Postcard to myself

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There are venomous snakes in this box. You think it’s chocolates and that I’m sorry, but I’m not and it’s snakes.

I have been going through some cards, letters and postcards from my life up until now. My old room is getting ripped out and replaced with something new, to cater to my parents’ obsession with decorating and modernising their house, so all these forgotten bits and pieces have been coming to light for the first time in 10, 15, in some cases 20, years. What can I say? I’m a magpie.

And there’s this stash of old post, which has given me a new perspective on my upbringing. Because I was relatively late to become aware of psychopathy and specifically that it pertained to who I am (this I discovered at the age of 18; I’m now 25), I have been under the impression that other people in my life were similarly clueless about my nature. Not so.

There’s the card in the picture, sent to me one Christmas by a school friend, who wrote that it “reminded me of you… happy Xmas, you weirdo.” There’s another card, sent by family friends, with reference to an atlas they bought me: “You always said you wanted to take over the world. Let this inspire you.” Rereading that today reminded me that, yes, I was a megalomaniacal motormouth at one stage of my childhood, and had evidently revealed some or all of my plans to this family – rookie Bond villain mistake. And that is why I will never get the chance to be tried for war crimes in The Hague.

Then there was this bizarre Wallace and Gromit birthday card, sent to my grandad from all of my family, which read inside, in my mother’s spiky handwriting: “Happy birthday, Dad. This card was chosen by Jamie on the understanding that you’ll post it back to him.” It was dated 1997; I was three. Little control freak.

Sure, so there’s no smoking gun. No “Ohhh my God, my baby’s a psycho, what do I dooo?” letter. But there’s knowledge – and acceptance – of my personality. I’m lucky to have parents who have never tried to deny who I am, and who have supported me from the start. It just goes to show that sometimes close friends and family know you better than you do yourself.


Image result for kotor postcard

In the same pile, I also came across a postcard from Montenegro, sent in 2008 by me… to me. It was postmarked and everything, sent par avion across Europe from the tiny Balkan state to my home in England. This is it, folks – peak narcissism:

Dear future self,

Ha! Ha! I’m on holiday, you’re not!

Classy.

It goes on –

Hope the ol’ ear has cleared up by the time I get this.

Oh, that’s right. I got an ear infection from the poorly-chlorinated swimming pool. I had to get some strange ear potion from the apothecary in Kotor. Yes, apothecary;  Montenegro’s a hell of a place.

I am sitting on my apartment’s balcony. Jealous?

Yes. Fuck you.

Anyway, fuck you.

Be you later,

James

Great, well thanks for that, 15-year old James.

The moral of the story? Never meet your heroes, because they’re sure to disappoint.