I had that terrible feeling you get when you realize that you’re stuck with who you are, and there’s nothing you can do about it. I mean, you can make characters up, like I did when I became like a Jane Austen-y person on New Year’s Eve, and that gives you some time off. But it’s impossible to keep it going for long, and then you’re back to being sick outside some dodgy club and offering to fight people. My dad wonders why I choose to be like this, but the truth is, you have no choice, and that’s what makes you feel like killing yourself. When I try to think of a life that doesn’t involve being sick outside a dodgy club, I can’t manage it; I picture nothing at all. This is I; this is my voice, this is my body, this is my life. Jess Crichton, this is your life, and here are some people from Nantwich to talk about you.

I once asked Dad what he’d do if he wasn’t working in politics, and he said he’d be working in politics, and what he meant, I think, is that wherever he was in the world, whatever job he was doing, he’d still find a way back, in the way that cats are supposed to be able to find a way back when they move house. He’d be on the local council, or he’d give out pamphlets, or something. Anything that was part of that world, he’d do. He was a little sad when he said it; he told me it was, in the end, a failure of imagination.

And thats’s me: I suffer from a failure of imagination. I could do what I wanted, every day of my life, and what I want to do apparently, is to get walloped out of my head and pick fights. Telling me I can do anything I want is like pulling the plug out of the bath and then telling the water it can go anywhere it wants. Try it, and see what happens.

—  A Long Way Down- Nick Hornby
You know that things aren’t going well for you when you can’t even tell people the simplest fact about your life, just because they’ll presume you’re asking them to feel sorry for you. I suppose it’s why you feel so far away from everyone, in the end; anything you can think of to tell them just ends up making them feel terrible.
—  Maureen from A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby.