follows on from assuming that everyone in the Sydney coffee scene are a bunch of secretive, wankers, or should those two sentences actually be in separate paragraphs?

      Otherwise, as far as your rant goes, I can only say: Indeed.

  2. To avoid confusion, mine, I am not counting the “Anyhoo …” bit. So I take it we are then talking about the last paragraph. It has absolutely nothing to do with the previous portion of the comment. Not a jot. And the ‘you’ at the end there, referring to reacquiring clothes, is not referring to you specifically. More of the general ‘you’ type. And indeed was more meaning those who you are reconnecting with, those who haven’t supposedly changed all that much.

    Hope that clears it up, god knows I’m still confused!

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