Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Don't You Know Who I Am? (The Internet Is Scary.)

I’m in a really good mood. Things have happened over the last few days which have really made me happy. I shall tell you about them now, in reverse order.

1. Lots of new readers have arrived to grant my humble quest their time, courtesy of a couple of much-appreciated links. Many of them have left lovely comments. And I love that. It fills me with joy.

2. I’ve been memed by DJ Kirkby. She has sweetly awarded me an E for Excellent, which I must now award to 10 other bloggers. It will be an honour. Very soon.

3. A new season of America’s Next Top Model kicked off last night. I do feel ashamed if that’s any consolation but the fact is, I just can’t help myself. I just love watching beautiful, predominantly low-intelligence people attempting simple tasks - like buying nice clothes, looking sad or walking - like they’ve been asked to cure cancer with three pipe cleaners and a bag of flour. And the bitching is such a pleasure. Ebony and Bianca, I think, are the major bitches for this series. Every series must have at least a couple major league Satan-women, just to pick on the sweet ones for our viewing entertainment. The sweet ones this time round are Victoria, lozenge-faced college student from New Haven, and Heather, weepy humpbacked autist. Aaaaah, reality TV. Fuck you, Tyra. Oh, and shame on you for dumping Spontanouise. From her name on down, she was comedy gold.

By the way, if you care, don’t read the next two words: Saleisha wins.


Unfortunately I’m out tonight, so I’ll miss the first instalment of The Next Best Thing, which looks great, apart from the dreadful, dreadful, dreadful judges. Ideally, if you’re making a TV show in which you humiliate deluded members of the public, you should ensure that the panel have at least a modicum more talent than the average contestant. The Next Best Thing appears to fail horribly in this respect.

Anyway, I’ve said too much. I should perhaps point out that I also enjoy news programmes, critically acclaimed American drama (particularly HBO mega-sagas) and arse-numbingly serious documentaries.

4. More important even than reality TV, this: I was out running in Brockwell Park yesterday afternoon. It was a lovely day. A bit cold, but the sun was out, the air was crisp and light like a perfect pancake and I swear my guardian angel came to me in the form of a fluffy grey squirrel. This squirrel ran ahead of me, for at least a minute, scurrying from one tree to the next, then waiting for me to catch up before running on. It was quite odd. Made me laugh. Then it disappeared. A few moments later, I’d completed my circuit and was stretching by a gate, a young woman walked up to me, slowly. She was wearing a big duffle coat and big jumper and a big dress and big trousers. But she wasn’t big. She was quite small. Slim anyway. As far as I could tell. She had long dyed-blonde curly hair that had lots of bits of stuff tied into it. She had lots of piercings. She looked a bit scary if I’m honest. But pretty.

When I realised that she was definitely coming towards me and not just ambling in my direction, my heart began to beat a little faster. I felt like a wreck, a phlegm-packed, sweat-stained, sickening mouth-breather of a wreck. I thought she might be about to chastise me for blowing my nose in the park, or else just say something really unpleasant about my appearance; something about the sight of fat men jogging being repellent to her. But she didn’t. She just said: ‘Hello.’

I blushed and squinted at her. She really was very pretty. Bright grey, piercing eyes. Like silver in fact. And pierced, black eyebrows. I tried to regulate my breathing. ‘Hello,’ I said. It wasn’t brilliant, but I figured the ball was still in her court.

‘This is a bit embarrassing really, but I think I know who you are. Do you write a blog?’

I nodded vigorously before I could speak. Then I sort of gurgled an affirmative.

‘Are you Bête de Jour?’ she said.

It sounded really strange. It was a strange sentence to hear.

‘Yeah,’ I said. I was blushing horribly. I felt like I’d been unmasked. I was embarrassed I think because the only reason she could have known it was me is because I am fat and ugly and I run in Brockwell Park.

‘Your blog is really good,’ she said. ‘You’re a really good writer.’

‘Thanks,’ I said, a tiny bit too blasé perhaps. ‘That’s really nice of you to say.’

There was a silence. She nodded a couple of times. I knew I was supposed to say something. Or else she’d just walk away. I nodded. I thought about negging her. Something about her piercings weighing down her face maybe. ‘Well, OK,’ she said. ‘I just wanted to say, you know, keep it up.’

‘I just saw a squirrel,’ I blurted out.

She smiled. Nodded again. She likes to nod.

‘I’m not usually a great believer in squirrels,’ I said, ‘but this one was definitely something special. It ran with me for about ten minutes, ahead of me, like it was trying to say something. But then it didn’t say anything. It was quite disappointing in the end.’

‘I’m not a fan of squirrels,’ she said. ‘And if I may say so, that behaviour there that you’ve just described is typical of them. They promise so much, then they just let you down.’

‘Yes!’ I cried. ‘They are evil!’ I stopped. Looked into her eyes. ‘Cute though,’ I said.

Wow. I do believe I was flirting!

‘Yeah.’ She nodded. ‘But appearances can be deceptive.’


At which point she introduced herself. Her name was Spontaniouse. Nah, just kidding. Let’s call her Sally. Which is actually very close to her real name. Sally studies at Camberwell College of Arts. She’s a painter. And a photographer. And she plays the guitar. And when I said she was pretty, I was wrong. She’s divine. She’s absolutely perfect. And - DAMN YOU, WORLD! - her boyfriend thinks so too.

And I must remember, now that I’m sitting here having thoughts I probably shouldn’t, that she probably wouldn’t be interested in me in a million years. I’m ten years older than her, ten stone heavier than her and way way way out of her league. The other way around I mean. She’s out of mine. Whatever. We're in different leagues. Plus she has a boyfriend. But she does like my writing. And we did chat for a full ten minutes before she had to rejoin her friends and carry on drawing trees. And we did make each other laugh. Which counts for a lot.

The funny thing is of course, that the chances are, she will read this.

I’m not sure what that means really. I guess I just have to carry on being myself. Not drive her away by breaking down in the middle of sentences and declaring I LOVE YOU, SALLY – I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT YOU. No. That would be madness. And so not true. I mean, she was alright. I meet breathtakingly beautiful, gob-smackingly intelligent, brain-wateringly funny women all the time and it’ll take a lot more than a comprehensive knowledge of Nobuyoshi Araki to win me over.

So, really, apart perhaps from pointing out that I really do like Nobuyoshi Araki too, now that I know who he is, it's pretty much business as usual.

Nothing to see here.

As you were.

Share on Facebook! Digg this


Glamourpuss said...

If people like what you write, then it's very flattering when they spot you, but when they don't, well, then it ain't so nice. Thankfully, I usually get the former, but I have had the latter - scary.

Here's to blog fame, La Bete.


Anonymous said...

I can't possibly do this in rhyme as per your previous comment so please forgive me!
Wow being recognised so early into your blogging life must have been odd. Please don't let the fame go to your head now!
Thank you for your kind words on my blog earlier - I was touched :o)

Anonymous said...

Blimey. My own mother rarely recognizes me and i've been blogging for two years.

I have a suspicion this thing is going to seriously take off for you.

Sue said...

Penelope brought me here... and I'm staying. Wow on Sally.

i am the diva said...

excellent post!
Penelope steered me your way! i shall return!!

Luka said...

The internet is much maligned at times. I think it's great that it enables people to meet - both virtually and in reality - who would otherwise go through life entirely unaware of each other.

You write very well and entertainingly. Remember us little people when you hit the big time :)

Iron Fist said...

I'd say you already hit the big time. Getting recognized out during a jog? Now, that's internet famous!

(Oh, and you were better off not going for the neg in this instance, so good call on that.)

Anonymous said...

You are articulate, witty, and an inspiration. I identify with you because I am also changing my life for the better, but I lack the balls to publicly chronicle the struggle. Please keep sharing, I adore reading you! You are a beautiful person. Period.

Anonymous said...

Your story about Luca Francesconi just tickled and overwhelmed me! I wish I was there! He is a friend of mine...don't worry. You're hilarious! Might I suggest that his music is so genius that the alarm went off (in the same place in the music 2x!) because the vibration just went to a new level! It was on fire! I know, beyond the understanding of us little people. How can that music not be just random? He's off the charts genius...so there we are. Brava!