August 17th 2016

Today we were watching EastEnders and having a conversation about famous people. One of Alice’s uni friends went to school with a guy who used to be in EastEnders and who is now in the new X-Men film. Apparently her friend kissed this guy when they were at school together. And now he’s this famous-ish Hollywood-ish actor. Nothing like that’s happened in my school, or in my town. Not that I know of, at least. The biggest claim to fame my town has is Billie Piper, who was in Doctor Who and that programme about prostitutes. For the latter role, I’d imagine her character research involved walking through the streets of my town late at night. Other than that, this place hasn’t had much going for it. But I’m getting out soon, anyway.

One of my goals in life is to be that guy. The ‘I went to school with him, and look at him now’ guy. A small town boy with delusions of grandeur, maybe, but it’s something to aim for. But I wouldn’t want to be centre stage famous. I’m too insecure for that.

I’d want my name to appear in the writing credits on a film, and if you’ve stuck around long enough you might see the ‘Original Screenplay’ credit and think ‘James Norman? Can’t be, can it…?’ But it is.

Or you walk past my name on the spine of a book when you pop into WHSmiths for a one pound pick-and-mix and you think ‘James Norman? Can’t be, can it…?’ But it is.

When I was 16, in my final session with my tutor class at school I was voted most likely to become a millionaire. And maybe I will someday. And maybe some people won’t be surprised to see that I’ve achieved things, because, after all, they voted for it. But there will be some who think ‘James Norman? I used to pick on him, and now look at him’ and then they’ll feel really inferior and shitty about their lives and will look to squeeze monetary gain off the back of my success by selling a story about the time I cracked my head open whilst pretending to sniff glue underneath a table in French class, or about the time I was almost suspended and stripped of my Head Boy badge because I threw a beaker of acid* over a classmate.

And that’s when I’ll know I’ve made it.

If you get to the point in your career where old, irrelevant figures from your past come out of the rafters and try to profit off selling embarrassing stories about you then you’re doing something right. And it won’t even matter, because that glue story is a damn good one and you can bet that I’ve already written it into one of my many successful screenplays and or/novels from which the screenplays were adapted.

A man can dream, right?

Until tomorrow, *it was a beaker of rusty water, and I didn’t throw it, I just dropped it into the sink.



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