Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Act Of God Destroys Blogger’s Spirit :: Rest Of Summer Cancelled

Yesterday morning at approximately 7.25, I was awoken by a ratty-looking man with a beard and – for reasons I’ve still yet to work out – two policemen.

I opened the door to the flat in my sleep-clothes: a pair of sweaty underpants and an oversized grey hoodie – one that was way too big for me even at Christmas, when I was four stones heavier – and I looked down at these three men, gathered as they were one floor below me by the open garden gate.

After the customary, and to my mind slightly offensive, double-take, the ratty one said: ‘There he is. Bag in your drain, mate.’

As you might suspect, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. My first thought, on seeing the police, was that someone had been broken into. Or stabbed. But why then would a strange, wiry man with a snout be telling me to bag in my drain. And what on earth could that possibly mean? Was he insulting me?

‘Wake up, mate!’ he shouted, smiling, and both policemen chortled into their attack-proof vests. ‘A plastic bag got caught in your drain out back. Flooded the shop downstairs.’ I still wasn’t quite getting it. I wondered if maybe I was dreaming. ‘Go and check your back room, mate.’

Leaving the front door open, I wandered to my bedroom feeling slightly shell-shocked...

I should explain: Keith’s flat is over a shop. The two bedrooms – mine and his – look out over the roof of the shop, which slopes back from the street down toward our bedroom windows. Beneath our windows are two small drains which take care of any excess rainwater. Sometime on Monday night / Tuesday morning, one of the drains had become partially blocked with rotting leaves and other ghastly ichbar, whilst the other had become completely covered over with a rogue carrier bag.

I pushed open the door to my bedroom and my face fell. Literally slipped off my head and fell at my feet in a horrified pile. I had to pick it up and plaster it back in place before I could even begin to decide whether or not I could actually believe my eyes.

Apparently it had rained rather heavily in the night.

Annoyingly, after my recent conversation about deskplace posture with Dr Lovely, I had just invested in a new monitor and keyboard, both of which I had plugged into my trusty Toshiba laptop and arranged in an ergonomically sound configuration on my desk.

I walked slowly toward my computer, as if approaching the charred body of what may or may not be an elderly relative. Halfway across the room, my feet began to squelch on the sodden carpet.

Keith incidentally, was not at home. He was staying over at Tilly’s house on the fashionable side of town. I - as I am wont to do when I am home alone – had been sleeping on the sofabed in the living room. I’d had a bit of a film night. Just me, a large packet of Revels (I know, I know) and a couple of DVDs. What DVDs were they? you ask. I’ll tell you. One was The Libertine. (A few good scenes but mostly rather dull – it seems the Earl of Rochester was the Sebastian Horsley of his day. Actually nowhere near that dull, but that same sense of ‘egotism as raison d’etre’. Yawn.) The other was Lars and the Real Girl. (Quirky and charming at first but after an hour I just wanted to slap Lars and set his stupid doll on fire. Towards the end of the film, I was actually praying for it to end.)

The thing is, ordinarily I would have had my laptop in there with me, but because of my back and the wise words of Dr Lovely, I’ve been trying to restrict laptop use to my desk.

My poor desk. Jesus. It looked like a desk on the Titanic.

My window had been open an inch or two, which obviously hadn’t helped stem the tide.

My laptop was also open, sitting there on the desk like a raped clam. It was drenched. Wetter than an excited mermaid. I cried out. A curse word. In agony. Then I quickly unplugged everything – two lots of four-socket extension leads were sitting in a centimetre of water – and I returned to the front door.

The police were now next door talking to the little old lady, whose flat had also suffered a soaking. Meanwhile, the ratty guy – who was annoyingly chipper, I must say – was on his way out of the front gate. He smiled at me as he left and said, if I remember correctly, ‘Don’t let any more plastic bags on the roof’. I bristled at this, angry at the implication that I could have in some way averted this catastrophe. ‘Nothing to do with me, mate’ I responded, but he’d already gone.

I closed the front door and returned to the scene of the crime. (It certainly felt like a crime.)

When I unplugged the various leads from my laptop, picked it up and held it on its side, a pint of water poured out onto the floor. I didn’t know what to do. It was like it was bleeding.

I shook it gently till it had more or less stopped dripping. Then I dried it as best I could with a towel and took it into the living room, placing it open and upside down – like an open book, spine up - in a brief patch of mocking sunlight. Then I did the same with the keyboard, my old PC, a pile of books and magazines, DVDs and CDs, a bunch of various lovely bits of stationery and all of my bedding and mattress.

Then I wiped down the walls and covered the floor with more towels. I then stamped on the towels like I was pressing grapes and as soon as they became soaked, I chucked them in the empty bath and replaced them with more.

Leaving the bathroom I caught sight of myself in the mirror. The first thing I noticed, apart from the look of panic still smeared across my face, was that hanging out of the flap of my boxer shorts was the fat end of a crispy piece of kitchen roll. Ah. That may have had something to do with the sniggering and double-taking. My face fell on the floor again.

I pulled the kitchen roll from my pants, wandered back into my bedroom and threw it into the bin. Then I realised that there was a length of toilet roll in there too. Ah yes. I remembered I'd had a bit of a restive night. Lots of tossing and turning.

When I tried to pull the toilet paper out however, I realised that some of it was stuck to my Johnson. So I pulled off my pants and threw them in the wash basket. Then I stood there, picking at the scraps of bogroll that were clinging fast to the end of my old chap. It was then that I noticed a shadow had fallen across the room. I looked up and saw the ratty guy on the roof outside my window. He was crouching down scraping some bits of rubbish and old leaves into the offending plastic bag. He was looking directly at me. I just stared, till eventually he gave me a thumbs-up and moved on down the roof, chortling as he went.

I continued staring long after he’d gone.

My humiliation was complete.

Not only had this gurning ratman observed me at my embarrassing worst, but also, and worse still, I had realised that the plastic bag which had been the major cause of the flooding and had resulted in God knows how much damage to Keith’s flat, the little old lady next door’s flat, and the shop downstairs, did in fact belong to me. In fact, it was the Curry’s bag I’d brought the new keyboard home in at the weekend.

I was mortified.

I figured out what must have happened, all the while trying to convince myself that it wasn’t really my fault.

When my window is closed, it rattles something awful. Every time a car passes outside, every time someone sighs upstairs, rattle rattle rattle. It is incredibly irritating. Thankfully, silencing it is merely a matter of wedging something between the two sections. Usually I wedge a tissue in there as there’s always plenty of them lying around. On Saturday however, I used a folded-up carrier bag. On Sunday I was sweaty so I opened the window. The bag, I now realise, must at that stage have fallen out onto the roof and floated about pretentiously, as if it were in a film, just biding its sweet time. Then, sometime in the very dead of Monday night, it struck, causing absolute maximum havoc.

So, it could I suppose be argued - at a push - that the flooding, and the damage, was actually my fault.

Jesus, I hope the landlord isn’t reading this. He might be jolly angry.

Speaking of angry, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t looked in at Keith’s room yet. He might be angry too. Actually, if his room was in anything like the state mine was, he might be furious.

So I stopped staring out at the empty roof and I pulled on a clean pair of undies. (I make it a rule never to go into another man’s bedroom with my balls bared.) Then, tentatively, I turned the handle on Keith’s bedroom door, and I peeped in.


It was fine. (If it hadn't been, there is no way I would have admitted to owning that bastard bag.) I walked over to his window and peered through. The roof on his side of the flat is a good foot higher than on my side. I don’t know why. And I don’t care. I was just very relieved. As I crept out of his room – I have no idea why I was creeping; I think I felt guilty – I noticed a pair of handcuffs attached to his bedstead. I giggled like a four-year-old and ran back to the mess of my life.

To his credit, Keith was not that angry, even though the flat currently stinks of stagnant rainwater and what smells like mouldy cheese. ‘It’s not my flat,’ he says. ‘Otherwise I’d break both your arms.’

Thanks, Keith.

I have found someone to have a look at my laptop but their prognosis is not good. The first thing they told me is that I have to let it dry for ten days. After that, they said there is every chance it will never work again and everything on it will be lost. The very fact that it was so utterly saturated apparently bodes horribly unwell.

My laptop is three and a half years old and it has so much totally irreplaceable stuff on it that I still feel physically ill at the thought. As well as the photographs, some of which I will one day miss, there is writing. Lots of writing. This is what upsets me. There was a lot of stuff that could one day have been useful. Loads of notes I’d made, blog posts I’d half written – the survey results, stuff about my parents, stuff about my childhood… shit. Loads of stuff. Nearly four years of stuff. Even longer actually as I’d written up a few older notebooks which I then tore up and tossed away.

I’m gutted.

I actually feel literally gutted. But obviously I’m not. I’m merely metaphorically gutted.

I mean, I know no one’s actually died or anything, and there are probably some amongst you who will be thinking ‘Jesus, get over it’, and in time I’m sure I will, but for now I’m utterly devastated and I really need to go and stand in a corner and think about what I’ve done.


I’ve decided I’m going offline for a couple of weeks. Just till September, by which time I’ll hopefully have sorted out my old laptop or got hold of a new one. Hopefully this will also give me time to sort out my body a bit. I’ve had my blood test and I’ve got the ultrasound arranged for Thursday. I’m also going to get my bleeding anus checked out.

So, one way or the other, I’ll be back in September, ready for yet another fresh start.

In the meantime, please leave your commiserations in the comments. Plus, any thoughts on repairing severely water-damaged laptops – or at least getting the information off of the hard drive. And if you have any heart at all, please don’t mention the words a) insurance, or b) back-up, else, I swear, I will throw an enormous tantrum right in your horrible superior face.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Watch out for plastic bags.

PS. Here is a lovely picture of a rainbow over Peckham that I took on Sunday night. I remember thinking, ‘Awww. We might moan about the rain, but if it can do this, then it can’t be all bad.’ Oh, the irony.

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Space (Antediluvian)

We need space to live. We need space to feel that we are part of the world and not a kind of piece of object in a box.’


So I’m still looking for somewhere else to live. Nothing against Keith, bless his cotton, allegedly non-semen-contaminated socks, but I really need to be on my own. Plus he’s seeing a lot of Tilly now – hence his lack of any substantial resident art of late – and three is definitely a crowd.

So I’m looking. And whilst I was looking just the other day, I found a recently refurbished one-bedroom loft flat in Denmark Hill. It’s not the area I want to live in, but it was relatively cheap, so I had a look anyway.

It didn’t sound at all bad. ‘It is a beautiful and bright flat,’ said the write-up. Great! ‘Modern open plan fully fitted kitchen.’ Wicked! ‘Modern bathroom with white goods.’ Bonzer! ‘Furnished with modern furniture.’ Fantastic! It all sounds so modern! Only £850 a month and ‘All bills included’. I’ve heard enough, you’re thinking. Where do I sign?

But wait. There’s a catch.

The catch is, this flat is not big enough to swing a gnat.

Check out the ‘double bedroom’...

Sure, it’s a room, and it’s got a double bed in it, but really. I get short of breath just looking at it. Is it perhaps some kind of joke?

Apparently not. Here’s the living room...

That little cupboard to the left is the guest bedroom.

Ideal for professionals,’ it says, carelessly neglecting to add the word 'midgets'.

Maybe I should move to Brazil.

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Monday, 11 August 2008

Medical Monday :: Progress

Let’s call her ‘Nursey’. Actually, let’s not. That’s a rubbish name, and also potentially rather patronising. Let’s call her Dr Lovely.

So, after hearing all about my stomach pain on Friday, and then prodding me for a while, both physically and verbally, Dr Lovely gave me a couple of pieces of paper. One of them I'm to take to one hospital and have blood taken from me, after first fasting for twelve hours; the other I have to take to another hospital and arrange for an ultrasound.

‘Is that OK?’ she said. ‘Are you content?’

I liked Dr Lovely. She was extortionately personable.

I’d also told her about my back problems and the fact that I’d been seeing a very expensive chiropractor. In response, Dr Lovely not only gave me a brief but detailed and useful overview of workstation ergonomics, but she also informed me that her surgery had a resident osteopath with whom I was welcome to make an appointment.

When we were all done and she was writing up my request forms, I mentioned the knot of lactic acid which Naomi had identified in the small of my back. I told her that when I’d first discovered it, aged 19 or so, I had assumed it was cancer and had gone along to the doctors to receive the last rites, only to be told that it merely a sebaceous cyst, and utterly benign. Charming even. Dr Lovely had a little look and told me immediately that it was too near the surface to be lactic acid. It was definitely a cyst of some kind. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked. ‘I mean, is there no room for doubt?’ She shook her head. ‘This doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in my chiropractor,’ I said.

‘I can understand that,’ said Dr Lovely.

At reception on my way out, I was informed that there'd been a cancellation later that afternoon, so I returned a couple of hours later and shook the stout strong hand of the osteopath. Let’s call him Dr Payne.

Half an hour later, on leaving the surgery, I actually felt better. It didn’t last that long, but for a while I could feel a definite improvement. Plus, where Naomi couldn’t actually manage to make my lower spine go ‘pop’, Dr Payne managed it in seconds. He even stuck some needles in me for good measure. And he explained lots of things to me about the two sets of muscles in my back and how the smaller, postural ones which deal with the day to day movement of the body sometimes get a little lazy and fall into disuse. Plus when he massaged the larger muscles in my back, it really really hurt. At one stage, just to illustrate something he was saying, he had a go at one of my shoulders. I can’t actually remember what he was saying because the tremendous pain immediately blocked everything else out. I do remember telling him that what he was doing was agony, and he explained – whilst gleefully digging in a thumb – ‘That’s because this what we call a “trigger point”.’ The sadistic bastard.

Still. Rather a sadistic but effective, free bastard than an extortionate and weak-fingered fool. Sorry, Naomi, but I feel rather let down if I’m honest.

Indeed, the first thing I did on returning home was to cancel my next appointment with the chiropractor.

So. On the whole, Friday was very satisfactory. I still have a pain in the stomach and I still have a bad back, but at least I’m doing something about them. The one thing I didn’t make any progress on was my increasingly distressing and frankly rather unpleasant anus. The fact is, I was embarrassed. Dr Lovely was simply too lovely, and clearly too much of a lady to even have to hear about such an abomination. Let alone potentially look at it, or give it a poke. I think I might hang on for a male doctor. It feels kind of cowardly, like someone refusing to buy condoms from a female pharmacist, but there it is. On the other hand though, coward? Or gentleman?

Yeah, OK, I'm a coward.

Bye for now. And here's wishing you a Happy Monday. I hope your anus is in better shape than mine.

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Friday, 8 August 2008

Feedback Friday :: Swelling A Progress

bulk :: 16st 0
cigarettes :: 0
joints:: 0
alcohol units:: 9
swims :: 1
chiropractic visits :: 1
doctor visits :: 1 registration check-up (weigh-in) and 1 proper visit in about an hour
booty calls :: 1
soups made :: 2
fancies tickled :: 1
novels started :: 1 (It's about meeting people on the internet. I am destined to get no further than chapter one.)

Not a bad week all in all. Some ups, some downs.

Mustn’t grumble.

Now, like most bloggers who don’t particularly care for memes, but occasionally submit to ones which tickle their fancy, I feel compelled to begin this post by pointing out that I don’t particularly care for memes, but this one rather tickled my fancy. It consists essentially of 40 unfinished sentences, and I caught up with it here. The main reason it tickled my fancy was because the first sentence began, ‘My uncle once…’ and it reminded me of… well, here it is:

1. My uncle once: undid his zip and pulled out his cock for a drunken group photo with his friends. After he died I found this photograph amongst his possessions and, being fascinated with penis size and fearing myself abnormally small, tore out my uncle’s penis and took it away for private study. My mum later found my dead uncle’s penis in the back pocket of my jeans. She left it on the kitchen table. I snatched it up and took it to my bedroom. In order to properly destroy the evidence of my weirdness, I ended up chewing it up and swallowing it. Conversely, these days I feel no shame.

2. Never in my life: have I fucked an oversized goat.

3. When I was five: I put my head through the bathroom window deliberately and with self-harm aforethought. (Yes, the bathroom window was closed at the time.) (I was mostly unharmed by the glass, but my dad gave me a taste of his belt for the damage.) (Thus causing more damage.) (Silly dad.)

4. High school was: something that happened in America. Still is, I believe, although from what I hear, it ain’t very good. High school kids spend all their time pushing silver dollars into Coca Cola vending machines and learning how evolution is bunkum from text books sponsored by M&Ms. Or so I hear.

5. I will never forget: but hopefully in time I will learn to forgive.

6. Once I met: David Blunkett. I felt strangely comfortable in his presence, but I couldn’t help rolling my eyes when he talked.

7. There’s this girl I know: who made me promise not to fall in love with her. She obviously has an ego the size of Alaska. (And a muff to match.)

8. Once, at a bar: I used a really cheesy line on a really beautiful woman because I was drunk and my best friend dared me, and do you know what she did? I’ll tell you. She pushed out her bottom lip as far as she could with her tongue, opened her eyes really wide and made a long, nonsensical, deep-throated grunting noise, like someone attempting to speak with six fists in their mouth. I believe this is called ‘belming’. I thanked her for her time and returned to my friend, blushing fiercely and wishing quite sincerely that I had never been born.

9. By noon, I’m usually: three socks in. Damn you, YouPorn! (Actually, that’s not true these days. I’m actually four days without YouPorn at the moment. I’m thinking of getting a little counter for my blog, like some towns in Belgium have, but of course in Belgium they read: ‘17 days without a child sex crime’. Mine would read: ‘4 days without soiling a sock whilst watching YouPorn’. And I would feel proud.)

10. Last night: …oh yeah, dammit. More like 6 hours without YouPorn.

11. If only I had: a girlfriend. Everything would be alright.

12. Next time I go to church: presuming I go some time this year, it will be to say, ‘Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been approximately 17 years since my last confession.’ I will prepare an exhaustive list before I go.

13. What worries me most: is failure. And – at the moment at least – stomach cancer.

14. When I turn my head left I see: a cushion where Pablo used to sit and a whole lot of magazines which my flatmate has been trying to get me to throw away. He can fuck off.

15. When I turn my head right I see: an open window, leading to a dirty windowsill, where sits an ashtray which hasn’t been used for a few weeks now. It makes me want to get wrecked.

16. You know I’m lying when: I tell you I honestly couldn’t care less.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: watching some of my favourite films for the first time, and learning how to properly escape from reality.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: an attendant lord, one that will do to swell a progress, start a scene or two, advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, deferential, glad to be of use, politic, cautious, and meticulous; full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; at times, indeed, almost ridiculous – almost, at times, the Fool.

19. By this time next year: I hope to be fitter, happier, more productive.

20. A better name for me would be: Walter. I’ve been told I look like a Walter.

21. I have a hard time understanding: Full stop. That sentence is already finished. I do.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: be in grave danger of falling foul of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

23. You know I like you if: I’m sucking peanut butter out of your anus.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: Halle Berry.

25. Take my advice, never: stimulate your genitals when you’ve been chopping chillies.

26. My ideal breakfast is: smoked salmon Benedict followed by mango and coconut yoghurt.

27. A song I love but do not have is: I Want To Go Back There Again by BJ Arnau. I had this when I was a kid. It used to belong to my uncle, the dead one with the penis, and I owned the vinyl version for a while and regularly wept to it throughout my teens. Then somewhere along the line, I lost it. I want it back. Indeed, I want to go back there again.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: BURN IT DOWN.

29. Why won’t people: be just a little less self-centred? Me included.

30. If you spend a night at my house: and happen to be a lovely, bouncy woman, please remember to sneak into my bed in the wee small hours and massage the length of my Johnson with your tongue.

31. I’d stop my wedding for: spontaneous sex with my bride-to-be, then we’d get back to the ceremony and live happily ever after.

32. The world could do without: Keira Knightley’s pout.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: the anus of a cockroach; but I'd rather lick the anus of a cockroach than ever have to look again at Keira Knightley’s pout.

34. My favourite blonde is: Paris Hilton, but only if she’s shaved and stripped of make-up and money, sitting behind the till in a branch of Netto in Peckham, where she belongs.

35. Paper clips are more useful than: Paris Hilton.

36. If I do anything well it’s: self-deprecate. Sorry, that was a rubbish answer.

37. I can’t help but: worry that I’m never going to be given the chance – or ever going to have balls big enough to take the chance – to fulfil any of the potential that I may actually have.

38. I usually cry: at the end of Donnie Darko, particularly the very last shot, when Gretchen and the little boy wave to Mrs Darko. It’s the little boy’s wave that does it. It sings to me of the preciousness of human contact.

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: is this: don’t let what other people think stand in your way, and always challenge authority.

40. And by the way: being is other people.

Have a super weekend.

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Thursday, 7 August 2008

My Body Is A Minefield :: Things That Make You Go Ewwww

Do you ever get the feeling that your body despises you?

Mine despises me.

Not only is my back increasingly problematic and my stomach persistently paining me, but also, the cyst that has twice before grown to the size of a cauliflower before exploding in the centre of my back, is twitching again, like it’s threatening to make a comeback.

And as if that weren’t enough – and I really hoped I wouldn’t have to mention this – my bottom has started to bleed.

And no.

To just about any question that is going through your head now, the answer is no.

Jesus. I feel sick. I hate my body at the moment. It really is an ugly, vicious, malevolent, spiteful thing.

Do you suppose people with perfect bodies have to put up with all this crap too? Does Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson wake up in the night scratching holes in the backs of her knees? Does Audrey Tautou clamber out of bed, blinded by eye bogies, coughing brown phlegm all over her silky sheets? Does that sickeningly sweet woman out of Mamma Mia have blood dripping from her rectum when she goes for a number 2? Does she even go for number 2s? It’s doubtful.

So. I’ve decided. It’s time I went to the doctor. I picked up the forms this morning. I’m taking them in now.

And in the meantime, until it starts behaving properly, my body and I are not on speaking terms.


I'm not interested.

Talk to the hand.

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Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Morag & I :: More Than Friendship, Less Than Love

Obviously, Morag is not her real name. In fact, I find it difficult to imagine that Morag is anyone’s real name. But apparently it is.

Scottish people can be so cruel.

This was Morag’s opener:

‘I’ve read your blog from start to finish and I think you should probably come to Brighton and bugger me.’


That was my initial thought.


Blogging is by far the best thing that ever happened to me.

She went on:

‘I think we have a lot on common. You’re bright and funny and can write well; I’m bright and funny (and modest) and can write well. You’ve got a very large penis, or so you claim; I’ve got a very large vagina, or so my ex who shall remain nameless claims. You have a weight problem and physical appearance issues; I – according to my ex who shall remain nameless – would also benefit from dropping a few pounds and having a couple of moles removed. You’re looking for someone to love, or at least have bumsex with; I’m looking for someone to love, or at least have bumsex with. You see? It’s almost like it’s in the stars.’

I had to agree. It was eerie. It was like Derren Brown was sharing our virtual space, squatting on our fat pipe with both of our names written on a playing card in his back pocket. But I had my reservations. It wasn’t just the fact that a complete stranger was approaching me and asking me to do her up the bum. It was also the fact that she kept mentioning her ex. Nameless or not, it sounded ominous. Like there were still feelings.

But of course I emailed back. And before long we were chatting on IM.

This was about three weeks ago now.

At the beginning of last week, we had this exchange.

Morag: So what about Wednesday? Is there a tiny window in your busy programme of self-abuse?
Scat: …
Morag: What’s that? Dot dot dot. What are you trying to say with that?
Scat: …
Morag: ……
Scat: Touché. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m scared.
Morag: Oh come on. Ya big Jessie. Where’s your sense of adventure?
Scat: It’s in my head, Morag. It’s in a tiny little box in the back of my head.
Morag: Then it’s time you opened the box, Scatmuncher. Because life is short.

She was right of course. We had been talking late into the night every night for over a week. We got on really well. It was time to meet up. The fact that we still hadn’t seen each other’s face was, as Morag put it, ‘all part of the adventure’. Even when I offered to swap photos, she refused. She said that if either of us was repulsed, then we could just have a drink or two and call it a night. Or we could become friends. You can never have too many friends, she said.

By the time we got round to meeting, I already knew quite a lot about Morag. I knew some basic biographical stuff, like this:

- She is Scottish, born in Glasgow.
- She is 26.
- She loves film and works for a cinema. Bad Lieutenant is her favourite movie of all time.
- Her parents are separated. Her father lives in Edinburgh with a new wife and three new sons. She gets on with them OK, but doesn’t really have much in common with them.
- She doesn’t get on with her mother however. Her mother is a writer. She lives in London and writes historical novels, apparently with a fair degree of success.
- She is allergic to cats. (Morag, that is. Not her mother.)
- She loves Gabriel Garcia Marquez and has a thing about Magic Realism. I barely know what Magic Realism is. That’s not really about Morag however. That is about me.

Also, I knew this, specialist information, reprinted with permission:

Scat: So. Did you have any pets as a child?
Morag: Yes. I had four guinea pigs and a dog.
Scat: What were their names, please?
Morag: The guinea pigs were called Edmund, Baldrick, Percy and Lord Melchett. The dog was called The Dark Lord Tiberius.
Scat: Nice names.
Morag: Thanks.
Scat: When you were shouting for the dog to stop chasing squirrels or stop humping the vicar’s leg or whatever, did you say. ‘The Dark Lord Tiberius! Stop that at once!’
Morag: He didn’t chase squirrels. Squirrels were beneath him. He did hump the vicar’s leg though. But we never tried to stop him. To answer your question however, no. We called him ‘Tibs’.
Scat: Awww… Do you have any recurring dreams?
Morag: Um… apart from the usual stuff about going to school with my muff out…
Scat: Your capacious muff.
Morag: Hush now. I dream a lot about my ex-boyfriend, who shall remain nameless. He fucked me over in lots and lots of ways and sadly, horribly, he has burrowed his way into my subconscious, where he will probably forever bubble to the surface in all of my worst nightmares.
Scat: I’m sorry to hear that. What’s your favourite flavour ice cream?
Morag: Rum and raisin.
Scat: What do you think of bats?
Morag: You’ve asked me that already. Don’t you listen? They’re alright. Nothing to write home about. I like vampires though. Vampires are sexy.
Scat: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever stolen?
Morag: Um… honestly, probably a car. I went through a troublesome phase in my teens. I didn’t keep it though. I just drove it around for a bit then left it in a park. Actually, I stole a bus too. That’s probably more expensive than a car.
Scat: You stole a bus?
Morag: Just a single decker.
Scat: Ah, OK. What’s the most unusual object you’ve ever had inside of you?
Morag: That is a freaky, borderline scary question.
Scat: I’ve got to press you for an answer.
Morag: Um… let me think. It depends on your definition of unusual really.
Scat: I’m happy to go with your definition.
Morag: OK. Probably a bible.
Scat: What?
Morag: No, just kidding. I did once and for the briefest of periods have an action man doll pretty much all the way inside of me, so that just his boots were peeping out.
Scat: Wow.
Morag: Impressive huh?
Scat: Capacious.
Morag: Fuck off.
Scat: So. Do you believe in God?
Morag: Yes.
Scat: Oh.
Morag: God is Harvey Keitel.
Scat: Oh, OK. Thank God for that.
Morag: Thank Harvey.
Scat: Thanks, Harvey. Have you ever had a threesome?
Morag: Hmm.
Scat: Hmm is not an answer.
Morag: Alright then, no.
Scat: You see, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Morag: But I have had a couple of foursomes.
Scat: Oh my.
Morag: Exactly.
Scat: Oh me oh my.
Morag: I know, I know.
Scat: I’m simultaneously aroused and frightened.
Morag: That seems like a reasonable response. Ya big Jessie.
Scat: Thank you. We will talk about this in more detail at a future date. In the meantime, and finally, what’s the most important thing in the world?
Morag: The most important thing in the world is Love.
Scat: Aaaaaaah. Thank you, Morag.
Morag: No, thank you. And I hope I’ve passed the audition.

Then, last Wednesday, we met.

And for a short while, it was everything.

The worst thing about… well, about life I guess, is disappointment. Actually, no. Cancer is worse. But disappointment is up there. I hate disappointment. It’s tough, and it’s hard to bear.

So when I met Morag in Brighton, at the train station, and she curtseyed and shook my hand and kissed my cheek, I was happy. I was not disappointed.

And when a couple of drinks into our evening, I asked her if I could kiss her and she said yes, and then we kissed, I was happy. I was not disappointed.

And then when we proceeded to get a little bit drunk and to fumble our way into Morag’s bed together, and then when we made love as best we could with our lack of knowledge about each other’s bodies and the things which give us pleasure, I was happy. I was not disappointed.

But then, some time around 1 am, when Morag told me that she really liked me but didn’t think that what we had on our hands was a long term relationship, I was disappointed. So disappointed in fact, that I had a little cry.

Boo hoo.

The next morning we went for a walk on the beach and we talked about things. We kept it light. I came back to London that afternoon feeling elated and deflated in equal measure. I was still disappointed, but I regretted nothing.

The next night we spoke on IM and Morag said to me, ‘What do you think of fuck buddies, as a concept?’

I had to say that as a concept, I thought it was potentially a predominantly good one. I said so.

‘Good,’ said Morag. ‘What are you doing tomorrow night?’

So now I guess that the difference between ‘being in a long term relationship’ and ‘being fuck buddies’ is the level of emotional investment, or at least the level of spoken emotional investment.

I have to say, there is something in me – something slightly old-fashioned perhaps – that balks at the idea and feels that it's a kind of failure, a kind of settling for second best. And I don't like that. I don't think it shows either of us in a particularly complimentary light. But there is something else in me – something slightly desperate perhaps - that craves consensual physical contact under any circumstances, and that part of me shrugs, says ‘Fuck it’, and dives in. Like an action man. Till just my boots are peeping out.

So there we have it.

I was looking for a love buddy. I found a fuck buddy. It’s not ideal, but my God, it’ll fucking do.

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Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Back and Forth

I went back to the chiropractor this afternoon having more or less decided that it would be my last session. I know I was told at the beginning of the first session that there were no quick-fix cures, but even so, after two full sessions, I was starting to lose faith. Plus, it’s really back-breakingly expensive.

Then, as I was waiting to be seen, I noticed a certificate on the wall of the reception. It belonged to another of the chiropractors at the same practice. It was a framed diploma. In aromatherapy. Now I don’t know about you – although I can guess, because you come across as pretty cynical on the whole – but whenever I hear the word ‘aromatherapy’, I smell a rat. A large, new age rat with chimes for teeth and a trail of crystals and 'healing stones' oozing out of its puckered rear end. For me, it’s a dirty great sham. The champagne of shams. Snake oil, essentially. Tangerine and lavender – no matter how pleasant on the olfactory neurons – will not cure cancer and will not bring about peace in the Middle East.

So that diploma put the nail in the coffin. I had decided. No more chiropractic. Next time I would try osteopathy.

But then I went into that little room with Naomi and I stripped down to my pants and lay on the table – Naomi asks me just to take my top off but I insist on stripping down to my pants – and by the end of half an hour of pummelling and manipulating, I had decided to go back.

I don’t know – no one knows – but... Naomi could be The One.

I know it sounds silly, but something in the way she tenderly holds my neck, just before she violently jerks it till it goes ‘click’; something in the way this afternoon her hand gently and quite unnecessarily brushed my calf; something in the way she offered me a piece of her underwear at the end of today’s session… Well, it might have been hers. A stocking, or a sheer sock of some kind. With a tennis ball in it…

I don’t know. No one knows. You know? But let’s face it, I am a giant lactic acidic knot of love and there is every possibility that she wants me.

Speaking of which, I must tell you about Morag. Tomorrow. If at all possible.

Hope you're well. Until soon.

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Friday, 1 August 2008

Feedback Friday :: Mamma Mia, Pappa Mia

bulk :: 16st 1
cigarettes smoked :: 0
joints smoked:: 0
swims swum:: 2 (hurrah for me!)
units of alcohol imbibed:: 15ish
chiropractic visits :: 0
sexy adventures :: 1 (hurrah for me!)

So Keith and I went to see Mamma Mia last night.

Don’t ask.

I’ll tell you anyway.

He’d booked tickets for him and whatsername, because whatsername wanted to see it, but at the last minute whatsername couldn’t go. So I got a booty call. Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.

And I’d just like to say I have never ever seen a film quite as bad as that. Diabolical script, diabolical acting, diabolical singing, diabolical direction. A truly, astonishingly bad film.

Watching it, I just couldn’t understand what on earth any of the people involved thought they were up to. Outside of making money of course.

The worst thing about it was that it was horribly, sickeningly unfunny. According to a Channel 4 review however, the film is full of ‘endearing and hilariously funny’ moments, wherein ‘crucially, you're always laughing with the cast rather than at them’. I had entirely the opposite sensation. The only time I laughed was when the characters started to sing, or when the elderly female characters seemed for no reason whatsoever to paw at their vaginas in the middle of a song, or when Mr Darcy turned into a big gay in the final scene, with his shirt off and everything.

I love Abba. And this film was a fucking disgrace.

Somehow though, on some weird masochistic level, I kind of quite enjoyed it.

I have two more things to say about this film.

The first is that it brought to a head a decision that’s been fermenting in my head for a few weeks now. That decision is that I’m going to go and see my dad. I haven’t seen him for years, six or seven years I think, and the fact that this film – one of the worst ever made – was instrumental in bringing me to my decision is perhaps a little bit wrong. Actually ‘instrumental’ is probably laying it on a bit thick. But when that utterly gorgeous, empty-headed girl said, ‘I just want a Dad’, or something equally asinine, I found myself thinking, ‘Me too actually. Why not.’ So I’m going to start some investigations. Maybe I’ll track him down, we’ll have a plaintive and tearful reunion and I’ll realise that a father’s love was all I ever needed. And everything will be alright. Or maybe I’ll pummel his miserable face for him. Oh, I say.

The other thing I have to say is this: the Lucas Moodysson Tillsammans, or Together, is as good as Mamma Mia is bad. It also features the odd Abba song, which is what made me think of it. If you haven’t seen it, you really must.

In other news, thanks for your thoughts yesterday. Some of you were close. Not man-whores, no. But a lady. I shall give you a blow-by-blow account next week. Now I must go and relive it.

In the meantime, have a great weekend.

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