Since Nathaniel was born I’ve asked three people for advice. I like that system: find someone you trust, ask a question, receive an answer, and carry on with your day. The other, and seemingly predominant system, I don’t like as much: see man with child, offer advice and criticism, argue advice, argue some more. But hey, I’ve learned much from the latter lot, so I’ve decided to share all of this with fathers everywhere.
The diaper is your friend. You want to have one on your child at all times. Think you can get away with a four-second trip from point A to point B without one? Think again. The diaper is also your enemy. You can buy the most expensive brand on the market, but it will still slip, burst, leak...
I still remember when Superwife burst into the room crying (of joy) and holding a pregnancy test. I was on the phone with an insurance agent, and I’m not entirely sure what changes I made to our package. It feels like moments ago, surely no earlier than last night, and yet I have a son...
‘You’re clipping my creative wings! I’m wilting! Wilting I say!’ So said one of my writers, a recovering Goth of a Londoner in full hijab and facial piercings. I was burying her light, silencing her truth, disturbing her force and making a mess of whatever random angst these creative types thrive on. And all I did was edit her work.
Last weekend I killed a dragon – a couple in fact. It took me about 20 hours to hunt the first one down, and while he put up one heck of a fight, my superior swordmanship did finally prevail. And after the first one, it was cake.
We are not happy people – we journalists I mean. The job looks like a lot of fun on the outside, but behind the scenes, we’re an angry, caffeine-addicted bunch who live in an alternate reality, and can hardly ever tell what day it is.
There’s a feeling I’ve had in the pit of my stomach that I couldn’t quite place. It was wearing me down, draining my energy, making it difficult to wake up in the morning and wreaking havoc on my otherwise super-sunny disposition.
The child at the fence would have ripped out a fence-pole and smacked me upside the head. And while he might not be able do that without some nifty space-time manipulation, my mum has no problem bending the laws of physics, along with my neck.
It’s called derealisation, and I’ve had it for the past couple of months. It’s a dissociative disorder that lets tired minds take a step back from reality, and peek at the world through a comfortable haze. It kicks in because of stress or anxiety, but in my case the culprit was geography.
It reminded me of university, and how older professors wrote the class name in huge block capitals on the blackboard in the beginning of the semester, then read it out loudly, as they shook their heads in quiet torment.
So, three fat women walk into a government office; did that sound like the front end of a bad joke? Let me try again. One tired, miserable writer walks into a government office after two weeks of incompetent officials and hot, hot Beirut sun.
Karl is a magazine editor publisher, writer and professional dragon slayer who loves traveling, fluffy cats with Arabic names, and his perfectly Dutch wife. He has a chronic hummus addiction, a live and leave me alone attitude, and often refers to himself in the delusional third person. He lives in sunny Dubai and works as a publisher for the Nature Publishing Group. He doesn't write much these day, but when he does it often makes its way here.