Winner of the ‘hottest redhead you can find on Google at short notice’ competition… [Photo credit to Jenna Rutter]

I met a friend for the first time in about twenty years this weekend, as part of a larger, somewhat annual trip to attend a family barbecue. The barbecue itself was superb; well prepared, lots of fun with an unconventional mix of otherwise good-hearted people. It was one of those events where you came out feeling better about humankind, with a belief in community & forgetting about all the hate about how terrible the world now is, spewed mostly for clicks & sales.

Meeting Imam was an interesting experience. Fortunately we’d had some contact in the aforementioned twenty year gap, but I was pleased to note his core attributes hadn’t really changed at all. He’d always been a well mannered & respectful person, & this remained. If anything, it had served him very well in his journey; basically discovering a passion for accounting (yes, such people do exist it seems), contending with supporting health issues with his mother, becoming a driving instructor pretty much solely for the money & again planning on going back into accountancy. A fairly solid plan all in all, for a guy who until the age of sixteen was being groomed to become a Muslim imam by his conservative father, & has resisted his attempts by the same to be married off via an arranged marriage. Not that I’m personally against arranged marriage as practically if both parties consent it’s effectively the same as a online dating service. In credit to Imam, he had resisted this as his father was trying to marry him off to an illiterate farmhand from the ‘homeland’ of Pakistan, & he’d refused by way of his own dignity & self respect.

What was very interesting, is that he noted even by way of an arranged marriage, the options presented to him locally were little more than the same those of us using conventional dating would come across; superficiality, consumerist mindset with no real practical skills such as being able to cook or so forth. While I’m not one to demand that a woman include cooking among her skill set, if I can do it so should my partner. Furthermore, I do still believe to this day that if a woman can cook or not is a major pointer as to her suitability for a relationship. Not the only indicator of course, but certainly an important one.

After I’d shared the equivalent of the last twenty years of my life with him, he looked at me a little shocked. I hadn’t pulled any punches as he’s obviously a trustworthy person. He looked at me a little longer before saying, ‘You’ve been through the grinder a bit haven’t you?‘. I thought about it & although I’m always remiss to take up the victim mantel on account of it being so commonplace nowadays, I compared my experiences to his own & had to admit, that except for the loss of his mother & his father’s cold factual approach to dealing with it only days later, he had not came close to experiencing what I had. I had recounted to him the lifestyle I had about three years ago now, where I’d had almost unlimited amounts of money, women & confidence. Then, everything I touched turned to gold. My conversion rate with women was extremely high. Approaching girls was no problem whatsoever. I don’t even remember putting that much effort in. Of course I’d meet girls but as soon as I’d got them into my place, I’d go for it & either back off if they clearly weren’t comfortable or convert if they were, which honestly most of the time they were.

Those days seem very far away now. Now I feel like I’ve been traumatised by something & am always living in fear of something happening. This past week for example, FilipinoHostess went from being very horny to having been crying via a quick bathroom trip. When I’d come back to Venezuelan after catching up with the Imam, she’d mentioned how she’d like to visit me again in the central European state. I scoured the bathroom after I’d smoothed things over with FilipinoHostess that day & dispatched her, only to find absolutely nothing that could have provoked such a reaction. Now all I think about is how if Venezuelan visits, she could see whatever this mysterious unidentifiable indicator is too, & then I have an awful dramatic situation once again. Avoiding that & not having yet another drama to deal with, will be in my eyes a successful weekend. I’ve had enough dramatic episodes for a lifetime.

After arriving for the barbecue the previous day, I had ended up spending two days & one night at home. I’d enjoyed having the whole family there. Everyone together, having fun, no one with serious health problems & no stupid tensions upheld by little more than ego’s pride. In light of people seemingly dropping like flies in the last couple of years, I was content to just have these moments with all the important people in my life around me. As I left with Venezuelan, I admittedly struggled massively, choking down a full set of tears. It was somewhat bizarre given that it had been a fully successful weekend, with no mishaps or underlying bad news. But for whatever reason, as with a lot of things recently, I have been feeling a sense of finality. Every time I’ve been around someone of worth to me recently, if I’ve been leaving them I’ve been feeling as though it’s the last time I’ll see them. It’s quite disconcerting. Is my mind subconsciously preparing me for something?

I saw the first flashes of something I strongly disliked this weekend with Venezuelan. We had been speaking about politics of all things (not usually a good idea). I had instigated it by losing my temper a little, although as she embarrassingly stormed off from the restaurant in response with me trailing behind, it was something I can’t stand. I apologised to keep the peace, but I packed all of my stuff in preparation which didn’t go unnoticed & when I raised that perhaps she could apologise for the way she’d responded, I was met with a incredulous response, which I quickly dodged out of. But although we have officially made up & apparently everything is fine, I haven’t forgotten that. There will no longer be a point in my life where I will tolerate behaviour like that & irrespective of how things pan out with us, I know I always have a choice.

Generally speaking, I feel like I’ve been looking in a lot of places & within a lot of people to find happiness recently. I had thought about two weeks ago I had reached that point, but now I’m not so sure. The way I felt when I’d left home again (that is, my real home) made me realise how I’d missed both the simplicity of my old life & also those people who sooner or later, just aren’t going to be there one day. Perhaps I’ve been looking for answers to questions that I’d only imagined myself, & in fact everything I’d ever really needed was within myself, but just needed to either fixed or satiated, or fixed by being satiated. I desire closeness & love, but am equally terrified of the vulnerability I have to expose in order to feel that. Even the concept of time passing & everyone constantly ageing; weakening, is awful. I now begin to think perhaps a bright life & dying earlier is somewhat merciful, rather than watching everyone you’ve ever loved disappearing one by one.

The Imam had told me some of the stories of some mutual friends also, which was interesting. One that had stuck out in particular was the story of Sonny as he liked to be called, who had aspired to work as a psychotherapist. He’d somewhat achieved his goal before having to get out after burnout. The Imam recounted to me an example of a situation that led him to this, as Sonny sat in front of a man whose son was critically ill & soon to unavoidably die, & who the same man’s wife had died giving birth to this critically ill child. The man sat there, saying how much pain he was in, that perhaps it’d be better if he died too, as he’d ‘failed at this life’ & if there was another life, he could try again. Understandably he was broken.

What can you say to someone like that, in that situation? Life can be brutal.

~ Unjaded

With Friends Like These…

...I won't be leaving the house.

…I won’t be leaving the house.

Single minded obsession, depression, high on the chase, bitter at the fallout, anger, pain, resentment, guilt, regret & finally, embarrassment. Add a touch of grieving for what was / wasn’t & you have a good summary there of where my head has been at for the last three months, after my experiences with Thorn.

I threw myself straight into obtaining any pussy I could get my hands on. My preference for older women, that I had temporarily put aside during my relationship with Thorn, has resurfaced with reckless abandon. I quite simply adore the older woman. They know what they want & have a compassion gained through life experience. The sheer thrill they get from fucking the shit out of a toyboy is matched only by my own thrills. It’s mutual, we connect & we both gain what we want from it.

I have been seeing two women in their early to mid forties since Thorn & they have been some of the funniest, memorable times I have experienced with women in the last three years. One I am currently seeing is into bondage, candle wax play, veering between submissive & dominant tendencies. More on that in the near future.

Despite taking the first steps towards becoming ‘unjaded’ myself, I in fact find myself very jaded at times. I still am in a vulnerable place due to previously had someone using my every fear & insecurity against me. It’s no surprise to find that I question everything when it comes to human interaction.

I have three solid friends I know I can go to with all the trust in the world, no fear of judgement & all of whom have at least a similar mentality. These being Unjaded, The Spanish Knife & The Hermit (the latter called as such, due to his sage advice, despite generally not choosing to participate in typical life). These are friendships that have been maintained for the best part of twenty years. My recent judgments in terms of the company I generally keep though, was coming into question.

It is the one thing I will give Thorn some credit for. She pointed out certain things regarding my friends that I was loathe to admit at the time. Certain people brought my mood down & at times took my friendship for granted. She didn’t like any of them but my focus at the time was not on them. It was all pulled towards her.

Two of these friends are RarebitMankRarebit became one of my closest friends in my hometown for the last eighteen months. A walking ball of menace, unpredictable moods & a loyalty that stretches to wanting to fuck anyone up that crossed my path. He also likes ale as much as I do.

Mank is a twenty two year old female. A twenty a day smoker, whisky drinker & has a degree in chemistry. In terms of men though, her intelligence is limited. A past of rape, abuse & running away from home brought her in my general direction. We were attracted to each other prior to Thorn but circumstances meant nothing materialised, so I went with Thorn. After the conclusion of that though, Mank made her move.

A night out with both Rarebit & Mank ended up with me going back to Mank’s place. We kissed, began to undress & just before sex seemed like it would happen, she froze up; her issues from her past preventing anything from happening. It wound me up to be honest. Residual anger from my relationship with Thorn exploded out of me towards Mank. I guess she touched a nerve.

My red flag radar was off the charts & later that week, Mank confided to Rarebit what had happened. I could begin to see where was this going. Mank was attempting a triangulation in an attempt to maximise all attention on herself. Recently educated to such behaviour, I decided to play along with the game & see how it panned out.

I played a game of show & tell. Basically showing Mank metaphorically everything, but telling her nothing about my intentions. We went out a few times. I put minimal effort in to gain her interest & did some triangulation of my own. I felt we could keep it a secret from Rarebit as Mank had mentioned her concerns that he appeared interested in her. All bullshit of course. He had never once expressed sexual interest in her, instead taking more of a protective big brother mentality. But I was having issues with Rarebit at this time anyway. His moods were more polarised than usual, him taking advantage of my generosity & generally being a difficult moody cunt. I let some of it slide due to my own ever changing mood swings during my recent experienceswhich he’d experienced first hand.

I had hit a point of no return though. I wasn’t going to let it continue. At times during my relationship with Thorn, I had needed someone to have a stern word with me. Unjaded & The Spanish Knife had done so at times, but then I wasn’t in a place to listen. Rarebit had then used the situation to his advantage, taking what he could & justifying it by proclaiming himself as my friend at my worst time. Things were coming to a head. With Mank & I getting closer, Rarebit getting moodier, & a night out with the three of us coming up it was all set to kick off. And so it did.

An afternoon meet up for food & catch up with Unjaded preceded the events. After catching up on recent conquests, game mentality & general all round business, off we went into the city centre. As we travelled downtown, I mentioned I was meeting up with Rarebit & Mank. His response made me laugh.

‘Why the fuck do you hang around with these guys? They bring your mood down. When you meet up with The Spanish Knife & I, you have a good time & go home happy’.

I laughed on the inside. He was right. I knew it but I had my single minded obsession head on. I wanted going to see how this night panned out. Unjaded headed off to a date & I continued to the pub. Once I arrived, my first action was to intentionally crank up the tension by sticking an endless selection of Pantera & Slayer on the jukebox; angry music to suit my mood. The Spanish Knife also joined us for a few hours but he was in a tired mood & so was very quiet. But this was good. I know how observant he is when he steps back & takes in what goes on around him. I would be interested to know his own thoughts a later day. Eventually he left & the night went predictably pear shaped.

Mank & Rarebit spent most of the evening outside the pub smoking. I was genuinely concerned at this point. I know how volatile Rarebit can be & if Mank was playing with him like she was attempting to with me, then I knew it would be asking for trouble. I went to play some pool with the locals to distract myself temporarily, but I was in poor form with my mind still elsewhere. After losing a game, I stepped out of the pub to find Rarebit on his own. I asked him what was up.

‘I’ve just been telling Mank for the last half an hour that I don’t want to fuck her.’ was his response. He then walked right past me & disappeared to the toilet.

I wandered back in & found Mank being chatted up by another guy. She was clearly loving all of the attention coming her way. I interjected to ask if she was OK. The guy glanced at me & then back to Mank, making a comment about not realising she wasn’t alone. Rarebit returned from the toilet with almost physic timing, saw what was going on & it lit the touch paper. He pushed the guy in the chest & then disappeared, leading to the guy taking his anger out on me. He made a derogatory comment about me & it took a lot for me not to wrap a nearby pool cue around his head. This guy was a typical villager & he wasn’t worth the hassle. Mank had also conveniently disappeared by this point. Once it got vocal between us, another guy stepped in & separated us. The bar staff then refused to serve me so I left.

What followed was some of the most childish behaviour I have ever seen. Three people all with different versions of events. Rarebit was raging uncontrollably, as he had let his volatile temper get the better of him yet again. This wasn’t helped by Mank insisting he had throttled the guy he’d squared up to. He actually hadn’t, but every time I mentioned this to her, Mank interrupted & would not let me finish speaking. Like a child having a temper tantrum, she kept marching off & disappearing for ten minutes at a time when not getting her way. The final time was when the guy that split up the potential fight caught up with us & asked what happened. I told him to ask Mank as she insisted she knew every detail. This angered her & off she went, storming off with Rarebit running after her. I haven’t seen or heard from her since.

A few weeks on, Rarebit & I have again caught up & resolved our issues. I laid it all on the line about his foul moods, including the fact that he took me for granted as a friend & how I felt he was utilising my situation with Thorn to gain what he wanted from our friendship. He first looked like he was going to tear me apart but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Once he calmed down, he admitted he wanted to but he couldn’t. I was right & it would justify my opinions. One or both of them had to go. I decided it had to be her. Since then, we are still friends but  I have kept him at arms length. He does seem to be genuinely trying to turn himself around. I hope it isn’t just lip service.

For me, life is taking off. My confidence is rising again & I becoming stronger than I ever was. Not only am I learning to enjoy my own company again, I’m also enjoying my new found freedom with aplomb. As for Thorn, I still haven’t heard from her but I am on guard. You never know…

~ Zan


..and kick it in the ribs for good measure.

Rejoice, it’s the beginning of a new week!

The weekend was a success. I saw almost all my old friends, have seemed to have sorted things out with main & my family is good. Only slight downside is getting quite smashed on fuel charges for the car rental I made. The total outlay I made on a number of things this past weekend has made me realise I am sometimes acting like a poor person with money; not being responsible enough. Although I have made several investments, I think it’s about time I made another level of diligence the standard for money matters, especially with the forthcoming changes.

All of my friends were well. We’re all in our thirties now & while chatting about the fringe people we have in our lives, we realised how much bad shit has happened to other people. From disabilities, to divorces, shootings, people losing the plot completely & all sorts of stuff. Listening to really tragic stories from people you used to know, made us appreciate by the end sitting there with sound mind & bodies, even if we are all struggling with our various challenges. I truly hope it stays that way. I can envision what I expect each of my good friend’s personal challenges to be, both now & in the future. The main one I’ve noticed seems to be motivation, stemming ultimately from a lack of self esteem or from procrastination. I suspect more of the latter as I write this, particularly in one case.

There’s no time to waste! I myself have lost plenty of it over the years, one could say not taking certain opportunities, and definitely the amount of time I’ve spent watching films or playing video games. Although I have previously said games are an important part (for me anyway) of letting the mind rest, five day, twelve hour sessions of a certain RPG may have been taking it a little far. In any case, I don’t regret those times but as with everything, balance is needed.

I believe you should try & do at least three personally beneficial things each day, that are not anything to do with your normal routine. In addition, you should look to complete these as soon as possible, where possible. For example, many people have business ideas & put off doing any active work on them, because they don’t have any capital. But if you were really passionate about your idea, then you’d already be working on it. Providing you have access to the internet (which practically everyone does in some way now) you can do research & put together a comprehensive plan.

Without this turning into a business blog, it may seem like what I say here sometimes is a bit obvious. And it is. The key point is; everyone says it’s obvious. But how many people actually go ahead & put what they read into action, after thinking ‘that’s obvious, what a shitty blog’? Very, very few is the answer. In my experience, the difference between those who ultimately succeed & those who do not is not academic qualification or barometers of ‘intelligence’ like IQ, but rather a combination of the difference in their measure of perseverance & dynamic adaptability when faced with opportunity.

While it’s true some people have easier access to opportunity than others through their family circumstances or connections, it’s just another limiting belief. Although progress can progressively slow the more you progress above average financial or social levels, anyone is capable of learning behaviour & skills that will elevate you to higher levels in life. A counter example of one of the aforementioned friends is on stagnation mode, despite having enormous potential & an admirable plan. On the other hand, I’ve met people from the travelling community to the corporate world, who have tangibly & successfully made efforts to change their circumstances, & I also include myself in this category. Anything is possible, providing you know why you are aiming for, & have enough of an interest in either the functions of whatever it is you’ll be doing to achieve it day to day (best), or the benefits of what it brings to your life as a result that improve your circumstances (second best).

Now let’s get through another week of earning that sterling.

~ Unjaded



Cue 80’s action film bad guys entering stage left.

Time to go home.

Although only for a few days, as we have a bank holiday here. I agreed to stay here in central Europe for an additional three months, meaning I’ll be leaving at the end of November. I’ll take December off to re-evaluate my life & consider career direction, then start fresh in the new year.

It’s been six months since I’ve seen my family in person. Thinking I’d be leaving, I’ve been working all possible days to maximise my advantageous financial arrangement here. While it’s entirely possible I could negotiate something similar elsewhere, I’ve learnt to appreciate what you have while you have it. And this is very much the same with family. You don’t see them for a while & then, maybe you’ll have a video call. Much in the same way you won’t appreciate how you are changing from working out if you look at yourself every day, you can easily forget how people are aging after you haven’t seen them for a while. And so it’s important to spend time with those people, fill their memories with good times however you can & tell them whatever needs to be said before they pass on. I honestly believe some of the main reasons people get so upset when someone dies is they never got to tell them something, or all the every day bullshit got in the way of reconciliation or open expression.

I myself could be considered guilty of this. I haven’t spoke to my blood father for almost a year, because he didn’t receive a birthday text while I was on another continent & messaged me to let me know he didn’t want to speak with me any longer. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the problem on his side. If almost sixty years isn’t enough to figure who & what is important to you, then I guess you never will. Or in fact, it’s entirely possible he has made the decision & communicated it to me clearly. Frankly, I don’t care.

So yes, homeward bound. See my dog, see my real friends, family & forget about all this bullshit for a few days. Drive to the coast, hang out & whatever else happens, happens.

~ Unjaded