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.

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.

Goddammit.

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…

To be a teacher and move to France or not to be a teacher and move to France?

Doubt again.

I DID seize the day today. Yesterday, despite my misty eyed pep talk was a write off. I left the house around 7pm to do some grocery shopping and walking around the aisles I felt a pining in my belly for the cheap good wine and the magret du canard he cooked for me. I wondered sickly if I would really be able to not be in love with him just because it’s stupid to be in love with someone who doesn’t even let you be in love the normal illogical way and can’t even commit to his next orgasm. I saw him online and he didn’t write again. I wrote a tentative, counter-everything I know and have been told and have decided- Hey! And he didn’t reply. Fuck him. fuck him. Wish I could fuck him… But fuck him…

Today I got up and had a langorous breakfast of coffee and a lot of cigarettes and two potato waffles with a lot of butter to drip through the holes. I walked into Dublin city because the sun was shining, Irish as I am I carried a woollen jumper around all day unnecessarily because sure you never know. The weather is a moody bitch, but it stuck all day today and it felt good and my legs are still a pleasing shade of above-ivory. I visited all four of my pre-compiled list of addresses of schools offering English teaching courses and was very impressed by one. The other three were a combination of ridiculously expensive and uninformative.

What used to be called the TEFL certificate or accreditation or what have you, is now CELTA or CELT. The difference between the two is that CELT means Certificate of English Language Teaching and CELTA means Cambridge Certificate of English Language Teaching for Adults. Both cost a similar whack and occupy a similar amount of time and effort…. only one is actually recognised all over the world. The other guys are sly and leave out that fact. The school I liked does the proper serious one and the lady spoke warmly and seemed genuinely interested in me and why I wanted to do this. She was really enthusiastic and I thought this is it, I’m coming here. But I went to find the last school anyway, to be thorough, except I couldn’t find it and I was by this stage weak from lack of food. So I went home happy with my day’s investigations… it doesn’t sound like much but I walked all over and I was wearing crappy shoes. Also I went shopping.

No, not like that… I bought underwear, nothing exciting just some more cotton ones because I don’t know what happens to all my underwear I just don’t seem to have enough. Maybe it’s that I keep acquiring (buying) more clothes and the more clothes I have the less regularly I do laundry so the less regularly I wash undies… Hmmm…

Anyway, when I got home I checked my email for the application forms they were sending me from the schools. There’s a whole interview process and it’s expensive and the course is apparently hard and intensive… and I have to write a cover letter about why I want to do this. And I wrote most of the letter and then started thinking, fuck…. is this right? Would I be able to hack it, one month intense, more intense than I’ve ever studied, 5 days a week, 9 hours a day, plus loads of written assignments and hands on teaching practice… would I be good? I never studied in my life. I never did, I was always clever enough to skim by…. I never studied for a test, never ever ever. I don’t even know how… And would I be a good teacher?

And… most importantly… because I really do want a big adventure and romance and to be better than I am… but… would I be able for Italy mark 2? Sure, France is not the meat market Italy is… France is more elegant and awesome and more me, a 1000,000,000 times more me… I think….

But what if I get there and I act like I always have? Shut myself up in my room and whimper I have no friends, I have no friends… am I capable of being an outgoing, friend-making solitary traveller? I want to be… but is it against my nature? Can I do it?

And so I spiral into despair. I’m kind of giving up on HIM anyway. I’m sure it’s not so bleak, if I am nearby he will of course want to see me, he’s not made of stone, he is crazy about me too he just has different ideas about long term relationships and how to deal with stuff. But I can’t feel like he will be there because he’s not letting me feel like he will be there, so I’m thinking of me, me on my own… it probably wouldn’t be much better if he was there for me anyway, because I don’t really want to acquire a posse of 21 year olds to hang out with when I’m being a cool international traveller. I’d need more varied and mature convo of course, I just want his extra time and his… mwah… kiiiisss.

And I’m afraid I’m going to do this course, work really really fucking hard to do it, and cost my daddy a pretty penny and then what? I can’t teach in Ireland, you need a degree to teach in Ireland. So it’s go somewhere and somehow miraculously get over my social shittyness… and is it something I can do? I want soooo much to be able to cop on to myself and do what I’ve never done, meet people and grow up and write and not go out all the time but just when it’s good, and go to cafes and for dinner and invite people to eat sometimes and not have enough furniture so we sit on the ground.

Like in Argentina, there was something very real and warming about that, but then I cheated, I inherited friends from my cousins and when I wasn’t drinking wine from jam jars and eating spaghetti with laughing Argentinians with dreadlocks while the half full pot of pasta with whatever sad sauce we could afford sat in the middle of the floor because we didn’t have a table just a wooden crate that was too wear for the pot to sit on…. The rest of the time I ordered pizza from two doors down, it wasn’t nice pizza but it was cheap, and I drank Argentinian whiskey (not good. I’ll never get those taste buds back… or them brain cells) and I stayed in at home and watched startingly old new release dvds from blockbuster. I didn’t go out and live the Buenos Aires life, not really, not very often… and I only made friends with people who were introduced to me. And I regret the shit out of that wasted time, because everyone thinks I went off and had super adventures but it’s a big fat lie of omission.

I did fuck all. I saw fuck all… I spent a lot on pizza and I only lost weight because I had a shitload of sex with my flatmate. Who I later married. I didn’t even have the motivation or curiosity to leave the house to meet a man. Apart from, briefly, the Jamaican. Actually, I just walked up to him and chatted him up… I guess I did meet one or two people on my own.  And a few Argentinians. But only people I then slept with… I didn’t make any friends. Can I make friends?

ARRRRGHH.

This is my current crisis, and I’m panicking because I need to apply with a convincing cover letter THIS WEEK or I can’t do the course before Christmas and if I leave it til Christmas you know what’s going to happen, I’ll have tired of the idea and moved on to some new obsession, and I’ll never know if I could live the beautiful life in France with a typewriter and a cat called Maurice and eat butter all day without getting fat.

(If you live in France you can eat butter all day without getting fat, it’s like calorie tax breaks. I don’t understand it, but it is obviously a fact.)

Am I just plotting a very expensive slap in the face for myself?

Am I looking for a fantasy world?

Or am I actually doing something ballsy that is not entirely stupid at all and kind of a good idea that might send me on to become the kind of person I actually would be proud of?

You can only pick one.

I half wish I was a religious person so I could make a pilgrimage to an oracle and then it wouldn’t be my stupid mistake whatever I do.

Help me, Rhonda…..

 

your flakey indecisive pal,

Abby

Independent woman: Part 2! It’s gonna be… OFF THE HOOK!

So that was… well, unfortunately not a personal record. I have had worse hangovers, but not many. Or many, but I can’t remember them. Or some.. whatever. It was a bad hangover.

It came with depression and hallucinations and panic attacks and the tense jaw and the feeling that if I stopped moving I would have a brain haemorrage and die. That is what panic attacks are like for me. When they are not being heart palpitations, that is. Not a pleasant few days. Did I mention it lasted THREE WHOLE DAYS? That’s right, a three day hangover for a three day bender. It seems a little steep, but maybe it’s fair and I should take it as a lesson or something. (That’s a joke, people)

I still had minor panic attack preludes today but I was in the hospital visiting my friend so I managed to force myself to be real and stop freaking over imaginary illness when right in front of me is a really sick person who is actually stuck in hospital and manages to be really cool and calm about it. Well maybe calm is the wrong word. They are giving her sleeping pills but apparently my friend is un-tranquillizable. She’s a feisty little critter… Anyway I brought my own brand of inappropriate humour to visit her and it was fun, she told me no one else wants to laugh about the sign that says “on days of discharge, patient must vacate the room by 11am”. I was like, dude… discharge! It says DISCHARGE. What’s not to laugh about? And she agreed but sighed, apparently other people just tell her she’s being vulgar and crude and weird.

Well that’s just wrong… Other people suck.

I take some moments to congratulate myself on being such a wonderful hospital visitor. I should be like an adults-only clown, going ward to ward making fun of the shameful and awkward to lift the spirits of the ailing… But it’s actually really scary being around sick people. Fleeting visions of a nursing career that will never be…  Brrrr…. I don’t like healthy people, I certainly wouldn’t like them with weeping sores and bedpans and having to sponge the smeg out of their comatose fat-folds.

Ewww.

Anyway my friend wasn’t scary looking so it was ok although she did have a load of wires and shit attached to her body. And bruises from I guess scary medical equipment. And they came in and out taking blood and measurements and she coughed a lot. I made jokes about all of it. Some of my jokes fell flat but I just pretended she had misheard me, shook my head and moved on. That’s how you gotta do it.

Anyway the hospital was pretty fun, but it’s not the only reason I am in such blindingly superior form today. (compared at least to the previous 3 days)

So… Yesterday I spent a vigorous hour online checking apartments to rent in Dublin, and calling estate agents. The flat I most liked the look of was actually the only one whose owner called me back and arranged an immediate viewing. So I had hoped to line up a series of potential places to see in one go, but it was not to be. Obviously there would be something glaringly wrong with the apartment I liked. It would be missing a bathroom, or the oven would be gross…. Or it would already be taken by the time I got there… anyway I met the owner and he showed me the flat.

Now, I normally cringe and say, hey, call it a fucking bedsit, that’s what it is… but this is kind of nice enough that I will allow myself to puff up and say “studio apartment.” A studio apartment, anyway… kitchen, living room, bedroom in one… with a little bathroom…. can’t take long to show. It can’t. But it took over an hour. Seriously, the landlord- lovely, friendly guy by the way- literally showed me everything in that room. He showed me how the thermostat works. He showed me where the shared hoover is kept. He showed me how to work the washing machine… he showed me how to work the electric fire. He turned on the shower to show me the shower pressure.

I liked that apartment. I liked it so good… I really, really liked it. It has wooden floors… it has NICE furniture. Normally you rent some shitty little lonesome nest for insignificant low income people and it’s got mouldy grandma chairs that you are not allowed remove, and ass-coloured stains on the counters. You wind up draping blankets on the chairs which just means your living room only ever looks tidy the few minutes before anyone sits down, and then needs tidying again. This place has a nice sofa, a big double bed, a nice armchair, a fireplace albeit with an electric fire… but it is NICE. I fell instantly, madly in love with the place. I forgot all about the depression I have been feeling every morning I wake up in my childhood bed, in my childhood room, but without any of my stuff… You know, I really miss my apartment like crazy. My apartment isn’t all that but it’s MINE. I used to wake up there, ok with a shitty social life and wildly lonely but I woke up peaceful and relaxed. I feel a little heartbroken to be honest, leaving my old apartment. It’s like… when I left my husband. I loved him, but I was unhappy with him. I tore him out of my life while he was still deeply rooted and it hurt like FUCK. Now to a lesser extent I’m tearing myself out of my own apartment that is my home, my first ever real home that is mine… because I’m unhappy in that city. But I still love my home, and I miss it sorely.

I left that almost ridiculously in-depth tour of the tiny apartment feeling like yes… that was it. That was my new apartment. But what to do? It was the first place I had seen. No one takes the first place. What kind of noob takes the first place they see? But I knew it would be gone soon. I had called yesterday about another place in the same building, today it had already gone. I called the landlord and said, you’re gonna think I’m an awful fool going for the first place I looked at but… I’ll take it. If that’s ok….

He laughed. It’s ok by me!

I felt like I needed to explain my childish rushing into the contract… “I just don’t think I’ll find anything better really. I’ve seen some awful photos of places…”

He said something I couldn’t hear down the phone. What?

“Uh I said… you won’t find anything better? You’re just settling for me… Eh never mind…”

Oh wow, an awkward joke! I’m feeling at home already…

So there, I’m signed up, I’ve paid the deposit, I’ve made my bed… it’s a reasonable rent, it’s modern and nice and clean and the walls are thick… I can see myself very happy there. I move in in two weeks so now I just have to head back to Italy, ship my stuff home… and find a MOTHERFUCKIN JOB!

With my emancipation looming, I’ve decided to cut my mother and stepdad a little slack. They have been drilling into my brain with their bickering and snapping at each other, but I am watching it today from a seat further back. It’s horrible and it maddens me still, but I can handle it a few days more. It makes me sad for my mum, but I can usually keep myself above despair about it… She’s a grown up… and she’s too wrapped up in her own version of our family, she wouldn’t even want help. She just wants sympathy and to keep going as usual. It does break my heart, my mum.. I used to want to take her with me when I left this house, but I guess it’s her home.

She comes to visit me sometimes, wherever I’m building my life at the time, and brings her own reality, and sometimes I visit theirs and revert back to my teenage self. I am so glad I’m leaving here. Just thinking about how my mum used to be… I think, before him… but I don’t know… makes me sad and lonely. I was too little, I was four or five. My mum was the greatest, happiest kindest person in the world, but I was little…. She’s a lovely person but she’s also kind of trampled and impotent now, to a point I don’t know how to respect.

My mum reaches out to me constantly across a chasm. I DO try… our relationship has good moments and bad.

She offers me advice of what jobs I could do. She’s so damned naive about some things, it would be funny to me if I wasn’t so sad about it right now.

Here are some career suggestions from my mother.

“Well you like playing computers, you could… design the games, or something.”

“Mum, those jobs go to people who have studied computer game design. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to do that with the rest of my life, so I don’t want to study years to learn how…”

“Well I’m sure you would need to study for the hard bits, but you probably could come up with all sorts of ideas for games.”

“Yes mother but that isn’t a job you can go out and apply for. If I knew how to make games, or if I had a great idea for a game, I could maybe go to someone with that… but I have neither knowledge of how to make computer games, nor a great idea for one.” (apart from: game where you get to actually see the boneing)

“Well you could come up with the names for characters.”

“That is not a job.”

“They must need somebody to come up with those funny names for the characters, or the countries in the games… You were always very good at that.”

“Mother seriously, that isn’t a job I would get paid for. The people who are capable of building massive 3d environments and designing the game in general, would probably be able to stretch to coming up with some fantasy character names.”

“I don’t think so, I think they would get someone to do the names.”

“MOTHER! I know very little about the computer game development process, but I know they don’t pay people to come in and think of a couple of names and then go home”

“Well whatever, it’s just a suggestion.”

“Yeah well.”

“There’s no need to be mean.”

“I’m not… I’m not… Urgh I don’t mean to be. Just… I know that’s not a job, ok?”

“It’s just your tone, I’m sensitive to how people talk to me….”

“MOTHER SERIOUSLY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH MY TONE. It’s not a tone. It’s just… I just don’t… urgh just leave it.”

“Well what about correcting spelling for a newspaper or something?”

“That’s… they have computers for that.”

“Well you’re very good at spelling.”

“I know mom….” (I really am very good at spelling. It’s one of my special skills I have. I’m so good at spelling, when I lived in South America for six months, South Americans would ask me for help spelling their shit… in Spanish.)

“I always thought you were great at spelling. You’re a little wizz!” (STOP PATRONISING ME MOTHER I AM NEITHER LITTLE NOR AM I A… well actually yeah I am a wizz. But I’m not little. Unless of course you mean skinny…)

“Urgh. There are computer programs for that mum, there… like you can a red squiggle appear under words as you type. I don’t use those things obviously because then I would probably lose my awesome typing just like I lost my mad maths skillz when I started relying on the calculator.”

“You’re very good at spelling. You could proofread for a big newspaper.”

“No one is going to give me a proof reading job, I’m like… I got a C2 in English in my Leaving Cert exams.” (I should have studied for those exams but I felt like… I really just didn’t want to study.)

“Well I just think you’re being very negative. I think about it this way, if you like doing it, you’re good at doing it… and you normally do it for free, you should start doing it for money. That’s what should happen.”

“Mother, that’s the kind of thing a hooker’s mother would say”

“WHAT? I DON’T THINK YOU SHOULD BE A HOOKER! You’re twisting my words now!” my mother looks at me in disgust and hurt. “I didn’t say that AT ALL!”

Anyway me and my mum are having all kinds of unwanted conversations about my career. Sometimes I try to be nice so I bullshit, because to say nothing at all or give a noncommital answer is not an option. She weasels an answer out of me. So I say things like, yeah, that’s a great attitude, you know I used to love playing with LEGO, I wonder will they give me a job as an engineer, or an architect? But she gets hurt when I am sarcastic because I’m twisting her words and being nasty. I don’t mean to be, it’s just…. to me, things are either hugely impressive, or wonderfully funny. Or just sick.

The wonderfully funny section of life and the universe is the biggest. But I don’t mean any harm by my attitude, I just like laughing at things. It’s my favorite.

Also I like sex. Sex I take seriously. I don’t like to laugh in sex…. but maybe I am doing it wrong? It’s possible. I have two weeks before the venn diagrams of “living in a country where I can get laid drunk” and “have my own double bed and my parents aren’t one room away” intersect in my kick ass new apartment.

So you know my goal.. apart from obviously the finding a job soon thing… is to get some serious laid.

 

Despite my mother’s best intentions, I will not be combining business and pleasure.

A whore charges…

my love don’t cost a thing.

PARTY ON.

Screw you, job! Cheerio, own apartment! Hasta la never, ITALY! I’ll miss you, hot barman…

Today is my last day of gainful employment for oh, however long I can swing it…

On this spitefully cold, Narnian winter’s day, I leave the ranks of the downtrodden… the servile… the fake smilers.

Unemployment, ho!

I will work again, sure… I know it’s not the last time I endure THE PUBLIC or do something monotonous that makes my sense of self want to curl up with a heated body pillow. I will work again, I will sell out, I will sigh and watch the clock and wish it was Friday.

I would so like to never work again. Isn’t that the dream, everyone’s dream? But I feel like it is something particularly suitable for me. I imagine other people have less difficulty just getting on with it. I just feel like I’m being cheated out of some better, beautiful, serene existence. Maybe everyone feels this way, but it’s probably just me, alone, who sees exactly how unfair it is that I have to do stuff i don’t want to so as to be able to afford things.

I wish there was a better way than yucky unemployment… some nicer way than work. A generous stipend of some sort, filling the lazy days with painting on a sunny terrace, eating things Gwyneth Paltrow would approve of, and spending the seasons like a Jane Austen novel, filling wings of houses with friends for months on end. But with more promiscuity. I would like to be a lady of leisure. I would get very good at cooking, or maybe I would never cook again…

In reality I wouldn’t paint anything, that’s just someone else’s crappy dream I copied from a low fat yoghurt ad. I don’t want to paint. I really don’t. I might paint a nude male model if he was very good looking, but I would probably get distracted then and pretend to need to feel his junk to get an idea of the 3 dimensionality of his form… I am quite good at bullshitting so I would make a great artist, unfortunately they didn’t accept me into art school so now I just mock art students. Although they totally are a bunch of saps and I am not even bitter about it any more. (my portfolio was 50% collages I made when stoned, 50% naked drawings in charcoal. Some of those naked pictures was good, but when it was a male model I tended to focus on the genitals.) Art is not for me though. I’m more about applied creativity, like fixing things with sellotape or using origami to solve the problem of messy water fountain drinkage. I don’t have an artistic vision, no way man…

I’d like to write a book, a really good book. It wouldn’t have to be about anything. It would just need to  be enough about nothing that people would read it and think it must be about something really but I was just not spelling it out for them and they would think it was really a very subtle and clever work of literature. It wouldn’t be a very long book so I wouldn’t have room to bore anyone. And I guess some people would think “this is stupid” but it wouldn’t matter i wouldn’t have to hang out with those people and I could just act like they were too closed minded to appreciate the genius of my writing but in reality those people would be the only ones I could respect, because they saw right through my crappy novel. But they would think I was a hack… I would get very drunk and disrespect my fans and they wouldn’t mind because they would think I was awesome, but then that would make me feel even more contempt for them. I would eventually just become a hermit.

I always wonder about J D Salinger, what his story was.

Anyway it would still be cool, and it’s about as far into greatness as my imagination will stretch.

Some day, ah some day. Maybe.  But of course I would need to sit down and come up with something. I have no problem with the sitting down, or the writing… I could write for hours without running out of things I feel like talking about, the only thing that stops me is the annoying suspicion that a lot of what I write about is extremely boring and the more of my daily life you read about, the more it will start to dawn on you until eventually you just won’t bother any more. But a book, man… it’s not the same as my ramblings about who I am attracted to and how insecure I feel with regards to Nordic women. I have immense respect for the novel, too much to attempt it now when I’m just faffing about. It’s not for me, not yet. I am already pretty spectacular now and I’m only 24, but I will definitely be really super awesome when I am older, and that is when I will write a book if I don’t get hit by a car or something. I like to think when I am 40 I will have a good book in me, and some day I will just sit down and tip it out, and it will pour out of me like a carton of chocolate dessert, and land plop on my keyboard, and it will be a masterpiece of bullshit and meaningful emptyheadedness and I won’t have to do anything else, again, ever, and I can just spend my autumn years resting up and congratulating myself on being so wonderful.

I just have to keep making poor decisions and doing things that make me unhappy and lonely, so I have something to write about. I think becoming unemployed as I am doing now,is a good first step. Being poor is supposed to be good for your writing. I know if I had more money I wouldn’t be writing at all, i would be out buying fancy things and drinking non-fattening alcoholic beverages which I am sure exist if you have enough money. I would also like a panic room in my house. Or to live in a hotel, with my own floor. And I want a pool… And a lot of Chanel.

I wouldn’t get surgery though. Apart from the fact that I disagree with surgery on principle, ie, it’s genetic false advertising… I reckon that if you are rich enough to afford a good surgeon, you are rich enough that it doesn’t matter what you look like anyway. Like the way it works with men, I’m sure the same is true for women… I think the reason we don’t see ugly successful women with hot young men more often is that women probably have more sense than to choose a partner based on looks. So they end up getting with their own peers, successful but maybe not very hot men.

I mean it will probably happen to me too, at some point. I hope I lose my shallow and cop on a bit….

With any luck, I’ll meet someone who could never make me swoon like a hot barman, and he’ll make me laugh or something. Then I’ll be lost once again in the lunacy of these damned human emotions, seduced by the shimmering illusion of a person to fill my lonely. I always believe it, that some other person can fill the void, but it always winds up, I’m lonelier than ever, because at least when I’m single and lonely, I have the hope to comfort me, the hope that some day that feeling will be smothered in me and all I’ll have is happiness. But when I’m lying in a man’s arms, I man I swear I love with every molecule in my body that could potentially be involved in the process of loving, and deep down I still feel the same gnawing… Well that’s just the worst feeling in the world. It’s hopeless. It wasn’t horniness, it wasn’t hunger, it wasn’t a lack of love. It’s Goldilocks, but the baby bear’s bed still just isn’t right. It’s intangible and it’s melancholy, and it’s why people do drugs. The people who have everything they want, I mean. Poor people and people who have shitty lives probably do drugs for other reasons.

Incidentally, hot barman wasn’t working today so I couldn’t even say goodbye in my head while gazing upon his beautiful face one last time. Ohhhh. That was a massive blow. Feels so anticlimactic, like if this was fiction it would never have been allowed fizzle out like this and die without anyone doing anything.

But I’m not sentimental by nature. I really hate to add the burden of emotions on top of real problems. Now I’m going away, a year’s restlessness comes to a head… I’m going, I’m really going. It’s what I want. I’m miserable here. I’m a shadow of myself, I fit in the cracks between Italians, gave up jostling for my own space long ago. I trudge in and out of work, I disappear back into my nest and sometimes I fly away somewhere happier for me. What I have done here has not been good. I’ve been stagnating, barely showing up for work and harvesting money from that miserable endeavour only to spray it back out into the world like champagne with nothing to celebrate. Money, I know you’re good for some happyness… make it so!

I’m leaving loneliness and wasted energy, shame and pain and anger and so, so much loneliness and yet here I am welling up inside about all I leave behind.

My family, I’m not even going to start on how much I am going to miss them. It breaks my heart to tear myself away from my sisters. I am not even going to talk about that, because there’s no point in beating myself up about it, I am no use as a big sister when I am this unhappy… but I will miss them and I am going to miss being a central part of their life. I will go back to the outskirts, only visiting sometimes… I always have to miss someone. I don’t mind goodbyes, it’s not the goodbye that hurts. It’s the slow disintegration of closeness. It’s not painful to me to say goodbye to my sisters, although there will be a yanking of the heart when it comes down to that moment… it’s the being gone from the family nucleus… that hurts.

It’s probably not helping that my current youtube playlist, which is kind of a messed up slightly nonsensical journey from the 40s to the 90s, mostly in chronological order… has hit a choke point in the 80s, with Everything but the girl- missing.

Always stirs up nostalgic things inside me…

It snowed again the other day, I had to go out for Andrea’s birthday and we had synchronised our high heel wearing for the evening, so I refused to pass up the opportunity to look awesome and I wound up running for a bus, 6 blocks in the snow in 6 inch heels and tights. Brrr.

It was a fairly uneventful night really. We drank a lot, everyone kept asking me about my move and my travelling and I kept looking around thinking “no more of these people, no more of these places, no more of these nights and Italians who think I am SO mad and interesting and out of control.”

The most fun I had was when we tipped out of a bar and I ran down the deserted street drawing shapes in the snow on car windows. Guess what I drew? Yep, penises. With some cars, I would be about to draw a dick on the window and suddenly I would feel like oh no, what if it’s an old woman’s car or a family’s car? And then I would draw a smiley face. But mostly I thought fuck it and drew dicks. Several windows received a big fat cock but with a smiley face on the head. I was wearing high heels but I didn’t fall in the snow.

The rest of the night was spent fending off the forgettable guy who… yeah I went and forgot his name again. I remember him feeling my ass in the taxi the other night but decided I had been drunk enough that he would probably believe I didn’t remember or was too out of it. But he kept cornering me and forceing conversation, and offering me a taste of his drink and stuff. I responded to the attention in my usual retarded fashion, by being caustic and cutting him to the bone, which had the usual undesired effect of making him think I am a cool cat and wanting more, more of my rude aloofness.

He pissed me off because he kept saying “oh we will have to come visit you in Ireland!” as if we are some happy gang of buddies and I would ever hang out with his boring Italian face in a country where I have cool people to socialise with, people who are the same height as me or taller and who have a sense of humour. He was insanely short this time, because of my heels. It felt good, but he seemed to not appreciate the absurdity in attempting anything from knee height. Ugh, you get fall-down drunk one time and let some guy grope the top of your buttocks and he like, thinks you’re fair game. Ridiculous.

I wonder, though, maybe we have hung out on several occasions and I just keep forgetting him? I only remember him at all because of the backseat gropefest, it tends to push someone to the forefront of my drunken recollections. If I dig around in the recesses of my mind, there is a vague shadowy figure there talking to me, or rather listening as I flail my arms around and throw out incendiary opinions to see how they sound, and make up news items. Maybe that was him… and maybe he has taken our frequent late night conversation to mean we are buddies and he might get to hook up with me in Ireland? Ugh gross no.I will just tell Andrea, if she is coming to visit me, there is no room for more than her and her boyfriend. I’ll say there is a big potato fair on in Dublin that week and the hotels are all booked up. People are largely ignorant about Ireland so I am sure I can get away with a little white lie.

So that was that, we hopped from bar to bar and then hit a late night restaurant. I never realised such a place existed, but there it was. I had gnocchi alla bava, bava literally means drool but it is actually cheese and cream. It was amazing but the waiter, an old Jeeves type, serving us long past reasonable working years and hours, clearly despised our drunken lairy asses. It was expensive, and the short Italian guy copied me and ordered the same thing but with ham and then insisted on us trying each other’s food. I didn’t want him taking any of mine because it is my favorite dish of all time (I used to be lots fatter) but politeness told me not to yell MINE  and cradle the plate under my arm, exposing my incisors and emitting a warning growl like my dog when she is guarding a piece of mouldy bread.

I very begrudgingly let him try mine and then took one from his plate in return. Oh GREAT. His was nicer than mine. Ballsack, this is why I never try other people’s food. Either you don’t like it, in which case… waste of time… or you do like it, and you regret your choice for the rest of the meal and your own dish no matter how much you originally like it, now tastes like failure.

Anyway, it was an uneventful night. The rest of the people we were with, were nice I guess, except for this one very cutting Italian who kept asking me questions and frowning. I was thinking, dude, we clearly don’t like each other, stop fucking drawing me out. He kept pestering me with pointed questions, lifting the rocks in front of my personality and then recoiling from the creepy crawlies underneath. It was annoying. He complained about his girlfriend in a very mean and cutting manner. I didn’t like that one bit. She was nice, but had very low self esteem. You could tell because she was wearing more makeup than me, which is quite something, and she was going out with that scumbag.

I was bored for most of the night, and I felt tired, I was only really there because it was Andrea’s birthday and I wanted to say goodbye to her. I gave her the dress I bought her… as far as I could tell, it was a good buy and she loved it. I said goodbye to her and her boyfriend, who is probably delighted to see the back of me as I am a terrible influence on Andrea and he always ends up giving me lifts home, drunk as a skunk and screeching about men and the cultural differences here and in Ireland.

I’m going, I’m going, goodbye crazy scene… Goodbye people I liked, goodbye mostly people I could happily never see again.

I said goodbye to my colleagues today, Gabrielle who was in a foul mood because she feels like my dad purposefully stocked her shop with all the ugly clothes, just to spite her or something. I won’t miss her paranoid conspiracies…. but we had some really fun times too, and she was so wonderful when I was hung over and destroyed on Saturdays and sat there stinking and shivering and scaring the customers. She wished me all the best…

I said goodbye to an ex-colleague, who I always liked but it just wasn’t that kind of relationship that carried over into normal friendship territory. She told me if I ever needed anything, to come to her. I thanked her and we took the bus home together, although it was a bit out of her way. We talked about what I was going to do, and where I was going to go… I talked a lot and eagerly, but when she kissed me on the cheeks and got off at her stop, I realised that nothing I had said was very sincere at all, and I had fallen into that trap of saying what you think you are supposed to say, and leaving out all the real true things you don’t think other people want to hear. I don’t like that feeling, but then, we were on the bus and I could feel people looking at me, interested in the foreigner and what possible reason she could have for leaving this fine city.

When she was gone I felt naked, because however little I touched on the reality of my leaving town, I still talked at length in front of all these people. I remember busses in Dublin, sitting for 45 minutes with a friend or two, boasting about drinking and scoring boys and skipping school and talking loud, loud, not caring what anyone else might think… DARING them to judge you, triumphantly part of the newer better rougher generation. Until your friends got off and you were left with your stories hanging in the air, shorn of the validation of your peers.

The thought of feeling judged by these mean, narrow minded bus wankers, merely because I had talked about my plans and aspirations.. nothing scandalous, nothing raunchy… just drove home exactly how wonderful a thing it is for me to move away now. I have never felt so criticized and insecure as I have in Italy. The critical eye of Italy has been good for me in ways like, I am more groomed than ever before. I have stepped away from my previous style incarnation, part 1980s, part scraggy hobo. I have started showering frequently and brushing my teeth… at all. So those are good things, but they are good side effects of bad feelings of inadecuacy. I’m glad I have reined in my tastes and my gluttony and drunkeness considerably (yes, I have, you didn’t know me before Italy… just you wait and see..) because I feel like I look better this way but it makes me sad to live in a society that does that to people, takes a happy person who loves clothes and colours and doesn’t see why they have to be locked in monogamous relationships, and bullies her towards black and brown and navy and beige BUT NOT TOGETHER OF COURSE.

I’m going, I’m going.

It was hard for me not to get carried away with the melancholy of my last day. Everything meant something, everything was a “last one”.

I sat on the tram this morning and the sun was shining like the first day of Spring. I crossed the river on the tram and the light bounced off the wavelets, dazzling and beautiful. It’s a gorgeous city, really. People who come here, love it. They find it impressive. But I just never found it… anything. I reached as deep into this city as a tourist here for a week. I paddled around, I tested corners and cliques and places and people, but I never really immersed myself. I lived here, but I never lived while I was here. I took so many holidays… I never had time off to just sit and watch and enjoy this place. It is beautiful, and I am sure there’s a warm heart underneath the concrete and the snow, but I’m just not interested and the city is hardly going to reach out and woo me.

It’s over, now. I can’t say I gave it my best shot, but I gave it the best shot I was ever going to give it. Ireland is a place so unlike this… it’s a very special place. You don’t realise that about Ireland until you leave her behind, and more than that, you don’t realise what’s special about Ireland until you leave Irish people behind too. I’m sorry, Italy, but she’s just too hard an act to follow.

I do feel under it all, some pangs of guilt about Italy. It’s not a bad place. But it takes a certain kind of person to be happy, an alien in a foreign land. I am not a reed that bends in the wind. I am what I am, I’ll break before I bow.

Tomrrow I pack my things, not everything, mind, but my most loved clothes and my most needed makeup. I leave so much behind, but I’m not moving properly yet. I need to find a place to live in Dublin, then I can come back here and box what I want to keep and send it to my new place. So the packing I have to do tomorrow is really more of a tidying up and throwing out and then (because I already packed my suitcases on Saturday) pulling things out and reassessing whether I really need this many skirts if all I ever wear is dresses.

The organisation of my two measly suitcases is, I think, half geeky, half pathetic, and half genius. That’s right, three halves, just like MANBEARPIG. I also managed to fit three halves in each of my suitcases, because for the first time in my life I rolled and folded instead of my usual scrunch ‘n turf method.

I have photographed and catalogued every item I am bringing apart from pyjamas and my various decoy pjs, which are of course cute little hotpants and string tops that I pretend to have as pjs if I have a man in my bed. UGh so not looking forward to being back in my old room, I am still not sure what kind of sound isolation there is between my room and my mum’s room. I don’t know. I’m going to miss being able to make noise when I masturbate. Not that I’m like… “oh YEAH that’s it OH MY GOD DON’T STOP” when I do the solitary bold thing, but when I’m trying to keep it on the down low, it’s like I have to stop breathing as well as keeping my legs pressed against the wall so the bed frame doesn’t accidentally bang off it… It’s very stressful and I find it very hard to smile afterwards, my mouth is just frozen in a grimace of disgust that I even bother with such limitations, and the sinking feeling that if I don’t get up and dressed soon, my mother will knock-and-come-in at the same time (what. the. fuck?) and ask me if I want tea, but really she wants to know when am I planning on getting up today because it’s a lovely day? Yeah I know, these curtains were a piece of shit when I was a teenager and they are a piece of shit now. They don’t block out any light and they don’t block out the scary shadows when the wind blows branches in front of the window.

They never got me decent curtains! Years, I complained about those curtains. Oh the bitterness. I don’t even WANT to stay in my mother’s house. You know the more I think about it, the more I realise that probably the reason I am so grumpy and testy (he he… testes) with my mother is that I can never get a decent stress relief in that bedroom, it reminds me of my shitty adolescence although I used to tackle the masturbation problem by lying on the ground and pushing my feet against the door in case my mother decided to knock-and-come-in. I used to have a joint afterwards, and lie there all happy and grinning. Ugh, must make sure I find an apartment soon.

Happy thoughts, going to have an awesome time socially… who cares if I have to lie on the scratchy carpet to get my rocks off? Priorities, baby!

Anyway. I’m sure I’ll have a rockin’ sex life anyway, it’s gonna be.. OFF THE HOOK, motherfuckers!

I just have to get STD tested when I’m in London and then get a Pap smear in Ireland because I have never had one and oh my god I could have like, vagina cancer and not know and then I could die like Jade Goody who was only 27. So, yeah. Got to get that test. It’s really bad I have never had one, but there you go. Anyway I don’t know was I just too busy thinking about wanting to have sex to pay attention in sex ed, but I don’t remember anyone telling me that it was important to do these things. I mean maybe they did, I just remember thinking “if they think I’m giving someone head with a condom on, they must have no fucking clue what is going on in the world” so I didn’t bother taking anything on board.

So. I’m sure I’m fine…. I lie, I am deathly afraid of having some horrible disease or cancer. But however, I am not going to obsess about it until I get the test. I lie, I am so going to obsess about it… argh.

Anyway. Last day of work… no more customer stories ever, ever… well, until I get another shitty customer service job. But for now… for the forseeable future… no more. No more of that.

YEEEEUUUSSSS!!!!!

I’m drinking beer right now as I have to clear out the fridge anyway.

If you are also drinking then let me raise a toast to ME, and my awesome future, and my not being riddled with disease, and my fabulous prospects in life.

CHEERS!

Also, thank you, crazy pervy lamewads that you must be, thank you IMMENSELY for joining me and reading all my mind-vomit and all about my tummy vomit too. It’s been a year, oh how far we have come! Yes, we have. I was far more bitter and there were less of you then. I am going to take you all with me now to Ireland and as I am currently unemployed (I love saying that. I am now unemployed and legally separated, could I BE any more winning?) I will probably be bombarding your inboxes with very regular yearnings for Italian vegetables and olive oil and bemoaning the wind and the rain. It’s gonna be a wild ride, maybe. YAY!

P.s

Sorry I have been trying to cut this short for a while but I really just can’t do it.

Anyway, I have been calling myself Chesty LeRoux since I started, but it was just an off the cuff silly pseudonym and I got it from the Simpsons obviously, so it’s not even particularly original. ALSO I don’t have much boobage. I never really did but I was kidding myself about it for ages, I was buying C- cup bras but the elastic would dig into my back and I just refused to buy a bigger bra with a smaller cup, but really… I have to come to terms with it, I am a B.

It sucks, but at least I don’t look as slutty as I really am. That’s the cool thing about small boobs that I would of course sacrifice in a heartbeat in exchange for big boobs- I can, if I want to, look non sexual. I don’t choose to excercise this choice, but it is always there if I want it…. Yeah I know, what a stupidly optimistic way of looking at it. Why would I ever want to look non-sexual? Forget it.

Anyway, so I’m hardly Chesty LeRoux.

BUT I have racked my brain and thought of some other better and more appropriate names for myself.

I haven’t changed my email or username yet but I probably will soon, anyway I think I will be calling myself

Abigail Natalie Flicker.

Oh what? No! No, that sucks!

Ah ha, well don’t worry about that, it’s a bit of a mouthful (ooh arr!)

How about you just call me, Abby N. Flicker.

Badum-bum-tsssshhhhh!

Yeah baby. That’s me…

I spent a lot of time coming up with other names too but I think that is the most suitable. Just.. if you see the name anywhere, don’t freak out it is just me.  Also I reserve the right to change my name again if I think of a better one over the next few days. Let me know your thoughts anyway.

LURKING IS NOT PERMITTED.

Ok, ok, but only because it’s you.

Good night sweet dreams don’t let the genital crabs bite. (What a stupid std. Imagine getting crabs, all you would have to do is shave and they’re gone. I hope I don’t have any stds. I really hope I don’t. Or cancer. Aaaaah. Oh great, it’s gonna be one of THOSE nights…)