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.

Why nice girls don’t play computer games.

My hair is greasy at the roots and scraggy at the tips (but resplendent in between! Oh cruel distribution of oils, it takes three or four days for the grease to work its magic on the middle of the hair, at which stage the roots are reminiscent of an Italian’s chat up lines)

My feet are grotty. Bag those toenails… and I have callouses on my heels because when I was younger I rebelled against this idea of soft feet. Who wants soft feet? We put leather on our feet so they can walk on hard surfaces, and then we want soft feet? I wanna be able to run across gravel barefoot and fancy free. So my callouses are hardcore, horny little bastards that will take some fucking Gara Raffa fish or something to sort out.

My legs are commencing their winter coat.

My limbs are covered in mosquito bites in varying stages of healing.

My teeth are yellow and need a floss, but where is my floss? I don’t want to buy more floss, I have a budget. More about this later. I need to find that floss I already bought.

My moustache is about 3 days away from needing a wax. It’s ok… now. I can get away with it for a few more days.

My eyebrows are creeping over the agreed borders, violating the terms of peace. They must be removed by force.

My skin is pasty and anaemic looking.

I have blackheads all over my nose, big bad fuckers that will cost me a hell of a lot of time and pain to squish out, and then I will have nose leprosy for days as my skin panics and tries to heal its tortured surface. And then the blackheads will fill back up with crap anyway.

My belly is flabby and squidgy, although it is shrinking thanks to the kickass bean diet.

My bikini area.. is a disgrace. But fuck it, I give up. I actually give up.

There is no TIME for any of this.

I don’t even count fingernails as worthy of attention. But people do!
Who has time to constantly uproot the weeds, push back the hairlines, squeeze out the dirt, wash and scrub and exfoliate and cover up and peel off and brush and massage and work muscles and tone and tan?

Who?

Women.
Women with different priorities.
If tv and movies have taught us anything, it’s that a viable mothers day gift is a session at the spa, and that girlfriends will chew the fat together over the eliptical trainer or in a sauna.
These are not enjoyable things, but they are considered “treats” for women.
Women light up when you give them bath salts and moisturisers. Well, our mothers were always polite about receiving gifts, I guess.

But look at the equivalent male gifts.

Golf equipment. Novelty drinking items. Computer games or electronic gadgets. Sports gear.

FUN THINGS. Or at least, enjoyable things purely for that man’s hobby and his spare time. Nothing to help him keep the natural depreciation of his sexual stock at bay.

A man’s spare time (still in this tv- style universe, I know not everyone is like this obviously) is about HIM.
He reads the newspaper to find out what’s going on, he watches tv to enjoy himself.
Women’s sections in the newspaper are all about looking after yourself. How to best lose weight, tone up, smooth your face and improve your flakey dishevelled appearance enough so that those men who are reclined on the couch will find us attractive enough to fuck us, even though sex has absolutely fucking nothing to do with being shevelled (opposite of dishevelled? Meh, I’ll allow it) or smooth looking.

Ok I’m not getting at the state of gender roles or how ridiculous it is that women buy into this beauty marketing bullshit… because I’m a sucker too, so I can’t rage too much for fear of extreme hypocrisy.

What I’m talking about is- there isn’t enough time in the day for women to keep up to scratch AND have spare time for herself. And I’m a single woman with no kids.
I think you would need to be unemployed to have enough time to really stay at the required level of hygiene and neatness.

The time I have free to myself, is time I want to spend unwinding. It’s time I need to spent unwinding and de-stressing and enjoying myself. Admittedly my situation, lack of buddies and divorce and all that, does make me run for the escapism of tv and gaming.
I already have to maintain my apartment, and boy is that going badly, if I were to keep my apartment clean and my body impeccable, I would probably have time for one episode of a tv show per night. That’s it.
I wouldn’t be able to cope.

When you see some woman walking around looking all glossy- when you see a woman on the BEACH and she looks good practically naked, in harsh sunlight, you can tell right then and there that either her hobbies are things that make you look good (lucky bitch, enjoying excercise) like volleyball or swimming or some active shit, or she is forcing herself to forgo a good portion of her hobby and game time just to be able to look good on the beach.

So you know immediately, she is a joyless bitch. Don’t even look at her. Looking at her makes the chubby girl you can’t even see on the towel next to her, decide to be a joyless bitch too.

This is why you will go on dates with women who you are attracted to but they will end up talking about yoga or what they eat, because they have nothing else to talk about because their spare time is spent grooming.

Ahh I’m just bitter. But it’s normal, mostly when we are jealous of someone we find a way to be like “yeah they LOOK nice, but I wouldn’t WANT to look nice if the price is giving up my free time.” and then we can look down on them, and there is no more need for jealousy.

But I’m still bitter, because it looks like there are lots of girls going around who clearly have so little desire to go around looting in virtual cities that they can keep themselves in perfect condition. Isn’t the whole fucking point of living in the modern age, that all our whadjamacallems and gizmos are supposed to free up our time so we can do things we like? The industrial revolution didn’t happen so that I could spent hours inflicting pain on myself so I’d look good for some guy who’s perfectly free to slob around if he wants.
We’re supposed to have more leisure time than ever.
Now I have a mountain of debt, I look and feel like crap, I work about 45 hours a week to keep myself in beans and tins of tuna and my mortgage paid and my bills sorted (which I still can’t afford) and I’ll admit I’m bad with money, but come on modern age, throw me a bone!

And this little rant is brought to you by, I had to get a lawyer for my divorce. Shit got kinda ugly.
I thought it would be fun and exciting to have a lawyer. I thought it would be like on tv (this is a common flaw in my reasoning) that I’d be able to knock my bastard ex to his knees and my lawyer would kick him in the guts until he coughed up all the money he owes me.
Instead bitch lawyer from hell, with her hideously expensive but tacky clothes and massive belt buckle, waved away the money issue. “You can’t get that back. You could sue him but it would probably cost more to sue than you’d get back. Also if he’s unemployed, you can’t get anything from him.”

Oh. So… what am I paying you for?

Apparently the forms myself and husband filled in in the courthouse, while he leaked big embarassing man tears on the page, and I wanted to cry but couldn’t because I had been the hard bitch who broke up with him, those forms are all filled out wrong.
So now I have to beg him please come in and sign some shit with my LAWYER and he’s all suspicious and acting like I’m trying to screw him over.

So I sit here and rage about other things. Because I can’t handle the injustice that I am hugely in debt and a good whack of that is my husband’s debt, and if I don’t pay it, it’s MY problem, not his.
And that my lawyer has shattered my illusions of what the world of mysterious legal wrangling is really like.

And that I look like shit.

I actually starting writing a post a few days ago but it was massively depressing and I decided not to share.
This is considerably more upbeat.

Anyone else want to piss on my corn flakes?

Wow. Sometimes random coincidence lines up in a way that to any normal, superstitious twat, would suggest I am fucking cursed, or unlucky, or should pick a god, any god, and just go with it.

But I like to think of myself as a rational person- a little fucked in the head, but rational.

If you have been following my lacklustre adventures in leaving the house occasionally, you will know that this year I have:

-lost my phone which I had managed not to lose for 6 years. It was almost vintage.

-had my favorite dresses and shoes in a bag yanked from my hand and stolen by some cock who would never appreciate their value, also the bag contained my only matching underwear. And a big tube of elastic that held in the belly fat.

-had my wallet stolen which contained all my bank cards, my ID, my monthly travel card, my social security card… as well as my sim cards I used when I’m in the UK and some really nice photos of me I like to carry in my wallet. And other stuff. Oh, and money.

-my bike was stolen. I got it back again, but still.

-I left the deeds to my house in a tobacconists, but I got them back again so no biggie.

-I nearly lost the keys to my shop, but they were handed in at the bar.

-Other crap stuff too but I can’t think right now.

Also, I’m going through a divorce.

But that’s my choice, so I can’t whine tooooo much about it.

Anyway. The world in its infinite non-conscious, random way, has been raining shit on me all year.

And yesterday was the first of the month- meaning, I start my day by legging it down to the tobacconist to pick up a new monthly travel card. I buy my card, get on the tram, validate the card, then continue on my merry way for a whole month undisturbed by ticket inspectors and whatnot.

Yesterday, I was on time, so I waited for the tram- something I never have to do, because I’m always late and run towards it as the ancient door clatter closed, and then the driver begrudgingly (depending on how slutty I’m dressed) opens them for me and I barge on board to the stares and hatred of my fellow passengers.

I was bored waiting so I decided to get some peaches across the road in the market. I bought a big bag of peaches, really nice peaches. The fruit seller guy is a semi-friend of mine- husband befriended him even though I was horrified- No he’s a MUSLIM, we can’t be friends, he thinks I’m some wanton hussy or something. But we met fruit guy and his wife a few times, it was slightly awkward and I felt obliged to drink less than usual just to avoid slurring something crazy about burkas at them. The wife isn’t muslim, and very nice, but still. Nice don’t cut it with me, I want an acidic cock gobbling bitch ass mofo to exchange conversation with, not someone fucking NICE.

Anyway, the upshot of this friendship is that I get really cheap fruit. I got my bag of peaches for a euro, and he threw in a free banana which was considerate because they are handy as a mid morning snack in work. I managed to not make any remark about the banana as a masturbation device  and got back to my bus as soon as possible.

I’m on my third peach, slurping on its juicy flesh and enjoying the feeling of some guys a few rows back enjoying the scene. I’m putting on a bit of a show, to be honest. And then I catch a glimpse of ticket inspectors boarding, and the doors closing. And I remember.

I don’t have a ticket.

Bollocks.

Shit fuck cunt balls.

What to do? Normally I’d hang at the back pretending I have to root around in my bag for my ticket, and get off at the next stop, but there are very few people on the tram. So it’s happening, I’m getting a fine. Fuck. I just totally forgot. I’ve never been caught without a ticket in Italy before, because I’ve never not bought a ticket.

The ticket inspector comes up to me, and ohmygod he’s hot. He’s like a slightly older Jude Law. He might be late 30s, early 40s. He’s hot though. Hot in an older guy way, obviously. I wouldn’t actually do him because he does look considerably older. Plus, he’s a ticket guy. But I’m momentarily hottie-blinded. I start rummaging in my bag and then look up with the best approximation of doe eyes I can muster.

“I’m sorry… it’s the first of the month… I… my wallet was stolen…”

He starts writing me a ticket and says that if my wallet was stolen, I can make a claim to not pay the fine because of the ticket. Really? I remember now, my ticket was for last month, so it doesn’t count. Plus, it only works for annual tickets.

I start mumbling things about my wallet being stolen, knowing full well that it wouldn’t have been valid anyway. I pretend I had a new monthly ticket that hadn’t been validated yet and I lost that too… yeah right. Shut up.

He asks me for my ID. I tell him that was stolen. He pauses, because technically it’s illegal for me to go around without ID, and I don’t even have the police report with me. He asks for my name… and here I have it! He’s not bringing me to the cops, he’s going to TRUST the information I choose to give him!

And this is where my badass ideal of myself crumbles and the stupid cunt I despise prevails.

I rattle off my ACTUAL name and my REAL address, all the time thinking why why why don’t I just give a fake name? I’ve done it before. But I don’t have a fake address in my head for Italy, and you need a post code… garrr I know loads of streets near where I live, but I didn’t think of anything. Damn.

He hands me the ticket as I start crying soft tears of self-loathing. Garrrr I hate this, I’ve always cried when authority figures of any kind give out to me, even if I don’t like them, even if I didn’t do anything wrong and they’re not really giving out to me personally. There’s nothing I can do but hope to cry as little as possible.

I read a blurry 60 euro.

What? 60? Why? I don’t want to look up at a blurry Jude Law because through my tears he’s even hotter. He tells me, yeah it’s 60, but if you pay now in cash it’s 25. I hand him a 50, trembling with rage and hating myself and still crying down my hot red probably swollen face. He says he doesn’t have change.

I lash out in fury at him, saying what, because I don’t have exact change I have to pay 35 euro extra? How dare you do this on the first of the month! I never forget! I never forget, and the one time I forget! It’s horrible. My lip is quivering. I feel like I look like a petulant child.

He keeps his cool of course and oh man it’s awful to cry in front of a hot guy. What a waste of a close encounter with the elusive silver fox. Well, not quite silver. But y’know.

He tells me he’s just doing his job, etc.

I try to hold on to some scrap of dignity, and I tell him he chose his job and I understand but he can’t expect people to take the fine without some outrage. Well, that’s not exactly what I said.

Actually, I said

“YEAH well you chose your job, a-a–a—and my wallet was stolen! It’s not fair!”

Anyway, cutting a long story relatively shorter than it could be, he suggested I get off the tram at the next stop with him and his shorter, uglier, runtier partner-in-dickery, and I could get change at a bar or something and pay them then.

We did this, and the bar wouldn’t change my 50.

Jude Law, man he was cool… he went into the bar and tried as well, and then he did some complicated changing of notes with me and his other buddy where a 20 was changed for 2 10s, and so forth, and then he went across the road to another bar and changed one of those 10s into two fives, and somehow worked the whole thing out.

I paid my 25 euro, wiped my stupid girl tears away, and thanked Jude sincerely because he didn’t have to be nice or anything and in fairness, I should have bought the fucking ticket.

He told me he was really sorry about having to charge me at all, and said goodbye. They got on another bus and I waited for mine, and then they wound up back on my bus a few minutes later. Runty sidekick guy walked past me looking a little afraid of me, and Jude kept to the front and chatted to the driver while I used my peripheral vision to confirm that yes, he was a stone cold fox, I wasn’t just aroused by the emotional and financial raping I just took. Except, he was of course old (for me). But serious hotness is a rare occurrence, and most hot italians in my own age group have groomed eyebrows and look like they probably like that danza kuduro song.

Anyway, so I didn’t entirely get shit on this time, but still. The universe is expensive, baby.

Oh dear no,

I must have accidentally opened my webcam, and I didn’t realise, and I hovered over the open window and a small version of the webcam window flashed up, and in the brief moment before I realised it was actually me, me sitting looking at my computer screen right now, I though “Damn those pop up windows, I don’t want to chat to some minging goth chick who lives in my area”.

And then I rolled over it again and realised that minging goth chick is me.

I need to get out in the sun more often.

I’m not dressed as a goth, B. T. Dubs, I’m actually just in a bra. But I do have dark hair. Anyway, that’s the kind of harsh bitter judgement I dole out constantly, it’s just not nice to receive it from myself.

Ok, there we go.

Need a tan, need to get laid.

Nothing changes.

Take the pain, bitch!

Garrrr….

Appointment for a brazilian in an hour. Really not looking forward to it… have done a few half-assed DIY attempts in the past months, but not with a severe, judgemental bitch holding back the flaps it takes a man to appreciate… dogdammit I don’t want to go.

I don’t want some woman messing around with hot wax down there, pulling out my follicles that damn well want to stay put where they are, chilling out undisturbed among the cobwebs. Showing me the strip with admonishments of “you should have trimmed these bad boys first” or “these hairs are too short to wax properly” or “these hairs have clearly been shaved, what’s that about? You will anger the moon goddess and she will punish you with double quick growth” (shut up now) You know what else? Remember at the dentist when you were a kid, they gave you stickers with like a crocodile or something on them that said “I was brave at the dentist today”? Yeah, fuck that kind of bravery. I want stickers for putting through the waxation of my unmentionables (that I regularly mention). Someone, make that happen.

So made a last minute attempt to scour the collective knowledge of humanity on the subject. Googled desperately. Came across some drivvly forum full of hearts n smileys myspace-esque posts where a bright spark suggests an application of local anaesthetic cream. Hope! Glimmer of lovely hope. Put on some pants and rush out to the chemist, fully sure the nice lady would nod in understanding and sisterly solidarity, and procure me a pack of Waxouchbegone and all I have to do is hand over money. Then we would also fist bump. Thought to myself, all life’s problems just drift away with money. Money, baby, it’s all about the ching ching, price tag… damn that song, I don’t know how it entered my perpetual loop of catchy tunery, but it’s there. Fuck it.

But I got to the chemist, milled around looking at shampoos until the younger female labcoat was free. This time, don’t want the MAN to serve me. (ooh) Normally I buy tampons from the man, defiantly, thrusting them onto the counter proudly, challenging him to be embarassed. I dare him to think this is an awkward. transaction. He clearly doesn’t care, but I’m all up in his face anyway. I’m a woman, you chauvinistic pig! Look what we have to spend our money on! And they are taxed as luxuries! What else are we supposed to do? I bet if men had periods, they would walk around reeking of old steak, and the less mature studenty types would play pranks on each other with used tampons and things. The world is lucky women have to deal with the most grosso of bodily functions (in my opinion). Although some might argue (me, I’m arguing with myself here) that women become all mature and killjoy when they first get their periods and realise they have to deal with something gross and keep it hidden from the delicate males and maybe that’s when women stop with the toilet humour and start rolling eyes when the boys laugh at farts and the like. Maybe that’s the fork in the road where women veer off into “romantic comedy eye rolling, arms folded while disapproving of their immature husbands goofing around” territory. (Oh speaking of which, watched Hall Pass. Quick review in case you care: PASS.)

Some of us girls, however never grow up.

But this time I want the woman. I ask her for some local anaesthetic cream. She enquires as to the purpose. Consider saying it’s to get a tattoo… but decide to go for honesty. Maybe there is a specific cream for the vadge area? No. Woman is incredulous. What? For waxing? That’s way too extreme. It’s a heavy pharmaceutical blah blah blah. Is it the first time you get a wax?

And I’m all indignant, like NO I always get waxed, I just… don’t want it to hurt so much, ok?

She’s doubtful. She tells me she thinks the wax would probably not stick to the hairs because it’s a gel or something. She tells me it’s a bit OTT just for a bit of hair removal pain. I mutter something about not wanting my knee to do that reflex high kick thing it did last time, when I ended up kicking the beautician in the chest by mistake because my legs were in such a freakout of pain that they spasmed all by themselves. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry… Pharmacist doesn’t care. She’s like, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I crumple. Ok then… just these pain killer pills then. She raises an eyebrow and rings it up. I am defeated. I’ll just have to man up and take the pain like a man, like a man if men had to suffer the painful enterprise of hair removal. I have a firm conviction that as soon as I leave, the pharmacist woman will tell her colleagues all about my fucking ridiculous request and they will laugh at me, and then tell everyone.

Ok it’s time to pop my pills, hope they have some effect, and then into the shower for a serious scrubbing. Can’t wait to be attractive to paedophiles again!

I will report back.

Saturday Night

In case you’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for the next installment of my sex life, here you go. Don’t get too excited yet. There is no sex in this story. Let me tell you, sex is only something I talk about when I’m high and dry. When I get some, the only hint to the reader will be the joyous change in tone, general lack of bitterness and possible absence of posts.

Anyway, yesterday I had a free afternoon and decided to take care of two nasty tasks I have been putting off indefinitely- check my bank balance, and get waxed. I had absolutely no idea how much money was in my current account and how much on my prepaid card and I was trying to stay in this glorious state of innocence, but it had to be faced. If only because I didn’t want to get waxed and then turn around and be unable to pay. So I checked my balance, which of course was shocking and horrific. There was no waxing money. There was no taxi money. There wasn’t even any pay that overdue heating bill money. I resigned myself to a DIY wax job. I’m telling you this because I want you to know how much pain and suffering went towards my night tonight, my big Saturday night. I was so determined. I’m a complete wimp when it comes to pain, (and everything, really) and I did it. I gave myself a Brazilian. It took an hour and a half.

That night I was settling into bed when I pulled a George Costanza- I kicked my leg to untuck the sheet which was under me, and felt something insanely painful pop in my calf. Holy shit, I thought, I’ve pulled a hamstring. Or a ligament. I don’t know, but I did something and it was going to completely fuck up my chances of a night out dancing, or more importantly a horizontal tango. So I waited for the pain to subside then massaged my leg, got up, found the deep heat, massaged my leg some more. I was so fucking determined to go out tonight. I couldn’t sleep thinking about what the fuck I might have done to my leg and whether I’d be able to wear heels.

I woke up late and tired, and didn’t have time to pick an outfit to bring for the night. I just grabbed my two favorite sexy dresses and my killer leather heels along with my only matching underwear, put them in a plastic bag and left the house. I would get changed at my friend’s house. I worked all day on my feet and it started to rain. I considered a taxi to my friend’s house, but managed to talk some sense into myself. I have no money. I can’t afford a taxi. It would only be around 6 euro, but I have to stop being such a princess. The easy life is over now, I have to get the bus like normal people. I do get the bus anyway, but not when I don’t know the area well or if it’s late or if I don’t want to.

So I started walking down the street to the bus stop. I walked and walked past bars and people and eventually came out onto the road with the bus stop. I was metres away when a man grabbed the plastic bag of clothes out of my hand and turned and legged it. So I started running after him. I yelled “he stole my bag!” and various other incentives to bystanders, but no one raised an eyebrow. I ran and ran, regretting each cigarette that slowed me down. I ran until he turned a corner and halted, and then I kept running. He ran again, and turned, and my phone fell out of my pocket, and I turned to pick it up, and he was gone. I started running again and there he was, just ahead of me, running. I yelled again, please, they were just clothes, they weren’t even new.

He didn’t stop, of course. I ran after him until I felt like I was going to puke, and the blood was pounding in my head and I couldn’t breathe. I looked and he was gone. I had no idea where, but it could have been anywhere. I sat down and cried with self pity for a minute, then realised there was no one nearby, and I got up and went to a bar and bought a bottle of water. I realised the last block or two I had followed that guy, he didn’t have a bag in his hand that I could see, so I thought maybe he had ditched my stuff having found it to be clothes and underwear. I decided to retrace my steps but found nothing. I got the bus to my friend’s house and when I arrived I realised I was completely fucked after running and the fear had got a grip on me. I had the worst heartburn of my life and felt like complete and utter shit. I couldn’t breathe properly.

I called my friend and asked her to bring me water and bread before I could face 4 flights of stairs. She brought them to me, I ate a bit and told her what happened, and went up to her apartment. There I tried in vain to sort my stomach out but with the stress and the fact that all I had to eat that day was a sandwich, it wasn’t happening. Eventually I gave up and got a taxi home. I honestly couldn’t move I was in so much pain. So I paid 14 euros for a taxi home and there ended my Saturday night.

Oh- and this is now Sunday morning, and I just looked out the window and my bike was stolen. It was chained outside the window, and it was there when I got home last night.

And… I just want to admit something to you because I lied about this to everyone else but I should be honest here on my blog- it wasn’t my phone that fell out of my pocket so I went back for it, it was my tobacco.