Those who know me know that last year I had an accident. Quite a big one. I broke my hands. Yes, that's right - in the plural sense. In fact, I broke eight bones in total - both wrists that now have what are affectionately known as 'Herbert Screws', some other small bones in my left hand and most significantly my left arm, which needed a 'Wolverine' style plate bolted into place. I only realised today, I never wrote in detail about how this happened but to cut a long story short: I was on a date.
You'd think this would have been quite an ordeal for me, well it was and quite hideously painful too (strange how I curiously never imagined broken bones to be that painful until then) This aside, the episode wasn't that surprising given my track record with dating; just ask my friends. So much so, when news of my injury reached my best friend back home in London, it didn't illicit a sympathetic and frantically worried call, no quite the opposite really. As I lay in the hospital bed with my arms bound in plaster and bandages, with my iPhone on speaker mode balanced precariously on my chest, I could hear the faint unimpressed voice of my friend Dan say "Richard, it's time to write that book now."
I've toyed with the idea of writing about my dating escapades every now and then, I've even posted a few of them on here - but a whole book? Too self indulgent and self deprecating perhaps? It sounded like a crazy idea before and too 'Bridget Jones' for my liking but now I'm thinking it might not be such an idiotic idea after all. Gay fiction in general makes me want to hurl into a cheap plastic carrier bag in front a room full of strangers and the only gay biographical authors I do admire are David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. I'd have to have some message beyond "Hey look at the crazy dating antics of this guy, ain't he hysterical?!" Writing something bigger than a few paragraphs is what this blog has been leading up to I suppose; the trick is for me is to stop thinking and actually do more and just sit down and write goddamn it. Am I capable of doing it? I just have to let go of being such a perfectionist and allowing myself to be distracted by, let's face it, everything.
Where to start?
Here's the wonderful David Sedaris reading and extract from his last book "When You Are Engulfed In Flames":