Below is the unused chapter 1 from Simon Macbeth’s autobiography “Too Tired To Play Games”. This is a work of fiction, thus was never used…. plus it is a bit shitty too….
Simon Macbeth walked into Hope Street and the wind froze my frown. I sunk my chin deeper inside the neck of my coat and decided that it was time to shape my own fate. I’d always striven for a control of my own life, which made it tough to come to terms with the truth, that the fingerprints that marked my on destiny were other peoples.
Turning into Despair Avenue I passed a girl, all blonde hair, cute tits and legs as long as my face. On any other day she would have been my kind of distraction. She barely noticed me as I lit a cigarette and continued to wander. I had no idea where I was going, but it was too cold to stand still and chat. She wasn’t going to be any help to me tonight.
Life had been sugar coated until only a few weeks ago, when fate had swung round and kneed me in the balls so hard that when I spoke only dogs could listen. My head seemed incapable of coherent thought. Voices conversed, the jabber of someone else’s life playing between my ears, “What now Mr Simon Macbeth?”
If I had any answers to the question or felt able to verbalise my feelings, I could have turned down the volume and made those voices disappear. But my dreams had crashed in a pile around my feet and answers were in very short supply.
I had worked so hard to give meaning to my life after my first business had crumbled to dust. Things had been great. My second business success had made me feel stronger as if my bouncing back I had proved everything I had ever needed to myself. Now history was repeating itself and I didn’t have the heart to fight back this time. Taking my business from me was taking all I had. It had been my friend, my family and my lover.
If I had knocked on any door in Leeds I’d have been told to, “Stop being such a big girl’s blouse,” or to, “Get a bloody grip.” I walked around the city of my birth, hell bent on doing anything to escape the despair I was feeling. It was only when I rounded the bend at the bottom of Canal Street that I realised that I knew exactly what the voices in my head were saying. It had been my own mind asking itself for some kind of direction. I had absolutely no reply.
I don’t know how long I’d been walking. I found myself on a bridge above the canal, watching beer cans play pooh sticks with sweet wrappers, their race prematurely halted, caught up in the other trash the city had thrown down here. This was the bottom of the world and normally the last place I would have wanted to have been at that time of night. I was too scared of myself to care what lurked in the dark.
Where was my life going? What was I going to do? It wasn’t one thing that had brought me here, to this place in the middle of a dark Leeds night. A series of minor nuisances, problematic pebbles, had been thrown at me and rolled through the centre of my life, merging together into one big boulder which was steamrollering me into submission.
I’d been fighting all of my life, first with my Dad, then the world and now with myself. I was all I had left to vent my rage on. Depressed, stressed, demoralised – they are all just words to hide behind. I knew I was tired. I was watching the ripples mould and mingle on the water. It seemed the easiest thing in the world to let my body go, to slip and disappear from that bridge and float away.
My life was built on wild and impossible dreams. As a child in Leeds in the eighties I was convinced that I would make a success of something even if I didn’t know what. At some stage it would happen and the world would finally realise that it had a place for Simon Macbeth. I was destined to be proud of whatever I became. It would come. I didn’t know what, when or how, but I always thought happiness and success was lurking around the corner somewhere.
I wasn’t someone who thought the world owed him a living. I was prepared to put in the time and effort. I just needed the inspiration.
The flipside of this undying optimism was that if things went sour I always thought everything would turn out right in the end. Something or someone would come along to catch my fall. I wasn’t a happy-go-lucky lad, confident of my ability, nor was I anything particularly special. I just had a belief that fate would pick me up and make me worthy.
As I grew older drunken nights with friends would end with me talking about my ideas, my latest get rich quick schemes. Flights of fancy they would laugh at and tire of long before the ideas faded in my imagination. In the cold, sober light of day nothing was ever as easy as it had seemed the previous evening. There’s no wonder rock stars write their best songs when either drunk or stoned. The world opens up and invites creativity. There are no barriers to thought. The real world has a tendency for killjoy.
Whether a business idea is good basically depends upon how much money it makes you. Most of my plans died before the last glass of the night was empty. Anything remotely realistic tended to centre on eBay, where people seemed to make huge amounts of money overnight just by selling tat. I was sure I could do that.
My little sister Steph had collected the NatWest Pigs when she was a kid. There were five pot pigs in the set, a full and happy family made up of the Dad, Mum, son, daughter and baby. In 1998 they added a sixth little porker called Cousin Wesley and they became quite collectable. To claim your pigs you had to put a grand in a children’s account and leave it there for a set period through the eighties. There were only a thousand of each one made and inevitably some were lost or broken and others never made it over the counter as bank employees kept hold of them. As a result they were quite rare and changed hands for anything up to £350 each on the internet.
Read Part TWO here –
Simon Macbeth: See, it is a bit shitty really.