Out There: That's what I think...

I'm thinking about thinking, and what a waste of time it is. I spend all my time 'thinking', but when I look at 'thought', all I find is garbage and old entrails

It's 1.38pm and I'm sitting on the cushion in the middle of the room and I'm thinking about another journalist, and how the bastard is copying me, just ripping of my style wholesale. (He's good at it, too. If only he were less clever and more original.) I let that thought go, and another enters, about this schoolgirl who is almost as conceited as she is clever and how I never should have got involved with her in the first place. Alas, if only I were as clever as I am vain.

She called last night to give me the latest bulletin on how bored she is with all this publicity she's getting, you know, the papers and Channel 4, how they all want a piece, and how she gave this prat from the Express a really good interview and all he wanted to talk about was her private life, and what her agent thinks and how her editor won't say "sex" in front of her.

When she finally asked what I'm doing, I tell her I'm lying on the sofa in my underwear with my feet hanging out of the window, looking at the stars. She doesn't even hear the last part, and anyway decides to read me a chunk of her novel. I find myself taking aim at the prettiest star, about to blow it into a trillion shards of light. Then I realise what I'm doing and put my gun back in its holster.

It's 1.54pm and I'm back on the sofa, thinking about going to Leeds for the Vague birthday party, when I realise it's never going to happen because I've left it too late and I'm just not spontaneous enough to jump on a train at the last minute.

It's 1.55pm and I'm thinking what a good column it would make if I was spontaneous enough, etc. But there is a time and a place for spontaneity, and anyhow, I'd have to take an E, and then my body fluids would start leaking, and next thing I know, I'd be back in My Own Private Idaho. Now I feel depressed.

It's 2.18pm and I'm thinking about thinking, and what a waste of time it is. I spend all my time "thinking", but when I look at "thought", all I find is garbage and old entrails. What I call "thinking" is really not much more than a kind of mental cud-chewing, regimented fantasy with the specific aim of reinforcing my self-importance. Cogito, ergo sum: says it all, doesn't it? That's what I think, anyway.

It's 2.24pm and I'm thinking, I'll show that bastard, I'll pastiche him ripping me off. Yeah, that's what I'll do. I think this is a splendid idea.

It's 2.25pm and I'm wondering if she'll remember what she said when she phoned me back two minutes after the conversation fizzled out: "I don't think we need to talk to each other again, do you?" She didn't think? But that was exactly what she had done.

She had thought about it, and become angry that I hadn't been solicitous enough, enthusiastic enough about her embryonic career which, in the absence of any real experience, is how she defines herself. But what could I say? I'm 38 and she's 16. I know and she doesn't. Maybe I should just cut to the chase, say: "Look, this fabulous persona you're so busy erecting. Forget it. When you get to my age you'll realise that you've built yourself a monumental prison, and like me you'll wonder how the hell you're ever going to take it down again."

Instead, I pretend not to know what she is talking about, and say, "OK, byeeee!"

It's 2.31pm and I think she must have received my postcard by now, the one I sent yesterday morning, with the Alan Watts quote. "For the proper conservation of intellectual life, it is incredibly important to not think at least once a day. If we do nothing other than think, we will have nothing to think about, except for thoughts. Meditation is the state in which one is clearly awake and conscious of the world as it is, as opposed to the world as we describe it. In meditation, we drop thought. That is, we stop talking to ourselves and symbolising for ourselves what is happening. We simply take note of what is."

That should give her something to think about.

It's 3.13pm and I've finally sussed it. That other journalist, the bastard who copies everything I do? I think it's me.

It's 3.28 and the column is finished. I'm wondering whether I should go to Leeds and neck a disco biscuit. Maybe I could meet someone nice but not too clever. Hmmmm, it's a tough one. I'll have to think about it

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?