Saturday night wine-in with Joni Mitchell

It’s Saturday night and I’m hemming a dress.

I’m trying to… I’m an impatient and crude sewer… sewist? Needlewoman?

But I want to hem this dress because I cut it shorter months ago and I like it, and I keep putting it on and thinking need to do that hem and throwing at the back of the wardrobe. But I’m MOVING to FRANCE soon so I need to shit or get off the pot, regards my dress.

And I’m drinking wine and that’s what I did last night too, I drank a bottle of red plonk, 6 euro a bottle, embarassed buying it really. I steeled myself for the teenager puffing up his chest when he served me, to ask some question about my cheap wine habits, to which I would reply “no I’m making mulled wine… for… eh… lots of people… you can use cheap wine for mulled wine, it doesn’t matter.”

Of course he didn’t say anything about my wine choices. He has in the past challenged me on my whiskey purchases but last night he was on a walkie talkie with a colleague whining

“I’m FOOKING STARVING, hurry the fook up! Ah here, ah here man! That’s fucking ages!” (I believe his colleague was leaving him waiting for his break.)

But I drank it on my own playing Age of Mythology and I said tonight would be different.

Anyway I can’t spend money because I’m going so soon and I have already dipped into my savings this month… I’m going to France with Fuck All savings.

And tonight I was listening to Joni Mitchell and hemming my dress and I think “All I want” was playing and it got me thinking of Antoine. Not of missing him, but just a gentle sort of thinking… I was thinking of the tender moments with this strange person who the more I got to know, the less I understood. Now, after everything, it’s so odd to me that we ever shared anything… and we shared so much, and yet it was nothing, nothing at all.

I thought, why am I still… thinking about him? Why am I still friends with him on facebook? Am I waiting for something? I don’t want him again, if he wrote to me I’m sorry I’m sorry I miss you I love you I’d let him down firmly but gently, and probably in a patronising manner because of the age difference I have recently added to our relationship, that I waved my hand at earlier. Nah, not for us. Now it’s my weapon, in case he comes back…

But he won’t and I don’t want more of him. So I opened facebook and went to his page to Unfriend him, not maliciously, but in the sense that neither of us should be made aware of changes, posts, photos… etc.

I know even now I do the odd facebook stalk session. Like a new girlfriend is just going to be announced on his page, or he’ll write something that totally references me… I don’t know. So I went to unfriend him… and instead of having that option… the button read “add friend”.

HE unfriended ME.


When did this happen? I’m sure he was my friend recently, like two or three days ago. I don’t want to read it as something mean either, because from my point of view it wasn’t something nasty to do.

I guess it just means that for whatever reason, he was thinking of me, and for whatever reason, he wanted to not be facebook friends with me any more. I am sure it was really, really recent… like a matter of one or two days.

But there it is, he made the move, and for some reason it hurt me a bit.

I’m not really that hurt, I don’t need like, outpourings of sympathy… I’m just stung by it. Like a slap on the wrist of my confusing last relationship…

I don’t know what it is… I look at a picture of him and he looks younger every time. Like, really young. I don’t know what it was, what morsel I grabbed onto, that made me see him as a big, great man. I can’t recall it now. He was confident and I guess the usual men who like me are shy, self depracating, can’t believe their luck to be with me.

I wonder why I attract them..

Is it because I’m a fake confident? Like I feel confident.. I feel that I feel like I’m an attractive, fun, interesting, intelligent person. But then I don’t make decisions like I believe it… And who knows what my facial expression gives off…

When I look in the mirror I put my face in an arrangement that is just for me. I know it and I know my face and I see it all. I imagine other people see something similar but maybe I do some other expression when I’m being observed, or when I’m not… I’m terribly afraid that my personality, to other people, looks like a shabby attempt at jollyness, cockyness and spontaneity but it’s a flimsy veil over bitterness, fear, solitude and heartbreak.

I can’t tell, wine doesn’t really help. Joni Mitchell makes me feel splendid with myself, like my best friend is telling me things I always knew but never thought of. But I can’t shake the knowledge that it’s Saturday night and it’s Joni Mitchell’s voice and not a friend’s, and I’m drinking wine on my own trying to hem a dress like it’s going to MAKE me, a new outfit, new person. And here I am, a really great assortment of friends in Ireland… GOOD friends, friends who actually give a shit about me… and I’m home drinking on Saturday night and I’m about to move to France where I don’t even speak the language, and maybe the main reason I’m doing this is to prove to myself and my ex… my ex- facebook friend… that I wasn’t moving to France to be with him? Like it’s a game of emotional chicken and I’m the fool that gets run over for her bravery.

I DO want to do this, I feel like it’s my one big decision I’m making  to better myself as a person. To get over the things I dislike about myself. The antisocial, lazy behaviour… I HAVE TO get over that if I do this. So it’s good… just because it originated from a desperate need to follow a good feeling, a shallow good feeling with a boy… doesn’t mean it’s a fake plan doomed to bring me right back here even sadder.

But I also got married because I started a plan and I didn’t want to back out and admit I hadn’t a clue what I was doing.

But here I am, and I’m going to do something risky and scary and that’s good, I don’t want to wallow here making nothing of myself. Struggle is good, it has to be good. I need to do this. Ooooh I am a lonely painter, I live in a box of paints… I’m frightened by the devil, and I’m drawn to those ones that aint afraid…. Oh goddamit I will never get sick of Joni Mitchell. She’s just beautiful.

My family’s opinion has always washed off me like water off anybody’s back, but when I said I was getting married they all stalled and asked questions that made me shut down in self defence. And make up lies, monstrous lies about my view on life.

But I told my grandfather about this plan of mine, and my grandfather is a great, ridiculously intelligent man. He told my mother,

“in a way, everything Abby has done so far in her life has been leading up to this.”

And I really relish that being true.

So fuck it. Hope and enthusiasm and all that shit, while I’ve got ’em, I’m going to apply them to this situation and fuck, I just hope it brings me somewhere that isn’t the same as everywhere else. I have hope… but I’m also fucking terrified that all my life is going to be is one crisis after the next, savouring the drama to distract me from the fact that I’m never happy with anything and I’m always lonely. But that’s just wine talk, isn’t it?

I’m excited to go on my adventure I just hope there’s something out there for me….. something, anythign, to hold my attention and interest me that will stand up to scrutiny. I entertain myself with people who aren’t worth shit, like Antoine, and then it’s over and I’m thinking, who the fuck am I to continue to feel so superior when I can be utterly floored by some pretentious kid on Erasmus or before him, the cheap, mean, idiot I married, or before him, the ketamine dealer who cheated on me with his brother’s kid’s mother???

I don’t want to change myself, but I’d love to know what I can change about my behaviour, to get something better for myself. I hope my next plan is the first step…


Snow, you can fuck off now

I woke up naturally, feeling so perfectly rested I was sure it had to either be WAY late and my alarm hadn’t gone off, or else it was WAY early and my alarm wasn’t going to go off for another hour or two and I would get to snuggle into my warm cosy morning-bed and just dwell on how happy and great it is to be in your bed in the morning.

I checked my alarm.

It was five minutes before alarm clock time.


A normal person might think, that’s wonderful! It means I feel totally well rested at the perfect time to get up and have a shower, and or once I don’t have to brush my hair while I pee or do my makeup while eating breakfast.

I’m fully rested. I can get up and achieve things. I can pick an outfit that is both flattering and warm and I can make lunch for myself, and have a whole pot of coffee, and bring a thermos of tea to work, and maybe root out that census that needs to be filled in this month or I’ll be fined but I keep forgetting…

No, of course I didn’t do any of that shit.

The decision I made, the decision I always ake, was to snuggle deeper into my nest and force myself to go back to sleep for the five precious minutes I still had “a right” to sleep through.

So then after barely sinking back to sleep, but of course unable to recuperate my dream (it was a good un) I woke up groggy and unhappy and pushed the snooze around 15 times until it was the absolute latest I could get up without being late, then lay there and stared at the ceiling, berating myself for another ten minutes.

I think this actually might be depression. I HOPE it’s depression, and I’m not just destined to wake up this way every day for the rest of my life.

Finally I mustered the strenght to get out of bed, threw on some clothes that were neither warm nor pretty, and brushed my teeth. I decided there was enough of yesterday’s mascara and liner smudged under my eyes, that I could just wet a brush and displace some of it onto my top lids, and save time on the makeup.

(Such a shame sleepy-me is such a selfish greedy cunt. Because awake me is hyper efficient. Imagine what she could achieve with a whole 20 minutes in the morning?)

I left the house in amazing time, 10 minutes after hauling myself out of bed, but I was still 5 minutes later out the door than I should have been. As ALWAYS. And I looked like I’d slept under a hedge, in the rain.

I ran down the road in the snow, packed icy under hordes of pensioner boots, having to vault over old people who were picking their precious way along the path. They are determined not to interrupt normal routine with a silly little thing like the worst snowfall in Italy in like 50 years. Oh don’t worry about dying of hypothermia or slipping a disc or making me late for work, it’s thursday, that means you go buy a piece of fish in the market. Continue as normal.

Selfish, hardy, bastards.

So I slid and leaped through the jagged mounds of snow scraped to the sides of the path, because there was no room to overtake the migration of old folks pushing along on the dry bit like dying beasts crossing the steppe.

My feet were already soaked. YAY rest of the day!

I made it to the tobacconist just as one tram was clattering doors shut and hurtling away. There was another one just behind it though, stopped to leave a bit of distance between the two.

But I needed tickets. Normally I have a monthly ticket but I won’t be here all month so I need to get a few single tickets. I’ve already been fined before, and it was awful, I am not taking that chance again.

Inside the tobacconist, the elderly owner chain smokes all day. It’s totally illegal of course but no one cares. Her shop, like many small family owned businesses here, exists outside time and space and law and taste and decor. The prices are hand written illegibly with Italian 9s that look like “g”s and you can expect to pay around 2 euros for a packet of chewing gum, for example. The window display is made up of creepy sexist toys in faded and battered cardboard boxes made by companies such as “Barbara” and “my small horse” and “just girls fun”.

She doesn’t seem to really inhale her cigarettes, she just second hand smokes them. One is always perched on her bottom lip and she talks to customers without dislodging it. To my left are two fruit machines with stupid names like “farmyard millionaire dash”, illustrated with sappy drawings of cartoon cows and chickens. I don’t know why someone would think that’s an appealing image for a gambler. I would be more inclined to go with pictures of money, or jewels, or casino style hookers, or mountains of coke. Or anything apart from farm animals.

There are two miserable stinking creatures hunched over these machines at all times. the smell is always the same but the customers are different. Always with the clanging and ringing and flashing lights but I never heard a coin do anything but lodge in the machine’s belly.

The owner is smoking. As I approach the counter hurriedly, she rips a scratchcard off the strip hanging behind her and starts painstakingly scraping off the foil. She doesn’t just go for the place where the numbers are, she scratches the whole rectangle off meticulously.


She blows and continues scraping.

“Can I get four tickets for the bus?”

She finishs the scratchcard, does some mental calculations, throws it in the bin, walks off to another part of the counter and begins talking to another old person who was there before me but didn’t seem to be in the queue. She hands them some stamps, returns, gets them some change, then leisurely exchanges some pleasantries and says goodbye.

Rotates a few degrees in my direction. She looks so nonchalant with that cigarette. She really doesn’t give a shit. She’s like the badass Sandra Dee, but I wouldn’t want to see her in a catsuit.

Four tickets for the bus please.

Pulls out a string of perforated tickets. Looks at me, doubtful.

Four is it?

Four yes thanks.

One… (taps a gnarled, yellow finger on the first ticket) Two.. three……


I reach out with the exact change and make a hasty grabbing gesture with the other hand.

She rips them off and begins folding them back on one another, neatly, in an accordion.

ARRHH! Grab grab grab goes my hand. She’s in no hurry. There!

I snatch the tickets and dump the coins on her counter. Turn to leave.



I’m at the door.


What? I turn back. Did I maybe give her too much?

Eh, you only put four euro down!

Yes, four euro, four tickets.

NO! That would be SIX euro. Four tickets, SIX euro!

She looks horrified by my blatant attempt to pull a fast one. The gamblers swivel around and shake their heads, dimly gazing through the smoke.

“They cost a euro each.”

“NO! YOU KNOW they cost 1.50 each.  THAT’S 6 euros not four!”

What? They always cost one.

The price went up.

Yesterday I bought two tickets and they cost one each, like they always did.

The price went up TODAY.

Oh right. I see. Well I didn’t know that.

She points to some tiny sign somewhere out of the way. I heard someone “tut” at me.

I extract my wallet and fling two coins at the indignant shopkeeper with her arms folded.


I rush headlong into an elderly lottery player who enters as I try to leave the shop. The tram pulls away as I push past and out the door.


The road the next one has to come down is empty as far as I can see, no sign of salvation. Damn. I’ve missed two now, I am going to be so late. FUCKING tobacconist cunt.

For a moment I fantasize about calling in an anonymous tip about her smoking indoors, to the authorities, but I’m no rat.

I’m going to have to walk though. I start walking in the snow. All around me, hordes of pensioners. Lidl must be having a special offer on prune juice. I think if I got up earlier I might miss the rush hour of the living dead, but I happen to start work late, when all the college and office types are already tucked away for the day, and the old folks deem it safe to emerge.

So I get the worst of it.

I rush past them slipping and sliding. The poke me with umbrellas and emit confused sounds, turning slow, like a pig on a spit.

“hu… wu?”

I make it five blocks like this and then I see it, the 68, in the distance, stopped at a traffic light. I run. I am so going to snot myself now.

I throw myself forwards, nearly land on a metal bin, skid on past, the bus barely overtaking me and as its doors open I reach it and clatter onboard.

I might be on time now. It’s possible.

The bus chugs along,keeping pace with the arthritic pedestrians outside.

I lean forward in my plastic bucket seat, urging the 68 on its way…

But an orange snow ploughing tractor pulls out in front. The jig is up.

Get to work late, late, late. No time for coffee, no time for hot barman sandwich. Destined to freeze and starve and not even have a hot person smile at me this morning.

Cold cold cold.

Of course I probably could be warmer, if I wore pants. I am still wearing my dresses in spite of the snow. I am wearing tights and woolly over the knee socks which give warmth without being totally sexless. You can see I have skinny thighs, so that is important. The important thing is to allow the body to be so cold it starts, I don’t know, burning more energy to warm up. Either that or it will store all my available energy as fatty insulation, and make me sluggish. I really hope that’s not the way it works but honestly… I have no idea.

I definitely wouldn’t enjoy Sweden or Canada. Hunks might keep me warm at night, but they probably aren’t going to hang around me all day rubbing my toes til the blood begins to circulate.

I’m glad it snowed though. It’s the best snowfall I’ve ever seen. I’m used to the slushy wet stuff that mixes with the city grime and turns grey and brown. This is powdery and and immaculate. It falls slow and fluffy. Underfoot it’s dry, soft and crunches like tiny polystyrene balls. Apparently this is the kind that skiiers and snowboarders love.

I took some photos yesterday. It’s pretty tough for me to take photos in public, because for some reason it makes me embarassed and self conscious. It’s not just the hyper-critical, stare-happy Italians. It’s also me. I have a problem.

I went to Argentina and I was too awkward to take any photos… or ask for directions. When I got lost I would get in a taxi.

I took some photos, sure, but for instance when I visited La Boca, this really famous poor neighbourhood where all the buildings are painted in loud cheery colours, I didn’t take a single photo. Even though there were loads of tourists around taking the exact same photos as each other, the exact same shots I wanted for myself, I couldn’t bring myself to join them. It’s a horribly underpriviledged neighbourhood. It was settled by fishermen, but the river is so polluted you couldn’t eat those fish any more. The smell of that river permeated the streets and nearly put me off my steak. In the summer the whole neighbourhood smelt putrid, like a dump…

The bright colours on the walls were because the residents couldn’t afford house paint, so they used the stuff left over from their fishing boats. But it’s famous for its “character” and lively colours and everywhere, fat tourists grin in front of the houses and the locals perform tango in formal wear and try to bully you into their restaurants which just pisses me off. (The bullying, not the tango. Although I have no interest in tango. It’s too… culture-y for my tastes. Big whoop, you can do a special dance. Also I am incapable of following a man’s lead.)

But among all the vibrance and tourist traps I was told, the people who lived there were not allowed to sell those houses or knock them down or fix them up. The houses were an important tourist attraction. If that’s true, it totally sucks. That place STANK and the houses were not in great nick. Imagine being stuck living on a street where every single day, fat Yanqui tourists would be standing outside your door posing for photos with massive Nikon cameras and an easy forearm resting on your wall and bellowing at each other about souvenirs.

I went up close to one and the shutters were broken. Inside I could see a bare concrete floor and a manky ripped mattress on the ground with a lean tanned person sleeping on it. The interior wasn’t painted, or the paint was flaking off. There was no furniture, it looked really fucking dire. Of course, I was living in a similar set up, just in a safer neighbourhood. But I felt weird taking photos there, like it was a sad, grotesque place and I was way too close to people who were actually poor in a way I could never comprehend. I was slumming it in Buenos Aires but I was slumming it with 10,000 pesos saved up in the bank, and a whole lot of family I could hit up for western union moneys in an emergency. I was only slumming it because I was cheap and wanted to put off working again for as long as I could. I don’t even know, maybe they made a shitload of money out of the tourism and lived well. It just didn’t seem that way to me. So I haven’t got a single photo of La Boca.

In Italy I still have a problem taking photos but for different reasons. I feel under tremendous pressure. Like everyone is watching me thinking, “oh yeah, nice shot, amateur. Ooh yeah take it from low down, makes the statue look all big and imposing against the sky. REAL artistic shit there, bet you’re still using it on automatic, aren’t you?” (yes) or, “oh look you think that’s a cool looking tree with snow on it? Yeah so does every other tourist dipshit” So I get really paranoid and nervous and sometimes I wait until the cars go by because even people in cars put me off my game. And then I will snap the building but then a car will fly past anyway and I will go bright red and the photo will be a blur.

I managed to get past that yesterday and I took some photos in the snow. It was snowing hard so it was difficult, because the camera kept focusing on the snow that was falling and the background was too dark. I am not very good with my camera so between the snow and the fact that it was dark outside, I didn’t get many good shots.

I went down to one of the big piazzas, down by the river, and took pictures there. People stared at me but I fought off the mind gremlins with the argument that “I’m wearing a hat and scarf, they can barely see my face to remember me and think I am a weirdo for taking photos”. I’m so jealous of those people who not only can take photos of famous monuments, but can also take ones of themselves in front of these monuments, doing crappy poses. I wish I had some posed photos of me but I’m far too stupidly self conscious.

I saw some civil defence dudes in galoshes with “prevention of snow and ice” written on them or something along those lines, and they were all huddled up on this little bus, and two of them were out on the road digging the bus out of the snow with big shovels. I wanted to take a photo of that but there were too many people around so I got embarassed. Stupid jerk.

Then in the piazza, there was a woman with a massive wolf-like puppy. It was probably part wolf. It was beautiful. It bounded around the place like it was being shot out of a cannon, nearly knocking me down a few times. It was awesome. And the woman starts SCOLDING it, in this nasal whiney voice, wagging a superfluous finger. “Veronica! COME HERE! VERONICA! come here NOW!”

Veronica, she has a wolf and she called it Veronica. Fucks sake woman. What a waste…

Veronica the wolf didn’t pay a modicum of attention to her silly human though. She charged up and down and around, snow flurrying through the air. That was a happy looking critter. She was panting and kept running up to her owner and then rushing off as the owner tried to lurch forward and catch her.

“Ve- RON – i-CA! Come here! I’ll leave. I’ll leave you here, would you like that? Huh? I’ll do it. I’ll leave you, I will. I AM NOT JOKING VERONICA! You’ll be left here all on your own! Right, that’s it I am going! Right! I’m leaving you, do you hear me?” She screamed hysterically at the frolicking beast.

Seriously, threatening to leave it there only works on small children who understand human language, and only like once or twice and then they know you are lying. Dogs, as far as I am aware, can understand tone of voice. I tested this on my dog, who comes when you yell “Ru-unt!” or “mongrel!” or anything, provided she hasn’t got any other plans in which case she will completely ignore anything you say anyway. The wolf was just having a good time, it reminded me of my dog although my dog is an adult dog and “somebody” should have trained her by now. (my mother’s fault)

The woman eventually caught the dog and dragged it away. I bet she only brought it down from her 40 square metres of apartment to do an incognito shit in the snow.

I grew bolder as my feet became numb. I ran around in circles. The snow on the roads is constantly being cleared and salted and so you can’t see how much it has been snowing, but down in the piazza, it’s mostly untouched and there’s about a foot of it. I ran around and felt quite giddy and carefree. It would have been lovely to have a few friends with me to enjoy it, and a bottle of whiskey or some mulled wine.

As you can imagine,  productivity at work has reached an all time low. I used to be a lazy piece of shit- now I am at the point where I’m watching documentaries on youtube because frankly it makes no difference what I do, there are no customers and I may as well learn some new facts to liven up conversations, when and if they occur. I watched one about Lake Vostok which was pretty cool but as with most documentary programs, it went into way too much speculation and interviewing people who talked about the problems there might be drilling into the  lake and spent very little time on the actual facts, but that’s kinda fair enough because they don’t know anything about the lake yet. Anyway if you are inclined look up Lake Vostok on youtube it is pretty interesting although I did browse reddit in another window as my attention span is not quite read for a whole documentary on its own.

I learnt nothing of use though. I tried to share this piece of education with my family over dinner last night and there was no clear fact  bites for me to regurgitate. I just wound up giving them a vague impression that there is a lake somewhere under ice, and it is big and might have gross but scientifically important insects in it.

Oh. Right.

My sister is learning all sorts of bullshit in school. Either her teachers are fucking ignorant, or else she is just absorbing her facts wrong like I guess I do too. She told me last night, “did you know that dogs are incapable of feeling full? If there is food they will always eat it. They are always hungry, they can’t stop eating. the only reason they EVER stop eating is because their owners limit the food they give them”

I’m like, no that’s bullshit, I have a dog (well, it’s my mother’s dog now) so I know that’s not true, but if you want a neat doggy fact, they ARE incapable of sweating, that’s why they pant.

My sister furrows her brow. “No that’s what my teacher says, they will just keep eating forever.”

I’m like, “sure, dogs might eat past their hunger like humans do, winding up obese… but they definitely do stop eating at some point. They aren’t “incapapable of feeling full”, they are just able to tolerate some discomfort for the sake of tasty food, just like humans do.”

Fucks sake. She’s always coming home with tidbits like that and she always argues “well that’s what my teacher said”. I wonder about her teachers.

Oh maaaan it is cold. I have stacked some opened out cardboard boxes on the ground behind the counter to stand on. It helps somewhat. and it’s hidden from view, but there is no one here to see my hobo decor anyway. People seem to have more sense than I give them credit for, they are staying at home being warm.

London soon.. London and I’m leaning towards Dublin these past few days.

I just don’t think I’ll be able to hack it in London, being all broke and commuting on the underground and not being able to afford anything or live alone with a double bed (a basic human right for an adult, in my opinion).

I think Dublin is where I should be.

I’m confused….

Starting to reverse-engineer my changing decision, finding pros to Dublin and cons to the UK.

I have a flight booked for London in 11 days, but I can go there for a few days and then move onto the greener pastures of home. Where it is probably just as cold, but it’s not frowned upon to drink hot whiskeys all day…

Oh Ireland, i miss you..


I was standing behind the till on my sheets of cardboard. There was no one in the shop, I was just chillin’, counting my hours… speculating on my move to Ireland…

A teenage girl enters the shop. Her mother stands in front of the door eating a slice of pizza.

The girl asks for some thing, I show her the one we have and it’s not what she’s looking for. The mother swings the door open and ducks her head in.

“Is that… is the other woman, is she here too?”

What? Oh these people and their nonsense questions.


“The other woman, she works here doesn’t she?”

What other woman?

“You know the one, there was a woman who was undressing the mannequin outside.”

WHAAAAT? (there is a mannequin outside with a shirt and a skirt on. I can’t see it from inside the shop but it’s heavy and the clothes are really hard to get off her quickly. So no one has every stolen anything…)

I run outside. Sure enough, the mannequin is topless. I look around. Where? Who?

The mother tells me “I saw a woman taking the shirt off, I thought she worked here. Then she put it in her handbag and walked off. and then i saw, she had a red umbrella and why would you have an umbrella at work?”

The daughter is outside now too. I lock the door of my shop and ask which way she went. That way…

I start running down the street, pretty sure I will not find the culprit and just wind up looking foolish. A red umbrella… a red umbrella.


I run two blocks in my indoor jumper. It’s so cold… the footpath is icy. I think I will have to turn back, there’s no one around with a red umbrella and how would I deal with the situation anyway? She must be long gone. I wouldn’t hang around after thieving something in broad daylight like that.

I survey the street as I jog, about to give up, when I spot a flash of red. . I KNOW it can’t be her but fuck it I’m here now.

I approach her.I don’t know what to do but somehow I burst out with a gruff “OPEN YOUR BAG.”

And I’m internally freaking out that she’s going to be all offended and refuse and say “how dare you” and it will be a big ordeal and very awkward and I’ve made a mistake but she’s opening her handbag and her hand is shaking and there’s the shirt crumpled up.. and I pull it out and check there’s nothing else from my shop in there. She mumbles “I’m sorry, I’m just a bit…”

I have the shirt, which was my goal… I don’t know what else I should do, but I can’t exactly frog march this bitch to the police station, it’s pretty far away on foot…  she looks a bit crazy too. My mace is in my coat pocket back in the shop. What’s the procedure here? I have the thief. But there’s nothing I can do, really. And I have the shirt….

I scan her face to remember it and jog back to my shop.

The woman who tipped me off about the theft was in giddy spirits.

“AHHH! you got it! I saw that umbrella, i thought… that’s weird, why would you go to work and have an umbrella in your hand?”

Yeah and why would you go outside the shop you work in, undress the mannequin, put the shirt in your handbag and walk off down the street? But I thank her profusely for the help and briefly consider giving her a discount on something but then her daughter buys a crappy 50% of scarf so I can’t lower the price any more.

I thank the woman again.

She is blushing proudly and repeatedly tells me how it happened, how she saw the woman and thought she worked here and then saw the umbrella and her suspicion was aroused. I thank her again.

They leave.

I’m a crime-fighting hero that’s what I am. I consider embellishing my story to tell my dad. Tackled the thief to the ground. Thief wasn’t petite woman, thief was tall agile gypsy. Wrestled shirt from her… no, from HIS grasp. Saw a flash of steel… let him go…

No. No. I’m not a very good liar.

I’m just happy I got the thing back. After that time I chased a thief with a bag full of my favorite clothes and shoes, and lost him, I felt pretty shitty. Because I made all the effort to chase after him and got really bad acid indigestion and ruined my weekend, and all for nothing. So this time I feel a nice sense of accomplishment even if it is pretty minor.

But the thing is, I keep trying to stop writing. To cut this off and draw a line. ENOUGH for today.

But stuff keeps happening, nothing massive really but the sort of thing that I can’t not inform you of.

Like, after my drammatic low speed foot chase, I worked for a little while and then took my lunch.

I was looking pretty unattractive after skipping the hair and makeup this morning, so I felt like i should scrub up a little before I unleashed my face on the city streets, even if only to buy a sandwich. If it wasn’t for hot barman I would probably never wash my hair and slink into work in… trousers or something.

I coated my frostbitten ruddyness with my ghostly foundation. I don’t usually wear this stuff but I have all these red marks where I picked at my spots. The foundation covers them up nicely but leaves me looking ill or scared. I don’t have any blusher or lipstick in my bag. Shit. So I just rub my cheeks vigourously until I have some colour in them again. And layer on some mascara. And there I have it, I look reasonably presentable. I haul in the mannequin and and lock the door, set off for hot barman’s bar.

I know, I had pretty much given up on hot barman.

But then like the day before yesterday, I went in for my sandwich and coffee and he leapt up to the till all enthusiastic, gave me a lovely smile which I am under no illusions as to being exclusively reserved for me, but still. Makes my cold badass insides melt and my brain turn to mush.

I make involuntary sounds like “arp!” and “mork?” when he smiles at me suddenly.

He asks me with a flourish of barman charm,

“So how do you like all this snow we have here?”

I have a technique which I totally recommend if you too suffer from the inability to be positive about things.

So I say whatever grouchy shit I have to say, but I say it briskly and with a big beaming smile and then I add some phrase about how I don’t mind anyway, or it’s lovely anyway, or all countries have their pros and cons.

I grin, twinkle my eyes, and say “Oh it’s too cold! The snow was lovely for the first two days but now it’s such a pain to get around and so COLD! I’ve never seen so much snow!… It’s LOVELY!” And to drive home that I am a positive and fun loving kind of gal, I laugh at the end.

Well he had to make someone a coffee then so he wished me a good day and went back to work, and I beamed from ear to ear and rushed off to my shop.

But he talked to me, he talked to me. I know he’s friendly to everyone… but he asked me about the snow and seriously I am so rarely the recipient of any kind of hot person’s attention that I will take it as flirtation of the highest order. Anyway I hit the falafel place first because I am sick of pizza and sandwiches and that’s the only other option for a  late lunch. You can also get “piadina” which are like wraps and initially they seemed like the healthier option… until I read the ingredients on those wraps. The bread itself contains LARD. It’s one of the first couple of ingredients. What the fuck? White bread, with LARD in the dough? Why? Is this necessary? It’s not even that nice. The arab bread is much nicer. Anyway, I get my falafel…

As I’m rushing back hoping hot barman is on duty so I don’t just waste my money, I hear someone passing me exclaim

“Hello!” and I turn around hoping it’s not sexy homeless guy or someone I don’t know tricking me into some face time.

It’s hot barman, he has just walked past me with a couple of friends and is still smiling expectantly in my direction. I whip back a hi and a flicker of a smile, and continue. Oh my god oh my god.

I mean if I was just passing him, head on, it would be nothing. Our eyes would meet and we’d HAVE to say hi or risk being rude. But he passed me at speed and a good three metres away, and I wasn’t looking that way so he could totally have not said hi to me. But he did say hi. Oh hot barman. You sly dog. I was nearly moving on with my life…

Now I’m all melted again.

I don’t even know what I’d DO with hot barman if I ever got the chance to jump his bones.

What would I do with him? He’s like… 4 years younger than me and looks all golden and innocent. He’s a lovely looking guy, he radiates sunshine and happyness, like someone as yet unkicked by life. It’s probably what older men like about younger women. The brightness, the light movements, the eyes that shine and the robust health of not yet having had to choose alcohol over a proper diet.

I moon over hot barman and think all sorts of silly little points about youth and lust and discard them all instantly. He’s just a hot guy, I’d feel exactly as hopeless and strung out if he was a really hot 40 year old. He’s not even that much younger than me, it’s only me imagining romantic notions of myself as a tragic divorcee with wasted potential and oportunities and I’ll never get some part of my innocence back… etc. You know. I am aware of how ridiculous I am being. I can’t help it. I’m drammatic. I’m 24, I like to think it’s not so bad because I am aware of it and I stop myself from languishing too much in the “damaged goods” category.

I’m just so stagnant here. I’m bored of it all. Hot barman… he’s just a pretty face.

I don’t even want anything to happen, he’s just something to fixate on when all my hours are spent in bed with comedy and in the shop with boredom.

I feel like I’m winding down in this cycle of sluttyness. Ready for something better, hopefully. Not that I feel ashamed… I don’t think there’s anything wrong or shameful in having sex with people whenIwant to have sex with then. It’s that more and more, I am having sex with people as a form of masturbation. I select one to fulfill my need for sex, to bolster my confidence. But it only works a little bit.

Really, I would like to meet some nice man. In intelligent man. A man who makes ME laugh.

But that can wait…. I just feel the cogs turning. This was one hell of a rebound….

But I’m not saying I’m an iota less obsessed with sex….

in fact, I’m thnking about sex RIGHT NOW! But I am thinking maybe I should stop with the self-imposed part of the loneliness and instead of barricading everyone out because they are inevitably boring saps , maybe I could try to do a sort of selective barricade, like… figure out if I like someone before letting them in. And try not to get too drunk around men.

Now that I think about it, maybe that is what having standards is all about. I will give this some hought.

I started wrting this at work yesterday but it was going nowhere and it was too long. So I thought I’d go home and prune it but inevitably I can’t edit for shit. You know what happens when I try to edit my posts?

I read through a paragraph then find something else I thought of that I feelt like shareing and suddenly it’s twice as long. So I tried but then I had a lot of hot whiskeys last night. IT is helping my throat and cough which I could feel about to hit me at any momentt.

So I am going to get up now and go meet some friends. YEAH. Totally. It’s cold, I have to get up now.

I will read over this later and edit it if I can but if I don’t post it now I never will.


Too busy to get busy? FUCK YOU, student.

Well, this is a disappointment.

I waited ALL DAY to hear from Fabio about what time he was gonna come on over to my place for the sexing and then he finally gets back to me after I lie to my family and tell them I am having dinner with my one friend so that I can keep the evening free to make myself and my apartment presentable, and then Fabio breezes into my inbox at 8pm and is all

“Yeah I have to do this, this and this tomorrow… If I didnt have to get up so early I would come over to your place”


I’m sorry, mr Studentface, you have to get up early?

Fuck you.

I had to get up off my ass and go and have hairs pulled out of my body, hairs that did not want to be pulled out.

I had to get up and leave my bed where I have cmputer games and movies to watch to clean up my messy house so that you and your stupid Italian upbringing would not suspect me of harbouring crabs or something because my apartment is like an extension of my being.

Or smoething.

And I wasted my whole day-admittedly you do not know this because I played it cool apart frm invitiing you over in the first place- I played it way cooler than you did, and yet here you are TURNING DOWN A CHANCE TO FORNICATE.

you live 15 minutes away from me.

You know this.

It was 8pm.

Fuck you.

My apartment is FULL of condoms and I put on makeup and even straightened my hair so it is long enough to cover my boobs adequately while I sit on your dick and DO ALL THE FUCKING WORK.

Oh I’m sorry, you got shit to do tomorrow.

Fuck you.

Do you have any idea how much of my day was spent in preparation for your visit? Of course not, so it’s not your fault.


then I have to tolerate a whole load more of this not going anywhere conversation before we leave it at “another time then”

You know at this point I have spent more time actually talking to you than I have fucking you. Or nearly, anyway.

This does not bode well.

I made my best ever banana bread because the smell of baking really works wonders at masking the stench of hermit woman who never leaves the house and spends a lot of time on the furniture naked.

And then I ate it all because you didn’t come over and my whole Sunday was wasted and I am very angry with myself for depending so much on some arbitrary man for my happiness and fulfillment.

I am worried now, you will continue talking to me and then when we do see each other next time you have a good stretch of sleepy time up ahead you student DICK, then I will already know how many brothers and sisters you have and a whole load of what you say will make sense to me.

I don’t want that.

I am very angry with you now.

I have decided that, as punishment, I will not wax ANYTHING until you give me a good fucking reason to.

You could have come over here today and I wuold have given you enthusiastic “I don’t know you” head and I would have been all kinds of eager but instead I am downloading some porn (quaint huh, I usually just watch online but I found this one video I used to have…  it was the first and only porn video I ever bought, also one of the dudes in it is hot which is nice.)

Anyway now that my Sunday has been reduced to drinking the rest of that wine alone eating too much banana bread (yum, though. I put almond flakes, dessicated coconut and chopped up papaya in it. REALLY FUCKEN GOOD SHIT YO) and watching porn then I really don’t see why I should make any fucking effort for you anyway.

Is it not the case that sex is the best thing? Doesn’t sex trump having got enough sleep?

I have given up a lot more than sleep for my craft in the past and hot dog I’d do it again.

Strike one was the dead granny.

Strike two is the having to get up in the morning.

I am all eager and desperate right now but let me tell you I lose interest quite quickly. My obsessions live fast die young and nobody ever finds a corpse.

So cop the fuck on and get over here fucking pronto.

My porn is downloaded so this rant is over now.


I may be drunk, but you’re sober. And at least I’ll be ugly in the morning.


Again, I drink too much.

Again, I unleash just a little too much of… whatever… that needs to be hidden from sight.

I don’t even know WHAT I said, I just know it had a stupid effect.

Went out with Andrea last night.

Knew I had a ten hour shift today, but thought fuck it if you can’t stay up all night and then go to work horribly depressed and tired in your twenties, then what kind of animal are you?

Started the night feeling like shit, sort of coming down with something. Stayed strong. Need socialisation.

Stuck to the beer- super wise, just wish it had been enough.

Started the night feeling like shit but managed to get some beers into me and was hugely charming and witty and uproarious.

Made people laugh, made people think. Lots of times had glasses raised to me.

Shared the joyous fact of King Phillip, famous Spanish lisper, with an Argentinian who had never heard why the Spanish talk like that. He clinked my glass so fiercely, a shard of his landed on the chair next to me.

We smoked lots.

The posse was cool. I was so good- everyone was really interested in how the fuck I spoke such good Spanish, everyone thought I was South American too, although they disagreed on which country. Everyone was from Chile, Argentina, Columbia.

When the Columbians went to the bar, the Southern- South Americans laughed at how they spoke. “Weeeeyyyy!” They said, imitating the Columbians favorite filler word. I thought this was funny, because both Chileans and Argentinians litter their speech with their own words that don’t really mean anything.

I was mostly quite good.

I did enter into minor disagreements with a few of the South Americans.

But I didn’t push it.

For instance, one guy began to, completely out of the blue, bemoan the fact that he hadn’t explored ALL of South America, and he felt guilty and un-south american because of this.

I interjected that he could know a few places well and deeply, or lots of places superficially, so he shouldn’t feel bad about his own limited travels, because every day he lives in Italy he is learning about the world. He didn’t really like this point of view- it seemed like his main point had been to moan and whine about being such a bad citizen of a massive continent because he hadn’t seen it all.

I left him to his pointless bellyaching and allowed the uncomfortable “who is this preachy girl” silence to fill back up with normal banter before rejoining the conversation tentatively. Ugh I hate NEW people. I’m so bad at them. Not even through my own blunders as much as that they don’t get my jokes. I don’t crinkle up my face when I make a funny, I do deadpan delivery of my awesome one liners… so if you didn’t grow up with Monty Python etc, you probably aren’t entirely sure if I’m serious or not.

I like to think I’m hugely entertaining. I think people should be appreciative, I may say some stupid pointless drivel sometimes, but at least I provide a lot of fresh conversation and lovely points of view to agree or disagree with. You wouldn’t believe how many times I rescued the table from boring lulls.

Andrea was a lot quieter. She knew everybody so she could safely be a bit loud, but she didn’t bother using this liberty. She was very neutral.

I grew in confidence and began throwing out some of my “Chilean earthquake stories”. I wasn’t present for the earthquake, but a cupboard from Ikea did fall over because it was badly built (by me) and ALL MY PLATES SMASHED. I realise now, I think I realised last night, that’s not a story Chileans can relate to really. But I told it and I reckon I half salvaged the stupid anecdote by looking very nice and admitting to being a self centred asshole because it took my own plates smashing to realise how serious the earthquake was for Chileans, some of whom died in it. I tacked this bit onto the end because I realised how awful my story was, apart from being awful it was boring. So I added a lesson. Then I told my long lunch story, about when there WAS an earthquake and it just so happened to be when I took my long lunch so my dad found out about my long lunch which no one should have known about, because he was calling to see if it was ok. That little story ends with a line that goes something like “can you believe my LUCK? The one dayI take an hour for lunch, and a fucking earthquake happens” But that’s meant to give a sort of subtle commentary on how other people in earthquakes really do have shitty luck and lose lots of important things, but all I got was a bit of hassle over a long lunch.  And people are supposed to get that I’m laughing at that, and being serious about it, and stuff.

But people who don’t know me, don’t get that. So I just come off as some weird shallow self important girl.

….Which is also true, but then a lot of conflicting things can be true at the same time, and people don’t tend to get that.

I AM shallow as fuck. But I’m also absolutely not at all.

I just wish people could see that without me having to add canned laughter so people would know when I’m being silly and flippant… and then other times when I’m talking from some uncomfortable part of my body that knows first hand about things.

Someone brought out a round of tequila. I shook everyone’s hand solemnly, and announced that I apologised in advance for anything I might say or do later. This got a cheap laugh but my real intention was to mark the descent into bad drunkeness so people would honestly forgive me later.

We moved to a proper club and Andrea and I were separated from the rest of the (all male, none hot) crew, and we went to a horrible unisex toilet that was a hole in the ground. I got my period, fun times… and I peed all over my shoes. I kind of knew I was getting my period (I was actually starting to freak out that some spunks had made their way through the condom last time I did the bold thing, but no, false alarm) so I had some expensive period-absorbtion devices with me.

We danced to some surprisingly hardcore dance music. I don’t know what genre it was, I’m so uncool like that… But I got to pull out my mystical hand weaving dance moves and the lights were epilepsy-inducing so that half the frames in my dancing were skipped, and that was good, the great equaliser in dancing.

People smacked into my back and beer spilt on my front. I didn’t care. I looked really good. If not my best, something very close. I wore a super sexy dress but not too short, so I could dance and not be all paranoid about flashing people. I had brushed my hair and put on a considerable but relatively natural amount of makeup.

I danced loads, and Andrea danced, and I noted with great satisfaction that she was copying some of my shitty moves. She obviously had low dancing self esteem too, or at least when it came to electronic music. I felt a bit smug. For some reason, something akin to boasting, which is a part of me that I really hate when I drink, I yelled in her ear “I MISS DRUGS!” I don’t know why I thought this was a good thing to shout at Andrea, but she shouted back: “ME TOO” so then I felt ok. I have a horrible tendency to try and impress people with things that wouldn’t impress ME, like “I used to do a lot of drugs” or “I’m pretty fucking slutty” or other stuff like that.

I very nearly announced to Andrea that I had very nearly got jiggy with a woman at a music festival. It’s like drunk me thinks these things are impressive, like drunk me has never grown up at all. I am ashamed of drunk me because drunk me thinks even getting divorced is impressive and exciting, whereas sober me is embarassed and realises it’s some real, hard shit.

Drunk me blurts things out that most people try to hide, because drunk me is all about getting reactions and looking like a fucking rebel or something. I hate drunk me.

We dance for a while.

Then we go to another club and dance to really undancable songs like some Bob Dylan, REM, Radiohead… etc. I say a lot of stupid things like “Sheesh, all that’s missing is Nirvana” and I repeat it later because at the time it seemed like I had alighted on something clever and biting. I was starting to really annoy myself. I was actually really enjoying my dance, the electronic music had been so taxing because I felt the need to dance every little tiny beat so I was basically having a fit, whereas with the songs to slit your wrists to collection, I was able to have a nice chilled dance. I was convinced I was emulating a gorgeous black girl I had seen at a Bryan Ferry concert, who had managed to look really sexy and rhythmic while just sort of bending and unbending her knees and moving her hands a bit. I was blind drunk, I probably looked more like a fucking teapot than that girl, but in my own little pickled head I was like effortless-sexy-chic.

Men tried to dance with both Andrea and I, pretty much evenly I might add. It wasn’t so embarassing like the other times we went out and it was ALL her, and I felt like the ugly friend. It was pretty even, although I did get plan- b’d by one guy. Plan b is when your better looking friend turns a guy down and he turns a 180 and asks you to dance or whatever. It’s insulting. I’d rather be ignored than plan b’d.

Anyway, it was fun. We emptied out onto the street, down by the river, and sat on a wide step where we found our original posse or most of it. HERE things began deteriorating.

Of course it deteriorated, I didn’t realise but it was 6am at this stage. It didn’t feel like it, but it was 6am. I had to be in work at 10.30 am, leaving the house at 9.30 to arrive on time.

I sat there and I don’t remember what I said to one of the guys. I think we compared ages- I have, again, a horrible trait that comes out when I am drunk… I enjoy people being surprised by my young age. I hate this, but I brag about how young I am when I’m drunk. Man I really hate drunk me. I’m such a tool.

Anyway whatever drunken drivel I came out with, this guy seized it and began arguing with me.

“What, you think you’re so mature? You think you’re so much more mature than other 23 year olds?”

I was startled. What? No! I didn’t say anthing LIKE that! I don’t think I’m mature, in fact the idea of maturity is one of my pet hates. I hate coming across young people who throw around ideas like “MATURE” or “I’m young but I happen to like old music” or some shit like that. I think it’s pretentious bullshit.

So I argued that I couldn’t remember what I had said, but that definitely wasn’t it.

“So you’re saying you don’t have anything in common with 23 year olds?”

Dude, that’s closer to the possibility of something I may have said, but still, I KNOW I DIDNT SAY THAT!

He continues to paraphrase, each time wildly different so I feel confident that I really didn’t say what he said I said.

I argue.

I argue with my dazzling logic and of course all of this is in Spanish, so I’m pretty fucking wonderful at Spanish by the way.

This cunt is fixated on the idea that I think I’m better than everyone else (true, but I just KNOW I’m better at hiding this fact than just blurting it out. I keep that shit under wraps, there’s no way I just let it colour my sentences even drunk. It’s a basic secret that is constantly filtered out of all potential conversation) and that I think I’m the fucking godfather of young people.

I bring out my ace card.

“I’m going through a fucking DIVORCE!” Out of context, perhaps. Don’t remember. I grin madly, convinced I have won the argument. He will be both shamed and impressed into bowing out, admitting I have such a massive burden to carry that he can’t know what’s going on and he’s out of his league. I forget, he’s also drunk.

I tend to think divorce will impress people when I’m drunk, there are lots of things like this that I have no control over but that are like the opposite of my sober opinions.

Urgh… feel bile rising. I’m at work by the way. Just got a bottle of fizzy water as a sort of hung over palate cleanser, but my mouth feels so foul, it tastes like a fucking bus hand rail. I have never licked a bus hand rail, by the way. I’m not THAT disgusting. My friend in school, Melanie, she licked a bus hand rail one time on a dare. Then she got some disease, I don’t know if it was because of licking the pole or not… but it may have been mono. She also licked the wall of a very dirty pub, but no one dared her that time, she was just trying to impress boys. It was about as successful as my way of impressing boys back then- which was to allow them to think I was going to have sex with them in the pub toilets and then chicken out when they were putting on the condom. These boys were definitely not impressed, and also they went and told everyone we DID have sex anyway. Everyone thought I was a massive slut in school. I wasn’t that much of a slut really. What happened was this other girl, one of my good friends, she WAS a massive slut. She was a really bubbly fun girl with curly hair and big boobs. I don’t know why these features make women fun and slutty, they just seem to make an excellent stereotype. She had the same name as me. She doesn’t any more, because she killed herself two years later. She was a fun girl, but she was a tremendous slut. But everyone mixed us up, because of these boys I had apparently had sex with in the toilets, and the fact that we had the same names, and the HUGE quantity of guys she had sucked and fucked in our school. So half of her slutty adventures were attributed to me. One time we were walking to get the bus home, and one random guy from school carried her schoolbag for her, jokingly “in exchange for head.” She later got off the bus and went back, and met up with him (unbeknownst to me, I found out the next day because she also bragged when drunk about things she wasn’t proud of) and gave him head in a public toilet.

Anyway. She was a really fun girl, she had bitchy tendencies but then so did we all, we were in school. She hung her neck off a washing line and now she won’t ever get to grow up and have a nice life and grow out of her sluttiness and low self esteem and slight tendency to bitchiness. So that’s a shame, I was really sad when I found out she was dead. We used to fight over our name. We would fight over who would be Gwendoline 1, who was Gwendoline 2. That is not our name by the way. I remember one of the saddest things I thought about when I found out she was dead was that now I was going to be Gwendoline 1, and she couldn’t argue with that shit any more. I wanted to call her up and tell her this so she wouldn’t do it, but obviously whatever shit was in her head was more important to her than being Gwen 1 or 2. Maybe she was depressed because she was so slutty. Maybe her parents, who probably drove her to give strange boys blow jobs in toilets, maybe they were mean to her. Maybe she found out she had aids or was pregnant. We all had theories, most of them centred on the slutty aspect of our dear friend’s behaviour. That was a pity, and kind of mean, but then that’s why you don’t kill yourself- because when you’re dead, everyone who knew you gets to decide who or what you were. So don’t kill yourself

Anyway so I was telling you my mouth tastes like shit. It really does. My brain feels like shit too, but it’s ok, I only had lots of beer so I’ll be ok.

I managed to resist the lure of the Jagermeister.

But I did fall into this argument with this guy, about what my opinion of people my age might be.

I was at a disadvantage because I couldn’t actually remember what I had said to ignite this discussion, but I was damn well going to argue what I had MEANT anyway.

I really looked lovely last night. Such a pity, my face looks like old newspaper today. I feel like I’m made from paper mache, except paper mache that has its period. OHHHH MY POOR WOMB. Cringe remembering mentioning my womb last night, what context? Can’t remember.

Still arguing with this dude about how I may or may not have said something about being so much more mature than other people my age. I think I made a brilliant case for having only said that in general, people I meet who are my age, are not doing the same things as me, so I ultimately don’t get a huge thrill from their company. He doesn’t get that I’m being honest and make amazing sense. He gets all affronted. WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I WORK!

I’m like, yeah of course, whatever… I didn’t say ALL FUCKING 23 YEAR OLDS  DONT DO THE SAME SHIT AS ME, I SAID THAT MOST 23 YEAR OLDS I MEET ARE IN DIFFERENT PLACES IN THEIR LIVES. I am going through divorce, I work every day, I have a mortgage and bills and I live alone. This is different to most people my age. I don’t think I’m better than other people, I think they are clever for not having got married so young etc. I am saying that when I am grumpy and want to talk about my problems, I would want to talk to people who GET my problems.I also don’t want to be a big old bore to everyone.

I made a lot of good sense, except I don’t actually know what I said in the first place to provoke this guy. I may have said “kill the poor” or “I love the smell of smegma in the morning.”

I told this guy that whatever I said, I didn’t MEAN what he keeps saying I mean. I am drunk, I remind him.

He insists some stupid shit. I tell him I know I couldn’t have meant these things he thinks I meant, because as I don’t THINK them, I can’t have meant them, see?

He insists on repeating different variations of “so what you’re saying is that anyone below the age of 30 is an idiot?” and I get really pissed off and I’m like “hey you know what REALLY pisses me off? Being paraphrased. The only thing I’m SAYING is the things I am saying. If you regurgitate what I said, but different, it’s not what I said, is it? If I say, “most people I my age who I have met recently, I don’t have a lot in common with” then THAT IS ALL I MEAN.

This argument was hugely frustrating. I knew I wasn’t as bad as this guy was making out. I knew he was paraphrasing me all wrong. I knew he was being massively defensive for some reason that I wasn’t aware of.

But I was drunk, so I kept pissing in the swimming pool of my own reason, and I began fishing out pee-soaked arguments like

“say you like fishing for carp. You want to talk about fishing for carp. What are you going to do, go hang out with people who fish for carp or hang out with people who like playing golf?”

and “Say you get bitten by a mouse. What are you going to want to do, go talk to other people who have been bitten by mice, or hang out in an antique store discussing china patterns of the 15th century?”

and “If 5% of people my age are astronauts, and that’s a conservative estimate, (I forgot what conservative meant because I was drunk. I meant the opposite.) then what am I supposed to do, go to the fucking MOON?”

None of these arguments made any sense, but they made a much greater impact on this annoying man boy. He was able to fight against those arguments because they were stupid, where he hadn’t been able to fight against me good arguments. So he listened to my stupid arguments and not my sound ones, because they were “what he had expected to hear.”

He asked me what I wanted from life, like it was some big fucking mystical secret or something I was supposed to be confused about.

So I just blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which I wouldn’t take back now that I’m sober. I was like “I want to see a lot of stupid shit I can laugh at, and I want to come across a lot of people who will laugh at them with me.”

And I was quite proud of my summing up then and there, drunk, pretty much everything I care about in life. But he just looked all unimpressed and started saying that I should be more open with people, and I could share my problems with him and the other guys. And I was like, what the fuck? So I started up being like who the fuck are you talking to? I couldn’t be more open and honest if I tried. I’m the most open fucking book you will ever meet. Ask me anything. Ask me about masturbation, ask me about loneliness, ask me about what I hate about myself. Ask me anything. Ask me fucking anything and I will never blink before answering honestly. I won’t tell you that’s a weird question, or I’m sorry but that’s restricted information or too personal. If you want to know, I want to tell. But I am trying very fucking hard to keep all the shit in, so I don’t blurt it out to people I don’t know. Because I don’t like being this person. I’m a fun person. I’m fun to be around, in my natural state. I’m good humoured, I make jokes in hospitals when everyone’s all sombre and I smile all the fucking time. Everything makes me laugh. But this isn’t me, I hate being this person who’s gloomy. I don’t want to be all, like, “hi, I’m Gwen, I’m getting a divorce and I’m in debt and I secretly resent people my age for being innocent of a certain amount of responsibility that I have taken upon myself.”

Because I want to be fun me, and I want people to laugh and not leave me on my own to deal with my shit. I want to be able to shout “MOTHERFUCKING LLAMA PENIS” but I can’t, because people will think I’m crazy.

My friends wouldn’t think I was crazy if I said that, but they know me so they know that I’m just a bit out of sync with the rest of them, and that’s it. I can shout things at random if I want, I can whine and moan about being dragged out of the house when I’m hung over to get chips and then after walking for miles with all this traffic around, the chipper being closed. I can annoy my friends all I like, because I’m nice to them too and they laugh when I’m being grumpy. I like that.

But not with people I don’t know. People I don’t know have to be treated gingerly and not have the shit thrust upon them. (Hehe thrust)

I don’t even know why I didn’t just be like “whatever, hater, I’m outtie” and ditch that argumentative dick. But I was drunk arguing, so it escalated. Eventually– I don’t know what was said…. But myself and Andrea were getting the bus home and saying goodbye to the remaining 4 guys in our crue. The one I had been arguing with, who I suddenly noticed was wearing a blue t shirt, didn’t shake my hand or go for a kiss on the cheek like the others. He just sort of waggled his hand as I stood there awkward. It was a huge rejection. I realised I was being knocked back over a stupid drunken row. I just hoped the others (most of whom I actually thought were pretty nice) were sensible enough to think we were both just having a stupid drunk person’s fight, and everyone won’t think I’m an egocentric ageist bitch like I really am. I couldn’t bear to have alienated 4 people in one fell swoop.

It was 6am. I was convinced the night bus was no longer running. She insisted that the morning bus had started. I couldn’t grasp the concept that it was both night time and morning, so I coerced her into a taxi by swearing I would pay for it all.

I paid for it all. I got home, turned on my computer and fell asleep with it in my arms. I think the plan had been to watch some porn, but I was so depressed from my stupid argument that I couldn’t bring myself to think about fucking someone in my head.

So I went to sleep.

Andrea and I had sensibly set our alarms previously.

Even still, I woke up at 9.55. I had to leave at 9.40 at the absolute latest to get to work on time. I put on horrible mismatched clothing, looked at my face, shuddered, brushed my teeth for all the good that did me, and called a taxi croaking RIGHT NOW PLEASE.

Megabitch on the phone said “4 minutes” crisply and hung up.

I legged it downstairs swallowing horrible mouthwash.


Felt like 10 minutes had passed, wasn’t sure as was shaking violently and felt like an alien was about to pop out of my stupid lady parts. Urgh.

Felt like 10 minutes had definitely passed, so ran paranoid upstairs and rang the taxi back. I tell megabitch I’m still waiting. Look at clock- 15 minutes have passed since I called. She puts me on hold and then comes back saying “he’s nearly there- one minute.”

I believe megabitch and go back to my street corner looking like Julia Roberts’ less fortunate coworker in Pretty Woman. Urgh feel rough. People outside the bar across the road look at me, bemused. They are all regulars. They all saw me strut past last night looking like a fucking movie star. I am destroyed today, crushed by my face and my personality. I’m a little parcel of recycled human. I used to be a decent person, now I am a wailing cursing loud obnoxious person who allows other human people to realise how fucking awful I am, just like them. I presume other people are just like me, but they are better at lying about it. They do things like pretend they really give money to a bum because they care, and not because they want to be a person who cares.  Urgh I do like people, I just resent that they act like by being exactly who I am which is just the fucking same as everyone else, I am somehow acting in some manner that isn’t ok. What the fuck? I haven’t killed anyone. I haven’t attacked anyone. I have never even told a child that Santa wasn’t real, even though I am an atheist and I kind of half think that teaching kids to believe in shit of any kind is just training them for superstition and bullshit. But I am not a heartless bitch so I let my sisters have Santa and fairies.

Anyway. Taxi shows up at 10.27.

I have to be in work at 10.30 to clock in and open the shop. It’s saturday, and my dad and boss knows I went out last night because that’s why I didn’t have dinner with my family, because I was going out. I can’t use any excuse, even the taxi being late is my fault because I should have woken up on time to get the bus. It’s bad. It’s saturday, the shop needs to be open so I can dry heave at old hags as they hum and haw over 10 euro bargain bin shoes and tell me their fucking life stories.

I get in the taxi as it pulls to a casual, cheery halt outside.

I say hello, bark my destination and taxi takes off like a little fucking Thomas the tank engine.

I snap, “what happened?” at the innocent taxi driver.



Oh. I just got the call 4 minutes ago.

I fume. This is down to megabitch on the phone, not taxi man. But I will not be actively nice, he is still a party to this. I tell him I am late for work and let him see my urgency in my tense sitting and tutting and my overly panicky regard to traffic lights.

He observes me in the mirror and sees exactly how much I hate that it’s my fault I’m late, really, and megabitch just took my get out of late free card.

It costs me 15 euros to arrive late for work.

I arrive and have no time for a sandwich or coffee.

My fucking internal organs feel like shit.

My face looks like shit.

I have horrible memories of being someone I don’t like, and sort of being in the right too, but also saying some stupid shit. BUT ALSO, being in the right is still someone I dislike, if other people don’t see that I am right. So it’s a bit harsh really, I just can’t bear people to dislike me even if I do think they are TOOLS.

My opinion of that guy last night?

Ignorant pig fucker who thinks he’s qualified to give advice just because he thinks he’s better than me because I said ONE stupid thing, and by the way he said so many stupid things that it cancelled me out I am sure.

But I still can’t handle him not liking me, or him getting me wrong. this shit is fucked up.

Anyway. I am just hung over. I am aware I will feel differently once I get some greasy pizza into me and get home and sleep and drink water and play oblivion, if I can handle it today.

Gawd I’m so sick of people not getting my jokes and my frivolous conversation.

I remember last night this Columbian guy was like, where are you from, and I said Ireland, and he was massively surprised, because he thought I was from South America. And I laughed and I was like, it’s cause I look so South American, ha ha!

And he was all apologetic, and humbly, pathetically begging my pardon for offending me.

And I was like no! no! Why would that offend me? I’m joking because I’m so goddamn pale looking! Jeeeeesus! And anyway, it’s a massive compliment for a S.American to mistake me for ANOTHER S. American, that means my spanish is good enough to fool you after a fucking hour of convo! That’s a massive compliment!

And he’s all relived, but I can’t help but be sick to the stomach because what kind of person, when someone is OFFENDED to be mistaken for their compatriot, would be all apologetic? If I guessed someone was Irish and they got all offended, I’d be like, fuck you, it was an honest mistake and how DARE you have such a low opinion of my nationality that you get offended to be mistaken for an Irish person? And I would passionately hate that person and bitch about them to lots of people and consider them a racist forever.

But anyway, it’s just another kind of way people don’t get my meaning. It’s annoying. And I wasn’t even trying to get drunk, I only had like 5 or 6 beers and that tequila. Oh no actually I spent 50 euro so that’s more beers. I was also out from 11pm to 6am, so that’s a lot of beers. Anyway. Whatever amount of beers, it was too many beers.

Hope I didn’t fuck things up too much. Have to stop beating self up about being shit at new people.

Oh man now there are French nuns in my shop. I think they are plain clothes nuns. They have see through head scarves on their heads with weird decorative lace on them. I think they are kind of Amish looking, they look like middle class French people from Medieval times. Or that’s the idea I’m getting anyway. They may not be nuns. They are definitely French.

I feel sick. They are making lots of noise moving bags and things. I want to smack the nuns. They have digital cameras around their necks.

Go away. I feel dirty and like they are judging me.

A woman comes in, looks shiftily at the nuns and then asks for a shoe size. I bellow no and then smile to cover the bellowing. She takes that to mean I don’t have any other sizes than the ones on display, and I don’t bother correcting her. She tries jamming her stupid feet into a load of tiny shoes. She nearly falls over even though there are seats right beside her for the purpose of trying on shoes. She is a stupid wench.

A lot of fat women in the shop today. Normally I humour them and waste their time making them try on stuff that MAY fit. But it never does. Today I am like NO we don’t have anything big. The fat women are really fat. Every woman today has been massively fat. It’s not belly, it’s a fucking flotatin device around the middle. They are little michelin men. They are all short too.

They look offended by my lack of sizes. I shrug. I want to go home, I have 8 more hours to work today. Oh no I have less, I have 6. AWESOME I HAVE BEEN WRITING THIS FOR LIKE AN HOUR. What a way to while away time while michelin women roam the shop like packs of wildebeest and those nuns left without saying bye, which is rude. I decide to hate religion a little bit extra today just to spite them.

Ugh must stop now this is nearly 6000 words, that’s too many words really.

I can’t remember how many I normally write but this is more, I feel.

I will get to 6000 and then stop because I like to keep things rounded.

Ok so that will be pretty much now, I think.

Yep. That’s 6000.

You think someone intelligent made a dumb bitch like this?

Thought I’d do some masochistic youtubeing before bed…


I want to smack this bitch upside the creepy smiling face.


If she can not believe in evolution because it means humans aren’t as special and loved as she wants them to be…

Can I say calories are a myth too, because if there are really calories in food, then eating too much will make me fat?


Really, really stupid argument… dumb broad.


Also pissing me off this evening: loads of moths.

Where they come from, I don’t know, but they are in my kitchen up high on the wall where I can’t swat ’em. Every time I streak in for a glass of water (need curtains. Desperately need some fucking curtains) they flutter up around my head like I’m some crackhead disney princess.

Arrghhh gross… I hate moths. They are only tiny moths, I can kill them without feeling too icky, but it annoys be because I can only get one at a time and the rest cop on and fly out of reach.

And also, I have no problem sharing my apartment with a few small moths if they keep to their part of the room (the high part of the ceiling which I am not using) but noooo, they have to swarm around me like I’m their mother and they love me.

They don’t eat my clothes, luckily, they are food moths. They are the kind you find scattered in the flour tub when your stupid husband takes the lid for his lunch tub and he doesn’t think there’s a problem with this, and he doesn’t use flour anyway because all he does is stir fries and bbq.

And then he won’t wash up after I cook, because I dirty so many pots and bowls. YEAH asshole, that’s because I cook shit that’s more exciting than rice with vegetables. Ah it’s ok, I don’t have to deal with him any more and his insensitivity.

I don’t know if I told you guys about this, but towards the end (maybe we were already broken up) he decided to defrost some steaks on the radiator (yes.) and oh guess what was already on the radiator? My favorite soft woolen jumper dress. Really nice dress.

So I had it drying out for the next day, and I get up in the morning and put on my dress and I’m all groggy and brushing my teeth (nah that’s a lie, I have terrible oral hygiene. I was probably trowelling on some slap) and I catch a wiff and I’m like, wtf, why is there a stench of period? And I realised it was me. And I started freaking out that I had developed that actually real disease called dead fish syndrome (I think it’s called that, it is real though) that makes you just constantly stink of something horrible even if you just had a shower. And I was panicking. And then I realised that it was actually blood on the front of my dress. And ugh, where did that come from? And then I went back to the radiator and saw the steaks dripping blood and figured it all out and yes I was relieved but also, really angry.

What kind of asshole does something like that?

Ok I’m getting all uptight about that and it’s ok because we’re not together any more.

I am free.

But also, loooooonely.


Oh but wait, before I go down that road AGAIN,

I have actual reason to be in a good mood.

Tomorrow I’m signing up for a pizza making course. And not just some bored housewife kind of evening class, it’s a proper one, that trains you professionally. Like, I’m going to learn how to spin dough up in the air and make proper tasty pizzas and shit.


Then I’m really, really going to be able to impress men.

Actually it’s mostly because I really get sick of coming home from Italy and everyone’s all, “ooh you should know how to make amazing pizzas, because you live in Italy!” and yeah, it’s not like you just learn that in due course.

Also, it makes me employable in another sector if I ever get sick of not rummaging frantically in an incredibly hot oven while hungry people grumble near me, and my eyes blink through sweat to decypher blurry short hand on scraps of paper.

And yes, I’ll impress some men, too.

It’s all about building up my portfolio of resourcefulness. Hell yeah I’m still convinced this is where I’ll make my sexual fortune.

I also think I want to learn to play the piano, but I realise if I decide to do that as well, my motivational powers will not stretch and I won’t learn anything, but just pay the full courses up front and stay home miserable and ashamed of myself like what happened with the driving lessons and the sewing classes. (You don’t know about these because they were pre-blog. But yeah I paid for a full course of driving lessons and never went back, and that was a year ago. And the same with sewing classes but I taught myself to sew on my -yeah, quite expensive- sewing machine. Except I’m not very neat, but I was never gonna be so booya, I’m a motherfuckin autodidact. )

So baby steps… baby steps. But I am definitely doing the pizza thing, I SWEAR THIS IS HAPPENING.

It’s not one of those whims like becoming a computer scientist or an evolutionary biologist or a physicist that I quit before I started, those I gave up for a reason- the reason being that the open university had a little test to see if you had enough basic science/maths to go to college… and I don’t.

Damn I used to be good at maths. REAL GOOD.

Fucking differentiation, man. It killed my science career. I just wanted to know what the fuck it was before I learned it off by heart, but no one could give me a straight answer, or maybe my maths teacher did, but I didn’t understand it. I prefer the former reason.

Ok. Anyway. I will keep you posted, like obviously.

And in case you’re wondering where all the people are this week, yeah that’s it. You have literally heard about all my non customer interaction. Except for one or two convos with my dad, that’s it.

Now you see how I churn out so many of these bad boys.

I have no social life.

But hey it’s cool I’m not depressed or anything, I actually really enjoy my own company.

Even my pity parties are off the hook.

Except the sex has gone downhill lately, so I may need to yank out some hairs and get back out there and tolerate some people I don’t really care much for.

Woop woop!

Ok right that’s it I’m getting bored talking to myself now.

A few words before I go kick retail ass…


Good morning.

Yeah I know I was going to sell loads of clothes today and pay attention to customers….

but, like…


So. Here is a transcript of my first three “customers”

Customer 1 enters shop and marches up to the counter, where I am standing erect (he he) with a bona fide howcanihelpya smle on my spotty, sweaty face.

Customer 1: “I’ll come back later when I have more time.” Waggles eyebrows conspiratorily, “My parking meter is about to expire” *leaves shop*

Me: Ok. Em, see you later?

Customer 2: Enters shop mid sentence. ….”any more, because I got this here a few years ago?”

Me: Excuse me?

Customer 2: (slightly enraged) ” I SAID… do you have more of this kind of bag, but with long straps, kind of heavy, any more, because I got this here a few years ago?”

Me: Deep breaths. Gonna help and sell shit to this woman. “Ok, well I don’t have a bag like that one, but there are some similar bags here, these are from the new collection so they’re more robust”(fucking velvet, damn the autumn winter collection, I fucking hate velvet. Die velvet, die.)

Customer 2: What? NO! I don’t want a winter bag, look at this bag here! Don’t you have any more like this one?

Me: (eh I just said I didn’t) No, we don’t have any like that, but if you want something lighter here are some bags in cotton…

Customer: NO I carry water around and books, it needs to be heavy like this one! (pokes the velvet bag)

Me: Ok… well…

Customer: Even if it’s different, whatever bags you have!

Me: I grab a few different bags.

Customer: Not like that, it has to be like… this. (pats her own bag)

Me: Gritting teeth. “Right.” Begin rummaging for other bags. I know I have nothing she’s going to like. I’m determined to sell this cunt a bag. Eventually find something that is neither heavy enough for a bottle of water nor summery enough nor does it have long straps, but the customer pounces on it.

Customer: This is perfect. But can I get a discount, I always get a discount.

Me: I’m sorry I can’t give you a discount.

Customer: It’s annoying, I never get a discount. (WTF???)

Customer: This is very expensive, don’t you think? (looks at me expectantly)

Me: Well, that’s difficult to answer. Value is kind of subjective…. (trail off. Not the right platform for a lecture on the differences between cost, price and value / how capitalism works.)

I didn’t sell this woman a bag. She left me with a pile of rejected bags and slightly less of a helpful smile on my face.

Customer 3: Not actually a customer. I was huddled behind the till squeezing my spots. I know, I said I wouldn’t. I’m not strong enough to resist. I’m already trying to smoke less, eat less (not going well. finished the pistachios last night then got up at 1am and made myself some hot dog sausages and ate half a jar of olives.) AND drink in moderation.

Something’s gotta give. (well… everything. I’m not doing well in any of my quests for moderation..)

So yeah, I’m crouched behind the till, squeezing out a really satisfying tube of gunk..

and in walks customer 3. I wipe the gunk away and croak out a “Salve!” (that’s one of the things you can say when someone comes into your shop, I think it’s an ancient Roman greeting or something.)

Except he’s no customer.

He’s my fucking ESTRANGED husband.

Yeah… awkward.

We hugged. I gave him his post, loads of letters from the bank I’ve been collecting and not opening for months.

He has lost weight (lack of sex had taken its toll on both our figures during matrimony) and looks pretty good except he shaved his head which is good because he’s ridiculously hot when he has kind of messy hair. Not that I’d ever go there again. The only relationships worth revisiting are those which end due to clashing personalities or ideals, where the sex is still good… so that excludes my marriage.

Anyway, I had been dreading bumping into husband for ages now, knowing he owes me money but he thinks I owe him money, and probably we’re both wrong and being stingy assholes… and just thinking about having to drag up the dregs of our dead relationship again, and pick at it like vultures… ugh. I just want to stick my fingers in my ears and go LALALALALA It’s not real, I can’t hear you, etc.

But actually, horrific and untimely as it was, husband’s visit at least put an end to the unpleasant anticipation.

We’re going to meet up for that awful talk next week.

I have to try keep my cool because money will be mentioned, and he said he’s currently unemployed, so basically I will NOT be seeing any money from him. And meanwhile, I just got a letter in the post from the rubbish people, who apparently want to charge me for rubbish collection. I’ve lived in that apartment two years and never heard a peep from them. So I’m a bit miffed because, it’s an extra bill I didn’t know about and now I have to pay. Bastards.

Also you have to pay per metre squared of apartment, so it doesn’t matter if I start recycling or stop throwing bottles in the mixed bin without even scrunching them up. YEAH THAT’S HOW I ROLL.

Ok, so today I haven’t achieved the mega sales I had hoped for, but then I was trying to do one of those waterfall braids in my hair.

Oh man, really fucking hard.

I mean, who can plait their hair like that in the back of their head? It’s hard.

I did a first attempt and it felt like it looked neat and awesome and sexy and then i held up a hand mirror and stood in front of the big mirror…. and no. It resembled back-combed hair the next day after a fancy party where you leave the house looking AMAZING and then wind up sleeping in between the fridge and the washing machine in some house whose owners you don’t know.

Which wasn’t the look I was going for.

I tried again, and it fell apart.

I did sell a couple of pairs of shoes in between braiding, but everything’s on sale now so it really doesn’t add up to much.

It’s cool though, I’m going to go deal with some customers and shit.

Peace out, motherfuckers.

Why is sleep so much better in the morning…

Can’t sleep.

Stupid day off, did so little except from slop a few dresses into the suitcase and masturbate, I can’t sleep now. Not tired enough. Also, I got up at midday so… not tired enough.

Got up for some warm milk and honey and saw some very suspicious dudes hovering around the roadworks with a little red van with the back doors open.

I watched them for a while, wondering whether they were stealing wires or building supplies or checking a gas leak or what. Their red van has a biohazard sign on the back, but doesn’t look very official or anything. One of the guys has a hi-vis vest on, but they are more likely to be gypsies stealing wires or tubing or something than a crack response team making the area safe from radiation. I HOPE.

Anyway my bike is secured on the other side of the building so I don’t care what they’re up to. It’s weird though because they’re taking their sweet time and there’s even a metal briefcase they opened on the bonnet of the van and took something out… geiger counter? bomb disarming equipment? Drugs? Money?

They’re too laid back about it though. Ok I really want to know…

But I also want to drink my milk and watch some shit I downloaded earlier but thought better watch tomorrow because it’s late and I need my beauty sleep but noooooooo I can’t sleep now, can I?

Ok the men are still out there and one of them is down in the hole the diggers have been making in the side of the road every week day.

I don’t get it, it’s Sunday night/monday morning at 3am.

Italians don’t work overtime.

There’s no such thing as overtime.

Italians get like a 3 hour lunch break in the middle of the day.

They don’t work on Sundays.

There is no way they are working right now.


I need to know. I want to go down there casually, bring out my bins which I need to do anyway, but it’s not exactly subtle and if they are Ukranian drug lords on a secret deal or gypsies stealing tubes or something, I might get knifed or shot or hit in the face with a tube.


Maybe they are builders and one of them lost his watch down the hole and was going to come and look for it tomorrow but found out he’s off the job, so he wants to come look for it before the other guys show up this morning.

And his friend came with him because he owes him one because the other guy picked him up at the airport recently.

OR maybe they are planting fake archaeological evicence because they are protesting the road works and if they find some old coins the work might have to stop while the site is examined.

Or maybe there’s a poisonous gas flooding the neighbourhood..

Or maybe they are gypsies stealing shit and they are all relaxed and nonchalant about it because that way no one will be suspicious and also, they’re not afraid of the police anyway.

This is driving me crazy. Crazy and sleepy? No, unfortunately not.

Ohhhh have so much shit to do tomorrow, need sleep..

Not tired.



Going to take one last look at the mystery guys and go try sleep again.

Sorry about all this.