• Eric Rushton

Happy Porn

I feel a familiar sadness today. Pain is leaking out of me like water that leaks out of pipe that has a leak in it. Bad analogies are also leaking out of me. I am sad. I am 24. I have done nothing with my life thus far, which means so far, but sounds better perhaps (“perhaps” means “maybe”).

I can’t write another blog about being sad, though, so (thus?) I’ll have to figure something else out as I type. Someone told me that if I kept writing blogs about being sad then “you’d lose me, personally.” That’s not good. I have like twelve readers; I can’t afford to lose one. Jesus had twelve followers, and when he lost Judas, that’s where it all went wrong for him. I am sad, but not the kind of sad where I want to be nailed to a wooden cross. Fuck that. I’ve also heard vivid accounts of being depressed disparagingly described as being nothing more than “pain-porn”, but I think that says more about the people that are wanking off to them.

I guess the point the Judases and the “nothing-more-than-pain-porn” lobby are getting at is that it’s a bit intense to write about that stuff and it’s a bit intense to read. It’s a fair point. Especially if you’re writing about being sad whilst in the worst part of feeling it. You can’t really think clearly. That’s why suicide notes are often so dreadful as pieces of literature. They’re so unbalanced and negative. What people should do is write their suicide note after a day where they’ve been productive, perhaps straight after a run so all those feel-good hormones are in their system – then you’d get a note that was much more pleasant. “Hi, if you’re reading this, I’ve sadly passed away, but you know what, you’re all bloody legends and I’m grateful for ya.” That kind of thing.

Thus, perhaps it’s better to let the depression pass through me before I write about it. Wait till I’m a bit removed from it. Maybe I will write about being happy and content from the vantage point of being depressed. That could work. If you need to be feeling alright to accurately assess your depression, maybe you need to be depressed to accurately assess feeling alright.

Okay, let me think.

When was I happy? Think, Eric. Think.

Well, my friend Pete stayed over last weekend. That was good. I felt good. We played FIFA and watched the FA cup final. Then we went to the pub afterwards with some of our other friends. I had a burger. I remember having a feeling of thinking I had a life, like I was cool. Like I was living in a sitcom or something. My friends and I, all in our twenties, just living it up. Sure, we have our problems – our jobs are a joke, we’re broke, love life’s D.O.A, always stuck in second gear etc. But we have each other. After the pub we went to the park, like at midnight, and played basketball in the dark. I felt very in the moment, glad to be alive, not worrying about anything else.

What else?

I’ve done a few gigs recently. Like, proper in-person gigs in a beer garden, at a place called The Hollybush. I’ve missed doing comedy a lot. For humans and also sheepdogs, a lot of their meaning is derived from what they do for work. Ever since coronavirus-19 stopped live gigs, I’ve just wanted to get back out there and do stand-up, so I can work towards something again. When I did my first one back, I felt so happy. It was outside, and cars passing on the busy road next to the pub interrupted like 50% of my punchlines but it just felt so good to be with people doing what I love.

So that was a good bit of happiness.

Speaking of stand-up, I won an award this year. I don’t think I’ve written about that yet. It was the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year. It was the biggest thing I’d ever been up for in comedy. At the final, I probably had the best gig I’ve ever had, and I won. Mad stuff. I was buzzing my tits off. That’s why I’m not as large-breasted as I used to be. There was an after party and I stayed out till like 5am that night. I even danced which I’m normally too embarrassed to do. And I got £1000 as prize money. I felt so giddy.

That bit of happiness was probably kind of dangerous. Just like being super-depressed is dangerous, having your mood peak that much can be scary as well. You don’t really feel like yourself. It’s probably because you’re not. I remember walking around for about a week after that award and thinking I was amazing and that life was just gonna be an absolute piece of piss from now on. People would love me and I’d have success and there would be no more sadness. It felt like the end of a movie or something, where the main character gets what they want and the credits roll before they have time to feel nihilistic again.

Without delving into the pain-pornographic details, I have felt sad since then. Now and also many other times. But I still feel glad for having had that peak experience and then coming through it and realising it was all a bit of an illusion. And I guess that’s true when you come out of feeling low as well, even though you can’t see that when you’re in the middle of it.

Thus, perhaps it’s all about just about being patient, and realising everything eventually passes; the feeling of being worthless, but also the feeling of thinking you’re a legend. And when you’re in the middle of those two extremes, it all seems kind of funny.

That thought makes me happy. Perhaps happy enough to start writing my suicide note.

Anyway, that’s about it.

Cya x


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