A couple of years ago I found myself back living at home, feeling like a turd in a washing machine, making a mess of everything. I had no fixed job, a failed relationship, no prospects, athletes foot but not an athlete's body and a really bad Kim yeong sun hair cut. I was a real Debby Downer. I had lost my way and wasn't sure in what direction I was heading. I'd just mope about the town like Morrissey after being forced to club a seal to death.
I could have quite easily thrown in the town, given up on life, ended it all and become a teacher but I was saved from my certain PGCE fate by discovering a love of darts.
Yes darts, the sport of champions or pork scratching munching, beer swilling, diabetic demi gods. A sport that would change my life.
I had never been particularly fond of darts, occasionally I would chuck a few arrows and they would dangerously wobble in the air bounce off the board and strike a passer bys fleshy parts, but apart from the potential maiming of others it had limited appeal. It lacked the aerobic rush, the physical contact, the close body wrestles of other sports, but then a weekly encounter with the Ockey, arranged by my enthusiastic dart playing friends slowly began to change all that.
It wasn't long before I was hooked. Wednesday's darts night became the zenith of my week, my sole salvation in the melancholy theatre of life.
The mastering of throwing 3 small metal spears at a coloured numbered board became a glorious regression to a former tribal self. Like the irrepressible urge to drum on tables or toddlers heads; the act of throwing sharpened sticks tapped into a genealogical memory. Where a mono-browed, heavily built me, in a sheep's carcass, battled against a woolly mammoth armed with a bit of old twig.
A time when glory was an arm thrust away. And yes on occasions I'd get a woolly tusk in the guts, but it was a simpler time where purpose and meaning in life didn't involve spread sheets, or deodorants, or haircuts, or blogs, or selfies, or social media, a time
before shoes, carpets, mortgages, furniture, I phones, vegetarianism, gluten free, Netflix, toilet paper and Ocado.
Throwing darts stripped away all that modern nonsense to the simple joys of enacting force on the powers of gravity. Like popping your head out of your mother's womb for the first time and feeling life.
It's also a great excuse to get pissed with your friends midweek.
Friends that shout at you to stop blathering on about being a hunter gatherer, and throw the pissing dart, you prick.
I throw a double twenty, and in my head I've hit a bear between the ribs, raaaaah.