Ah, the old letter to the 16 year old self. Seems a good idea at the time, when talking about it with friends at RefugeekNI, then comes the time to do it.

I sit in front of the keyboard pondering my thoughts and thinking, who the hell was I at 16. A very different Sapien from who I am now. I like many others in Northern Ireland had been effected by various dark days. And then days that are so bright and wonderful, that the happiness that explodes from them, almost kills the darkness of the past.

Anyway here goes.


Dear 16 year old me,

What the fuck have you done to your hair? That spidery fringe that seeps across your forehead must be killed and disposed of. Seriously man – grow that hair.

You are currently listening to some sort of bullshit music that your “friends” listen to, this may be because of peer pressure or simply trying to fall in with the crowd, but take those Rap CD’s and that Dance CD and frisbee them toward the sea. They are disgusting excuses for real music and it’s about time you find out at this early stage in your life. Metallica are good, but they will loose it with an album they bring out this year called St. Anger. When you see that album, try and forget about ever setting eyes on its shiny case, for it holds nothing but noisy Lars Ulrich, re-exploring his days of pots and pans drumming, no solos from Kirk, Hetfield has lost his duties of lyrics to a fucking old prune of a man called Dr Phil. What the hell is going on with the world? Anyway, go home, find a friend that sells weed and get some, smoke it, and listen to Harvest by Neil Young, and Bob Dylan too. It’ll change your music tastes. This in turn lead to you playing guitar, and I must say, you’re good at it.

Now, here’s the  thing buddy, later in life your going to loose a friend quite rapidly. Well, two friends to be exact but both in very different ways. One will die, the other will disappear. That is all I will say about it. This way if you don’t know who these two are, you’ll try and hold on to all your friends more and respect them.

I warn you though, among those shiny friends that make you laugh and cry with happiness, that you’ll go on all those adventures with in your blue-box-of-bullshit fiesta (yea, you pass that horrible driving test). There are some real bastards to deal with, real snide horrible leech-like human beings that make you so wrapped up in their ways that you think, “aw, that’s just the way they are” until one day, these so called friends appear different one day. They seem to find you so soft and pudgey that they feel as though they can speak to you, or at you, with such ignorance and hostility that you will one day just flip out. Fuck them, who needs those types of people around. Don’t be associated with them. You’ll look bad if you do.

Out of this spout of horrible, bulbous, vomit-like hate comes a hand full of absolutely golden bipeds that really are friends. The type of people even now, I can imagine sitting in dull lit rooms, smoking and drinking, laughing and thinking long into your short life.

Tattoos, yeah, I said it, you’re gonna get quite a few – but don’t start your artistic journey of the flesh in a small wooden shit hole known to many in Lisburn. It’s the only one there, stay clear of it buddy. You could do better with a piece of broken mirror and some ash from the fire while drawing with your foot.

Also this reminds me, as I feel my left ear. Do not get the top of your ear pierced, if you do, be prepared for weeks of lancing and stitching and gruesome stuff. You have been warned.

Listen to Mum and Dad, they really do know best. Except about religion, that stuff is a ridiculous fantasy held only by those afraid to forget it’s lies and promises. Grab ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins and ‘God is Not Great’ by Christopher Hitchens. You have a few doubts about the eye in the sky at the age of 16 but believe me, leave it all behind, life is much better as an Atheist.

Oh by the way, you’re gonna get a taste for whiskey, start now, it’s divine. You will eventually make up with those you fell away from, but it’ll take time, don’t be too hasty about it, let them realize who the dick among the chuppa-chup lollies is. They will realize eventually.

That’s it buddy, have a good life, its been all right so far.

If there is a lesson I have learnt from 16 years old to the current 25, it is love your friends and family more than anything in the world, they are the closest things to god/gods you ever need to worship or treasure.

The following quote will mean a lot to you.

There is nothing more, but I want nothing more.

                                                -Christopher Hitchens-