The Loss of Charm

When you’ve spent your life getting by on the strength of your charm, backed up by an inexhaustible drive to constantly keep moving, which ensures nobody very few people catch onto how very, extremely UNcharming you can be, it becomes very difficult to pass that age (for me it was between 40 and 42) whereby what starts to matter is a variable combination of your skills, your experience (not really your experience, rather how long you’ve kept at something, anything, possibly employed, so they can define you, you know? and put you in their nice little box that makes them feel safe) and how you REALLY are, over a period of time. Nice becomes far, far better than charming, exciting, innovative, unpredictable, volatile and passionate. In fact, even nice is not compulsory. Just predictable, identifiable, marketable and easily definable will do. It makes people feel safer, they can put you in their little box, coloured and labelled with pre-printed stickers, and they’re happy.

When you’re young and sexy it is great to be a volcano. Almost irresistible for some. You come, you tornado through people’s lives, you make a huge impression and then you leave, before they have to start feeling awkward and admit that they would rather have things the way they always had them before.

Of course, with age you realise that people didn’t REALLY think you were special, an example, an inspiration. You were just a novelty, something exciting and sexy and daring for them to even frequent, and though they were heartbroken about your leaving, in truth, they were relieved. You realise many of them weren’t madly in love with you, or blown away by your ideas and philosophy of life, they were just really really horny or curious. You realise that now you are left with nothing. You are unqualified for everything, and nobody, not even yourself, will take you seriously.You realise you built no experience, because the experience you do have, which for you is so huge that it tires you out to even think about it, for others, amounts to nothing. Zilch. Nada. Niente.You realise that yes, the real reason why you don’t quit everything and dive into your own creative scheme, is that you have created so much and for so long that you are well and truly exhausted, and you know (you don’t believe, you KNOW) you have nothing original left to create.
Yes, you don’t feel there would be the support. Yes, it is glaringly obvious you cannot afford to lose a single penny of what you are earning. Yes you do enjoy your job and your colleagues and are actually quite comfortable there, but the real reason why you don’t stop it all and say “Hey, I’m ageing and slowly dying here! When is it MY TURN to do my thing?” is because you HAVE been doing your thing for years, and years: you have been creating chaos, and tornadoes. Like the Levante, you have blown and blown and dried out anything in your path. And that’s exhausted you, and everyone else, and is nothing to the eyes that read the CVs, and to the eyes of the people you meet now, because they are no longer blinded by your shiny shine charm.



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