My Life in F.R.I.E.N.D.S Quotes

So no-one told you life was gonna be this way

*clap clap clap clap*

As anyone who knows me even a little bit will tell you, I am a massive Friends fan. Remember FriendsFest in London last year? I was there with my own group of Friends.

And it was amazing.

So, a common question among Friends fans is “which character are you?”

My answer has always been Chandler with a hint of Ross… but then it got me thinking. I am probably like all the characters in different ways. Then it got me thinking again… would I be able to describe myself, my life and my personality, using only quotes from the best sitcom of the 90s?

Well, here is my life as told by F.R.I.E.N.D.S:

Every time I read an email with a grammatical mistake:

When I get asked to do something on a Sunday:

Sundays are for sleeping, eating, watching films and drinking tea.

See, Chandler gets it:

And when I don’t get invited at all:

Me in any meeting longer than 30 minutes:

Any meeting over 30 minutes should include an unlimited supply of coffee

When my work phone rings at 5:29 on a Friday afternoon:

And then someone answers and says “I’ll just get him for you”:

Every time I see someone wearing camouflage:

This joke will never not be hilarious

Me after one drink:

And then I drink some more:

When I really should go home:

The morning after:

And not long after, the existential crisis kicks in:

Don’t drink, kids.

When I make a cup of tea only to find there’s no milk left:

I accept no blame for this.

That time my lunch disappeared from the office fridge:

Meeting someone for the first time:

How my future wife will probably introduce me to her friends:

Penis jokes are always funny:

When you search Ugly Naked Guy in Google Images to write this post:

Me when F.R.I.E.N.D.S came to an end:

But I’m over it now, can you tell?

And finally, when Chandler summed me up in 6 words:

 

This was fun, we should do it again sometime.

DC

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My Life in F.R.I.E.N.D.S Quotes

Why I Hate Getting My Hair Cut

Today, I looked in the mirror and decided it was time. Time for the change I have been needing for months; a change that everyone who has laid eyes upon my dishevelled mass of duotone hair knows I have been needing for a while.

Yes, it was time for a haircut.

This may not seem like such a big deal. Okay, so you go and sit in a chair for fifteen minutes while some guy with scissors snips a few hairs from your head. Everyone does it. For some people it is an event to look forward to.

(Why!? A stranger washing your hair while you bend awkwardly backwards over a sink, their fingers violating your skull, asking questions you can’t answer in fear of getting a mouthful of soapy water. No thanks.)

Well for me it’s a f*cking nightmare.

Source: pinterest

And I let my fear gradually build. For weeks I’ve been finding the courage to sit in the chair. Eight years ago, I would have been proud of the fringe that caused partial vision. The back of my neck has been cosy during the winter months. But I’m twenty-four and there is no excuse for a messy, unkempt mass of hair. Or is there?

The problem for me is, quite simply, I am going grey. I have been going grey since I was about 16. I still remember that fateful day. Finding a small collection of greys on the side of my head, telling myself it was not real, that yes, my dad went grey young, but that doesn’t mean I will too.

I lied to myself.

So there I was today. A stranger buzzing his clippers over my scalp, asking me if I preferred ‘natural or square’ (FYI, I opted for square), using his fingers to estimate an inch-and-a-half off the top.

“Is that okay?”

How the hell am I meant to know? You’re the bloody hairdresser!

I was too focussed on my lap, shrouded with a black cape highlighting the masses of grey hairs scattered everywhere. And in that moment I knew it was all over.

People tell me to embrace it, accept it, everyone likes a silver fox. Think of George Clooney or Phillip Schofield.

I’m more of a Steve Martin. Remember your weird crush on Steve Martin? Of course you don’t.

Steve Martin discovers Just For Men (source: Film Stills)

Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the hair dye aisle in Boots.

And so the main problem with haircuts, aside from another person touching my head (which is something I cannot bear), is that with each one I become greyer. It’s more visible.

I’m 24 and I’m at least one third grey.

Soon it’ll spread. I know it will. I am no longer in doubt. First, maybe, it’ll reach my eyebrows. Then, it’ll got to my facial hair, maybe further south to my chest, maybe further south still.

Who am I kidding? Maybe? Definitely.

So I am writing this while I still have more brown hairs than grey. Future Dan will look back at this and think It was a simpler time.

And there we have it. A quarter-life crisis in action. I know I’m still young, but I wish somebody would tell my scalp.

Not that I’m vain.

(Although I did notice ten minutes in that I have a resting double chin, but that’s a whole other issue.)

source: http://www.someecards.com

 

Why I Hate Getting My Hair Cut

Like a Pop Song in my Head

I hope that guy who sang Cheerleader ends his singing career now. I mean, he’s done his job. A big, summer tune with meaningless lyrics that manifests itself within all our brains and repeats on a loop.

It’s a thought that entered my mind when I was in Islington on Sunday afternoon in a small bookshop, the melody of said Cheerleader ringing through the street, played on panpipes and tin drums.

There’s nothing wrong with a catchy pop song, but it has to be good. And definitely not played on panpipes and tin drums.

source: comicvine.com
source: comicvine.com

My problem is that I constantly have a song stuck in my skull, reverberating around my head, occasionally pouring out of my mouth without me realising. Sporadic singing is an unfortunate habit of mine. And it’s not so much a problem for me as it for those around me.

I mean, sometimes it is impossible to have a conversation with me because I will connect your words to lyrics and start warbling at you.

Friend: “I’m leaving.”

Me: “On a jet plane, don’t know when… Sorry.”

Friend: “Question,”

Me: “Tell me what you think about me… Sorry.”

Friend: “No-one told me!”

Me: “Life was gonna be this way *clap clap clap clap*”

Girlfriend: “Kiss me…”

Me: “UNDER THE LIGHT OF A THOUSAND STARS!”

Not to mention that everything is horrendously out-of-tune. I just can’t help it. It’s a disease – Lyricitis. And I’m not the only sufferer.

Because it’s contagious. I guarantee, you start hanging around with me on a regular basis, you will also start randomly bursting into song. Shout out to my ex-colleague who joined me in a rendition of Jolene every time we saw the name Maureen (which was more often than you might think).

source: pinterest
source: pinterest

I’m not a musical person, but my life distinctly revolves around music. There’s a song for every moment, person, memory and idea.

When I need motivation, my one solution when writing or working, is to be in near-silence so I can concentrate properly. But if I have to get in a certain ‘zone’, music is a great help. If I’m in a good mood and have to write about something sad, I use certain songs to evoke sadness. Vice versa. When I write about a character being angry, My Chemical Romance are ideal for bringing out all my repressed teenage angst.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter what your views on certain genres, artists or songs are – music will have played a major part in your life at some point, and it will continue to do so: Nursery rhymes helped you to sleep once upon a time, hymns were sung in school assemblies (is this still a thing?), Christmas carols and songs induce Christmas spirit and festivity, one song will always be remembered as your first dance at your wedding… Even funerals are heavily focused around music.

source: pinterest
source: pinterest

Everyone has a soundtrack to their life.

For me, it is any song catchy enough for my mind to remember some of the melody, at least three words, and not written or performed by Coldplay.

What’s yours?

Dan x.

Like a Pop Song in my Head

Writing from memory.

I have, since March, been working on a new novel.

As The Whisper That Rose Through Darkness ticks over in the background, this other book has somehow taken over. I feel immensely guilty.

Anyway, I thought I would start using this blog for more than just a few poems and the odd short story (let’s pretend it hasn’t been months since I uploaded either). Escape from Reality will also become a platform for me to just talk. About things. And stuff. You’ll see.

So, this new story.

It is boy meets girl, without the middle part. It is two young people in London, experiencing life. One is kind of famous, and the other is swallowed up in his own angst.

I want it to be funny and moving but, most importantly, truthful.

When I look back at being eighteen, I think of myself as a mess. I drank way too much way too frequently. I learned how to be selfish and put myself first in most situations. I made stupid decisions and shunned responsibility and somehow blagged my way through my first year at university.

I also remember how much I cared about, well, everything. Homesickness was a constant nag in my mind. Proving myself as intelligent was imperative to my happiness, to the point that I regretted studying French (foreign languages not a natural talent of mine) and almost resented having attended comprehensive school (although this was also a side-effect of studying alongside several privately educated peers). Most of all, though, I wanted everyone to like me. I wanted to please everyone and just fit in.

I even started speaking posh.

There was also a General Election during my first year at university and I was so passionate, so hell-bent on making sure all my friends and even some strangers in bars shared my political opinions, that the eventual result devastated me.

How times change.

Do I still care what people think of me? Hell no. Am I still passionate about the political party I support? Not really. Am I still selfish? Nope. Do I continue to resent the schools I attended? Not even a tiny bit.

I do still enjoy the occasional alcohol binge, though.

So writing in the perspective of eighteen-year-olds is challenging. It means I have to think back, dig into memory, and emulate those emotions. And there were a lot of those.

Remember how we all resented going to school and then, after one week of full-time employment, wished that we were back in the confines of educational institutions. The taunts of classmates, in hind-sight, more bearable than the mundanity of nine-to-five. The school holidays a distant memory after your first night shift. (I mean, some people miss it so much that they even grow up to be teachers!)

That’s how I feel right now. If I could be eighteen again, I probably would. Okay, I never could decide if I was ecstatic, content and happy, or miserable, lonely and desolate. But man, life was good.

So, the point of this blog post? I’m not sure there is one. Except, sometimes it’s healthy to remember how it was to be young. It’s even okay to wish you were back there, living it all again.

But also it’s important to appreciate that, and this will go for, like, 95% of people, you are a better person now than you were when you were eighteen. If nothing else, you are more you.

Anyway, after 600 words of procrastination, I’d better get back to writing this new novel.

Laters,

Dan x.

Writing got me like

Writing from memory.

Dear Nan.

Do I possess the words
And manifest the language
To express my thoughts today?

It’s been ten years and I don’t know
What grace there is in healing.
Time is the guaranteed cure,
But how much time is needed?

Ten years ago we lost you, Nan,
And still, inside, I’m bleeding.
Sometimes, when I’m lost or hurt,
I find it’s you I’m needing.
And when I think about you,
The first thought that springs to mind
Is not from my choice of good memories,
But of the day we said goodbye.
I was younger than I remember,
And I probably didn’t understand
Completely that our last goodbye
Would be the last time I’d hold your hand.

You were somewhere in your seventies,
At the time I thought that old,
But now when I think about old age
Resentment takes it’s hold.

I know it’s selfish of me to say,
And I cherish our fifteen years,
But I’m adamant it was premature,
And it sparked some deep, dense fears.

And I don’t blame you for a second,
When bitterness sweeps around me,
I just find it hard to comprehend,
Losing the heart of our family.

Sometimes when I think about
The reasons people cry
I tell myself to get a grip
We expect grandparents to die.
But I never did. That’s it right there.
The bitter taste on my tongue.
I thought you were invincible, immortal, always here.

Above me sits a dark, grey cloud,
It’s shrunk as time has passed,
Mostly I have sunny spells,
But when it rains, it’s fast.
Today it’s raining heavily,
It always does in June,
Fond memories, though, replace the last,
Finally, I grieve in tune.

IMG_1480

Dear Nan.

Seven Days Of You

On the first day, we were young,
And free to do as we wished.
Our friendship blossomed into fun,
My insecurities vanished.

On day two, we shared a kiss,
A surprise to me and you.
A day apart was one to miss,
As our love for each other grew.

The third day came and we were wed,
In front of all our friends.
That evening we first shared a bed,
Knowing not all that’s good ends.

On the fourth, I held him in my arms,
Our baby, small and weak.
I swore to you he’d see no harm,
As you left me in your sleep.

I don’t recall day number five,
Existence hard to bear.
I could hardly believe I was alive,
Life no longer yours to share.

The sixth day came and our little boy left,
University called his name.
All alone, I felt bereft,
Life is one sick game.

But on day seven something altered,
A light came shining through.
My heart, its beating long since faltered,
Remembered life with you.

Seven Days Of You

Awake. 

It’s dark and you’re alone. The house is quiet as you prepare for bed, only water running as you brush your teeth. 

You turn off the bathroom light and wander through to your bedroom. 

Through the window, a street lamp glows. You shut the door, pull the curtains closed and turn off the light. Darkness permits you to wind down for sleep.

Your mobile phone illuminates you as you scroll through Facebook and Twitter. Holding it before you, one-handed, little finger supporting the bottom and thumb moving over the screen.
You blink in your tiredness, yawning as you see yet another update on a child whose parents are snap-happy.

Twenty days til little Owen has his first birthday. You wonder if any of the 30 people who liked the status actually care or if they’re as bored as you are of the fourth update of the day.

You blink again, eyes refocusing hazily on the small, bright screen. Your eyes drift up and left, away from the screen for a moment. And back again.
The time is eleven thirty. You should probably sleep, but your thumb moves up and down almost automatically.
Yawn.
Blink.
Time to call it a night. You reach down for your charger lead and plug in your phone. Alarm set for work tomorrow, you slide the device onto your nightstand and turn over.
The room is still dimly lit by the glowing screen. Fidget, toss, turn. Sleep comes but you can never tell when.
You wake up. At first, you think you must need a wee. Then you notice the tickling sensation. Circles, drawn delicately on the side of your bare foot.
Tired, your mind takes time to consider the feeling.
You move your feet, kicking the sheets away from your feet. The tickling stops. And starts again.
Slow, soft circles.
You sit up quickly. The circling stops. The room is dark and yours is the only presence. Sleep washes over you again.
Tap.
Tap.
Tap.
What were you dreaming? It’s gone and you’re awake again. Still nighttime, still pitch black.
Tap.
You remember the noise that woke you up.
Tap.
Tap.
You lift your head from the pillow, blinking in the shadowed room.

Tap.

Your wardrobe emits a timid tapping sound. Wood on wood? Fingernail on wood?
Tap.
You sit up fully, reaching to unplug your phone. The screen illuminates and offers a slight torch. Nothing to see.
Tap.
You slip out from under your bedsheets and walk to the source of tapping.
Tap.
The wardrobe is still but the tapping continues. Mind still half-asleep, you vaguely realise that this is unusual.
Your hand reaches for the door. You hold the phone up, aiming the soft light at the solid piece of furniture.
Tap.
Swiftly, you pull open the door. Nothing inside. Nothing moving. Nothing causing a sound.
The tapping.

You wait.

And wait.

But the tapping has stopped.

Relieved yet unsure as to why, you turn around and get back into bed.
Before you have even closed your eyes, you hear it again.
Tap.
You ignore it.
Tap.
You shut your eyes and allow your body to relax again. But not your mind.
Tap.
Tap.
Tap.
Tap tap tap tap.
It grows quicker, more rapid, almost now a solid bang. Fist on wood.
No, it must be from outside.
But you know it’s from the wardrobe.
Bang.
Bang.
Thud.
You sit up quickly. What’s that? That shadow at the end of your bed.
It’s gone.

It was nothing. A trick of the light.

Silence.

Your breathing, erratic, is the only sound.
You stay sitting. Minutes pass by, as you start to consider laying back down. Going to sleep. Ignoring whatever sounds you have been hearing.
And you shudder. Why do you shudder? What was that?
You feel it again. On the nape of your neck.
A blow of wind.

A breath.

Tears fill the corners of your eyes. You can’t move. You can’t look behind you because…
There it is again. A slow, purposeful blow of air focussed on the bare skin of your neck.
You snap your head to the left but nothing is there. You stare at the wall.
Footsteps patter on the floor. Away from you. Towards your bedroom door. And they stop.

You shuffle backwards, your spine pressed against the cool wall. Your mind is playing tricks on you. Noise from outside, a breeze from the window… You rationalise and breathe deeply.

You’re awake now, really awake, and you need a wee. You start to muster courage, before reminding yourself that you’re alone. There’s nothing to be scared of.
Your feet are on the floor, you push yourself up and walk out of the room into the bathroom.
You turn on the light, which calms you. The flush of the toilet fills the house with sound and you turn on the tap to wash your hand.
Your head shoots up. Your face stares back, reflected in the mirror. But you saw something. You’re sure of it.

Something caught your eye in the mirror. But it’s just you.

Alone and afraid.

Afraid of nothing, it seems.

You turn off the tap, drying your hands on the towel.

BANG!

Your eyes go wide. It sounded like a door slamming. Slowly, you step out of the bathroom. You see your bedroom door is shut.

How? A gust of wind?

But there’s no breeze – no draught.

Footsteps. Running this time. On the stairs. Loud at first and then quieter. Going down.

You stand at the top of the stairs and look down. Nothing there.

Panicking, you sweep towards your bedroom, closing the door behind you and diving onto your bed.

And you sigh, relieved. And then you realise that the door had been open.
You pick up your phone and consider texting someone. But who would be awake at… 3am?
You type into Facebook, ‘So creeped out right now, keep hearing things and I’m home alone!’

Hopefully someone is awake, someone will comment and you’ll feel less alone.

Footsteps.

This time, running up the stairs. Unmistakable footsteps. Into the bathroom. The door slams shut.

Water.

The sound of water rushing out of taps, hitting ceramic and eventually water gushing into water.
Your first thought is to call the police. Someone has broken in.

Dialling 999, you lift the phone to your face.

And then you feel it again. That soft blow on your neck. The phone drops out of your hand. You snap your head around but nothing is there.

You pick up your phone and it’s switched off. The power button does nothing.
Breathing heavily, you drop your phone on your bed. Back against the wall, you pick up a heavy book from your bookcase and walk towards the door.
You open it. Step out onto the landing. Walk quietly to the bathroom and open the door. The sink and bath are filling up with water. But it’s empty.

You turn off the taps and perch on the toilet, looking out of the door. Waiting.

Waiting.

You stand up. Decide you’ll go downstairs and watch TV until morning. You’ll never sleep now.

You go to the sink and take out the plug.

Look up.

Reflection in the mirror.
Your face.
And another. Behind you.

Turn around.

Gone.

Back to the mirror. Nothing there.

You run now, down the stairs and into the living room. Turn on a light and switch on the TV, watching from the sofa.

Paranoid. Scared. Alone.
No more sounds. Nothing else happens.
You don’t know when, but you fall back to sleep. Slumped on the sofa.

When you wake up, it’s still dark. Your eyes blink open slowly.

The TV is off. The light is off.

You want to cry, scream, shout.

And you try.
But you can’t.

Something is stopping you. A hand over your mouth, invisible but there. Pressing down. Forcing silence upon you.

Your eyes flit from side to side, landing on the blank television screen. And there you see it.

Reflection.

Yourself, sitting on the sofa, and a woman with her hand over your mouth.
You snap your eyes away and look directly in front of you.
She smiles back.
Awake.