Sunday, October 9, 2016


I had developed this plan to cut out online living, in the vain hope of productivity and creative glory. The goal was to disconnect and focus on writing a script about the lyrical themes that appeared in Freddie Mercury's earliest compositions. I took a stream of consciousness approach involving a Parker fountain pen, dark purple ink and a grey thatched square notebook from Bookbinders Design. Paragraphs were dense, clean and unrevised, reading more like an academic thesis than a script for radio.

I broke my commitment to the blackout constantly, simply because I wanted to see his name in bold in my inbox, I wanted to read another message. I'd give him reports of my progress: "I'm still in 1969." He jokingly remarked that he thought he was actually hearing more from me now since I'd made that declaration to refrain from contact. He mocked me gently for it, only to make the bittersweet remark: "There's something very painful knowing that you can't contact someone if you wanted to, even if you normally don't contact them all the time."

We shared this mutual sense of urgency, this heady sense that we not only had to share many millions of stories, songs and ideas, but we had to do it as quickly as possible. It's a dynamic that I've since felt at the hostel, this intense connection and desire to convey everything well before check out. Despite all that, I've always characterised myself as a person who has had difficulties in being present. I had always figured that joy comes with meaning and meaning comes with retrospect, away and alone, at a desk.

I had assumed that my in-house best friend had learned everything there was to know, but then it was revealed that he knew nothing about radio, nothing of the blog, nothing of the writing. I kept on thinking about how odd it was that he didn't know, that in spite of all our time together, that once central and obsessive feature of my personality was no longer apparent. I then remember being struck by the existential quality of that connection. I remarked upon it at the time, that I was filled by this sense that I would only ever truly appreciate that connection in that very moment: "I've never been able to feel so present..."

Ambition tends to fall away with people like that. Hopes, ideas and plans tend to get temporarily suspended in the shadow of such a connection and I don't think it's a bad thing, necessarily. I like to think that it is because we are already fulfilling a more innate ambition to connect. There are many reasons that we create, but there is an essential component of it that suggests that we create to be remembered. When you connect with people like that, you have this vague sense of hope that you might be remembered forever.