Friday, 30 October 2009

Fresh Start #173 :: Overmatter

bulk :: 13st 9
exercise :: none
cigarettes :: lots
steps taken to stop :: I'm going to see the NHS people next Friday. They have patches and all kinds of wisdom, and they're cheaper than a hypnotist.
alcohol :: most days
steps taken to cut down :: bought some weed and now can't be bothered to go to the shops for more booze
fresh starts :: 1
marks out of ten for week :: 7.3

I had a good day yesterday. It involved work, and old friends, and tears, and drugs, and a giant silver locust named Gerard.

OK, OK. I’m joking about the tears. Big boys don’t cry.

First picture.

This... is my drug dealer’s toilet.

I hope I’m not overstepping the mark publishing a photo of a man’s toilet whilst simultaneously identifying him as a felon. I suppose if there were any sleuths out there amongst you - and I know there are - you might blow the photo up Blade Runner-style, and pick out a possum hair on the toilet seat, which might lead you, via a little unpleasantness with an East End marsupial importer, to Ineloquent Quinn's high rise block in Fithering, just behind the Bluntsteps tube station. If you do figure it out, don’t call the rozzers. Be a good egg and call those wretched supercilious old haddocks who clean up for people on telly. Get them round.

First things first though. I worked in the morning. I went out to Kensington to see a Chinaman about data analysis. Then I met an old friend for a pub lunch of delicious sausages and mashed stuff which I can still taste. Then I had time before another appointment with another old friend, so instead of slogging home and back into town, I walked around London with a little fold-out map to keep me on my toes, listening to Adam and Joe podcasts in my headphones and laughing quite openly in public places. I think people like to see a stranger laughing to himself in a public place. I know I do. Cheers me right up. So I did big Brian Blessed belly laughs and winked at anyone who looked alarmed.

Not really. I just giggled quietly into my chin.

The second old friend I met was Morag. I hadn’t seen her since shortly after we split up. We had a couple of wines and caught up. It was good. Kind of sad too but it was great to see her.

Morag has this little tease she likes to inflict upon me from time to time. She pretends that she thinks that some time in the future, I’m going to find God or become gay. Or both. Run off with a wayward Christian chap and set up home in the Cotswalds. I’d have my writing. He’d have his potter’s wheel. Every night by candlelight we’d re-enact the sexy scene from Ghost to the soundtrack of some freaky Gregorian chant-drum and bass mash-up. She didn’t actually go into such detail but I know what she was thinking.

Hilariously enough, after I said goodbye to Morag, I walked to Fithering, where, being over an hour early for my next appointment, I took refuge in a public house and was immediately befriended by a couple of gay men.

It happened because I was unpleasantly and unfairly overlooked after waiting for forty years at an almost empty bar, and I got a bit visibly uppity about it, as is my hateful wont. It was rather infantile really, my little tantrum. It was all failed clarity and hufty exasperation. In my defence, however, I was a bit emotional. If you want to know the truth, I’d had a bit of a weep whilst en route to Fithering. In the street as I walked. Like a big girl’s blouse.

NO! Not like a big girl’s blouse at all, but like the thinking woman’s man that I am, soft like a bruised egg but delightfully receptive to the cringe and swell of my emotions. Or else in bondage to it. One of the two. Either option dwarfs a mere blouse* though, I’m convinced of that. So by the time I got to the pub, I was sensitive. And I was tense. And that’s what this guy said. He said, ‘Are you a bit tense there? You are, aren’t you?’ I admitted I was, very tense. He said, ‘I can tell. I’m very spiritual.’ I explained that I’d just seen my ex-girlfriend for the first time in six months or so, so I was a feeling a bit, you know…

I’m sure Morag won’t mind me telling you this. No, I really am. Almost totally sure. It’s mostly about me anyway.

I’d had a couple of things that had been simmering away in my head for the past six months or so, like tiny phantom tumours. Basically, because of a couple of things that had been said in the embers end of our relationship, I’d got it into my head that what we had meant very little to Morag. And that it was only me who actually gave a damn. But Morag easily convinced me that that was not the case. And immediately I felt better. And lighter.

Morag is happy. She’s with someone else and she’s clearly really happy with him. She didn’t even have to say as much. It was clear. And I was happy for her. Very happy. What I wasn’t so happy about, however, was my own life. Which is why, walking down the Gallstone Road to Fithering, I began to feel overwhelmingly sad. I had God Only Knows on repeat on my iPod and I was weeping.

Then I stopped weeping, and went to the pub, where one of the gay men shook my hand and said, ‘Did you say "ex-boyfriend"?’ I said no. Then he asked me if it'd been good seeing my ex and if I'd left her feeling positive. I said yes on both counts. I told him I’d entered into it, hoping to hear exactly what I'd heard and that I was very happy for her and happier in general for having seen her. That was all good. It was the malaise of my own life that was making me tense. He continued down the positive thinking line for a while and then I thanked him for his kindness and for his spirituality and I went outside to smoke cigarettes and listen to pop songs and wait for my drug dealer to get home. He arrived about 9pm.

I told Quinn that I’d been to see my ex-girlfriend, because it was on my mind and I wanted to talk about it, but he glossed over it and continued talking about the women that come to his flat. He speaks very quickly. The word ‘yanahmin’ peppers his prose like a powerful tick, like mouse droppings under the clapped out toaster of his brain. His stories are all either about women who won’t sleep with him or women who, as soon as he sleeps with them, want to move in with him. He’s all crappy gossip and crass stereotyping. He's all joyless, demeaning, meaningless chatter. I wanted to tell him I’d been crying and feeling sorry for myself, but that I was happy because I felt I’d reached an important turning point in my life. But he was describing some woman’s arse to me in the most painfully impoetic detail, and I could tell he wasn’t interested. And when I did manage to get a word in, on any subject, he didn’t really listen, and he was off again, riding his own melt. I wanted to tell him that I felt as if something had been weighing me down and it had been removed, and that I felt a little reborn. But he was too busy describing some woman’s cleavage.

So I left.

Then, on the bus on the way home I decided that I’m going to become a pop star. No time like the present.

It’s a fresh start. A superfresh start.

So that’s what I’m doing this weekend. Working on my first album and drifting into the increasingly nebulous world of physical abuse and spiritual awakening we call rock and roll.

What about you? Anything nice?

* A silky garment worn by a flamboyant meerkat.

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Anonymous said...

I could just go some yanahmin. With a speed chaser.

Off shopping in Manchester tomorrow, with a meal in Chinatown in prospect. Pearl City, probably: bit rough and ready, but most of the clientele are Chinese, so they must be doing something right. Right?

Anonymous said...

I'll be spending most of this weekend fretting about my sanity.

I was watching Question Time last night when something rather odd occurred.

John Sergeant, in his trademark scampish manner, was teasing Jacqui Smith about her expenses claim.

Just for a few seconds, Jacqui dropped her guard, relaxed and smiled. And I thought, oooh hello, what a lovely smile.

It seems I'm attracted to Jacqui Smith.

That can't be right, can it?

I did enjoy your post. Gave me a right old chuckle, it did. But aren't most people just like Quinn?


Beleaguered Squirrel said...

They're right you know, those people who say you're a really good writer.

You're a really good writer. Better than nearly everybody else.

This weekend I shall spend several hours in a haircutting-lady's chair, being wondered upon yet again due to the incredible thickness of my hair, and spending half as long more time there as a result. I will come out neater and a slightly different colour. Then I'll go to a Halloween party with a one-yr-old, at which we have been invited to wear costumes but I probably won't cos what the hell do you put a 1-yr-old in for Halloween? With no preparation?

Having said that we do have two-metre tall posters of neon glowing skulls in two of our windows, as well as a giant robotic spider with red flashing eyes that climbs up its web when you clap your hands, and a red monster's hand sticking out of our letterbox and a 7-yr-old due home tomorrow who is very excited about going trick-or-treating in the evening.

And then I will do working stuff cos I have Important Career Stuff happening next week which is exciting and slightly scary and might involve small people behaving badly.

And then I will do other stuff. I have a list somewhere. I can't remember what's on it. The most exciting it will get is if I manage to rearrange my wardrobe in order from Fat to Not Quite So Fat After All, two goalposts which I rattle between like a ping pong ball that's been placed in the wrong game by small badly-behaved Russians who know fuck all about Western sporting habits.

Do Russians play ping pong? Maybe they do.

And now I might eat chocolate, continue being stoned and drink more beer. Good night.

Anonymous said...

In the words of Albus Dumbledore, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

My friend said this to me not long ago: "Sometimes, the thing you desire most is right around the corner." Just don't forget to look up coz you might miss it.

I wouldn't be surprised if you get several marriage proposals off the back of this post.

Tears, like joy, are better shared. Thanks for sharing. xx

On Saturday evening, I am taking my son and his two friends to a Halloween festival on a farm, complete with fireworks!! I think there's even an ice rink. But I shall be hankering for pumpkin pie!

BPP said...

You're working on songs now? Songs AND fiction?


... hang on ...


Cannae fuckin' WAIT tae hear this shite, cap'n!

*wi' baited fuckin' breath*

Seriously, Stan, you should join oor wee WWM band. You're an up-yer-ahn-arsehole, vain wee fucker ... but at least ye ha' thae common fuckin' decency tae be OOR fucker.

clumpf said...

I like all the pictures. Except the toilet. That's just rank. Reminds me of my first boyfriends grotty bedsit and the landlord that used to barge in when we were in bed together.

I'm sorry you cried. If it makes you feel any better I've cried most of this week. Due to people being shits and my cat Samuel being at the vets all day yesterday having teeth pulled out under anaesthetic. He's an old boy and I love him so much. But he's home now eating chicken and making me smile again.

So this weekend will be recovering and avoiding miserable bastards who make me miserable.

You're a good lad Stan, so I'll forgive you the sandwich maker and hug you instead.

Anonymous said...

BPP - English please! Most of us don't read Elvish

Anonymous said...

Dear Wellington

If it helps, I'm hopelessly attracted to Gordon Brown following a particularly vivid and unexpected dream. I write poems about him, God help me.

Bête, I hope you have a lovely weekend with your spanking new fresh start. I shall be mostly resting, following a fairly spectacular meltdown which involved spending most of Wednesday weeping on my poor boss, and hiding from the 50 teenagers whose health and safety I was meant to be ensuring. Good times.



Aiko said...

Still love reading your blog, it slwsys makes me smile. This weekend is the first in a while where I'm not working 12 - 4AM (Had to do an extra hour last week, bloody clocks going back) so I'm spending the evening with Sponge catching up on stuff and pretending I'm not in to trick and treaters as the little buggers are constantly killing my garden and I've nothing to give them other than shaking my fist and no dount they'd laugh at that. Quite rightly.
Anyway, keep it up, love you lots xxx

the fly in the web said...

Would you mind writing again?
Navel fluff does not become you.

Lainey. said...

This weekend is mostly involving- pottering around my pad, doing a bit of work, cooking, feeling a bit lonely, planning fresh starts, having a wee cry, just looking at my cat and wondering how is it possible to love him so much, listening to Adam and Joe, maybe having another wee cry, watching some telly and tweeting while pretending to be the life and soul.

La Bête said...

Hey NK. Hope it all went supergood.

Welly, you big freak. Nah, I think Quinn is especially ineloquent and a particularly selfish conversationalist.

Thank you, BS. I hope you enjoyed your Halloween.

Anon, you are too kind. Mmmmmm, pumpkin pie.

BPP, did it ever occur to you that I might not be completely serious about my ability to turn round in my thirties and decide overnight to be a pop star?

Sorry you had a shitty week, clumpf, and very glad to hear that Samuel is back on the chicken already.

Pearl, I wonder if your meltdown and your Brown obsession are connected? I’m not sure quite how that might be, but… I don’t know. It’s all a little worrying. I hope you get better soon.

Hey, thanks, Aiko. Give Sponge a kiss for me. x

Oh, Fly, your comment made me feel bad. Was that the intention? Pah. I write what I like really. You can’t please all the people though.

Aah, Lainey, we have so much in common. Enjoy your tears.

Donna Deluso said...

Went to see The Fantastic Mr Fox. George Clooney's voiceover sent me all a quiver. First time I've ever fantasised about a cartoon character. Mmmmmmmmmmm?

sometimes commenter said...

I had a crush on the fox in Disney's Robin Hood when I was a wee one. I think the fox was Robin Hood.

Your navel gazing is well written, Stan. I enjoyed this, and you're right, it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time.

AndrewM said...

At least you got down the pub!

Too much gay drug crying stuff for me.

Try and stick to uplifting tales or Breville product reviews. What was the beer like?

Antipo Déesse said...

But luscious female cleavage is good.

Innocent Loverboy said...

This post is art.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're a big girl's blouse, Bete. Im sending you an internet virtual hankie to blow your nose on.

Maria in Oregon