I was asked the other day who I'd like to play me in a film of my own life. Bearing in mind that the most suitable candidates – Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, etc – would probably ask for too much money and blow a budget already decimated by my own exorbitant consultancy fee, I went for WC Fields. He'd bring the necessary pathos, girth, absurdity and thirst to the role – and yes, I know he's dead, but even in his advanced state of decay he'd still do the job better than Danny Dyer.
I moved house last week, and as I was about to leave the flat I'd spent the last 16 years mooching about in, I imagined myself playing myself in my own biopic. "This would definitely be a good bit," I thought, as I pictured a soft-focus, slow-mo reconstruction of domestic highlights from my 20s and 30s. Passionate, tender moments, absurdly exaggerated to make me seem vaguely romantic. Blazing arguments, where my pig-headedness is portrayed as an heroic example of principled conviction. A shrug to camera, as a former flatmate smashes a full glass of red wine in the kitchen and wanders off leaving me to clean it up. That was so weird. Still don't understand it.
Anyway, this sequence fades to a shot of me, standing in the empty hallway on a grubby beige carpet that was impossible to keep clean. I turn to make my exit, but hesitate before shutting the door, because I don't have the keys to my new place yet and if something goes wrong I'm totally screwed. But finally I pluck up courage – clunk – and I walk away, far away, into the distance, specifically Walthamstow, as the camera pulls back and up while "Ride Of The Valkyries" thunders away in the background.
If all of that sounds massively self-absorbed, which it is, I'm just saying that there are occasional moments on our slow road to oblivion that deserve to be savoured, and it's not our fault if overexposure to Hollywood shlock has made us imagine them in a preposterously dramatic context. However, if you start pondering who might play you in the stage musical about your life, and you start singing an improvised torch song about you making a cup of tea while you make a cup of tea,and then burst into tears, seek help.
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