The Dark Side

Tony Fyler 3 comments
  • Life
The Dark Side

This is a weird one. Loved Friendo's  piece 'We All Have To Die...' Reminded me of a piece I wrote four fairly long years ago. Figured I'd share, in the same sense of 'bugger me, I'm getting old...' - although if you're waiting for the uplifting bit at the end...well, frankly Friendo's got me beat ;o)

8 December 2006
I turned 35 recently. People tell me this means I'm now officially a Grumpy Old Man. I always used to mock the idea that you could only be Grumpy, or indeed Old, once you passed through the mystic portal of thirtyfiveishness. I've been Grumpy since I was 11, when I used to tell my fellow pupils to go buy a brain, or indeed to tell adults who insisted on being cretins to go and boil their head. In a vat of Sulphuric acid, if I remember correctly.

But that's the point. I'm no longer sure I remember correctly. This isn't a creeping senility, or a momentary lapse of memory. This has been happening on a daily basis since my 35th birthday. Halfway through sentences. Halfway through journeys from one room to the other. It's like someone's hit me with a baseball bat and I'm wandering through my days in a bit of a daze. I've always been known by my friends and my wife as Memoryboy, for my freakish ability to remember the most arcane of details about things, people, situations. Now I feel like I can barely hold a coherent thought from one end to the other.

Goddamnsonofabitch. I know there was other stuff that's been suddenly visited on me since I turned 35, but I can't remember now what any of it is!

Oh...that's right. My wife, stifling giggles, has just reminded me about the fact that loud noises...hell, even moderately quiet make me jumpy. Boy that was fun on Hallowe'en. It was even more fun on Guy Fawkes Day - a kind of 17th Century "Hang A Terrorist" holiday, celebrated to this day by setting off fireworks randomly. Oh the fun. Every banger, every whizzer, every colour-splashing crack of thunder this year saw me wince, or cringe, or shift involuntarily out of the way. It's like my body is trying to tell me something, if I could only remember what it is...

It's like something has clicked over in my metabolism. I've worn slippers without irony. My hands and feet are starting to get inexplicably cold for longer periods of time. Young people have been annoying me since I was one of them, but now, it's as though the last remaining drops of patience in my soul have been poured out and I want to tell them, as I did as a child, exactly how insane and pointless they all are. Naturally, given the world we live in, I've been shouting at the TV for some time now, but I've graduated...I used to only shout at the easy targets - the politicians telling us they know what they are doing, the adverts that dared to tell me - short, fat, balding, greasy, hairy-arsed and clueless me - that I'm "worth it too". But now it's everything. Every advert, every programme, every ridiculous flickering parade of mediocrity that passes for entertainment in the arena of the damned. I shout. I point, like that makes some miraculous difference and makes my rage more valid somehow. I even, and this is something I should remember to apologise for, but what are the odds, I even explain at tedious length to my gently suffering wife exactly what it is I'm ranting about. As you might be starting to suspect, if you have to explain what you're ranting about, it really isn't worth the effort, but it's out of me before I think, before I bite my tongue, because all of a sudden, I CAN'T! The button has clicked over in my brain from "Thirtysomething, clinging to patience and humour and some desperate hope that advertisers are aiming even vaguely at me" to "Bathchair." It's like I no longer have the time to hold the endless, pointless, ghastly ranting commentary in my head inside where it belongs. Like I'm suddenly this old and scowling bastard, in my slippers and my Grumpy Old Man face. If I had a stick, I'd hit people with it. In fact, the only reason I've refrained from buying a stick is not to get arrested. And somehow, all of a sudden, the fact that people deserve a damn good stick-whacking has become the height, the very pinnacle of logic and good sense to me. I've become my Gran! And suddenly I'm right, they're wrong, the grey space of my liberalism is burning and I feel like I have finally gone over to the Dark Side. For example, I should warn you, if you want to talk racist, sexist, religion-thumping gibberish to me, gone are the days when I would smile and nod and smirk inside and let you hang yourself on your own nonsense. Too long, too complicated - if I try that now, I'll have forgotten what you're talking about by the time you're done. So now, you talk that crap to me, you get a lightsaber up the ass for wasting my remaining precious seconds of air with all your thoughts.

I feel the gaze of all the proper Grumpy Old Men upon me now, and they are smiling grimly, as though they have been watching my progress and now are happy to call me one of their own. As though they're telling me "You see? You were always Grumpy-in-waiting, but now you have the urgency, the forgetfulness, the inexplicable backpain - don't mention it, you're welcome...Now you are truly one of us, My Son."

I have gone over to the Dark Side. Don't mess with me.



Monday 26th July 2010 | 08:10 PM
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Jeez Tony...You really are messed up. What are Bangers and Whizzers anyway? I gotta get to work, but I'll give you more trouble later.


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Tony Fyler

Tony Fyler

Monday 26th July 2010 | 10:03 PM
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lol I know...and that was four years ago. Imagine how dark and embittered I've gotten since then! Four years less hair, four years closer to an inevitable death....ahhh, it's good to be alive.

Oh, no, wait, it is...Ok, forget I said anything ;o)

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What Was Done

Wednesday 28th July 2010 | 02:59 AM

Getting old is only in our mind.
Age never prevented people from doing things:

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Tony Fyler 26th July 2010 by Tony Fyler

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