I have of late come to the conclusion that things are not as they should be. I wish this was not the case but sadly it is. Only today I was in a pub sat irritatingly near a woman with the kind of grating, piercing laugh that cuts through you like kitchen scissors through cheap wrapping paper. Even her friends looked at her in abject horror, as if they didn’t know exactly how to treat this odious mostrosity before them: walk away or silence her raucous caterwalling with a pencil to the throat? Needless to say they did neither – instead they let her carry on with her own unique brand of auditory rape. I simply sat with my friend, put off our pints.You see that’s the thing about London – and in particular the media – it’s full of monstrous stereotypes, lost in their own fabricated existence. You meet so many people who are on the whole uttely ghastly, but unable to retrieve that which they once were: frightened but friendly children. Sure, we’re all frightened children on the inside but we learn relatively simple coping mechanisms. It’s a case of facing up to your demons, addressing them head on, acknowledging what has gone and cannot be changed, and moving forward, retaining that innate friendliness that brings out in you the best you have to offer.For others – and these others tend to populate central London – it’s more of a case of creating a persona so obnoxious, so self destructive that no one would dare approach, thereby protecting themselves from even the slightest scrutiny. Or for that matter the chance to better themselves. They would rather, it seems, fester in their own superficial juices, fuelled by alcohol and cocain until they become emotionally pickled, preserved in the kind of turgid inertia from which is impossible to recover without the aid of the worst kind of electroshock therapy.Of course these personas, these fascades, are gossamer thin; so delicately fragile that the slightest probing would burst their thin veil, would shatter the fragile illusion that they are in control oftheir lives, and in doing so reduce them to the gibbbering wrecks of self loathing and denial that they so clearly are. My question is this: why are there so damn many of them? And why do I keep encountering them on such a regular basis?Now I don’t pretend to be in control of my vehicle. Far from it; I have made very few plans when it comes to my future, and I have no idea for that matter what will bring me happiness and inner well being. One thing I do know however, is that if I am faced with difficulties, I shall do my best to do the right thing by myself and those around me, without compromising my acquired values or my subconcious idea of right and wrong.This is why, when I encounter so many train wrecks, so many emotional avalanches, that I despair for the world around us. After all, surely Nat King Cole was right: the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return? Why do so many people go out of our way to ensure that this doesn’t happen? We’ve all been hurt by love and life but we stand up, broken, beat and scarred but still smiling. Isn’t that the point?Why would anyone want to allow those negative feelings to calcify into such a heavy, bloated tumour that it stunts their growth as a fully-functioning, emotionally rounded human being? I have no idea. All I do know is that I’ll be damned if I let any one of those vicious bastards grind me down.Life is difficult and it is unjust but it is a gift, no?