In which I discuss my motivations for writing, and ponder why a certain douche nozzle frat boy is considered a literary iconoclast, remarkable novelist and poet.*

You know that feeling you get that’s like a surge of inspiration, an electric current pushing you forward and physically forcing you to bring a pen to paper, to write down what’s on your mind for fear that it will leave you before you manage to get it all out? For me, that process is sporadic at best, but always very intense. As in, I-must-write-all-this-word-vomit-down-now-or-I-will-surely-have-the-world’s-first-documented-brain-poop kind of intense. It sounds strong, purposeful, kind of important.

Like I’m some sort of writing warrior, where my pen is literally my sword and I have to slay dragons with it to save a burning village. Except in reality my pen is my 6 year-old Macbook Air (we’ve been going steady for a while now — love ya, babe), and I’m really not into murdering giant lizards, and tbh I’m actually ‘deceptively weak and floppy’ as my housemate lovingly points out.

Sadly, unlike Jack Kerouac, (or actually maybe just like him, for personally I was not impressed by his ‘I’m a precious white boy doing a crapload of drugs, mooching off people and taking advantage of inebriated women, join me on my journey of self-discovery’ spiel in On the Road) my stream of consciousness essays aren’t as interesting. Then again, I hardly ever pump myself full of horse tranquilisers and random hallucinogens anymore, so I guess I’m just not as committed to the craft as Jack was.

But there’s always a cause for the madness, isn’t there? Not that I’m comparing the process of writing to a disease — more like an itch you’ve got to scratch, so…venereal, maybe? Everything felt, said, immortalised via the medium of song, art or essay — everything we do can be seen as a response to something else. A lover’s quarrel, a bad day at work, a great book, yet another out of focus photo of avocado on toast on Instagram — all these things make us FEEL, and in some cases, make us want to share with others as a way of processing.

Today I saw a fine example of that meaningful catalyst, the reason I’m asking the question — what makes me write? Not ‘what makes me WANT to write’ — for compulsion and desire are two very different things.

Maybe as I grow older and wiser my choice of stimulus will mature with me, but for today at least, my fingers press fast and furiously (shout out to Vin Diesel for making me purposely disregard grammatical rules to be able to reference a crappy movie franchise) against the keyboard for one reason only:

London really is The Shit. The Bee’s Knees. The Cat’s Whiskers. Shakira’s Hips (like snake’s hips, but surely infinitely more honest).

Back when I first started this excuse for an online journal (let’s bring THAT term back, am I right? Please, let’s — I don’t want to have to refer to myself as a ‘blogger’), Teenage Me thought ‘Ludicrous in London’ was funny and quirky and cool. Teenage Me probably also thought ‘YOLO’ (*shudders*) and just put down the first thing that came to mind in the ‘Header’ section. But years later, as lame as this name might be, I’m once again reminded that London truly is glorious, made wonderful and weird and exciting by all the people that live in it.

Recently I traveled back to Moscow, Russia, for the first time in a long time (longer than I care to admit) to see my family and do a bunch of touristy things. I was gone for 2 weeks — long enough to feel comfortable speaking Russian again (the first couple of days are always tinged with the markings of an awkward stutter as I adjust, shift gears if you will — any other bilinguals feel my struggle?) and, as it turns out, long enough to come back with a brand new appreciation for the shimmering kaleidoscope of cultures, moods, and faces of London Town.

In no particular order, without hope or agenda (I’m such human garbage for quoting Love Actually but honestly a SEQUEL, I MEAN HOW CAN I NOT SLIP THAT IN HERE, NO YOU’RE OVEREXCITED, SHUT UP), here is a list of things I’ve seen in London this month. I hope it makes you feel a complicated range of emotions, similar to what I experienced:

  • A pregnant dog in a pram, wearing a bonnet, her elderly owner arguing over the allocated pram space on the bus with a young mother (and an actual toddler, also in a pram, also wearing a bonnet);
  • 2 Eastern Europeans attacking a slowly passing N73 with bare fists and a soggy Evening Standard, for no apparent reason at all, nowhere near a bus stop, and with no intention of boarding said bus when the driver finally opened the doors (either in fear or resignation, or both);
  • A builder in a high-vis jacket pushing an old lady in a wheelbarrow down Essex Road in the middle of the afternoon. The old lady is clutching a handbag with one hand and eating a croissant with the other;
  • A middle-aged man eating pasta out of a saucepan balanced on top of his briefcase on the tube;
  • A guy air-boxing/pretend fighting (literally punching the air, Rocky-style — does that activity have a name?) and singing Eye of the Tiger VERY LOUDLY at a bus stop in Angel on a Monday afternoon, to no one in particular.

London, you are magnificent. You remind me stories need to be shared. You’re the reason I stop in my tracks to scramble for a pen in the depths of my bag to scribble on an old Superdrug receipt. You are my home, my bat-shit crazy, exhausting, inspiring and yet painfully wonderful home. Continue giving people a reason to do things. Never change.

P.S. If someone says their favourite book, absolute FAVOURITE READ OF ALL TIME, take-it-with-me-on-a-desert-island-read is On the Road, you just know they’re going to be a massive twat, right? Also Catcher in the Rye. Also anything by Brett Easton Ellis. I feel like there must be an exhaustive list somewhere, called ‘1001 books you have to read and love to fully evolve into the knob end that you truly are’.

φ( ̄ー ̄ )ノ

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