I have a tendency to hyperfixate on people. Mostly, these people are not people I know. This is lucky. It means they are buffered from the white hot intensity of my enthusiasm for their existence. I once wrote that I burn through things; I am always worried I will burn through people. At least if I never meet them, I can’t burn through them.
Sometimes, the hyperfixation runs its course and dies a natural death, leaving in its place a simple warm fondness. Like my childhood fixations on H from Steps and Pierce Brosnan. Other times it goes dormant only to resurface at moments of repeat exposure, like my fixation on Hugh Laurie as House. Other times, it is a commitment I must simply accommodate indefinitely. But, let me tell you, the accommodation is fucking worth it. Not only is the dopamine payoff for this extracurricular activity astronomical, but additionally, in my humble opinion, I have the best fucking taste in long term hyperfixations. These people go the fucking distance. They are just stellar human beings. They constantly teach me how to be a better one myself and inspire me with their all round spectacularity.
One person on my list of long term favourites is Guy Martin. I first encountered him on TV covering the World Sheepdog Trials in 2011 and was sort of uncomfortably attracted to him, because I couldn’t quite figure out what to make of him and thus couldn’t decide if being attracted to him was an acceptable course of action. Over the years I would come to understand; it very much was.
Cut to a few days ago; my son finding his autobiography and asking who he was, and me telling him with just fucking unreserved exuberance. Words of aclamation just streaming from my lips in a plain yet pointedly sincere soliloquy of veneration. And then I saw the way he was looking at me, and looking at the portrait of Guy Martin, and I thought oops, I’ve done something here.
So now my son wants to go to Guy Martin’s house so he can teach him how to build vehicles, and he keeps climbing on the arcade motorbikes because he really likes motorbikes now, and I’m a little bit worried I’ve set into motion a chain of events that causes him to follow in Guy Martin’s footsteps, which, as a mother, is a terrifying prospect.