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Rage against the grey

IMG_2598Trees are bloody lucky. Far from fading as they get old, they blaze. Streaks of yellow, patches of orange, tendrils of red. All the heat of the summer chucked back at yer with attitude.
But us, we fade til we disappear. And the hair is only the start. Mine’s going white. The hair thing matters to me because I’m a red head. People don’t even believe me when I say that now. ‘Oh, no, more strawberry blonde, I’d say’. ‘It’s not really that bright, is it?’ No, that’s because I am fucking old, alright! But it was orange and bright and loud. And I was characterised by my ginger-ness. It was what made me different, made me me. People assumed I had passion and a temper because I had fiery hair. Now, they assume that I am fading, like my hair.
But inside I have stored up fire, burning coals of thoughts and feelings, opinions and insights, and stories.
I’ll never be a bright, young debut. I’ll never be one to look out for in the future. I’ll never make one of those up and coming lists of writers under 30. I had neither the time nor the resources to write properly formed things when I was young. I was too busy being fucked up and insecure and in love with the wrong men and trying to make a living and learning to fit in. It took til now for me to be ready.
But why should that make me lesser? We oldies used to be the storytellers. And not just tellers of soft and dismal tales that drop like ash from the end of a forgotten fag. I don’t want to tell stories about middle-aged ladies pondering their pasts on the shores of an Italian lake. I don’t have racy tales from a war torn youth to tickle the fancy of babyboomers agog to discover that they didn’t invent sexual intercourse. In my head there are many different ages and many different selves.
I’m not a late bloomer. They haven’t bloomed yet. They’re lovely buds but they’re still green. I don’t want to be a ‘mature’ writer, equally indulged and ignored like some feeble-minded hobbyist. Cheese matures! Fruit ripens. I am ripe and I want to tell ripe stories. Despite my fading hair, I can still blaze.

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