I read a book a few years back called “California Schemin'” by a Scottish guy called Gavin Bain. It was a hugely entertaining story of a young rapper and his mate who conned the music industry, gaining a record deal and big advance in the process. It was also a true story (See the upcoming BBC documentary “The Great Hip-Hop Hoax”).
Gavin’s new band “Hopeless Heroic” were mentioned fleetingly at the end of the book so I decided to give them a wee try. They were and are awesome. I posted a comment on the FB page saying so and Gavin replied.
We realised we had many interests in common and have been friends since. However the first time I met the guy, I started telling him all my past and secrets for seemingly no reason. Bless him, Gav sat there with a knowing smile on his bearded wee face, nodding along and offering his own insights. I was far from the first person to do this I suspect.
Since I wrote Paddy’s Daddy, my autobiography, each new person I’ve met or old friend I’ve re-encountered after a few years has done exactly the same thing with me.
I’ve been given others’ history, problems, worries, background and confidence. People have shared their own experience with depression either first-hand or of a partner. Sometimes I get stories shared with me that haven’t been told to anyone more close to the individual in the person’s life .
I do the same thing Gav did with me. I sit and nod. I feel for them, and am very grateful that they’ve felt that they can trust me with their innermost thoughts.
I think we do this with people who’ve biographies we’ve read, subconsciously to even the score.
I think we feel that we have the other person at a disadvantage because we know so much about their feelings, life and emotions and we want to give them something of ourselves in return. I also think that there’s something easy about confiding in someone who’s been so open in their own life.
I hate my book Paddy’s Daddy. I tell everyone that, though I do love my fiction novels (you will too. go buy them). It was a difficult story to write and I’ll write some more some day, but for now I never look at it. I don’t understand why it seems to help people to read it, but I’m very grateful for every reader and friend who share their stories with me in response. Subconsciously or not.
I recently unpublished Paddy’s Daddy as I want to revisit it and do the story justice, but you can buy my fiction books Bobby’s Boy and Naebody’s Hero, here: