My friend Nick wrote this eight years ago and it’s still one of the best things I’ve ever read:
Nick12; Why do we still live with mum and dad?
Nick24; I can’t afford to move out yet.
Nick12; Why not?
Nick24; I only work in a library.
Nick12; Why aren’t we famous yet? We’re going to be famous, right? An actor or a writer or something.
Nick24; I don’t know. I’m planning on writing a book when I’m 30.
Nick12; Why are we waiting?!
Nick24; Virginia Woolf said so. I don’t know. Just because I’ve got nothing to write about yet. I need more time.
Nick12; Why are we still pudgy?
Nick24; I lost it! I wasn’t pudgy at all from being, like, 13, all the way through to 21!
Nick12; Then we got pudgy again? Thanks a bunch. I see we’re still wearing glasses. Please tell me we’re not a geek. Please.
Nick24; I used to be able to out-drink almost everyone I knew. I play football! I’m a music journalist! Look at my jeans, my shoes, my hair, look how fucking cool I made us!
Nick12; A music journalist?
Nick24; Not really. Kind of. On the internet.
Nick12; I’d ask about girls but I’m afraid.
Nick24; Don’t ask about girls.
Nick12; How long have I got to wait?
Nick24; A long time.
Nick12; Are we gay?
Nick24; No, but we’re open-minded.
Nick12; What does that mean?
Nick24; You’ll find out in about 9 years.
Nick12; It still sucks being me, right? Doesn’t it?
Nick12; Did we go to Oxford?
Nick12; Why not?
Nick24; I got… distracted. And angry.
Nick24; Why are you crying?
Nick12; Why aren’t you crying?!
Nick24; I can’t.
Nick12; Since fucking when?
Nick24; Since you cried all the tear-quota, you fucking wimp.
Nick12; Does it get better?
Nick24; Um… a lot of the time you don’t notice that it’s bad, or that it ever was bad, or even could be bad.
Nick12; What do you mean?
Nick24; You just get on with stuff… More people like you than you realise. Seriously. A lot more. Listen, I want you to do us a favour.
Nick24; Well… Don’t be afraid… Take risks. Don’t just do things because people expect you to. Never be scared to tell anyone how you feel, or ask them how they feel. Never let people forget that you care about them. EVER. But don’t let that care limit what you do. Go where you like, do what you like, see who you like. You don’t realise just how clever and cool and good you can be right now. People keep telling you, but you don’t listen, or don’t understand. You read books, you play football, you paint pictures, you write stories, you do whatever you want. Do it all. You can. You really fucking can. Just don’t, please don’t, spend all those evenings, mornings, nights, afternoons, sitting on your own, thinking about what might happen. Don’t waste those chances. Never ever feel guilty or embarrassed about anything, especially not all those stupid little things. Masturbate more when you’re young and less when you get older. Learn to tell people that they’re beautiful. Mean what you say, even if you don’t mean it immediately afterwards. Don’t fuck people around. Don’t fuck yourself around. Ride your bike more. Work at things a little more rather than just assuming you’ll be good enough to pass without doing any work. And try not to swear so fucking much.
Nick24; Does that make sense?
Nick12; A bit. Some of it.
Nick12; Who are we going to be, Nick?
Nick24; We’re going to be me, Nick. All the time. Every day. We’re going to be me.