Friday, 29 July 2011

Fish & Chips Friday . . . .

I have a very pretty face for a fat girl. I saw and heard two middle aged women say that today, they made no secret of it or even tried to say it under their breath. I was waiting in the line for a McFlurry and they were in the line next to me. I almost turned around and walked out but it was really hot and I needed something other than a diet (never full fat) coke to cool me down. I looked at them to try and gauge if they thought it was a compliment and I would be pleased to hear it? As soon as I saw the one with the bleached, straw like hair and cheap gold jewellery shoot me a defiant stare I knew there wasn't any kindness in that comment. I looked down at my feet and my gorgeous blood red painted toe nails and said "I've got really pretty toe nails for a fat girl too".

God it's hot! I don't mind being out in the sun, it feels lovely on my hands, face and feet. I like to get my ice cream and some magazines and go and sit in the park. There is a kids boating lake there and I love to sit on the edge and dip my feet in the water to cool down. I roll my tracksuit bottoms up to above my knees (only when no ones around) and dream that I'm Cheryl Cole in those funny trousers she wore in the video when she was still fighting for Ashley's love. I really like Cheryl. I feel her beauty is attainable for anyone carrying a little extra weight like me. Sometimes I take dad's battery operated radio with me but that's only if he's still asleep when I leave for school in the morning. I love to listen to music, especially when I'm in the park or when I go up to my room after school. I can do the dance routine to mostly every song that has "love" in the title. That's my most favourite thing of all, to listen to songs with "Love" in the title.

I haven't been to school for weeks. I don't know if they've called dad? Mrs Burnett my maths tutor is the only one I have to worry about. She's always fussing and fretting, trying to make sure I'm OK and that I'm getting my homework done. She says I'm talented and "the best in the class" but it just makes things worse for me. I wish she wouldn't single me out like that. I'm trying to keep my head down and get through the day unnoticed and then she has to interfere with her meddling ways. I know I'm good at maths. I can add up every calorie there is in a microwave meal and I know exactly how much money I have to do the shopping when dad sends me out on a Saturday morning. Mrs Burnett wouldn't understand.I've seen her drive off in her little two door sports car with the roof off. She probably doesn't ever have to worry about what she spends or eats?

I put my hair up in a high pony tail today so that I can feel the sun on the back of my neck and when I put my head forward to look at my feet splashing about in the pond I like the way I look as the water swishes from side to side. I always like the way I look in my reflection of the pond because it's not really me. I can pretend I'm anyone. My face and body are really just a blur, there's no outline or shape and if I really kick the water about it's even better.

Sometimes I wish I had a mobile phone like everybody else has at school. Although I don't know what I'd use it for? I know dad wouldn't get me one I could take pictures with or play games on and there isn't anyone I know I could call anyway. I think it would be useful though just to keep the numbers of all the takeaways in. That would be amazing! I would phone the man in the fish & chip shop for a chat! I'd call him five times a day and put a different voice on each time and order really expensive stuff that I know he doesn't have!! When he picks the phone up and says "Fryer Tucks how can I help?" I'd put on my poshest voice and I'd say "I'd like lobster and chips and scallops and saveloy's please"! I could do so many accents he'd never guess it was me. Although maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea, dad would kill me for making crank calls and wasting money.

School will be finishing soon so I guess I should get my feet out of this pond and dry off. I need to be at the top of my road by 4.15pm because then I will have beaten everyone out of the school gates and onto the bus home. I can't get the later bus anymore because that's the one with the driver I don't like. The one with the greasy hair and dirty fingernails who always says he wants to borrow my school shirt for a parachute. Last time he said it I told him his "mum had asked me for it for his bedroom curtains because his Barbie ones needed washing" and even the kids that don't talk to me at school laughed. That was a good day.

I made it home and I managed to put the radio back without dad noticing, he didn't ask how school was so I must have got away with that too. Best of all it's Friday and that means "Fish & Chip Day"!! I've even asked dad if I can use the phone to call ahead and place our order and he's said yes! I cannot wait for the fish and chip man to pick up and say "Good evening, Fryer Tucks what would you like?" I'm going to take a really deep breath and try not to burst out laughing because I know exactly what I'm going to say. . . .

Monday, 25 July 2011

Delusions of Grandeur . . .

I had the most awkward moment today - someone actually looked at me!! I mean, totally caught my eye and kept it when everybody knows that when I enter a room, step out of a car or stand at a cash register they must avert their eyes. It was embarrassing because I then had to totally give them my most murderous stare until they looked away! This is why I don't leave the house, people have a tendency to just stare, stare, stare and sometimes from the corner of my eye I catch them pointing too. I always keep my head held high at these times because I've always believed if you look to the sky you'll see the stars whereas if you look at the ground you're only ever going to see shit.

It's not my fault that people are totally fascinated by me. I guess I've known I was special since I was a child and it was only jealousy that made those other children throw rocks at me and set fire to my book bag. Mother always told me that I had the bluest eyes and the blondest hair and that my skin was like that of a china doll and that's why at school she insisted I always wore a little cap and elbow length gloves. My skin is beyond delicate and the sun so ageing that I knew from a very young age that I must keep it covered at all times. I hated the rough and tumble of childhood games and every break time I could be found sitting under the willow tree at the edge of the playground engrossed in a monthly periodical. I loved to read the high fashion magazines of the day and pretend that it was me looking coquettishly up from my gelato in Milan or swinging playfully from a streetlamp on the Champs De Elysee. It was only the shrill ringing of the school bell or the pain of a football being kicked directly at my face that brought me back to that playground in dismal south east London. Still, I knew even then that my talent and fine looks would take me far, far away from this awful, common place . . at least someday anyway.

I've had another letter from the "Local Authority" demanding I pay my rent! I mean seriously, do they really think that I LIKE living in this piss stinking tower block?? I just cannot cope with these mean spirited people! I explained to the ethnic looking lady at the council offices that I wouldn't be paying my rent for the next couple of weeks as I had to invest all of this months money on Monty's vet bills. Monty is my darling Persian Blue and the only thing that keeps me sane. As I explained to the vet when I rushed him there last week. I'd only just opened the bottle of peroxide when Monty made a leap for it and spilled it everywhere. All over himself, all over me ( he absolutely ruined my antique silk kimono) and destroying the Marrimeko bath mat. The poor darling is now part Persian blue and part pigeon grey. The vet said unfortunately cat's fur doesn't respond to bleach in the same way my silky tresses have. Poor, poor Monty, I have a good mind to take him down to the council offices myself just to prove a point to those rent demanding Nazi's! He could have died and I was almost left with my hair half done.

I've decided the only way I can get Monty and I out of this pickle is to leave the flat and go back to mothers. I haven't spoken to her for almost five years, she didn't take kindly to the news that I had been having an affair with  Ranjit from the post office as she doesn't believe in ethnic mixing. I explained that Ranjit and I had been frantically clashing our cultures together since she started collecting her pension but she threw me out of the house and told me to take my perversion elsewhere. That's how I ended up in "local authority" housing. They do rehouse you quite quickly if you're 54 year old single white male with a silk cravat and a Persian blue. I don't think the neighbours will miss me. I've been playing my favourite aria's full blast night and day just to drown out the sound of the police helicopters and those awful barking pit bulls. I've always thought that it's possible to beautify your surroundings with some scatter cushions and a nice aria.

The taxi driver was furious with the amount of bags I told him to carry downstairs. I didn't care what he said, I wasn't having my drapes and lounge suits being put in that urine and vodka stinking lift! So what if he had to walk up and down eighteen flights of stairs, that's what I'm paying him for. I told him he's lucky we have stairs in this country. I said " I bet you haven't even seen a mud shack taller than two storeys where you come from" but I don't think he understood.

Anyway, everything is fine and beautiful again now. I'm safely ensconced in the room where I grew up. I've put mother to bed. I've tucked her in very tightly so she can't fall out the side, or even get out of the bed without calling for me.I've made sure I've locked her bedroom door just in case she thinks she's going to go wandering again. She made the local news a couple of weeks ago when she was found at half past three in the morning, barefoot and in her nightie around the back of "Uncle Jack's Chicken Shack".

I know she's glad I'm home really, even if she said she'll never forgive me for dallying with "Rancid Ranjit".

 It's all worked out well really, just me, Monty, my silk kimono, mother and my aria's.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

I've got a monkey mind and I'm going to use it . .

I think if I could vomit a whole tin of alphabet spaghetti it would make for more entertaining reading than what I've been writing lately. I cannot get inspired. I don't know if it's the weather or the fact that nothing interests me at the moment. I refuse to watch television. I refuse to buy a newspaper or a magazine. I refuse to gossip and I refuse to pick up the phone. It's like I've put my mind on a strict diet and it's not to be fed any information incase it starts bingeing. I don't even really want to open the door to anyone so all I have to amuse myself is myself. I'm the last guest at my own dinner party and I cannot wait for me to leave. I keep wanting to get my coat and show myself the door. If I could be bothered to pick up the phone I'd call myself a cab and ask them to drive me far far away and this all began because I thought it would be a good idea to try and reread a book I bought years ago on how to "Tame the Monkey Mind".

I have a huge monkey in my head. I'm not talking about some playful chimp in a pair of dungarees. I'm talking about some great rampaging, shit kicking town destroying beast like King Kong. He's in there, thundering around, ripping up trees and climbing to the top of the Empire State building and he's got me in his big hairy hand, although I'm not in a blonde wig and a silk dress. I think I'm only wearing some  generic but expensive underwear. He moves so fast and throws me about so violently it's hard to catch what I'm wearing. My hair looks nice though and I've still got my holiday tan so that's a couple of positives. The only time he seems to calm down is just before I go to sleep. I can picture him then because he's lying on his back and he throws me up and down or twirls me around between his fingers like I'm a baton and he's some great gay gorilla majorette. I know the monkey in my mind is gay because when he goes tearing through the town he always destroys the cheap shops first and everything he eats is fat free.

"Taming The Monkey Mind" is a buddhist inspired book on how it is so difficult for us humans to concentrate and focus. How we all have a "monkey mind" that never allows us to find calm or tranquility and how we are inclined to jump from one idea to the other. Like I said, I tried to read it many years ago and by the time I was ten pages in I found my mind awash like a child with ADHD who was screaming for a dose of Ritalin. It still has the same profound effect on me, as soon as I open the book the monkey knows I'm on his case and he starts acting up and destroying stuff.

He's currently having a wash in the Thames, using HMS Belfast as a back scrub and with his eye on Boris Johnson's office. I do hope Boris isn't working today because he looks a lot like a cotton bud and monkeys ears need cleaning. This is how the monkey gets me, worried and fretting about what he's going to do next? What havoc or destruction is going to be left in his wake. He's just rinsing off by Tower Bridge now, there are a few tourists taking pictures and pointing but he's not really taking any notice so maybe I'll give the book another go while he's relatively calm.

The book says to breathe deeply and empty my mind of thoughts and to find a quiet space but it talks in riddles. I get confused and lost trying to find the quiet space and then that's when the monkey comes thundering up behind me dragging his knuckles on the floor and making that awful screeching sound. Sometimes I'm almost there and then he breathes his monkey breath in my ear and I have to start all over again. Why do I always have to have the biggest everything? Why have I got "Gorillas in the Mist" wandering around in my head? Why couldn't I have a playful kitten or maybe a tortoise instead of something so hairy and destructive? Even a chimp on a bicycle would be less hassle. It's probably best that I've managed to calm him a little by putting my head under the covers and closing my eyes for a  while.

I've decided not to read the book anymore, I've searched online and there is a test you can take to see if you have ADHD. Monkey's currently sitting at my desk and answering a series of multiple choice questions and getting himself diagnosed and I have just ordered another book. I'm still going down the Buddhism route but I've chosen a gentler animal, it's called "Buddhism for Sheep".

 I really hope this one works? Although I'm already thinking is it better to walk around with a sheep on a lead or a monkey on your back? And what if monkey eats the sheep? And what if the sheep I count at night don't like this one? Monkey's just looked up from his test with a big grin on his face and I know this means trouble . . .

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Well informed or just well endowed?

I used to think that I didn't really need to be well informed. All I needed to get through life was a smile and a tight pair of jeans and it's true, that did get me pretty far but there comes a time when you realise that shaking your money maker is only going to bring you spare change and you need to pull your head out of your pants and take a look around.

It's easy to get consumed by a lifestyle and be blinded by the disco lights and it's relatively easy to win friends and influence people when you're paying for their drinks. It's harder to actually stop the madness and go back to living a simpler life.There has been a real shift in how I've been thinking and feeling lately and the only way I can describe it is that I've had a feeling of calmness descend upon me. It's as if you could pinch me and a couple of days later I'd say "ouch, that hurt".

This has been such a year of change for me. I've shared a lot in this blog and mostly kept it light, fun and bitchy which is sometimes what I'm all about but the last 10 days I've really struggled with what I'm going to write on here. Every post I started seemed too flippant, like I was playing to the crowd and not talking about how I really feel. In an age of reality television, kiss & tell expose's and phone hacking I guess we are used to reading the most intimate secrets of anyone and everyone and I wanted to live up to the expectations of my audience of 29 (followers). I wish I had more but I do love each and every one of you personally.

I've been reading some of the posts on here and there are a couple of life changing and enhancing things that have happened since I started this blog:

I reached the grand old gay grandaddy age of 40 (which I'd already started to panic about on my 39th birthday). This was a huge issue for me. I was seriously thinking that I'd look in the mirror and there would not be a valid person staring back but at just over a month in I can truthfully say that it was no biggie. I didn't slip into some nowhere land where I roam around with all the other Dinosaurus Pecs. Nothing changed except I learned to embrace my fortieth year in the manner which i've always lived ( I got rolled down a huge hill in a plastic ball).

 I began to downsize my life and possessions. I'm not even a quarter of the way through but eBay is a marvellous thing, it can help you clear your house and mind while affording you a welcome income. In my case a cluttered wardrobe really did mean a cluttered mind. I also totally redecorated my flat and by doing so discovered that a fresh lick of paint on the walls can be far more fulfilling than a fresh lick anywhere else.

I also decided to stop seeing my therapist but the biggest surprise was that he stopped seeing me. The last time I saw him he said he thought I didn't need him anymore and he let me go before I could even break the news. Imagine that? It was like the perfect end to the perfect love affair. It was the most pain free, easy parting of ways I've ever had and it shows what an amazing therapist he is (either that or he read my post about my intention to stop our sessions and replace him with a bottle of champagne each week).

I realise this post is like a retrospective, let's treat it like a "Greatest Hits" of my last fifteen posts but I started a new writing course on Saturday and it's got me a little confused. It's called "creative non-fiction" and it's to teach me how to write about things that have happened to me in an engrossing way rather than an "entertaining way", to me, you can't have one without the other but I'm going to keep quiet and listen and if at the end of the course I don't agree, I'll set fire to the classroom, just to be "entertaining". I was absolutely transfixed by my tutor, couldn't take my eyes and ears off of her. I even have a new name for the posts on my blog, they are not "posts" they are "personal essays".

If this personal essay has not been as entertaining as it's predecessors it's because I'm trying on a new me and in the meantime I just wanted to keep you up to date with my progress. I'm sure I'll get back to being well endowed pretty soon but at the moment I'm happy just trying to keep well informed. Normal service will resume as soon as possible.

P.S To all my other "followers" on Facebook and Twitter - I love you too.