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A Reflective Day with Damon Dukirk

Page 3

Another of his habitual pauses, a little longer this time. I thought nightclubs might be the answer, to dance the gloom right out of the system. I went around them all, looking for cheap drink deals and a woman to reassure me. Age was no barrier, I decided. Headed back to the clubs of my youth - where no-one looked at me. Drank what the kids looked to be drinking, mimicked their dance moves. Told girls that they would have loved me if they'd met me ten years earlier. Then the other way into a world of fifty-something desperation, of bald men with shattered egos sitting at high tables where five hours would pass and they wouldn't move.

It got worse. I got so drunk one night I read a couple of pages of Hard Times to a topless dancer and received a broken nose from a security guard who was a huge Dickens fan. I was on a torturous mission through the seedy depravity of my own soul. I wanted the easy joy of early adulthood. But hey, underneath it all, I'm a sensible man. I woke up one afternoon and I was exhausted, ill and fat. If I couldn't get my brain right, at least I had to take care of my body. So, over the past four years, while my contemporaries flew through a world of festivals, online chats and editorial meetings, I've lived in absurd simplicity.

I started to wake each morning trying to decide how much cereal to eat, guessing the exact minute the rubbish would be collected, taking bus trips to the end of lines to count how many brands of toothbrushes they kept in their supermarkets, mowing other people's lawns when they weren't home, and even when they didn't need mowing!

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