Few people in one's life ever go quite away. They turn up again like characters in a Simon Raven novel. It is as if Fate is a movie producer who cannot afford to keep introducing new characters into the script but must get as many scenes out of every actor as possible.
You want poetry, first you have to muck in with humanity, you have to fight with paper and pencil for weeks and weeks until your heart bleeds: verses aren't channelled into your head by angels or muses or sprites of nature.
The class erupted into noisy laughter and, since I was always, and have always been, determined that merriment should never be seen to be at my expense, I joined in and accepted my star with as much pleased dignity as I could muster.
If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.
Everyone else new you ever meet, and this continues through life, is stronger than you are, knows the system better and sees right through to the back of your brain and finds what they see to be wholly inadequate. Everyone you encounter carries, as it were, a huge club behind their back, while all you hold behind yours is a weedy cotton-bud.
How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain.
Nowadays a lot of what was wrong with me would no doubt be ascribed to Attention Deficit Disorder, tartrazine food colouring, dairy produce and air pollution. A few hundred years earlier it would have been demons, still the best analogy I think, but not much help when it comes to a cure.
As someone who worked hard for a Labour victory in the 90s, do I regret it? Not really. It was bound to happen. And it'll happen with the next government, and the one after it. Because all governments serve us. They serve the filth.
But if one could go back in time, I'd love to have been directed by Howard Hawks, who's one of my great heroes. One of the greatest directors there ever was. He directed probably one of the greatest westerns of all time in 'Rio Bravo'.
The point is that a pleasure which leaves you satisfied stops being a pleasure the moment it has been enjoyed. You are now sated, there is nothing more to be got from it. Sex and food are pleasures of this kind. What follows? A touch of afterglow if you are that sort of person, but mostly guilt, flatulence and self-disgust.
Well, we all know how satisfying it is to recite the shortcomings and hollowness of others - especially those who have money and recognition where we have none. It is certainly more pleasurable than inspecting our own shortcomings.
The tribal belonging, the sexual association, the sense of party – these are what popular music offer, and they have always been exclusion zones for me. Partly because of my musical constipation – can't dance, can't join in the chorus – partly because of my sense of physical self, feeling a fool, tall, uncoordinated and gangly.
If I had been psychopathic enough to feel no remorse or religious enough to believe in redemption through a divine outside agency, perhaps I should have been happier; as it was I had neither the consolation that I was free of guilt, nor the conviction that I could ever be forgiven.