The Last time I saw Dick

The last time I spoke to my husband was a year ago, he contacted me- first time since the separation hearing- because he got a letter informing him that he had to pay property tax on our flat, and it wasn’t fair. As I read his name, there was a flood of emotion. Not hatred, not hatred. Just the memory of when his name went with mine, when we were tied up together. His name, his name, the name I was forced to sign after my own on the act of sale when we bought the apartment, even though I didn’t take his stupid name because I didn’t want to, and I already had my own double barrelled name anyway. But they were all men around the table.

There was the ancient white haired notary, impeccable, ivory hands like a pope’s, latest in a long line of king’s lackeys, Oh the money that man skims off the top. The cream of my life’s earnings. Then my father, shaking hands and knocking his fist on the table, asking if it’s mahogany, one piece? What a table. One solid piece of wood. One of these for the office, eh? Waggling his eyebrows at me. So alien to us, the legal, the formal world. He’s a businessman, there’s a certain amount of respect for him even though he’s scruffy and unconventional with bitten cuticles and a battered leather briefcase. Me, dressed up nice, makeup, well groomed for an Irish woman but not quite up to Italian standards. I was just a little girl to them, playing house, peering over the shoulders of the men. And there we were, my dad, my Papi, who was getting more estranged from me every day, and my husband, and then the owner, a weasly man waving his hand sickly to indicate all the properties he owned, who regarded our odd little family with some disgust. Foreigners, and an Italian who didn’t drive or dress in the style he could clearly afford to. Those men, they just looked at me blankly as I said I didn’t want to sign his name after mine on all the documents.

Why should I?  I elected not to take his name when we married. Isn’t a signature something important, something expressive? How could I SIGN a name that isn’t mine? They just looked at me and said “that’s how we do things in Italy.” I said no, it’s not my name. There were so many pages in that document, each to be signed. Each page. And it wasn’t my name. But my dad said this isn’t Ireland, this is how it goes here. I bristled. The little notary added, trying to help, trying to move it all along, because his time was more money than I could imagine, he said “it’s so we know who you are, who the document is talking about.” Without my husband’s name at the end, presumably, I could have been anyone, anyone. I wonder if an unmarried couple buys a house, how the hell anyone knows whose name that is, with the female name, the name unattached to any man mentioned. Who is she, if not someone’s wife?

But this feminist blather, I couldn’t even begin to verbalise. I was outnumbered, and making too much of it, so I swallowed the bile and gracelessly signed around 80 times, 80 times, like I’d been a bad girl, 80 times to drill it into me, Abby Natascha Di Gianni Flicker in Garcia Ramirez, over and over as the men watched until I had hot tears stinging my eyes, and I fell into a place where the words had a beat, and it drummed through my fingers, Abby Natascha Di Gianni Flicker in Garcia Ramirez, again and again and again and my fingers cramped and seized up, it wasn’t fair, nothing was fair, I was buying a lousy little apartment that needed work, and I was the only one of us with any money at all, and I was putting my every penny into the notary fees, to pay the little man, and the estate agent fees, so Graziella could have her Jimmy Choos, the odious woman, almost deformed by her sense of style. Blue mascara and perma tan and frosted lips, and everything so bright and lifted, a sad caricature of youth.

All my money, my grandparents’ generous gift to me, into this apartment with this man, and I loved him still then, but then I know that I had learnt to love alongside hate, too. Stubbornly, because I didn’t want to let go of love wherever I found it, it was too intoxicating. And I sort of always hated him, from the beginning, when he was awful and cruel and used me. And made me feel stupid, or invalid, or like a silly woman, when I was so much cleverer than him. Perhaps that was why he did it.

So I handed over the money, all those thousands, I never saw money like that before or since, and the notary thanked me but it was nothing to him. It was just some kids playing house, plankton, and he had such big fish. But it was all the money I ever had. And then three years later, a year ago, maybe, he emails me, this man whose name I signed with mine, his name brings me back to that table made from one piece of mahogany and impregnated with the metallics of sweat and money. And after his name, after I let myself float off into venomous memory, it subsides, and I can read the message.

We haven’t spoken in so long, it’s surreal to converse with him. Scary, because for so long he’s inhabited a world that’s unchangeable, fixed- that is, the past, but now he’s writing to me and I remember how volatile and poisonous he became, so I’m very aware that this exchange now is not fixed, this is all being written as I write, as I choose my reply. Choose carefully. He holds some power still, to fuck with my life. So I read and reread, and think before I type. He says they’re asking him for property tax, but it’s not fair, because he doesn’t even live in the apartment, so why should he pay? Oh, fair. That word. What is fair? Who teaches us the word, even? What use does it have? The last time you could judge a thing to be fair, I believe it was a birthday party and somebody was cutting the cake with Pythagoras theorems and a spirit level. I point my index finger at the computer screen and its neighbours squeeze tight into a fist. It’s a strange gesture, I’ve never made it before. But I must be physical, or I’ll burst something in my head. My jaw is clenched too.

Oh you you you… Not fair. Not fair to leave me with the whole mortgage, and all those old bills, and never pay, knowing if you don’t I will, and if I don’t, my father has to, because he’s our guarantor. And all the money I put in, and all the money my dad put in, and then you say it’s not fair I get to live in the apartment.

When I told my lawyer, the bitch with the sexless frame stamped in Versace, when I told her he moved out, and never paid me another cent, she told me firmly, you’re a fool. she didn’t think much of my dad or I. She was polite to him, and talked to me like I hadn’t just got married too young, but more like I’d come over from Estonia and given my passport and money to a man in a van who claimed he was a modelling agent. She glared at me as I spoke, her jaw sharp enough to castrate, and I never knew if I was giving her too much information or too little, but she thought I was a damned fool for not trying to get anything from him when we split, and not just that, but to lose money too.

I asked her if I could sue him for the money he owed me, but she said no, there was no point, it would cost more to sue than I’d get back. And he could just skip the country anyway. That wasn’t fair. Debt is an awful thing, it hangs around your neck like a bag of rocks, and it hurts because it’s heavy but also you remember when you picked up those rocks, and you remember that you made that choice for yourself, back then, and you didn’t care it would hurt now because it was good then. It was hard to be stuck in Italy for a year on my own, with a separation, having lost my closest ally in the country, and custody of all our friends, and with my little sisters wanting to cheer me up but lacking the tools, because they were too young. And with that debt, but it was worse still because it wasn’t my debt, and I hadn’t picked up the rocks.

They were his, him, the man with the name, the name they slapped on me, and he left when he wanted, he moved on as soon as he was ready, he met a new girl, kept the visa from our marriage, met his new girl. An Italian. She’s older than me, less attractive, simpler looking. The kind of girl a man would go crazy to love, because she’d make him happy. Not me. I don’t make men happy. I drag them down, and up, and down again. I’m sweet sometimes but then maybe too sweet, and then I’m all claws and pathos and I need, need need. And I’m not sure of anything but I’m passionate about it all, passionately optimistic, but nihilistic, and obsessive and compulsive and impulsive and lazy and hopeless and full of scorn. A woman like that, all simplicity, grounded, real; god, I’ve looked down on that kind of wman but she could make a man happy.

I don’t feel jealous, no, he’s a stranger now, I look at his face and I don’t even know if I remember anything about him, anything I used to know, his secrets, his face, the lines… Oh yes, but there were lines under his eyes, in a sort of network, I remember looking at them, scrutinising his face and thinking he’s older than me, he’ll die first, and I’ll be so lonely without him. But that was another face, and another version of me. there isn’t a grain left of the girl who loved him or cared if he lived or died. I’m not jealous, not of that petty, greedy, mean bully. I’m not jealous. It just feels sad, sometimes, that the people who aren’t good enough for me, supposedly, well, they’re much more capable of finding happiness. Simplicity, and perhaps humility. I find it harder now,because I want so much, and I start to wonder if all my self satisfaction isn’t just self soothing, and maybe i don’t have anything to offer a man after all.

Maybe I’m just young, and men are attracted to me, and I’m intelligent, so I tell myself I’m this full package, this wonderful woman, too good for most I meet. But I’m lonely, now, sometimes. Not in my own thoughts. It’s the physical space, it starts to feel like time for me to move on, onto someone, try it again, more sensible this time, less of a fool, or a different kind of fool. I’m not jealous he moved on, I’m just sad that he’s better at it than I am, that I’m the one still recalling these moments with anger because he’s the last person to share my life, and I haven’t found someone to fill that space since, not really. And tonight, he wrote to me again, a year since we last exchanged some curt, emotionless words, and tonight he asks not for money, but for information. When are we getting divorced? When can we apply? Can we already? Are we good to go?

It occurs to me, he wants to marry his girlfriend. I tell him October. We’ll need a lawyer. A lady told me we could share one, if it’s amicable. I snorted.

Amicable, like our marriage. He never hit me.

He never hit me. But I took a fucking pummelling.

Tonight I tell him October, and I’m about to say we need a lawyer, but I choose not to. I don’t need to enter a discussion with him now. I can’t bear to let him back into my reality. He’s boxed up, fixed, sealed, he stays the same, in the past. If I engage with him now, I can’t… it’s all old. It’s all been pored over, I’ve woven all my own justifications around the past, processed everything, and now I’m firmly in the right, and I didn’t hurt him, no, he deserved it. And anyway I was hurt too.  And he got a visa, and I got his debt. So it’s all set in stone, and let it rest. Please.

But sooner or later i’ll have to not just engage, but speak face to face with him.

With husband. Dick.

The last time I saw Dick was Italy, two years ago, and I had lost weight and given up smoking and I felt so good and happy to be casting off the things that held me, that saddened me. I wore a blue dress I’d bought before our wedding, that I’d considered getting married in but it was a bit tight and then it got too tight altogether as I put on weight.

I had never worn it before, and he didn’t know it was nearly my wedding dress. But I knew, and it gave me a secret power. I wore it confidently, looking great, looking much better than I looked on my wedding day. I felt better. I felt free, or closer to it than ever. In the pit of my stomach was a little twisted piece of pleasure, because I was wearing a dress I couldn’t wear while we were together, and now I was better, a better version of myself without him. We met outside and walked in, the Palazzo di giustizia, big awful hideous eyesore, reminds me always of the Ministries in 1984. Minitru, Miniluv… We walked past staircase A, B, C… it’s a huge complex. A path runs all around, and it takes ages. Lawyers everywhere. The invisible strings of money and power whipping past as heels clicked neatly. Ball stomping heels.

We made small talk. Waited outside the courtroom, finally were ushered in. An old man, a beautiful old man with crinkled eyes and an appropriately gentle smile for us,  in a little room. He was the judge, apparently. I expected an amphitheatre of a court room. Of course it wouldn’t be that. It was a little office. We sat in rows facing the judge. Mari Angela, my lawyer. Dick. Me. I remembered our wedding day. The stony faced registrar asking do you, and Dick bellowed “ABSOLUTELY.” And I was embarrassed, a little, and annoyed that he did it and not I, and then I was going to be the boring one who said I do.

But the judge read our statement made nine months before when we had really split, and the terms of the separation, which I craned my neck to see because I remembered his tears falling on the page and a sick part of me wanted to see the smudged writing. We agreed and signed, and I signed my own name, and then the judge said you are now legally separated, and I wish you the best of luck. And his eyes were on mine as he said that, and I got a feeling of his wishing me well, specifically me, and his understanding, in those eyes, of what I had escaped from, the sad stifled life. I felt he must see so many couples do what we did, and he must catch these glimpses. But his eyes sought me out, and I thought he recognised me and understood. And I felt the whoosh of freedom, and my mouth stretched out into a grin, and I begged myself to stop grinning, to switch it off, go back to the sombre divorce face, it was so rude, so cruel to grin, god, no, and Dick there looking sad and lost. I couldn’t stop smiling so I smirked, but that was awful too, so I strained and strained and covered my face with a hand and scratched my nose, desperately. But the smile leaked out anyway and I was just grateful my body didn’t break out into a dance, or leap into the air, because it felt like it might have.

Oh, to be truly free. October, October. How long will it take and how much will it cost, to get there?

To finally leave him behind, Dick, his name, his face, his part in my life.

I got 99 problems and a bitch is, at the very least, 1.

It’s the final countdown doop ba doo bop, doo ba doop bop doo,

etc.

I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve, except in a household where receiving coal is a real possibility.

Whether I’ve been naughty or nice doesn’t come into it either. In this metaphor I am at the mercy of some very emotional parents.

Anyway. I will now abandon that metaphor. Methaphors don’t really get us anywhere. I actually find reading metaphors irritating. Sorry then for using them like they’re mini tampons. Sorry again for the tampon imagery. Where was I?

I got up at 8am this morning to get these documents for my lawyer, just in case husband aka smegface aka soon to be my ex… no wait he’ll still be my husband… Estranged? Estranged, is that the word? That sounds a bit underwhelming to me. Like we had a fight and may get back together. NOT A HOPE OF THAT.

So I feel all purposeful and like I’m seizing the day, because I got up at 8am which is half an hour before my alarm normally goes off but 1 hour 15 minutes before I actually get up.

I feel like I just seized the day, kissed it firmly on the mouth, bit its lower lip, pressed up against it and made it wish it had a rubber.

I even had breakfast, a pot of yoghurt.

I had to throw out the muesli which was uncool because I had a whole load of different mueslis. (Well, half the bag of each left… I eat all the papaya bits in the first few bowls and then the granola bit bores the hell out of me so I buy more muesli. Actually I don’t care so much because it was all granola I had to throw out.)

There appear to be a couple of moths left in the kitchen but I have to say my kitchen has never been this clean, there isn’t really anywhere to hide. It’ll never sparkle like a cleaning product ad “after” kitchen, because it’s got those horrible tiles that never look clean….. and I know there are layers of dust on top of the fridge that my feather duster couldn’t dislodge because it’s partly oil from cooking… I will have to give it a proper go with cillit bang some time, but I’m pretty impressed with the change.. it’s a massive improvement.

I just hope those bastards don’t have eggs anywhere. I want them gone so I can buy rice again.

URGH! I was pretty upbeat, and then way to ruin my mood:

STUPID BITCH CUSTOMER!

This woman comes in and to be perfectly honest, which is how I roll dontcha know, I am mostly pissed off because I realise I was a big ole bitch to her too.

She made me be a bitch, but I could have been nice. See she came into my shop where I was peacefully writing my blog about feeling pretty damn good, and she comes in with a sour face and itching for a fight. She comes in where I’m tolerating my day and bursting with the desire for it to be tomorrow already. She comes in and starts giving out to ME for some shit my colleague may have told her, that her receipt would be ready in 15 days or something which sounds very unlike my colleague because these special fattura receipts are really fucking hassley and only the boss can do them, so saying it will be ready for this pain in the ass customer in 15 days is like answering “3.5cm” to the question how long is a piece of string. The boss will do it when the boss will do it. We are legally required to do this shit for customers if they ask for it but it’s a stupid law no one obeys and it’s a clothes shop, so I don’t know what nitpicking moneygrabbing fucker is claiming tax back on clothes.

The people who ask for the fattura in my shop are usually part of amateur drammatics societies buying costumes for plays. This instantly chafes my social receptors because I am suspicious and queasy around people who are so fucking motivated that they actually think up hobbies to keep them occupied after they get home from work.

It sickens me, who do they think they are, prancing around for free, doing shit that makes them happy while mmy hobby is to wallow in my own filth and feelings in the comfort and safety of my own home? Of course if I liked theatre it would be different. But this is my brain we’re chugging through, if I wanna be hypocritcal and suspicious of anyone who likes different things to me, it is, in the words of Britney Spears, my pre-ro-ga-tive.

Anyway this bitch comes in all guns blazing and I parry her bad vibes with ice bitch impatience and lack of empathy. You come in here all angry, fuck you. I’m not here to help, I’m not customer service who’s gonna be all “I’m so sorry ma’am, what a frustrating experience for you”, you can actually go fuck yourself, my job here, what I’m being paid to do, is unite people with money with things they would be willing to give me their money for.

That is all.

Here by the way, is one of my favorite series and depicts one of my recurring dreams.

Pretty rampant in the world of customers is the attitude that the people in the service industry are somehow the servants or even employees of the customer. This is incorrect. We are the employees of the people who employ us, the boss, the capo, the jefe if you will.

We are nicer to customers than they deserve because this is in line with the empoyer’s guidelines to maximise likelihood of money being relinquished by customers.

When we say yes ma’am thank you ma’am, it is an empty platitude. We smile with our mouths and not our eyes, if you haven’t noticed. If you think that shine in the eyeball is a shine of happiness or genuine interest, don’t be so foolish. Even glass shines.

Sometimes we really are being friendly out of the goodness of our personalities. Sometimes we say “it suits you” and we mean it. Sometimes when you spend a decent amount we know our boss will be pleased with us, and we sincerely thank you very much and hope you come again.

But we are not the modern day equivalent of your fucking chambermaid. Customers like to think they are in some higher class than waiters, barmen, retail assistants and such. I’m a customer too, in other shops. This isn’t Gucci or some shit. I shop in more expensive stores than my own, so I know nobody in here buying shoes from me is totally minted.

It’s not like in the golden age of everyone who was anyone having servants: the people who serve you in a shop or restaurant can afford to eat in the same restaurants and shop in the same shops as you. It’s not like shop assistants are born to peasant parents who call their daughter “Bessie” because she’s gonna wear the frilly cap one day and marry a nice stable lad.

It really sticks in my craw when people without realising it, act like I’m some lowly servant because I happen to be doing a job that doesn’t require a degree. It’s particularly irritating because I consider myself a very smart individual, so this whole “you suck cause you didn’t go to college” bullshit is a sore point.

I’m happy with my undergraduate course in the university of life, but there are little moments of sensitivity like people going OH when they ask what I study and I say I work. (CUNTS)

Anyway. This woman pissed me off with her belligerent attitude and readyness to go ranting to me about some minor error of my colleague. So I was extremely rude. she was taken aback. I said I have nothing to do with it, I never said 15 days, etc.

Sorry, did I do anything wrong? Did I not just tell you to call before you come in next time so you don’t waste a trip? I don’t care, come back tomorrow if you want but IT PROBABLY WONT BE READY.

So she storms off snorting in indignation, all wide-nostrilled like a crazy horse.

She pointedly, loudly mentions to her friend just outside the door:

“THE GIRL THERE IS VERY POLITE!”

Sheesh, my pocket sarcasm detector just vibrated so hard, I almost came.

Anyway I was calming myself with “be nice, fuck her, she was a bitch before you were, don’t worry about it, stop beating yourself up, and fuck it people must realise when they go around giving each other shit, I’m not just some smile without a face standing here in the wings of existence, waiting for a customer to observe me and spring me into their personal reality like the sound of a tree falling in the woods. I have my own crate of shit to carry around, if angry cunts like that are gonna get all up in my grill, it’s gonna get ugly.

So I calm down and promise to be more empathetic next time and stop with the personal crusade against rudeness fought primarily using my own rudeness.

Then in comes a muslim woman in a headscarf and matching floral mumu.

Ugh. Groan. Now I get to feel terrified of somehow offending this woman with what I imagine is my stench of atheism and flash of sexy legs, while I show her scarves and shit, all the while firmly aware that she thinks I’m some demonic hussy who should be pelted with stones. My hair is long and loose: I wonder is the experience of shopping here, for this muslim woman, comparable to me shopping in a place where the salespeople go topless? I wonder what it’s like for them.

She wants to see a scarf. I show her the scarf.. She asks what material it is. I check the label, say it’s rayon.

She’s like, what’s that? I wikipedia’d it ages ago and don’t full understand. It’s a semi-synthetic, semi natural fabric. I don’t know what that means, too lazy to look it up again and figure it out.

Also did you know Wikipedia has ceased to run its Italian version? There’s a new batshit crazy law that says that anything published online, if it’s about someone (and regardless of truth or falsehood) has to be taken down and corrected within 48 hours if requested by the person it’s about. So for example as a blogger, if hot barman comes across this, he could be like “hey I’m not hot, change that shit” and I would have to edit my blog to change all instances of him being hot with him being ugly, which isn’t true, but then everyone would read this and think what was all the fuss about with this ugly barman? And also, no one would know how truly shallow I am.

Anyway. So I’m like… ungh… it’s semi synthetic, I think it’s made from a natural fibre but it’s treated or processed somehow…

She’s highly suspicious.

I’m deflated, I couldn’t be arsed selling rayon to her with enthusiasm or a saleswoman pitch.

I shrug. It’s not itchy or anything, it’s soft like cotton.

She tries it on. I am treated to a naughty glimpse of hair under her current scarf. I wonder is it rude for me to look? I understand the thing about hiding the hair though… I feel a prickle of taboo when her scarf comes off, like I’m actually seeing something more exciting than some flattened stragglers of reddish brown. I should whip out my penis right now and be like “FOOOOOLED YEWWW!!!”

That would be cool.

Except if her husband caught me looking, she’d be due some lapidation for allowing her hair to show in front of a man. Is that the correct term for being pelted with stones? I think so. If so, wow finally I get to use it lapidation in a sentence. It’s a first I think.

Anyway.

She starts asking me if it suits her. I am like, yes it’s nice. She doesn’t trust me. She turns to another customer, some bitch who was going on about her supposedly flat feet and how hard it is to fit them into shoes. I’m like, wow real interesting, maybe increase the shoe budget a bit and quit looking in the bargain basement section? But I don’t say that, I just smile and nod.

Anyway the other woman tells her it’s a lovely scarf. The muslim woman thanks her as Flatfoot makes a swift exit with panicky eyes.

“I know you’re being sincere!” she tells the woman’s fast retreating back, shooting me a sidelong “the same doesn’t apply to you” look.

I can’t help that I’m the help, I can’t be more sincere or less sincere… Really, the scarf is nice. Honestly I don’t give a crap, but I’m the salesperson what am I supposed to say I hate it, you look like crap, why don’t you throw in the towel and scarf and leave your husband and buy some chairs to sit on when you eat instead of that cushions on the floor crap?

Sorry is that too sincere, right-o, I’ll keep my sincerity to myself (and my blog) and just limit it to the fact that yes I think the scarf suits you as much as any shroud for your sexuality possibly could. You work that metaphorical condom against man’s lusty thoughts. Oh and keep up that “it’s not repression, it’s just a way to praise god” shpiel… real convincing. I like to praise god by keeping my toenails hidden from view, but that’s just me.

But the scarf objectively is nice on her, so I wasn’t being fake or anything. Maybe my enthusiasm wasn’t at the correct pitch, well I’m sorry but I’m not in the right mood. I was this morning, but stupid receipt bitch ruined that for me.

Anyway she doesn’t sense the flatness of my spirits right now and complete lack of the will to be involved in interactions beyong open till insert money remove coins close till force a smile thank the customer be left alone again breathe sigh of relief.

She starts HAGGLING.

€7.50 is too much.

I’m like, well sorry there’s nothing I can do.

€7.00, I’ll give you €7.00.

I’m sorry I can’t, it’s not my shop, I can’t give discounts.

€7.00, ok?

No, I can’t. Sorry. Look I scan the label, the price comes up, I can’t do anything to change that (even if I wanted to, which I don’t)

I don’t have the energy, I retreat to the till before I become a bitch again. I don’t want a jihad on my ass over this fucking scarf.

I do my traditional rustling of papers to look busy.

She starts inspecting the scarf for flaws with her hawk eyes.

She asks what colours would go with the scarf. I give a noncommital, oh lots of colours, black, brown, beige, green… any colour really, it’s very neutral.

I firmly believe you can wear any two colours together in theory, as long as it’s with an attitude and obviously it’s not a fucking rule, just because one green thing goes with one brown thing doesn’t mean all green and brown go together.

She snaps at me because of my vague answer.

“OBVIOUSLY NOT ALL COLOURS!”

I sigh and look at her sorrowfully. Why does everyone want to argue this shit with me? I work here, I will agree with you as far as I can, but my own personal taste is so fuckng different to yours, there’s no way we can really talk honestly about clothes.

I agree, sure, not all colours… fine.

She insists on applying her own personal taste as a blanket over all of clothingdom.

“NOT WITH BLUE OR GREY, OBVIOUSLY!”

Right… so yeah the blue item she is wearing looks terrible with the army green scarf, but like, I know blue jeans would probably look nice with it. I rebel against all application of universal rules to clothes. That magazine advice over what not to wear makes me wish we just lived in the Star Trek world and got one colour to wear for the rest of our lives. It’s one of my pet hates. (I have a fucking animal sanctuary of hates you know)

All the rules of what to wear can be bent, I repeat, it’s a matter of attitude and personal tastes. Brown and black used to be the biggest no-no, and if you’re completely clueless with clothes, then fair enough it’s a good rule of thumb. But sorry if brown and black clash so badly, then how the fuck do you explain people with dark skin wearing black, or anyone with brown hair wearing black? Or black haired people wearing brown? Does black clash with my hair? No. So brown and black are ok together. I mean not all black things and all brown things, but having a no this with this rule is just stupid. They are colours, for fucks sake.

Anyway enough of the rage.

She haggles again, I insist I can do nothing, wearily.

She flings the scarf at me and snaps “fine, I’ll take it” like she’s doing me some huge favour but she’s not happy about it. I have done nothing wrong, I wasn’t even remotely rude this time.

Fuck off.

And then imediately behind her comes this miserable sweaty middle eastern dude who wants to show me jewellery he’s selling, and I’m like No no no thank you not interested no no no.

And he’s like just have a look, and I’m like no no no sorry.

Just have a look, I’ll just show you some…

I’m like I SAID NO! DO YOU UNDERSTAND NO?

And he’s like, ooooooooh sor-ry!

And he goes all offended and then my dad comes in and catches me typing my blog but I manage to really unsubtly exit out of it before he can see anything but still I’m internetting when I shouldn’t be.

But I ignore that because he doesn’t say anything although I know he’s not happy because every time he springs in the door of the shop, I’m typing away and I can’t close the window quick enough… damn. But I can’t resist the pull of the internet or the temptation to spill my guts live from the scene of being hassled by people.

So then this OTHER middle eastern guy who also stinks of B.O comes into the shop and starts offering us brooms he is selling.

My dad and I in unison start chanting “No, No, No Thank you, no, no, not interested, no.”

And he repeats, do you want a broom? Brooms? I have mops? Dustpans?

We’re like no no no ad nauseum, and he keeps insisting.

This makes my blood boil. I’m getting hot feminist rage flushes all over because this is exactly the same bullshit that the guys in nightclubs pull, it’s like respect my first answer, you’re not changing my mind, no means FUCKING NO!

My leg hairs are standing on end like a motherfuckin hedgehod. I’m glaring fiercely at this sweaty fucker, and it’s probably hugely amusing to him because my fierce angry look is about as convincing as Victoria Beckham being snapped eating dinner.

My dad is pissed off too, so I let him have the floor as my voice is high pitched and lacks any real authority.

The guy starts flashing his stupid seedy teeth.

“Oooh mister, you need a aspirin? You need a aspirin for your stress? Ha ha!”

And he’s standing there leering and my dad is yelling at him to get out and I just close the door slowly so he automatically steps a bit back and then I shut the door on him and he shouts in to us that we need to chill out.

But like, seriously if it was just one guy fair enough we are an uptight little family unit.

But it is CONSTANT.

Gypsies coming in to steal… old women coming in to beg…. those Bangladesh guys selling roses….. window cleaners trying to bully me into paying them to clean the windows that I clean for free every couple of days…. nuns trying to sell calendars (I am rudest to the nuns)… disabled people trying to sell pencils for 2 euro (I don’t understand the deal with the pencils, it doesn’t help that it’s like actual… what’s the word… special people trying to explain the deal with the pencils)… greenpeace…. actual customers…

it’s non stop… oh and then last but not least, those assholes who dress in white and paint their faces and arms white and then go up to people on the street and expect money for some reason.

And if you don’t give them money and laugh and shake their hands and appreciate the shitty little half a mime bit they do, you’re an asshole and they tell you you need to chill out.

My whole life philosophy, or whatever philosophy I have managed to sculpt for myself from extensive hermitage and repeated watchings of sitcoms, is that you live your life how you want to and you don’t step on other people’s toes or stand in their way and you certainly don’t get off an escalator and as soon as you are no longer standing on a moving step, just stop right there and look around you while people pile up behind because all you’re thinking about is yourself. To me, that’s just one of the most self absorbed piece of shit behaviours I have ever come across. Yes I’ve lived a sheltered life perhaps…

But seriously, my moral code says first and foremost, do no harm unless you have to do harm. You can’t help being an asshole sometimes because sometimes the way a situation is structured, the only room you have to move without screwing yourself over, is to be an asshole. I seethe with hatred and indignation when I see someone who is in a bad mood seeking out someone to offload their shit onto. I may sometimes offload MY shit onto people, but I will hide away on my own when I’m in a bad mood so as to internalise most of my negative energy. I know that’s not always good for me, but it means I only snap at people who come up to my cage and start poking through the bars. Me in a bad mood, I will stay in my place by myself until I’m feeling better, and then I will seek out company. But other people, some of them are real dicks and they look for trouble with other people. Conflict saps my energy, but some people get off on it.

Anyway I had a load of these people today wrecking my buzz.

I wrote this at work but couldn’t post because I was afraid my daddy-o would come back in and catch me writing angry blog things at work, I would be in so much shit.

And after work I went and…oh don’t judge, I know I’m terrible….

So the other day I picked out a few of my items of clothing I don’t like or wear, but that are basically brand new and that I just bought in a fit of shopping hysteria, and I brought them in to work and put them for sale. My co worker Gabrielle does this all the time and I’ve always thought it was really bad, selling people used clothing as new stuff… but then I was just jealous because she gets some cash for those clothes she shouldn’t have bought. So anyway first day I put my stuff on the rails, I sold a dress for 40 euro. YAY! It was actually really nice but I never wore it, but now obviously I will miss it like mad.

Anyway I celebrated byyyy…. GOING AND BUYING A NEW DRESS!

Yes. I feel a little foolish but it’s a pretty dress. It’s quite classy and sober looking but short and flattering enough that I don’t have to worry I might once leave the house without showing off my fuckability.

It’s too short for court though. OHHH SHIIIT I still don’t know what to wear.

Right better get onto that.

Tomorrow I will let you know everything obviously.

Wish me luck, or whatever.

I’m so excited, I feel like tomorrow is my big day.

I feel like tomorrow is really my ceremony of marriage to myself.

Like I’m saying, I promise never again to settle for some fucktard with thick arms just because I’m afraid to be all alone and weird. I won’t forget how much better I am on my own. I won’t forget how much I love to dress slutty and I won’t forget how even guys who like me slutty at first, always start getting all posessive afterwards, and how it’s not flattering- posessive, it’s just oppressive like you’re his property or some shit.

:)

YAY!

Zen and the art of petty complaints

I’m still all quitted and stuff. I’m proud of myself again, although last night had a weird mini panic attack where I remembered some really shameful interactions I had with male people long long ago and the humiliation and self-loathing hit me hard for a few minutes and then I remembered, oh yeah I do lots of things like that, I just won’t do them any more, and man you had forgotten about that… Just bury it again.

If I remember my teenage years and unfortunately I remember most of them, it’s just one big red blush. I was so foolish, even more foolish than I have been of late.

I think my 15 year old self would be amazed at me. I’m getting a divorce and living in a country I hate doing a not very impressive job, with very few friends, but I know my 15 year old self would think I did pretty well considering how bleak things looked back then.

Anyway, it was only a mini panic, I got over it pretty quickly and got up, had a banana milkshake which I was too impatient to liquidise properly so it wasn’t great actually….

But meh.. I’m doing ok, I managed to lose weight and so far so good I haven’t smoked since last Tuesday or maybe Wednesday I think my pathological lying is making it hard to remember what was the real last day. But it’s good anyway.

All I have to do now is sort out my posture, sort out my teeth which are yellowish and don’t smell too nifty, and go to the gynocologist because it’s really bad but I have never been. I’m too afraid. I’m afraid they gyno will tell me I have cancer in my womb or something, and that I can’t have children or something. So that’s going on my list of things I need to do also… seeing how I’m on a roll of accomplishment and shit.

I’m looking pretty dog- garned slim, my hair is clean and has been brushed fairly recently. I smell good too. I finally threw out this old can of deo that had only the CFCs left, and I got a new one and it’s pretty strong although it doesn’t smell like any kind of smell I would have chosen for my body.

I wonder why we can’t get deodorant that smells nice. Yeah I know there’s lavender sticks and citronella and all that hippie jive, but I’m a sweaty bundle of hormones.. My upper lip thinks it belongs to Salvador Dali, and my pubic region just signed a lucrative contract with a manufacturer of guitar strings.  I need some heavy duty industrial shizz to block those pesky pores from giving off that sultry musk of ripeness. And I really like the smell of some proper perfumes. Like Kenzo Amour, or Issey Miyake. Why isn’t there a deodorant that smells like that? Who puts perfume on when they’re clean? I don’t, because the top is gone off my Kenzo perfume and to get any out I have to impress a red circle onto my tender wrist flesh.

I want an expensive, classy deodorant that smells nice. My deodorant doesn’t smell like anything other than deodorant.

Anyway it’s not important, it just seems weird that the big brands are selling oh-de-toilet, and cologne, and body lotion with the nice smells and they aren’t cashing in on the deodorant market. I’m no scientist, but I don’t see why they can’t make perfume for your pitts.

And leaving that mini tangent aside, I’m disturbingly optimistic now in the lead up to Friday. Friday, the day of reckoning.

It will be my first time in the same room as a judge. I wonder do they wear wigs in Italian courts? I don’t know what to wear.

I mean I don’t have anything remotely classy that doesn’t make me look like I’m dressing up for something. I have got a pants suit but I haven’t worn it since before I had an ass. It gives camel toe if I remember correct. I would also feel like a total phoney in my suit. Like husband would see me wearing it and start sniggering. But screw him because he’ll probably show up in a hawaian shirt and the leather jacket he tied to a rope attached to his skateboard and dragged around the place to make it look all scuffed on purpose. (Yeah I’m cringeing)

Anyway I don’t know what to wear. My most business person like dress I wore on my big buying expedition like a business person is actually the dress I got married in, so it would be making some kind of weird statement to wear that to my separation hearing. I can’t poke the beasht before he signs shit. Also, I don’t even know what kind of statement that WOULD be if I were to wear the dress I got married in.

I don’t have a lot of sober outfits.

Oh maannn an girl just came into my shop all sweet looking and did a massively stinky fart, and she doesn’t even look ashamed or anything. We’re the only two people in here, and I know it wasn’t me. she’s just casually looking around with the kind of dignity I wish I could muster when I’ve just let a bad one slip out… She’s a pro, she has me doubting whether it really was her or some invisible third person. Maybe a midget came in and I didn’t see them. This has happened many times. Once when he came up to my desk I was so strartled I yelped. There was no way of recovering from that, we just stood there in an awful stalemate, I couldn’t say anything to make it not insulting. I don’t even know why it was insulting, I just know it was.

Anyway what to wear what to wear?

I saw a pair of heels I LOVE in the window of my favorite shoe shop yesterday. I am going today in the hope that they won’t have my size. But I don’t have any money in my account anyway. I have to get paid tonight I think. Until then I have 8 euro in my account and that is money I can’t withdraw because you can’t withdraw 8 euro. So I can safely go into shops and waste fake-nice shop assistants time feeling like a piece of shit because I hate people who do that to me, but then bolstering myself with indignance and you know what, fuck them, I’M A CUSTOMER, IT’S THEIR JOB! Just like real customers tell themselves to make it ok for them to smirk at the salesperson and say “I’m just gonna leave all these things I tried on with no intention to buy here in a heap so you can put them away properly, I wouldn’t want to do it WRONG”

The bastards.

Quickly, quickly:

If you have enough time to try on clothes, you have enough time to put them on the hangers. Put them on the hangers badly, if you are completely thick. I know some shops have this way of wrapping the hanging loops around and around on the hangers and I never know how to do that, so I just hang the shit the normal way. That’s fine I think, I mean I’m not trained by that shop, but I do know how to hang a shirt on a piece of wire.

If you have clothes at home, the chances are you are capable of putting an item of clothing on a hanger in some capacity.

When you try on clothes, it takes 2 seconds longer to put the item you just took off onto a hanger than it does to fling it over the door of the fitting room. And then you get to feel like a basically decent person when you hand the stuff to the girl outside.

It’s a common excuse that because it’s someone’s job, it’s no longer your responsibility. If you go to a restaurant’s toilet, there is someone whose job it is to clean up that toilet. Does that mean you should shit on the walls, or pee all over the floor? It’s someone’s job to mop up if you do, but it’s your responsibility not to. Same goes for pretty much fucking everything.

I take it a bit too far because I’m incredibly anal for someone who is both untidy and not a fan of anal.

Like I have clothes strewn all over my floor at home. The bathroom is disgusting. The kitchen smells worse than the bathroom.

But all my tights in my tights and leggings drawer are rolled up into a ball and sorted in a rainbow in order of colour and thickness.

I have a massive bag of odd socks I never feel like pairing. But I will not wear socks unless they are a pair. Even if I wash one sock and it comes out a different colour than its mate, I’ll happily wear that as a pair but by no means will I wear two similar coloured socks that were not originally a pair. I don’t know why this is, but it is.

So when I’m shopping and a shirt slips off the hanger as shirts are wont to do because hangers are shittily designed, someone needs to get in there and revolutionise the hanging world by the way, well I always put them back properly. And then when I see stuff that’s hanging wonkily that I haven’t disturbed or been near, I will right that too. People always come up to me and ask me where things are and I’m like, “HELLO? Do I LOOK like I work here?” When yes obviously I do look like I work there because I am tidying up the shop.

Anyway I was sorting my newest tights last night (I bought a few new pairs, yay!) and it struck me that the half an hour I spent putting away my tights the way I like them, I could easily spend I don’t know putting my clothes away properly or emptying the dishwasher. But those things don’t bother me the way it bothers me when my tights are getting all freaky with each other in a jumbled heap, and then I go to pull out a pair and its legs are all tangled up sordidly with other pairs and sometimes I rip a pair in my disgusted haste to untangle them.

So there you go, slow news day…

I’m holding off on the massive pendulous swings of my mood until Friday when all will become clear.

I’ll either drag myself home to blog dejectedly, or I’ll stay out all night drinking and hitting on very young men who are a little bit terrified and disgusted by me, and crawl into work the next day like death’s asshole.

Either way, emotionally I am reserving myself for this weekend.

Today is mellow.

I’m bubbling away with inticipation.  I just want to pop out and yell “YIPEE” or “Woe is me!” but it could go either way.

Spoiler: I cheer up somewhat at the end of it : )

What goes up must come down.

This time I am not suffering from internal loop the loops of emotion.

My state of mind was GOOD. I was feeling empowered and awesome.

I had a meeting with foreskin-face (the artist formerly known as husband) and my lawyer.

I skipped to my meeting all confident and wearing no makeup for the first time in months, not smoking… man I was so innocent and happy.

I met husband outside the lawyer’s. He leant in to kiss my cheek. We exchanged words. Friendly friendly friendly. He mentioned that he was out last night with Hank Scorpio. Ugh. Anyway we went into the lawyer’s office all friendly and conversing and I thought hey I’m being the bigger man here, I am seething at the audacity of this scumbag owing me money for bills and hanging out partying with Scorpio and unknown girls and stuff, and I’m being all friendly.

We sit down. Lawyer starts reading through some papers just to make sure we have everything in order for our legal separation hearing in court on Friday.

Foreskin-face nods, says nothing.

I ask him something.

He nods, smiles… then nonchalantly mentions that he has no intention of coming to court on Friday.

My head spins. It’s still spinning.

What?

He doesn’t want to go. He thinks I made him suffer by breaking up with him and by being like, yeah we can’t work together any more, so you need to start looking for another job. (I GAVE HIM HIS JOB, HE WORKED WITH ME RUNNING THE SHOP!) I didn’t throw him out, I just said that obviously splitting up we couldn’t stay working together, it wasn’t going to be good for either of us.

He said, I made him have a shit time, so now he is going to make me suffer. By not giving me my separation.

He looked so smug. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I have waited 8 months for this separation date. I have been waiting desperate to get the paperwork done, so I can start my new less naive life without him in it.

Now he won’t show on Friday, so that means it’s no longer a consensual separation. Now I will have to start the process of requesting a separation all over again and we will both need lawyers, and it will DRAG THE FUCK ON.

He sat there, shrugging like he didn’t give a shit.

I explained to his numb skull that if he signs this shit on Friday, he doesn’t need a lawyer, my dad will be willing to wait 3 more years before putting the apartment in his name (it’s complicated, but my dad has a signed affidavit or something that gives him power to take control of the property as the guarantor for the mortgage) and that way husband won’t be liable for the few thousand euros of fines he would have to pay for giving up the apartment within five years of buying it.

If cock features doesn’t show up on Friday, he will need to pay a lawyer. He will be dragged through all this unhealthy bullshit litigation, he can’t hope to gain anything because he has no right to anything. I could, if I were an asshole, ask my lawyer to charge my husband maintenance and the mortgage payments. but I am not that kind of person. Also, my dad will be fucking furious with his scumbag son in law, so he will use his affidavit immediately, meaning husband will be fined a shitload of money for giving up his property.

I told him this, he shrugged.

I burst into tears. My dreams of a stripper-filled bachelorette-again party went up in smoke.

I warbled at this smug stranger sitting next to me,

“I married you because I loved you, and so that you could have the same rights as me in Europe. I did that for you. Why would you do this to me now? I haven’t done anything to you.”

He gave me some nonsensical answers about how he had nothing against me, it was my dad that was “whispering things in my ears, like how to screw him over” and that he “wanted to get his revenge because he did all this ceramic tiling on the balconies and all I made was a fucking curtain for the bedroom” and that “he was left on the street and now I should suffer too”

I’m completely baffled. He seems to have lost it completely. I’m a little scared, but mostly miserable and dejected and feel like my whole world has crumbled underneath me again. If he wanted money or something I’d understand, it would make some kind of sense.. this general whining about tiles on the balcony, what the fuck?

I thought I was nearly free.

Now it all starts again, and this time with a spiteful horrible asshole setting out to make things hard for me.

He doesn’t know how I have suffered too.

He has all his friends, I have one friend now after 9 months alone crying and beating myself up about things. He has friends and they are good friends too. I have one friend and we’ve only become close in the last once or twice we have gone out together. He thinks I’ve got it all, I have a whole lot of shit. But he’s clever too because I was building myself up and I was doing well, even without a whole lot of anything solid, I was feeling good about myself.

And then he goes and with one devastating blow, he’s got me right back to his level. Or maybe not, because I haven’t smoked or wanted to. And if I don’t smoke now when I feel like shit’s ugly cousin, I’m fairly confident I’m not smoking any more. And I had a chocolate milk but that’s ok, it’s just a little one it’s not going to make me fat. So I have made some headway that isn’t going to evaporate just because pubeface plays his ONE usable card.

What a cunt though.

The thing that makes me feel tiny, absolutely worthless, is that… I can improve my self and my situation, but until I finish this litigation business and get that document that says I’m free, I’m still The Wife of the most petty, vindictive and heartless bastard I have ever met. I’ve had flatmates who stole my money, I’ve had friends who’ve stolen the guy I liked. I’ve had co workers who ratted me out to the boss for my slutty clothing. But I have never crossed paths with a truly awful person before. I know desperate times can make people do bad things that are out of character, but I don’t care. I can’t possibly condone or forgive anyone, ever, for inflicting pain on another person ON PURPOSE.

If he stood to gain from hurting me, then I can understand it although i would hurt the same.

But he doesn’t. In fact it will cost him money and energy and sanity to pursue this petty vendetta.

But he’s doing it anyway just to hurt me. He admitted this in his own words in front of my lawyer, who was incredulous. She asked him a few questions as to what he hoped to achieve. He had nothing answers like “I dunno” and “whatever”. He just wants to make us pay, he says, and “us” is me and my dad because yes when I left him my dad tried to get me to protect myself from potential dickery like this, so he insisted on a lawyer and stuff. I was always honest and open with husband, and I never did anything to try cheat him out of money.

I hurt him because I broke up with him, I broke his heart and I broke mine too. We had a sweet, loving relationship but if you scraped away at it, at the core we were two different people with different ways of seeing things.

When he proposed to me he told me he loved me for the way I had of looking at the world. He said he had never met anyone like me, not at all… he said it was so wonderful how I saw things, he wanted to be with me for the rest of his life.

I never said that back to him. I always felt that how he saw things was a little bit skewed and wrong. I shouldn’t have married someone who had a different lens, but I didn’t think I’d come across another fisheye like myself so I made do with someone who at least appreciated my way of seeing, even if he couldn’t see that way himself.

I spent a lot of time and energy trying to broaden his mind in arguments. I stretched my head to fit his point of view too, and even if I didn’t like it, I would try see where he was coming from. I can see where he’s coming from now, and it’s not some innocent point of view that differs from mine. It’s a desperate, small man’s pathetic last scrap of power over someone. He used to have me in his power, because I loved him, he had power over me. I lived to make him happier. I sang to him. I have a terrible flat voice but I sang to him and I used to laugh like a dolphin for him because it made him smile. He would ask me to do it. He’s say, “come on please, laugh like a dolphin,” and I’d open and close my jaw while tilting my head back and smiling. He loved that.

And now all he can make me do is feel like shit, and cry, and hate him.

Asshole.

For the first time in my life I really don’t feel empathy for someone.

He’s a dick.

Everything he lost, he lost himself, through his own fault.

I was 21 when we got married. I tried my very very best to make him happy and he got lazy and he didn’t try to make me happy or excited. When our sex life went stale I dressed up for him and he made me feel like a fool.

I used to wake up at night and cry because I had a nightmare that he died.

I can’t imagine anything that would improve my life more than if he did die. That’s awful, but if we each got one free hit, to use as we please, I’d use it now.

I’d probably be foolish to waste my free hit so young, but man… anyway if we each got a free hit he’d probably use it on me. I don’t know.

Ugh I don’t even want him to die, I just want this person he has turned out to be, to not be part of my life. I accepted the guy I knew and loved as my husband. That guy wouldn’t do this shit. But hey it’s the same person, I just didn’t pay attention before. I never saw this side to him because before we were on the same team. Now I’m the enemy. I will not make that mistake again. It’s not just how they treat the waiter you should watch out for- it’s whether or not they will kick someone when they’re already down.

I was just naive. I still am naive. Oh it’s so awful, I just want to move to England and I can’t. I’m stuck here and I have a husband and he’s a horrible nasty human being. And I wasted 3 years of my life, and 3 years of enthusiasm and bright eyes and hope and unrestrained love and joy on a piece of shit person who is probably capable of being such a dick because he’s realised he was extremely lucky and he blew it by being ungrateful.

I will never be that girl with anyone else. I mean I can’t know that. Maybe I will be that girl again but I feel like I don’t want to be, but also that that girl was the nicest freshest version of me that I’ll ever get to be. I might be being drammatic here but fuck my head is all over the place, I feel like I’ve been crossing off the days in my cell for months and now I’ve just been told with a week to go in solitary confinement, oops no you have months and months left to go. And fuck you, by the way.

I’m sorry to be going on all mopey here, I didn’t want to seesaw all over the place, I wanted to stay all happy and optimistic  but really this blog is just me dealing with my divorce in all the corners of my life. Today is the unexpected shitstorm. I was happy this morning. I’ll be happy again soon, probably. But today is shit.

I cried on the bus home from work. All the way, it was really embarassing. I didn’t really care though, I was just aware of the embarassment. I talked to my mum on the phone and I gave myself a monster headache. I had a hot lemon paracetamol drink and tried to call all my friends.

No one home. Oh well.

Lucky I have my rant-vent place right here.

: )

It’s a tough day. Sorry to drag you along on this rollercoaster. You know I’ll be back up soon…

 

AAAAAND WE’RE BACK!

I just had a quick chat with one of my bestest buddies in the world.

She told me a couple of obvious, brilliant, simple things…

Lifted my spirits so I’m actually pretty ok.

I mean I’ve stopped bawling my eyes out, so that’s good.

Naked, naked, naked!

I’m living alone, for the first time in my life, in my own apartment that used to be ours.

I’ve always enjoyed being alone. Having my own place has always been a fantasy. I like my own company (I’m great company) and I don’t get lonely as much as other people. It’s strange to finally be here, on my own, with no key turning in the door to fear, signifying the end of my peace and quiet. I’m a social person too, but not 24 hours a day. No way.

There is a slight fear of choking to death, or setting fire to the place, or feeling really sick and nobody caring… but there are so many wonderful, previously unimagined freedoms to enjoy. I feel like Homer Simpson on his day home from church.

I’m sure I haven’t discovered all the possibilities yet, but so far, this week, I have mostly been loving:

1. Naked, naked, naked. Even in a relationship, and feeling good about your body, you don’t just go around naked all day. Well, I don’t. Now I’m inclined to go naked all day long, apart from when I leave the house of course. It’s really warm now, and I hate washing and putting away clothes, so it also saves me those chores. As soon as I make some curtains for the kitchen, this will be even more enjoyable. Right now I’m limiting my kitchen nudity to brief but obvious dashes with a pillow or something clasped before me.

2. My bad habits no longer disgust or annoy anyone. Last night I spilt milk on the floor and mopped it up with the dress I was wearing before implementing plan nudity. The 5 second rule about food that falls on the floor has been replaced with who gives a shit? And I don’t have to flush the toilet for every meagre urination. And I can leave wet towels on the couch. And I can have a shower and leave the bathroom floor completely flooded.

3. I don’t have to pretend I’m watching shitty tv due to lack of viable options. I can wallow in the tripe I love. I can even listen to a Miley Cyrus song on youtube, if should I want to. Or I can finally watch the video for telephone, after all my anti- Lady Gaga vitriol… (ok, I was right.. it is crap)

4. I can be unrestrained with bathroom noises.

5. Nobody is rearranging shit around here. Everything goes where I want it to. There is vodka in my cupboard, and the level will not fall below where I left it.

6. I can have a Bloody Mary whenever I want, like right now. Nobody here to judge. Shit, I’m out of proper tabasco. Mild version is no substitute. And this is exactly what I’m talking about: I bought two bottles, ages ago, and I have barely touched them. And there is none left. This is what will never happen again, because now I’ll be aware of myself running out because it’ll be me drinking the bloody marys in the first place.

7. I can watch porn with the volume up. Not all the way up, the walls are still thin. But living with friends, no matter how open you are about certain things, you don’t want them to actually know when you’re watching porn. Or I don’t, anyway. I’d be too humiliated by the awkward, stunted lines coming out of the actors mouths. I really don’t get why porn is so shit. This is a whole can of worms, I won’t go there now. But I have complaints, and I will air them another day.

8. I can fall in the door at whatever time, make noise, puke loads, fall into bed, puke some more, and nobody will judge. But actually I shouldn’t do that because there’s no one to move me out of the vomit pool either. I could install one of those old person pulley alarms… just in case. Would hate to die in my own vomit. What a horrible nasty way to go. Not that I want to die any way, but still.

9. Shit, I’m getting depressed now. Want to think up more awesome super fun spectacular fantastic activities my newfound bachelorettehood has opened up for me. But I keep thinking about how unsurprised everyone would be if they heard I choked on my own puke. And that I also have to do all the cleaning now. Well, I used to do it all anyway… but at least I got to get pissy about it before. Oh no. This isn’t a positive list any more. I’ll just leave it there. I don’t even want this drink any more. It tastes like depression and loneliness. And it’s not spicy at all. And it’s late now and I have to work in the morning and I don’t feel like going to bed yet. No one even asked me about my day yet. And it was a pretty good day, except for all the cleaning. I have to work tomorrow, maybe someone will ask me at work. Except I work alone… but the coffee shop girl will definitely give me a noncommittal “how are you today?” And I can unleash my pent up socialization on her. Hooray!

Just hoping I can manage to keep the fear of dying alone in a pool of regurgitated tomato juice out of the opening phrases of tomorrow’s conversation.

The least-bad worst things about breaking up

I’m not going to get all feelings-y on you now, so don’t worry. That’s just not how I roll. But I was thinking about the lighter side, the little details I never thought about before. I don’t want you thinking I’m a callous bitch either, just, you know, I’m thinking about this stuff.  Anyway it’s a list, everyone likes lists!

1. My longest ever relationship, and I neglected to absorb any of the man-skills my partner has. He can do all sorts of man things, and it never occurred to me to take notes as he changed fuses (I don’t even know if that’s a thing), drilled things into things, made holes in walls and completed other tasks I’ll never learn. I’ll have to pay someone to do this stuff from now on, and I could have just pretended to be interested. Then I’d have a great set of useful skills and I’d be able to say things like “my first husband taught me to rewire a socket” (again, don’t know if that’s a thing)

2. The mark on the wall needs to be painted over. The kitchen blind needs to be replaced. The bathroom ceiling has cracking paint. I now realise these problems will never be resolved.

3. Can’t be so hostile towards men any more. I’ll have to start listening to their moronic come ons and not just tearing them to pieces when they try to talk to me. I’ll have to deal with waking up with someone way less attractive than my standards, and realising I didn’t give them a fake name, and they know where I work.

4. I can’t open olive jars. A friend told me she bought a utensil that does this for her, some sort of gripping device to put on the lid… but the idea of going looking for one and buying it and having it in my house… is depressing.

5. I’ll have to make an effort again, and every day, because the fish in the sea haven’t seen my morning face yet and so can (and must!) still be tricked with makeup.

6. The piercing ring of silence in the apartment. Leads to microwavable ready meals for one, eaten out of the packet, and pathetic and unsatisfactory masturbation. It also leads to keeping the volume on tv really low because anything loud seems wrong.

7. Will have to learn to perform the heimlich maneuver on myself in case I choke while eating ready meals alone. To be honest I wouldn’t ever eat ready meals, my idea of a ready meal is buying pesto in a jar. I could still choke though.

8. I’ll have to completely rethink how much rice to cook, something I had only just got right. It was always way too much or way too little- now I have to start all over again.

9. Back to pretending I don’t fart.

10. I’ll have to bring the bins out from now on (that was his contribution to domestic life)

Jeez, how gloomy it all looks..