Moving, shifting.

I moved house last night.

Out of the cold, old, dilapidated apartment with space for things and a good solid table to be fucked on. But it was too cold and old and the wooden window frames trembled at passing buses and I found myself retreating into my bedroom, first, and then my bed, where I lay with my solitude and my drinking and never wrote anything.

Yesterday my long suffering mother, still mothering me long past the gestation period of an adult, helped me move into my new place. Maybe I’ll get some writing done here.I’m all excuses. Recently I spoke to an artist, an actor, and he told me I needed to DO things and get up in the mornings and live my life like it’s not the waiting room for something else, and I felt like crying because he was right, no, not because he was right, but because I’d let my guard down and forgotten that intelligent people can see right through my flimsy bravado. I must have relaxed and let someone see me for what I am, my sadness pouring out in excuses and defence of doing nothing.

I feel happy, I have the symptoms of happiness. But I’m not independent, my life is paid for by the state, my mother shouldered more than half the weight of the fridge-freezer. I’m just like so many others. But I feel wrong, like this. You can justify any lifestyle, I believe, from housewife to banker to lunatic to whatever I might be, as long as your life doesn’t injure or abuse and you can pay your own rent.

It’s not my fault I grew up now, when rent is commonly half a person’s wages, and everyone feels entitled to avocados and parma ham, and craft beer. And suffers without them. But I’m a little ashamed that I grew up now, if I did indeed grow up, and failed to adapt to the world, as it crumbles and swells and freedoms are legalised and then encroached upon, and finally we’re told it’ll all sink into the sea. This is my generation. I’m built for it and by it. Maybe if I lived in the Chelsea hotel, and paid a pittance to live, I’d have been right, or right-on, there’d have been room for my dreams, but this is a bit sad, me, lamenting the fall of the starving artist, in post celtic tiger Ireland, like  a less impressive, less grotesque Ignatius J Reilly with his copy of Boethus.

I’m broke, I’m penniles, I’m cold and I’m a chancer. I’m Sebastian Dangerfield with a vagina. But I’m not, I’m not, I have cognac in my wardrobe and three avocados in varying stages of ripeness, a chilean one and a pair of new zealanders. And I have all these skirts and heels, and when I’ve worn them more than thrice they look old and like they belong to someone I haven’t been for a long time, or a week, but then I shed my passions so quickly, and I shed my skin, and need to buy it new. Because the shoes are worn from climbing walls at 4am and the skirts have been worn thrice and pulled lustily over my head by rougher hands than mine as many times. All my clothes with tags, a look of approval, lust, a compliment. From that moment, the clothes became his, like a lick of paint on a sheep. The skirt I wore to meet Jack, and it was all he thought about, lifting that skirt, he told me later, lifting it. The Shoes that Adam loved so, the ones that left angry red marks on his chest, his neck. The dress I wore for dinner with Antoine, dinner in my flat, with the candles and a tablecloth and he saw me and said “what a dress.” and I wore stockings and he’d never been with a woman in stockings before, he was so young. And he didn’t know to leave them on, when we made love. He took them off me, and I could see he wasn’t sure if they should go, because socks are bad in bed, or stay because they were sexy. And in the summer, I wore those shorts, my little shorts that barely held me inside, and Max watched me paint the sign for the bar in the sun while he sawed planks and sent a breath of sawdust onto the wet paint. And I didn’t mind, because he was so gentle, so adoring, then. And he held me while I was in crisis, not sure what to do or where to go, on the verge of tears at any time, and he made all sorts of promises. He should have let me be and stayed away, and he would have stayed away, but then I would were those shorts.

 I bought them for myself, for how I’d feel, who I thought I was that day and how she would look. But those men, they like to own things, and maybe the don’t know they do it, but they wear me down and they take possession of my clothes, and then I don’t feel like that girl I wanted to be in my skirt any more, covered in fingerprints. Perhaps I just want to give myself fresh to each new lover, and I’m afraid he can see the wear, and it’ll remind him how my mouth isn’t new either, how many hands have reached under my hair to release a clasp. Perhaps it’s not, it’s just there’s so much hope and possibility in new clothes. I remember when I bought my little black playsuit with the high neck and the short shorts, and I saw it in the mirror and thought I looked so sexy, and glamourous, and like I belonged draped on a couch somewhere fabulous drinking something expensive. But then where did I have to wear it, really? I wore it to Bob’s kitchen, to dance to 80s music, which was lovely and fun but my little playsuit went to waste. And then I wore it to the Market Bar, and it was too short, and I felt uncomfortable, but I looked great. And then I went home with Steve, and I shouldn’t have because he’s so wrapped up in himself, he can’t even tell that I don’t care about him, so there’s something insulting about how he never calls or sends a message later. These clothes have too many memories.

What I’m trying to say here, essentially, is that I need a new dress, and I hope you understand how I need a new dress. It’s not wrong, to want a new dress, when you can see how all my other clothes are tarnished so.

But ah, what was I telling you? About the move. Out of my hermit’s cave, into a bizzare houseshare of over 20 inmates, an old hospital of sorts, padded handrails down the corridors and three floors, and everyone has their own fridge, fridges littering the two kitchens and when I scurry down the corridor to the bathroom there’s a ladies and a gents.

And the inmates are friendly and some seem lovely warm people, and others seem obvious like characters written lazily by someone lacking imagination. When I was a child I entertained the thought that I was the main character, and all others were minor, or bit players, or extras. When an adult chastised me I felt sorry for them, that they were written that way, their only contribution to the world as a fleeting villain.

I eventually grew out of the idea that I was the centre of the universe but I never gave up feeling sorry for those people who were written by hacks.

It’s strange to be back in shared living… but it seems like a good thing. It’s warm, I’ll be less inclined to go out every night, maybe, maybe I’ll save some money too.

But the thing that struck me straight away is that I now find myself in a censored environment. For months I’ve surrounded myself exclusively, truly exclusively, with people who I can be so open about, tell every secret, every filthy secret and thought. And now I’m in this area where I don’t know the people, and some will be open minded freaks and perverts, too, but some will not, and so I’m keeping myself to myself, a little. Which is odd for me.

I got so used to being just me, living in a world of my own creation where nothing in nature is twisted, or dirty, as a man said long ago, I think it was Servius.

Changes, anyway.

I hope I write more here, I hope I do. I’ll try.

But it’s not, as people close to me who don’t write seem to thing, some kind of muscle I can get up in the morning and knock out 20 reps of 100 words.

I could write 50,000 words right now, and I’d forget to eat, drink, pee, masturbate, yes, even masturbate. But what kind of words would they be, and is there any point?

My friends tell me to just DO it. Do it and you’ll have written, and you can edit. But I don’t like to edit, because then I read back and it’s not the voice in my head any more, it’s something I’ve crafted. And why did I do that? It’s the honesty of writing I love… and beautiful turns of phrase, and sentences that make something lurch inside you like arousal of your sense of harmony. But mostly honesty, and when I edit I think why did I do that? What am I trying to say, and what’s the point?

And I collapse in nihilism, and I don’t do anything, and I feel bad about it, because even though I don’t think anything matters, it matters to me that I don’t fade into a sad future. Also, I don’t edit because I don’t know what’s good.

People tell me to just write. Just write, write all the time. You have so much free time, you should be writing. I know. I KNOW. I know. I just need to… do it. I know.

In my old place, you see, it was too cold. It was so cold, I couldn’t think, my fingers were cold, my brain was occupied in being cold and suffering from it and overcoming it. In France you may know, I thought I’d recreate the misery and solitude of my life in Italy, without being so miserable and solitary that I’d hate it, like in Italy.

But it seems it’s either one or the other. I’m too unhappy in Italy to live. I wrote there, maybe nothing great, but I was so unhappy I wrote like my writing was my friend who understood me and it just kept me from the abyss of true misery. And France, oh I didn’t speak French, but I learnt French. And I didn’t know anyone, but I met people, and I met wonderful people and they made me laugh and I somehow made them laugh in my awful French. But I wasn’t truly happy because I was like the dumb princess, the little mermaid, clumsy on my legs and deprived of my singing voice.

The prince didn’t love me without my gifts, but he was compassionate, he thought me charming with my strange ways and my clumsiness. But that’s fine, for a short time. In France there were men, but none of them loved me for what I was, they just loved what they could see, a ballsy travelling girl with a love of wine and food and a tendency to make clumsy puns that didn’t really work in French. And they murmured things in my ear, that sounded less beautiful as my French improved and eventually just made me roll my eyes. Fucking French, everything so doomed and poignant. On a beach somewhere near Bordeaux we watched a sunset together, feet curling in the sand, and one lover told me he was glad the clouds were there, on the horizon, because had it been any clearer the sunset would have been too much, too cheesy. “I ‘ate cheesy” he said.

“I ‘ate you”, I remember thinking. But I loved him a while longer.

I missed my wit and humour and I felt dulled. I drank far too much and snuck my bottles out of the lovely, jolly house I shared with 6 people so they wouldn’t know how far it went. I couldn’t write there, because I was learning French and my head was full of French and I was being pestered by romantic men who felt no shame in throwing themselves at me.

I had so many friends, there, I couldn’t muster enough loneliness to really write. I was aware as I made this excuse that I could never make myself be lonely, Italy was a mistake, I was trapped there with my husband and my mortgage and my debt. I’d have run home, long ago, had I not been caught that way. I told people I moved to France to be lonelier.

Really I think, now, in hindsight, that I knew full well I was moving to France to have a legitimate and shameless reason to be lonely. I was desperately lonely in Ireland but I was from Ireland, there was no excuse, how could I not find the right people? And I couldn’t write there either, because I had to work in this awful call centre and I didn’t have time to write because I had to work from 9 til 5.30 and didn’t get home til 6.30 and then I was tired and sad, and needed to relax and watch something absurd and funny and forget about my life, and I’d do that til 1 in the morning and then I had to go to bed because i had work in the morning. And if I tried to write anything I’d write how I felt, and god, that was awful, and I didn’t want to think about how I felt because I felt sad and hollow and like something really awful had been done to me and I was being made pay for it. Some awful wrong, my whole life was an awful wrong that had been inflicted on me by my parents, my teachers, my friends, my boyfriends, my parents, my parents, my parents.

And I was such a lovely girl with such a sweet heart and I loved so strongly and why did they all do that, tread on me and make me so sad and break my heart so now I haven’t been sweet or loving in years.

So I didn’t like to think about that, it was too dark and I cried so much when I thought of how I felt and who I had become or was becoming. And my eyes would be puffy in work the next day. Maybe I’d write at the weekend. That’s it, I’d get a bottle of whiskey and lock myself in my bedsit, quite a nice bedsit, not really suited to drowning your sorrows, but I’d make do. And then Friday I’d be half drunk and thinking of typing a few words about something, and I’d get a call from some man I’d vowed to stay away from because he kept giving me false hope and then hurting me, and whenever that subsided I’d remember he was no good, not very interesting and not at all impressive. But I’d be lonely so I’d go and meet him, and sleep with him, and start to feel the rumblings of emotion again, and then I wouldn’t write because all I’d write about would be how I liked him, and maybe I didn’t, and why wouldn’t he call when he said he would.

and what’s wrong with me.

Well, that’s all sort of gone now. I’m not that kind of unhappy now. I’m quite happy, really. In the short term. Long term, I’m not sure, because I need to prove to myself that I am what I claim to be, a writer, and that I’ll do something with that and not just be a drain on family and the state. Not that I care about being a drain on the state, because look at everyone else, and look at all the corruption. But it’s still not right for me, personally.

I am quite happy, really. I don’t cry, I don’t feel like I’ve been hideously wounded by life any more. I feel like I’ve been wounded just the right amount, to make me someone I could respect, if only I got off my ass once in a while and contributed something to the human experience. Because no, it doesn’t matter one bit if I drink and fuck all day and get old and then no one will want to fuck me any more, but it matters to me that I leave a little bundle of pages behind, with something in them that can be picked up, and read, and maybe enjoyed, and maybe someone will read and know me through them, and my life will be in there, and all the silly things that you couldn’t invent, that don’t matter at all, but that contain everything of me but my DNA.

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Consider the new year christened

Christmas wasn’t the best.

But there was new year.

Antoine invited me to spend it with his friends in his small hometown about 2 hours away. I wasn’t sure about it.. I wanted to see him, fuck I wanted to feel him, but I didn’t want to get a train to hang on his arm, to meet a bunch of younger people who wouldn’t believe I just came here on my own and by coincidence found myself right next to him. But my friends had mostly gone home or gone away for the holidays and of course I wanted to see him.

I knew as soon as he invited me, that I’d be there with him at midnight feeling weak and conflicted but that I’d be there.

I made myself consider it, consider my options, mull it over, although the decision was made as soon as he asked.

I took the train on the 31st and a bus after that. I snuck a peek of my face in my hand mirror, embarassed to be checking myself out in public. Because I felt insecure and inadequate, and the other passengers would surely know. I looked tired from all the Christmas drinking, bloated from all the eating, and I had a couple of little spots on my chin because I would be getting my period (hopefully not tooo soon)

I felt pathetic, 25 years old, a marriage behind me, travels and jobs and parties and wilderness and so much trial and error, all leading to this, following a younger guy back to his parents’ town, to spend the new year of my new life in someone else’s world with someone else’s friends.

I got off the bus and my skirt was short for a small town (short for France, even) and a young, attractive black guy at the bus stop looked me over and drew in a whistling breath through his teeth and said Ooh, la la… and something like mon dieu. I looked away embarassed about my skirt but grateful for any kind of boost…

And I saw Antoine in the distance, walking towards me all lazy confidence, limping a bit because he twisted his ankle recently. He kissed me and said I’m so happy you came. I missed you.

He showed me around his town, immune to the clusters of drunk creeps, because he grew up a tall man, so he doesn’t feel the same sense of danger or intimidation that I do. Walked right into a group of these guys to show me the view of the river and the town perched romantically on its banks. The guys started saying stuff to us, he answered, they were clearly very interested in me and if I had been with anyone less tall and French I would have been scared. He answered them and they asked me something and I didn’t really understand so I just said I don’t speak French. They threw a few more jocular comments his way, I think they were complimenting him on his slutty looking foreign acquisition, but maybe I’m just being paranoid-egotistical.

He has no idea of the danger-filter I see the world through.

We left and walked elsewhere, and then drove back to his place.

There was nobody there, the house was empty, everything was built big and tasteful. He showed me his childhood photos on the walls without embarassment. He showed me his brothers and sisters, he poured me a glass of cognac and told me we could drink it up in his bedroom “not to do anything… but because we can smoke there”

I thought the prefix “not to do anything” kind of idiotic, because we have made love so many times and of course we were going to do it again, and again, and again, so I was hardly going to accuse him of moving too fast. But that’s what he’s like. He hates the distasteful, the tacky, the vulgar. I love vulgarity, but I guess I do also appreciate the lack of it in a man.

We went upstairs and drank the cognac and put on some music and then we made love and I thought every time is different, every time it gets somehow better. What I love is that when he comes he doesn’t turn aggressive, not even for a second. He thrusts more violently, faster, harder, sure, but all the while he kisses my neck, my face, so gently and so tenderly. Even if I don’t come too…….. it feels perfect. Afterwards he kisses and kisses me, and I couldn’t imagine any words telling me more about love than those times together.

There was one thing lacking when we were together in Ireland. He wasn’t really comfortable with oral. He tried a few times but I didn’t get a feeling of him actually wanting to do it, so I would pull him back up… I couldn’t relax if I didn’t think it was really an expression of passion or desire. But this time…. well, either he’s had some practice elsewhere (don’t really want to think about that) or else he’s made a conscious decision to do it… or maybe he’s just grown more comfortable with me.

Either way, it was perfect.

He asked me what I was going to wear, which was odd for me because men don’t usually seem to consider or take an interest in the process of getting dressed. They usually watch, bemused, as I fling outfits around scowling and cursing my lack of black high heels or how I just don’t have anything to wear. I showed him one dress, a short one with a sexy lace back. Maybe a bit too slutty for meeting his friends? He ran his hands over my body and kissed me and I sucked in my stomach because that dress is a bit unforgiving. Then I showed him another dress, a more grown up dress, classier. He told me he liked the first, hotter one better but it’s my choice. I wore the first dress.

He brought a big mirror into the room for me to use. His younger brother came home for a while and I was introduced to my first member of his family. Then he left and we made love again and took a shower together. He always wants to shower together, and he wanted to fuck me in the shower which I guess he’s never done so he doesn’t know how disappointing it is. He’s too tall, though, so we couldn’t. There was a plastic step in the bathroom that we considered using but I was afraid it would slip and he might not catch me with his bad ankle. I promised we’ll do it some time…

In the car he told me in his always carefuly chosen words, that he was proud to introduce me to his friends. Of course I couldn’t just take the sentiment, I had to say something stupid. So I said “oh, are they really cool friends?” and then I retracted it and said “sorry.. so you’re proud?” and he said yes, and I kissed his hand.

I felt sad because we both know it’s not going to last. Normally at this stage in a relationship, and actually I’ve never felt so passionately with anyone… not so consistently, anyway, but normally at the intense-passionate honeymoon part, you imagine it lasting forever or wanting it to anyway.

And fuck, I’m in love with his physical presence, with his body, with how he looks at me, with how he gets hard in a split second if I kiss him, how all he has to do is touch me and I want him, how we fit so well… I’m in love with waking up with him, with falling asleep touching as much of my body off as much of his. And then we both know it can’t last, it won’t last, and sooner or later there will be the pain again. If we take it day by day it’s beautiful, utter turmoil turned into complete peace. And then when I think of the day after and the week after and the month and year and where is it going, it hits me hard and I can’t bear it. Feeling like this should come with hope, enough hope to make it light and giddy. But it’s not light, it’s heavy around us. It’s not giddy, it’s serious, it’s finite. I lie on his chest afterwards and his heartbeat counts down to the last time I lie there.

And just when I wind the consequences, the strings of possibilities around in my mind trying to find an end to pull on…. his thumb is there tracing the line of my jaw and his eyes are soft and his lip between my teeth and all I can do is pull him to me, inside me, and there’s the peace again.

What do I do with that?

We spent new year together with his friends and I held my own, I was interesting and nice, I was funny and energetic, I drank champagne and was jealous when he spent so long talking to the girl with the massive cleavage but I held back and let him come to me, let him find me having a good time with other people, living up to his expectations, I hope.

At the end of the night he took my hand and we had our own room and the champagne and the desire from spending hours together but not alone, gave us a wild, brutal session. I woke up so sore and so much in love, and again and again and again. And back in his place we made love and showered and he packed a bag and we took the train together back to my place. My flatmate was gone as it turned out, for the next 3 days, but we didn’t know so we kept to my bedroom.

It was incredible. I had the best time of my life, in that bedroom. I didn’t imagine it could be stronger than before but fuck, I’m lost. He told me he didn’t know how long we would last, but it’s wonderful. I was sad but felt the same. The doom over it all and the openness we have about it, seems to have brought us closer. The sex is never the same, never dull, never boring. Even in my most passionate affairs before, there always came a time when I just wanted to guy to come already because I started to get bored or sore or feel disconnected from the rutting animal who took over from my lover. Or where he’d touch me and I’d feel nothing, and not be in the mood, or when I’d touch him and he’d say not now, we don’t have time before we go to the cinema/party… etc.

But not with Antoine. We spent 5 days together, condom wrappers like confetti in my bedroom. We went to the cinema and restaurant and I took him to my favorite wine bar and we wrote a nonsense story together on a scrap of paper in French and English, and he insisted on paying most of the time.

After 5 days I’m glad he’s gone to visit his friends now, and then back home, I need some time to myself but I wish he was here nonetheless. We didn’t get sick of each other, we didn’t wake up a single morning without being ready for more, we didn’t fall asleep a single night without it being a true collapse from exhaustion. In the 3 days we spent in my place, he lost 1.5 kilos and I lost 2 kilos.

If only he stayed 3 more days I would be back at my ideal weight.

And now I have to find a job, find an apartment… find one with a double bed.

And do something with all these fucking thoughts.

Ho ho ho, motherfuckers

Christmas was not depressing, not at all. I had some friends over… two girls from my French class. We made magret du canard (duck breast) and roast potatoes and sweet potatoes and we had smoked salmon and cream cheese on little tiny pancakes and prawn cocktail and five cheeses and chocolate fondant cake with ice cream and honestly it was far too much food. I also bought more wine than I have ever bought, for one glorious afternoon I had a veritable wine cellar (my wardrobe)

I arranged my wine bottles proudly and decided to start a wine diary, to organise my drinking in some way.

Because I keep going to the supermarket and choosing wine and thinking, I like your label and I think I’ve drank you before… but I can’t remember the verdict. So I’ll buy you again, and maybe it’s shit, and I’ll probably forget again.

I told my friend about this plan to sophisticate up my boozing and she told me they actually sell notebooks specifically for that purpose here. I was torn between being pissed off that my idea wasn’t original, and impressed with a society who thinks like I do. Go France! You pretentious boozehounds.

On Christmas Eve I was looking smugly into my wine wardrobe and thought, fuck, I’m gonna start drinking if I don’t do something to entertain myself. So I went out into the city centre. Full of people. Full of people last minute buying presents. Not for the first time this year, I started thinking about how cool it would have been to surprise my little sisters on Christmas day, just showing up at the house in Italy, and making them so very happy indeed. But I have investigated every possible route and it’s just too expensive. Should have known I’d want to be with them in advance, but I was just like, meh, christmas, whatever, until the last minute. I really did try though, at the last minute. I even considered spending 8 hours in a car with a stranger through this car sharing website and then another 6 hours on a train to spend 3 days with my sisters. The 8 hours in a stranger’s car was too much though. Not so much stranger danger as god how boring would that be? What if they were boring? I initially considered it because one of the guys offering a ride was really hot, and I imagined thrilling him with 8 hours of prime convo and intriguing him with all my adventure stories. Then some over the pants stuff while he drives. But when I went back to book, his car was full. Of course.

The only free place was with the most intense looking young adult I’ve ever seen outside a mugshot. And he only had one review on the site:  “Thanks for a serious journey.”

No. No thanks, serious journey.

So I went into the city centre and wandered around. It was pretty hard to wander around because the streets were full of people searching for last minute gifts. For their families. Sick- making.

I had to walk in short bursts of purpose. I decided to buy a bag, because I need one for working as a teacher, a big one that fits an A4 folder in it, or else for like situations that might arise, such as visiting someone overnight, an ex lover or something, and not wanting to go with just one outfit but not wanting to scare him by arriving with a suitcase. That sort of thing. Found a nice bag and bought some overpriced tights. And a lime green miniskirt, that was a bit of a surprise to me even, I’m not sure where that idea sprung up from.

Then I was walking around with my shopping bags while everyone else bought stuff for other people and I felt like a dickhead, going shopping for myself. I tried to hide the shopping glow from my face and look a bit stressed, so people wouldn’t know how selfish and stress- free I was and would presume I too was caught up in the last minute giving frenzy.

As if anyone was looking at me, anyway. Christmas eve, an hour before the shops closed. No one was looking at me.

Probably why I bought the lime green mini skirt.

After that, I decided that although I did really want to open my wine and start the wine diary, I would wait for my friends to arrive and start cooking. Like, seriously. Need to pace myself. We got some cheap champagne and so much wine, and this awful lychee flavoured liquor. Man, I love Christmas.

We had a nice night. The cheese and smoked salmon and stuff was, as a starter, way too much. By the time the main was done, we were ready to explode. We drank mulled wine and normal wine and then moved on to the lychee stuff then watched a bit of a movie and some stand up, and then it was midnight and we popped the champage and they took photos but my opening champagne face is a lot like constipated so I don’t think I’ll be showing anyone those photos.

It was a nice night. Nothing like being with family or old friends or anything, but it was nice considering it was an expat christmas and I’ve only been here 6 weeks.

Christmas day was a bit shit.

I talked to my family on skype and that kind of made me sad. But I just drank some wine and then I felt better. Or worse. I’m not sure. My flatmate came home and chattered to me about Christmas as I stared at her stupid face and resented her interupting my personal space.

She really does have a stupid face. My dad told me he has called the apartment several times when I was here and asked for me and she has just talked in French and hung up, and never mentioned to me the fact that someone who didn’t speak French called while I was home, and maybe, like, it was for me?

When I heard the key in the door I pushed the wine to the other end of the table so it looked like it was from the night before and not morning drinking, but who knows what she thinks.

She had previously sworn she would come home and clean the place on Christmas eve before my friends came over, and although her dad did the dishes, she didn’t clean shit. So when my friends were over they suggested having dinner in one of their houses while their host families were out of town, and although I had mentioned to my flatmate that we could eat together on the 25th, I was like, yeah why not. If she had cleaned or something in preparation, or offered to put in some money for the meal, or done anything, I would have invited her too. But she didn’t, so I wasn’t about to feel bad.

She has family here anyway.

But then she told me she made a pie, and brought most of it home for us to eat… I felt kind of bad. But still. As with everyone I tolerate quietly for a while, eventually her little foibles have eclipsed any kind of human empathy and now the mere sight of her face or the sound of her voice inspires hatred.

Look at her, what is wrong with her? She doesn’t go out, she doesn’t have friends over, she doesn’t clean, she doesn’t cook (apart from the pie which was really good, like a fruit pie and I ate a considerable amount of it in the middle of the night), she doesn’t dress nice, she doesn’t do anything to improve her face or hair. She doesn’t even make the slightest effort to speak in a manner i can understand. She speaks incredibly fast and uses so much slang, I can’t understand her. I always say sorry I don’t understand and she just repeats the verbal diarrhea. No fucking concept of how to speak to a foreigner.

So I just despise her now. Well, it was only to be expected. Cohabitation is not my strong point, not because I’m not a joy to live with, but because I’m too much live and let live and then I don’t stand up for myself and eventually it becomes pure hatred for this person who is walking all over me.

Christmas day was a bit of a bust. I did have my meal in my friend’s house and that was nice but it was a total anti-christmas. Whatever, it’s over now.

This morning I woke up so fat and bloated, I entered the most depressing google search of my career: “how many calories does masturbation burn?”

That’s a serious low point.

(Results were inconclusive, because who knows how athletically we’re all doing it?)

Actually, while I’m on the topic of masturbation, it looks like maybe I need to step up my workout. On Christmas Eve, while watching Dylan Moran’s stand up, I came across a clip of “Monster” where he talks about the French. It’s very funny, so I was like I KNOW WHO WILL LOVE THIS, a FRENCH PERSON! So I sent the link to Antoine.

And then I thought about it and maybe it’s a little bit offensive to the French, so I wrote a follow up Happy Christmas to him.

The next morning I had a message from him sent at 3am, in French, beautiful French, saying Happy Christmas to you, and I’m so happy you’re there again.

It’s totally romantic in French.

But instead of being like, oh honey bunny, I want to be on you too, or the other option “don’t start thinking you have me back, cheeky frog, I’ve already decided that while I may continue to kiss you, you are not my prince.”

I just replied “YAY! Subjunctive message! You used the subjunctive! AWESOME!”

Because he did use the subjunctive, and that’s one of my turn ons. Only in French though.

Anyway we talked on Skype last night and he said he wants to come visit me and he also invited me to spend New Year’s eve with him. At first I was like, no no no, not New Year’s eve, that’s a time I want to spend single and looking awesome and mingling with friends and strangers, hiding my bad dancing with an oversized handbag and scanning the crowd for people I might like to kiss at midnight, and inevitably going home sad and alone and waking up determined not to get all excited about new year ever again.

And then posting hung over resolutions.

But then he told me he wanted me to meet his friends, and said they’ve known me for ages, ie, he’s talked about me to them, but probably in a more tasteful manner than I have talked to my friends about him….

I am a dirty detail divulger.

You can’t spell class without ass, is my motto. No it’s not. I’m just being silly.

You kan’t spell klassy without “ass” and “KY”.

Ooh.

You can’t spell penis without “is” and “pen”.

You can’t spell vagina without “a GI van”.

I’m going to stop now. Sorry.

So I MIGHT spend new year with him but only because I want to have amazing sex and also my girlfriends who I was planning on spending it with, are not really that keen to have a big blowout new year in the city centre anyway and what else is the point? I’ll be good though, I’ll make sure to get hideously drunk and not just sit on the arm of Antoine’s chair sipping champagne like some GIRLFRIEND. I will be a person in my own right, channeling Susan Sarandon in Alfie. (I keep saying that, I know, but it doesn’t just happen overnight. Baby steps.)

Some day, I’ll get there…

Anyway it’s getting to that time of year when every person alive with a blog is coming up with their new year’s resolution post.

I’m just going to squeeze mine in here because I feel like it.

New Year / New Mayan Cycle* Resolutions 2013

*In case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic. Mayans shmayans.

1. Keep wine diary. Maybe learn something about wine, or oenology as I think pretentious dickweasels like to call it. Not to sound klassy at parties but to turn one of my leisure pursuits into a legit kind of recognisable hobby so I don’t seem like such a bed- gremlin to outsiders.

2. Write something that’s not a blog post about my sex life, lack of sex life, or day drinking. Like a story or something.

3. Visit my sisters more.

4. NOT FALL FOR IMMATURE MEN ANY MORE, especially not the same immature man.

5. Masturbate more. (Christmas dinner really took its toll on my figure) Maybe incorporate some sexy lunges into my routine to increase the fat burning potential. Hey you may laugh but anything that gets your heart rate up should probably, and I know nothing about this, make you burn calories.

6. Get a job. NEVER work in a call centre again, no matter how desperate for money or no matter how lucrative the job. NEVER never NEVER. Never. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER. Never.

7. Get my teeth whitened again, they have seriously yellowed up. Take off my eye makeup before going to bed.

8. Don’t let the experience of one lousy flatmate put me off cohabitation. Try find a good house to live in with cool people… living alone is obviously the ideal situation but then I’d need paperwork I don’t have and I’d probably just hermit it up again.

9. Stop buying ridiculous amounts of food in the supermarket just because I love cooking and am if I do say so myself, a pretty fantastic cook. It’s probably my biggest expense. I spend more on groceries than rent. OH that could also transfer into a legitimate hobby. I DO have hobbies. See, I’m a well-rounded individual. Also, I need to not get fat.

10. Continue being friendly and making friends and being conscious of when I’m talking too much and remember to ask people stuff about themselves and remember their names so I don’t come off as a self centred dick.

That’s it. Otherwise, I’m doing pretty well I think.

Ok, that was the fantasy list of easy things I want to do anyway.

Here’s the real list of unpleasant difficult things.

1. Stop spending money I don’t have on clothes or shoes or makeup.

2. Get tested for stds. SERIOUSLY just fucking do it. Yeah yeah probably fine, probably don’t have anything but fuck, I have wasted so much energy stressing about this… just do it, for a good night’s sleep.

3. Quit smoking at some point.

4. Become a serious and organised individual with a tidy room and stop getting spots due to not changing my pillowcases and sheets.

5. Stop picking at my spots.

6. This realistic list of resolutions is boring me. I’m not going to do any of this shit, maybe it would be just more sensible to have one point such as get std checked and actually stick to it. Ah who cares, I’m going to have what my mother calls a whore’s breakfast now. A black coffee and a cigarette.

7. And seize the motherfucking day. Magna carta, bitches.

Vaginal Whiplash

Every boyfriend I have ever had, has made me fall in love… I fall in love pretty quickly and hard. Extremely hard. And then the full extent of my passionate, crazy, scary love gets too big. It takes over. I start to freak them out. They’re in love too, but, like… more chilled out love. The kind of love that isn’t really love, because it’s selfish and lazy and it can get scared off by passion.So then they run a mile. They make me feel like I’m this crazy stalker woman who will do anything for them (which, yeah, it’s not far off. I do get a bit crazy but they don’t even KNOW how crazy I get. They don’t have my internet history, they don’t know how many times a minute I refresh their facebook pages, how I lie awake at night worrying about whether we would disagree on child raising issues or what exact mesh of our features would work best on a male or female child.)

So they run or they freeze me out, knowing only the iceberg’s shiny hat of my true emotions. And then I DIE. I wail, I lie in bed worrying about the child raising issues that will never be, about what I did wrong, about what truths I should have kept hidden and how I could have shrugged more and been like, whatevs.

And then I heal, and I heal badly, because I keep picking at the scabs and that’s how you scar, which is why I am leaving my drunken knee injury ALONE. My legs are my fortune, you should know by now.

The knee has new pink skin on it today. Still delicate, but I can bend it now without going full on tourettes.

But my other injury.. my ahem… less badass injury… it has pink skin too.

Sorry I get really paranoid about using metaphors because I love using them but when other people do it I’m like, lame. Lame lazy and also, it’s very easy to equate things to each other and then make a point.

If you will permit me to continue…

The… and I’m loath to say heart…

The emotional injury.

That one is like… well it’s still not ready to be fallen on again. It’s not ready for me to lunge out into life shrieking and trying to kick people.

So what happened?

Sunday, I get a message from Antoine.

It was only a matter of time, but here he is, asking for another chance.

He had been torturing himself not knowing what to do, wanting to contact me, not sure what to say… ever since he learnt I was in France.

He said maybe I wouldn’t want to speak to him again, and he understood… but he wanted another chance to continue our story.

And all that hard work… gone. I stewed over it for a few hours and then replied a little coldly, saying I don’t know what to say but I am not going to talk on facebook, and if he wants to talk to me he can call me.

He called me, we talked, I was standoffish and wary, he wasn’t really promising anything but he wanted to see me.

I said I’d think about it.

OF COURSE I WANT TO SEE YOU YOU STUPID ASSHOLE.

But I have learnt something about caution, I think. Maybe.

So I let it be for a few more hours. That’s not much in human time but in Abby time that’s like months.

Eventually wine and self loathing got the better of me as they are wont to do…

and I wrote to him, just asking why he changed his mind? Why now? Why, after what he said in that final horrible conversation? Why would he want to see me again now?

And he told me it all happened so fast. He didn’t know what to do. He thought there was no choice but to end things, but now I’m here and maybe I don’t want to see him again but he wants a chance, and if I can trust him again, could I let him back into my life, could I let him love me? He said he knew I was a rare person and he didn’t want to give that up. He would come if I wanted, he could be with me in 2 hours.

I had already completely melted by this time and was ready (I know, I know, I’m an idiot) to open the door, physical and metaphorical and metaphorical relating to my physical (vagina) and cradle his head in my arms again and smell him and kiss him but NO I have grown a little bit of dignity also my best friend gave me strict instructions not to be nice to him for a while.

So I said hmm don’t know how I feel, I have to think about it, I don’t know if it’s a good idea, I’ve moved on etc.

Lots of bullshit of course.

And then he came.

He just came the next day, on a train, and he called and said he was here, he wasn’t trying to force me but he wanted to show he meant what he said, he was being spontaneous and fighting for what he wanted.

Oh my god it’s like the notebook except instead of building me a house while I marry someone else and then reading our story to me night after night while I don’t remember, he spent two hours on a train on one of his days off.

But still, totally romantic.

What a dick, I know.

I agreed to meet him,

I walked with him,

I had coffee with him.

We talked about our lives. Mine = really impressive right now. His = living with parents in a small town, working a few days a week.

I’m winning.

I looked at him, a stranger in my city but a master of the language. The tables have turned but he’s still on home ground.

He looked young again. He had lost the ease of talking english, after 3 months here.

His stammer was back, he doesn’t really have it unless he’s tired and stressed and having to speak English. Towards the end in Ireland he barely had it at all. It endeared me back in Ireland but now it made me sad for him because he was stressed and tired and I didn’t care about making him unstressed or putting him out of his misery. I didn’t care about him any more, and maybe I only ever cared about how his mood would impact our days and nights together.

It was a selfish thing, me and him.

Two selfish people, falling in love with our reflections in each others’ eyes.

But he didn’t look like my lover, he looked like someone else. He had different shoes.

He had a black shirt on and then he pulled out of a massive bag, a shirt he wanted to show me. My stomach knotted when I saw it and heard him ask my opinion. A red and black flannel shirt. Just like my husband had. It’s no big deal, it’s a fairly common shirt. But he wanted me to like it and I said it was nice, and then when we were leaving the cafe he said wait, I have to change my coat.

Why? Are you cold?

No, I want to wear this shirt (the flannel one) but not with this jacket. He was wearing a khaki jacket.

He pulled a spare coat out of his overnight bag and I tried to examine how I felt about a man who carries a spare coat in case he wants to wear a different coloured shirt.

I guess I had no feeling about it, I always liked how he dressed so I can’t complain if some thought went into it.

But gay.

A little bit gay.

That’s what the part of me who wanted him to fuck off and leave me to enjoy my independence, wanted me to think.

We walked down by the river and I knew more or less where we were going but my knowledge of the city wasn’t enough to be proud of, really.

I told him stories of my nights out here, I named friends, I named male and female friends. He was impressed. In one month you have made a lot of friends… that’s really impressive. Ah. I’m impressive, man. It might have taken you a few months to realise it but most people are quite happy to have me in their lives, you arrogant cunt.

The general feeling as we walked along, was… for me… a feeling of distance, of forcing something dead between us, just because we’re both a bit lonely. Forcing something that maybe wasn’t anything anyway.

Interspersed with anger and a desire to say something cruel to hurt him.

I never loved you.

I fucked other people when we were together.

I just met with you to end things nicely, I have a new French boyfriend called Jean Pierre now, he’s tall too, and he has a proper beard and he makes me come just by looking at my nipples.

I knew we didn’t have much to do in the city. It was just walking and he had a big bag with him because he wanted to buy some clothes while he was in the city as his town sucks.

We walked some more and then we went for another coffee.

He ordered for me, a coffee with lots of sweet cream. It was good, we sat and looked at our coffees as a huge greyhound watched us and then put its forelegs up on the bar and stood there expectantly until the bar owner yelled at it.

We both looked at the greyhound in silence before one of us made a comment about the dog and then there was a silence and then a few minutes later, the other person said something similar.

And then I looked at him and he was sad, and he said are we ready now, to talk about us?

And I thought then, no, no I’m not, I don’t know why I met you. I don’t feel like I love you, I don’t feel like kissing you. You’re a stranger but you’re worse because you hurt me.

I said, I don’t know how I feel.

And he looked so sad and lonely, a part of me cared about his feelings then and I reached out and touched his hand and I do love him, I do love him, his hand was electric and clammy and big and I looked at his eyes and they were the eyes that gazed up at me from my navel and they were the eyes that left me at the airport and that seemed to ask a question every time we came together.

And I wanted him, and I knew him again and again we were us.

He stroked my hand and his face looked sadder than any tears.

I wanted him to be happy then. I wanted to tell him I still wanted him, that all I wanted was to kiss him and hold him and tell him… but no.

I stroked his hand back and felt how clammy it was and I said I didn’t know but that I did still feel something, but I don’t know…

And he said he understood… it was understandable.. he didn’t expect…

He wanted to kiss me, but he wasn’t a guy who kisses in cafes.

Me neither.

He stroked my hand up to my wrist, and along my arm a little.

Sparks flew.

How does he have this effect on me?

I touched his arm too and wondered if it was the same for him.

He told me again, he wanted to kiss me.

My insides were mush…

I’m not kissing you in this cafe.

And I’m not taking you back to my place.

Where… he asked

Well, I said, I could take you where I normally go to kiss guys…

He smiled weakly.

Let’s just go for a walk.

We left the cafe and it was torrential rain.

I wanted to press against him in the rain, I wanted to kiss him and I wanted his tongue in my mouth and his hands firmly everywhere but I felt like he had to make all the moves. I couldn’t jump on him…

Well, I said, I guess we do have to go to my place until it stops raining. We took the metro and I felt like I held the reins again. I knew where I was going. We didn’t touch.

We dashed through monsoon and into the building. The tiny lift seemed like a joke for him. He’s so tall, I had forgotten how tall he was. I warned him my lift makes a scary noise and drops a tiny bit… it always does that.

He nodded but jumped when it happened. I used to be scared of lifts, he told me.

So did I. But I guess I’m more scared of excercise, so I got over it…

Inside my apartment and the seconds inched forwards. I hoped my flatmate wasn’t home. The cool swedish girl has gone home now and damn I miss her, she was awesome. I still have the weird, hermitlike French girl.

She’s always home, but sometimes she isn’t.

I hoped she wouldn’t be home, but she was. She was on the couch watching tv. I said hi in French and told her, it’s raining.

She nodded and then saw Antoine, and shrieked.

I was like, sorry, it’s… raining… we… it’s raining. This is my flatmate, this is Antoine… eh.

She pointed at her seemingly normal sweatpants and t shirt and said they were her pyjamas and she was embarassed. I have honestly never seen her wearing anything other than sweatpants and a t shirt or hoodie so I don’t know what the problem was, but I apologised again.

We went into my bedroom and left the door open out of… embarassment?

Flatmate ran into her room and I guessed she would stay in there, so Antoine and I took off our wet boots and coats and in a surge of motherly feelings I put his coat on the radiator so it would be dry for him.

We sat on the bed and he held my hand and I touched his face and we kissed and it was like it always was, passionate, beautiful, tender…

We kissed like starving people finding food.

We touched each other respectfully, tentatively, face, hands, arms, neck, shoulders.

I wanted to cry or tell him I loved him but I held back.

He murmured my name into my neck and said, before this gets any further… do you have what we will need?

I said no, I just have those horrible coloured fruit ones.

Did you not bring any?

He shook his head and I kissed him hard on the lips.

I love that you didn’t bring any. I hate that we don’t have any but I really love that you didn’t bring any.

He said, of course.

We kissed for ages and then we went to the supermarket to get condoms, food, wine, cheese.

We landed in my bedroom again and put on music, the music we used to listen to, and we fell into the sex and it was sad and beautiful and hot and sexy and loving and intimate. It was wonderful. He came quite soon, his face contorted like he was in pain, and afterwards he lay gently on my and kissed me in little nips on my face and neck and after every little kiss there was another kiss, like he couldn’t kiss me enough, and each kiss occured to him singly.

I stroked his head and thought how much I love this man. Not him-

Not the whole man. But this man, the man who makes love to me and then lies inside me with little kisses.

 

I made dinner and I thought it would be really good but it wasn’t great. He told me it was good. We drank wine and watched a tv show and drank wine and smoked and talked and laughed and we made love again and it was amazing and different and so fucking hot.

I only have a single bed and he’s too tall for the bed so I put the tiny matress on the ground and we tried to sleep that way, unused to each others’ bodies after so long…

Gently happy in the novelty of each other, but too conscious of it to drift off. It was a restless, bad sleep but I didn’t care because every time I woke up I woke up with my nose under his chin, or his arm around my sweaty neck, or his hand gingerly encasing my fingers.

I kissed him sleeping and when my alarm went off for school I was too tired to get up and I didn’t want to get up, and we had coffee and breakfast and made love again and then had separate showers and went to the city centre.

He was free until Wednesday (today) but I was wary and I told him it was too much, too soon, and I was going out with friends on Tuesday night. So he went home on tuesday and I went out with my girlfriends.

I wanted to spend another night with him, of course I did, but I’m not going to be 100% stupid. I need to protect myself a little bit.

He said he wanted to see me again soon, and we said maybe the first few days in January we could do something.

I don’t know if this is a mutual desire to take things slow or was he just being respectful of the lies I told him, and trying to act like he didn’t want to see me too soon again either.

You know what I’m like, I’d see him again today if I could

And yet, the little niggling things are still there.

Things about him…

He’s not a man who will give me anything. He has nothing to offer me, except absolute fucking euphoria.

He won’t look after me and he probably doesn’t even WANT to.

He won’t support me, he won’t care… he’s not going to be there for me. He can’t be. And he has so much stuff to do, young person stuff… before he’s ready to be where I am.

I’m not wanting to settle down right now either but I’ve done all my truly stupid and crazy things, the on purpose ones anyway. He hasn’t. He wants to go hitching around south america with a fucking typewriter. I want to stay in one place albeit in a foreign country on my own, and type in comfort on my top of the range computer. I may be a total fucking mess of a person but I am at least a bit of a grown up, in some ways.

And oh, it’s not fair, because the sex is un fucking real. I’m not saying it’s like we’re these amazingly accomplished sex people, but together… it feels so fucking good. Just the way it feels when his fingers touch mine… is more than I’ve had with most people.

So I’m not sure where this can go, what I can do with it, and what’s more stupid, continuing pretending I can have a casual relationship with someone I have that kind of attraction to, or continuing to pretend I can have no kind of relationship at all and move on without something actually unforgivable to go down.

Meh.

I’m very tired now, I drank a lot of wine while writing this.

And I need to pee.

Your thoughts on my folly are as always, appreciated.

Makin’ friends, but still no bacon

I have been living in France for nearly three weeks now, and I love it.

The first weekend I went out with my school buddies a few times and had fun, but didn’t manage to do anything French or meet any French people. We’re a massive ever-changing swarm of foreigners, the women dressing up to get into clubs and the men arriving each evening with schoolbags on their backs and white runners, so basically we couldn’t get in anywhere. Clubs here are small, too small to accomodate the swarm, so we wound up night after night knacker drinking in parks and by the river.  And our party dresses shone unnoticed under winter coats.It’s nice to have friendly people to hang out with but it sure wasn’t giving me my French fix or an in with the locals. One night it was very cold and most people drifted away off to their beds and it was just a few girls left…. we found our way into a gay bar and danced and were wallet-raped at the bar BUT we met some Frenchies. I met a girl in the queue for the toilets (NOT A LESBIAN BTW) who wanted to do a language exchange, and we met up a few times since and have only spoken French so that’s my first French buddy, hooray!

Last night we went for dinner and I was privvy to some girl talk in French which partly went waaay over my head, but not as much as I expected. My French is bad but getting better, and I felt like I had a foot in the door, three weeks into my life here, out in a restaurant with two real French women, talking outside my classroom vocab.

Tonight I’m meeting them again and I’m excited, I still haven’t got my legs waxed (I think I will need to take a weed whacker to them before I present the faun-legs to a beautician) but as my dear friend reminded me, you can always meet a guy and NOT sleep with him the first night.

OF course! It’s genius. My hairy chastity belt, it might even make me look classy as long as it remains unseen.

I run my mind over those phrases I presume so many women use:

“Not tonight, I eh… don’t want to?”

“I don’t think so, I’m not that kind of girl”

Although I will of course be giving the wrong impression of who I am if I try out these lines, it could give the right kind of impression?

Anyway.

I’m still kinda sniffly so I’m probably not the most alluring specimen right now. But I live in hope.

OH and speaking of like, things relating to ME,

Guess who else decided to get in touch?

My husband ex. I decided to call him that because he’s not my ex husband yet, but he is my ex. So he writes to me the other night saying hi, and naive me, I thought he wanted to make peace or like, be nice or something, after we haven’t spoken in around a year.

NOPE.

He started ranting about some taxes the government wants him to pay because he still part owns the apartment with me. So he’s all like, you took the house and everything, it’s not fair I have to pay, blah blah blah. So I was like, fuck, yeah he left me with a load of debt from the time he lived in that house, and I shouldn’t have had to pay that, and anyway he got away scot free and was able to restart his life while I stayed behind and faced the music, and somehow he feels hard done by and like I jewed him out of everything… But still, in the long run I will probably do better out of keeping the apartment and his perspective is totally skewed anyway because he doesn’t remember that all the money he put int the apartment was like basically rent and all the money we put up front for it, the taxes, the notary fees… came from my father, my grandparents and my savings. So yeah, he sees things a bit diffrently. But I still felt like he shouldn’t have to pay new taxes now.

I don’t know what’s right really, but I felt like it must be real shitty for him to get a bill a year later when he isn’t keeping the house.

So I asked questions, he started claiming to have paid the bills he left me with… I wanted to be friendly so I didn’t get into any arguments, just said I’d talk to my dad and we’d sort it out.

Then he’s like “yeah I’m just really worried cause I’m not working, but the taxes are only around 60 euro so it should be ok anyway”

WHAT THE FUCK?

All this shit storm over 60 quid? After the amount I had to pay before I could leave Italy? JESUS.

So that kind of messed with my good mood, after Antoine and his supposedly accidental communication the other day.

Damn facebook. It should be harder to reach people for no good reason.

Anyway, it’s the motherfucking weekend, I’m in France, and I am wearing a really nice dress. And I’m improving my French and then I will speak FOUR languages. FOUR. I’m so impressed with myself really.

Today in class the teacher was trying to explain this word, for a kind of emotion or feeling. And most people got it, and I was like… I don’t understand. So he gave me an example.

“What if, say, I told the class…. Abby is really good at French. You need to try be more like Abby…”

And I’m like, ok… so.. pride?

And he’s like.. no. And everyone laughed.

He’s like, “So I tell you your essay was really good and everyone else’s was bad, in front of all the class. What do you feel?”

And I was like, “Joy? Price? Accomplishment? Confidence? Smugness?”

And he’s just looking at me like… no… it embarasses you!

And I’m like, what? No, why would I be embarassed?

He’s looking at me oddly, like he just doesn’t understand. I’m looking back at him similarly.

“You don’t LIKE this feeling. You feel embarassed of the attention!”

I’m like, yeah I don’t think so. I wouldn’t be embarassed.

Eventually a girl whispered to me in English “it’s modesty, I think, or humility”

 

Oh.

THAT.

French class thinks I’m a monster.

But if my French really was better than theirs, I would do a victory dance on the tables and I’d stomp their shitty french essays underfoot with joy and exhaltation. ABBY UBER ALLES!

 

Ok I’m going out now.

It’s been nice talking to you.

Peace, love, and egotism to you all

I moved to France!

I did it, yo…

I moved to France. NOT following any young Frenchmen, just doing my own thing. I’m in a cool city that’s not too touristy, not too big, not too small. It’s pretty, it’s reasonably priced, it’s 10 euro for a month’s unlimited travel in the city. Wine is cheap. Cheese is plentiful. Men speak French and look like sex.

I’m learning French…. with the few scraps of school french that remain and my disproportionate motivation to speak to people despite how idiotic it sounds, well… I’m speaking French. It’s not good French. I sound like a moron but I get to speak and I smile at people a lot so they are mostly patient and willing to decypher whatever the fuck it is I’m trying to say.

The French people I have met so far are NOT like the stereotype. They are not rude and arrogant and too busy making onion necklaces to listen to my je voo-dray oon pack…packet? Pack…ay? Du… de… day…du? Ta…tabacco? Tabac? Tabac.

They are being very nice and helpful and I am determined to be as positive and open minded and receptive as possible because that is what I did wrong in Italy, I had all these ideas (based on my own real experiences) about Italy that coloured my perception of all the (real, irritating, assholey) people I met.

So here I am, I did it, I quit my job, I studied like I have never studied before (for a month) and now I am a qualified English teacher. Represent! I’m studying French monday to friday and kind of bullshitting my way through the intermediate course, because really I am a beginner, but I have the balls to talk even when I don’t know any of the relevant words, so I survive.

Today I ate a packet of roquefort cheese for dinner and drank most of a bottle of delicious (well…) wine that cost me 3 euro (it’s not THAT delicious, but it’s definitely a worthy expenditure of 3 euro) and now in a little while I’m meeting some other students from my French school to go drinking by a river and I’d really rather go to a bar but I need to network and make friends so I’ll go down by the river, whatever.

We went drinking in a park on Tuesday which I was totally against because of like, the muggings and rapings that might happen in a park. I hid my uninsured phone and my bankcard down the ripped lining of my coat and said sure, why not.

We drank for a while and I was shifty, because I know if we’re drinking in a park then basically any asshole who wants can come over and say “give me your things now” and we would have to give them, but it was fine. Oh, apart from this group of weird, creepy and very dodgy guys who took a shine to us, but nothing happened so it was ok. I would really prefer not to repeat that tonight but I am just going to keep my eyes peeled and not drink too much wine. Damn these students with their outdoor drinking. I feel like I’ve passed that period of my life but I guess I can slum it a little more, I need the company.

Anyway. I’ll write again soon, I just wanted to get something out there before the weekend because I’m meeting some French guys whose contacts I was given by a French girl I met in Ireland, and they are going to show me a good time apparently. Not a proper good time because I am so hairy right now, it’s just not possible. Seriously I am like Tumnus the faun right now. I need to go get waxed but it’s so bad I’m actually embarassed to show a waxing professional the goods. A new waxing professional… I have to find a new one now. I’ll let you know how I get on. Anyway, it’s nearly the weekend of my first week in France. I love it, I’m happy, I’m excited.

Woo woo!

About fucking time, too.

xx

A little update so you know I’m still alive

I’m halfway through a super-intensive course to become an English teacher.

And I love it.

I really didn’t imagine how good it feels to teach. I’m still pretty shit- but I’ve only been doing it for two weeks so, ya know… in time, my sweet.

I make a lot of mistakes but my students like me. Half my guinea pig students have approached me after class to say they really like my classes, and I’m a good teacher. Hell yeah! I think I might have found a job that I actually enjoy!

There’s so much work to do though. I’m in school from 8am til 5pm, then I have to prepare my classes for the next day which takes an apprentice like me hours to do. Then there are these assignments to do with lots of technical grammar speak and worst of all, a goddamn word limit.

On Fridays the L-plate teachers hit the bar next door and make cheesy grammar jokes. I tell ya, I’m rockin’ the teacher jokes. It’s fun. It’s hard work. I’m gonna teach the shit out of English!

Anyway just wanted to let you guys know how I’m doing, and I’ll be back in full blog mode in about a month.

I’m moving to France mid November and them nights are gonna be long and lonesome… at least until I can find an obliging local who’ll share his sausisson with me…

Until then, here are some weird dreams I have had. YAY READING SOMEONE ELSE’S DREAMS!

Last night I dreamt I gave birth to a kitten. My friend gave birth to a kitten too, but her kitten was big and strong and mine was premature and I was really scared it would die. I kept trying to breastfeed it but it wouldn’t drink.. Then I put it in its box to sleep and people kept coming up to me with dead kittens saying, is this yours? And I was like aaaahhh no my baby! But then each time it wasn’t my kitten.

The other night I dreamt I was a big black guy who came from a rich family. My brothers and sisters were black but they weren’t big like me. My mother was Anna Wintour and she drank gin and tonic all day on the patio and gave out to me for being clumsy. I had this rare genetic defect where my shoulders wouldn’t stop growing so they were REALLY REALLY BIG. I was really ashamed of my big shoulders and I couldn’t find a girl who would love me. Then my sister told me to put a personal ad in the paper, so I did, and then I met these two women who had the same defect as me only they had massive thighs, really really massive thighs. So then we had a threesome, but I was afraid my family would see us so we emptied the swimming pool and had our threesome in the bottom of the empty swimming pool.

So I don’t know what they mean, but then I think that dreams are mostly just thought-vomit. I hope that they were just thought vomit….