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Monday, June 07, 2004

It's 20 minutes to 2am on Sunday night; I'm working. Well, in a fashion, there's actually not a helluva lot for me to do.

I know, I know, I haven't visited in a couple of days. My only excuse is I haven't felt like it. Discipline is not one of my strong points, besides I didn't have much to say. Well, I do tonight.

I'm quite upset actually. I walked into work tonight to discover that an old friend and colleague of mine was killed today. He was shot. If you're that bothered, it won't take much to search the net to find out what I'm on about.

I hadn't seen him in a few years. I haven't really seen anyone in a few years. I'm anti-social, what can I say.

There was a party recently, organised by my some former colleagues to mark an anniversary of the start of the company. I was one of the "founders" but didn't attend. I'm VERY anti-social actually.

I expect my old friend, who was shot, was probably there. He was always very social and I would bet he attended. It would have been my last chance to see him. How was I supposed to know?

You know how when someone dies, everyone says nice things about them, even if they were a jerk? Witness the glowing tributes being paid to former US president Ronald Reagan. Well, with my friend, there's no need to be false-nice; he genuinely was a really good person.

He was always smiling, easy to work with, helpful and generally regarded a decent bloke. It's always the good people who get killed, the cunts in my industry seem to be bullet-proof.

He's the fourth mate of mine to be killed in the field in the last 5 years. When you go to work, do your colleagues ever get killed? Mine do. More often then they should.

Whinge, whinge, whinge. No, hippy, this is not about you! My friend has a wife, and all of my sympathies are with her. Her life changed dramatically tonight, in ways I could never, ever understand. A knock on the door and a minute later, everything's different, forever. I can't possibly imagine what she must be going through.

I know I keep saying life is shit, but how can I not? The proof is all around me.

I used to travel to hotspots as well, foolishly I might add. I've spent time in Somalia, Bosnia and Sierra Leone, all places where journalists have been killed. I lost 2 friends of mine in Sierra Leone and another in Kosovo. I really need to find a new job where my mates don't get killed! At least I don't travel anymore; not that anyone has asked me recently, which is just as well. You couldn't pay me enough to go to Baghdad or Riyadh right now. And I’m greedy.

But I hear Kabul is quite nice these days, with boutique hotels and gourmet food.

Fucking hell. Don't even think about it. Travelling on the tube is dangerous enough.

To continue with the doom and gloom, my younger brother heard from my father this evening. To recap, I haven't spoken to him in just over 3 weeks. He's dying of cancer.

He still sounds like shit, says my brother and is even more cantankerous and mean, if that is possible. The conversation was compared to "pulling teeth" by my brother in that he doesn't offer anything. And you keep asking questions and getting one-word answers.

On the back of that conversation, my brother decided to contact an aunt and uncle of ours (on our mother's side) to see what info he could get as they visit my parents occasionally. What a fucking mistake.

My uncle, who is a giant mountain of a man, you've never seen anyone as fat as him outside the Guinness Book of World Records, was quite cunty to my brother. He didn't get to speak to my aunt, who's my mother's sister. I don’t know why, maybe she wasn’t home.

Instead of listening to anything my brother had to say, or even talking about the situation, all my fat uncle could do is repeatedly tell my brother that we both should really be over there right now, helping out.


It's driving my brother and I absolutely mad that we can't do anything to help, can't be there. What the fuck do they think? If I could contribute anything to the situation, anything at all, don't they think I would be there?

My family is fucked. That's succinct and to the point. Somehow either the message doesn’t get passed on, or they're garbled, or everyone likes to pretend that everything's fine. I don't really know why, but no one seems to have even half a clue why things are the way they are. Or worse, they think it should all be put aside in times of crisis.

Fuck that and fuck them.

Because of all the unresolved shit with my older half-siblings, the situation is well and truly beyond repair. I'd need to want to fix it and I don't. If anything, I want to pour petrol all over it and start playing with matches.

And nobody wants to hear that and my rational, sensible side (surprise! I have one) says I should just let it all go. Not be bothered. Deep down, I don't think I am that bothered. Deep down, I know I don't have the energy or interest in arguing with anyone or explaining anything. No one would listen, no one would really care.

My father didn't want to listen to reason anyway, when there was time for it. Now it's too late. Blah blah blah, go smoke a joint or eat some shrooms!

I need to phone him, phone my dad, this week, maybe even Tuesday evening. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I'm so tired of explaining why I'm not there that I'm just not going to anymore, there's no need. I just want both my parents to know that I love them. That's all really. I wish, wish, wish I could do more.

Mrs. Hippy says I reveal too much about myself in this blog. She's probably right, but why not? I've got nothing to hide, my life has always an open, yet dull book. Sometimes, I can't even be bothered to turn the page.
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