Bad news for Legomen....
They've learnt how to operate a touchpad mouse. The velociraptor gene lives on in cats.
Yeah, that's right, I tried it.
So. My map is clearly a picture of a sphincter. Ah.
Fuelling my paranoiac mood swings are the omens of ill fortune, which are coming thick and fast:
Omen 1: no sleep. My lesbian neighbours have houseguests. Loud, raucous houseguests who take full advantage of London's nightlife, then find themselves locked out in the small hours. The logical solution is to lean drunkenly on Vanessa's doorbell for fifteen minutes solid when you're locked out of your house at four in the morning, isn't it? Two days in a row?Maybe they're bad omens. P'raps I'm just a cynic.
Omen 2: dirty corporate sneaking around. Harv asked me to spend today taking sneaky photos of promotional displays of Uncle Ben's rice in a variety of supermarkets, for a German marketing firm. Paranoia already twitching, I decided to wander round with the camera at waist level, idly scratching the button as I repeatedly stroll up and down the pasta aisles. Accidentally switch camera onto video record. Start checking what I've snapped in checkout queue of supermarket number 3, and find it's a swooping, tumbling, rollercoaster death ride of horror, only in a supermarket, and with pot noodle artillery bombardment. Video replay shows that the cleaning lady by the spatchcock chickens spotted my subterfuge early on. Still, I didn't get arrested.
Omen 3: stalker. About six years ago, I had an underage stalker - used to follow me around with a camera, bother me all the time, ineffectually, ring me up constantly, and tried to break into my house to see me. I told her to leave me be, and all went quiet. Walking into the supermarket near Temporary Abode, I ask a portly assistant where the cat food is. Cue lurid technicolour intro to Cape Fear playing behind my eyes, as stalker wearing a supermarket uniform turns round. I chat politely with stalker. "So, how's the stalking going? What've you been doing with yourself? Got much time for stalking these days?" She's been working here four years. Seems aggrieved at me about this. Fair enough, I'd rather stalk me than pack rows of tights onto shelves as well.
Omen 4: plunged helplessly back into a pre-telephonic era. BT telephoned me to demand overdue payment. I explained the by now familiar get out clause: "I know it seems unreasonable, but Tybalt packed it into one of several thousand boxes, and I can't find it unless she starts speaking to me again." It didn't work on the boss at work, but seems strangely hypnotic for BT guy, who sounds like Liam Neeson.
I start panicking because I've forgotten to stop paying for dial-up access, since getting a broadband account with a different company last July. Temporary Abode has no phone line, but does have cable. Will I be paying for three different internet connections by the end of the week?
Seems not: the minute I upload 400 blurry photographs of Dolmio / Uncle Ben's / Pot Noodle / my hip, my broadband modem breaks. Argh. Am forced to rely on chinese takeaway and pistachio kulfi for amusement until I remember I can still use the dial up.
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Type 24: Partially Gentrified Multi-Ethnic Areas
Found almost exclusively in Inner London.
That's the first time I've seen the word 'exclusive' in conjunction with 'Inner London'. It has an unusual ring to it, much like a sharp unlikely blow from an unexpected hammer.
These highly cosmopolitan neighbourhoods contain a mix of rich and poor and people from different ethnic backgrounds living side by side. They are found in large concentrations in areas such as Islington, Hackney, Haringey and Lambeth.
Or in other words, everywhere pikey-but-gentrified that I've already tried living, yeah? Shabby bedsitter estate number 15; I'm going to run out of bits of London to live in soon.
Heavy ITV viewing Low
Good. No commoners, then. (Except for when I want to watch 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' next week, to see Jordan and Johnny Rotten bitchslap each other to prove who's the better media whore.)
Ownership of stocks and shares Low
No yuppies, either. Rah. Although that means further to drive to Waitrose.
Microwave purchases High
Yay for readymeals. I wonder if there'll be a General Municipal Bing at six o clock.
Buying home with a mortgage Low
Yeah, well, it's not exactly desirable, sarf east Lunnun, roight? If you were going to invest twenty five years of your moulah in a building, you'd probably want to avoid anywhere so pikey, too.
2+ Car Ownership Low
Population Aged 0-14 Medium
Good. Means I can get into the sweet shops past the anti-little-bugger-security.
The age profile of these neighbourhoods peaks in the 25-44 group.
Sounds horribly quarter life crisis ... be alert for Alpha course buttonholers, then.
There are also above average levels of 0-4 year olds and 15-24 year olds, but 40% fewer than average over 65 year olds.
No need for a cull, then. I'll leave the flame thrower in my east end home, and expect everyone to be capable of striding at speed along the pavements with no more need for shoving the weak from my path.
There are above average proportions of single person households, especially single non-pensioners, and households with 6 or more members, but below average proportions of household sizes in between these two extremes.
Every single flat I looked at was owned or occupied by divorced people, so that sounds right. I guess Imelda Marcos aside, there's a limited market for shoebox rentals.
Ethnically, these are very mixed areas. The proportion of the population who are black is over 10 times the average, and there are also above average proportions of people from Asian ethnic groups.
Strange, I thought it was a white-caribbean-turkish area. Asian? Okay, so I know I'm moving away from an area that's 97% Asian, but blimey, I haven't seen more than fifty Asians on the streets down there in ten years.
The Socio-Economic Profile is biased towards the higher status occupations, with above average proportions of professionals and white collar workers. There are also above average proportions of people with academic qualifications, degrees in particular. Travel to work journeys are most likely to be by rail.
Jeez, so we can all swap dog eared copies of Shakespeare favourites on the walk to the shiatsu masseuse, yah? If there's all these graduates living there, how come I only meet the thickies and inbreeds at work, huh? Do I smell funny?
Despite the heavy consumption of bacon and fish in these areas, overall, some people are more than twice as likely as average to have a mainly vegetarian diet.
Argh! Argh! No! Smelly, dirty veggies. Ugh! I already spotted two wholefood shops. You know what that means: farts a lot, and holier than thou, leftier than thou, more arrogantly, annoyingly liberal than thou. I did think there were rather high concentrates of SWP members in the area, if my colleagues are any indication.
Wait a minute - high bacon consumption? Ahhhhh - hypocritical lying smug bastard vegetarians, then. Oh, that's all right. That sounds quite human.
They are very keen to try new brands although they are less likely than average to buy new gadgets and appliances. They like to keep up to date with technological developments, and they like to get off the beaten track when they go on holiday. They are keener than average on radio and press advertising.
Oh dear, this isn't going to help me kick my worryingly middle aged Radio Four habit. It's been snowballing already, and that's when I live in a student area. I'll be the one braying at the sound of Woman's Hour, daily, within eight weeks.
By far the most striking aspect of the housing profile is the proportion of homes which are converted flats; at 46% of homes, this is nearly 12 times higher than average. In addition, the proportion of bedsits is over 9 times the average. Consequently, the number of small dwellings with 1 or 2 rooms is very high. There are virtually no detached homes in these neighbourhoods and the proportion of semis is also very small.
Unless you live in the Big Rich Fucker Houses facing the royal park, yeah. Then all bets are off, because you probably mowed down Mr Demographic Survey with your SUV while running Jemima and Jack to prep school, what what.
In terms of tenure, all forms of rental are important here. The proportion of homes rented from housing associations is over 5 times the average, and the rate of furnished rental is 4.6 times the average.
Does it count as furnished if I don't have a bed or a chair?
Car ownership is relatively low - 56% of adults have no car.
Sounds like they're all tofu munching sheep shagging hippies, that's why.
There are, however, over 5 times more cars than average costing over #20,000 and over twice as many company cars. Purchase rates on most Durables are low, with the exception of microwaves which are bought by 77% more people than average.
No doubt I'll not have to repeat my Important Advice about putting hot chocolate in the microwave, then. Cars that cost #20K? That's bloody stupid, that is. Nah, I have a 'London Car' - looks like shite, cost me fifty pee, and you're not worried about scraping it all up the side of a shiny Merc, if that's what it takes to bust into the traffic jam. I love that moment where you fix the other driver with a steely eye and a shit eating grin that says 'it'll cost you a packet to repair that.'
The income profile reflects the mix of people living in these neighbourhoods. There are high proportions of people earning under #5,000 per annum, a peak in the #20-25,000 band and another in the #40,000+ band. Overall, ownership of Financial products is below the national figure, though 61% more people than average are opening new savings accounts. I was thinking of opening a supermarket loyalty card. Forty pee off if I spend #5 million on toasted muffins, or summat.
2.6 times more homes than average have cable television, and the ownership of satellite television is slightly above average. The profile of daily paper readership again reflects the mixed nature of the population. The titles which have above average readership levels are The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror and The Sun. The Sunday papers which are more popular than average here are The Observer, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Mirror. ITV viewing is very light, but commercial radio listening is heavy.
I've only ever seen people reading The Sport round there, myself, but if you say they can read long words, I suppose they can read long words. I read the Times and the Torygraph. But only for the pictures. I hate Sunday papers - if the locals read that many of the ten ton multi-insert broadsheet biggies, let's hope there's a massive recycling collection on Mondays.
On the whole, slightly fewer than average holidays are taken in these neighbourhoods, though winter holidays and long holidays are much more popular.
Povvies, eh? Can't afford Lanzarote in season.
People are also 4 times more likely than average to stay in their own holiday home or timeshare, and more than twice as likely as average to visit a far-flung destination.
Depends what you count as far flung. Skegness is a fair drive. Actually, central London is a fair old journey from this place.
Propensity to visit pubs and restaurants is slightly above average,
Yeah, well, they're all single dads, aren't they, marking time between divorced-dad Saturdays, by the sound of it. At least the busty barmaid has to talk to them.
but people are 50% more likely than average to regularly drink wine at home.
Oh stop taunting me with it.
People here are not particularly sporty, although a few sports have above average participation rates - tennis, athletics, dancing and table tennis.
All cheapy, then. Wait a mo - dancing? Dancing? What kind of dancing? Mick Jagger dancing in the streets? MC Hammer dancing? Square dancing? Morris dancing? Oh please oh please oh please let there be drag queen afternoon tea dances.
Cinema, theatre and art galleries are all much more popular than average.
Coooooooool. Well, it would be, if I believed a word of it. Mr Demographic survey rolled up at your door, and you hypocritical bacon snarfing buggers all lied, dincha, you all pulled the door too against your XBox, your home cinema, your broadband connection for streaming porn and your dartsboard, covered up your 'Beginners Guide to Drinking Too Much Lager Without Puking' handbook, tried to look cultural and lied through your damn teeth at him, dincha? I would've.
Food and Drink
The proportion of people doing their grocery shopping on foot is 45% above average.
Until I get there, shyah. Think I'm carrying a shopping bag ten yards from the corner store? Puh. I'm driving my lardy arse to the hypermarket, where I can drink MaxPAx cappucino, eat cold, greasily breaded turkey drummers, and eyeball racks of cheap #2 nylon shirts while I shop.
Freezer ownership is below average, though consumption of frozen beefburgers is extremely high.
Frozen beefburgers? Frozen? Puh-lease. Haven't you people gotten into venison yet?
Other popular food products are ground coffee,
fresh and dried pasta, fruit juice, bacon, fresh fish and fresh fruit. The most popular drinks product by far is table wine, though draught beer and gin are also more popular than average.
Gin. Now that's more like it. Although it's a fairly good job I don't drink anymore, given the sheer numbers of clients within a five mile radius, it's always better to live next door to old ladies who have gin. For emergency medicinal purposes.
Thank christ for partially gentrified, because, if I click on the map just four streets away, the profile becomes horrendous - all unemployment, teevee dinners, and car crime.
Item: The traffic wardens are murder round here - last year I had to pay #300 to get my car unclamped after it spent 16 minutes in the wrong bay outside my front door. Today, I had to get into the doctor's to pick up a prescription, there were no spaces, it was pissing down, so I parked illegally on the corner, and ran in the rain.
Erratum: I parked illegally in front of the illegally parked, occupied, council car clamping van. They finished their sandwiches, and slunk off in shame.
Item: Ringing up prospective landlords and saying 'before you get too excited, I have two cats. Yes or no?' is quite funny.
Item: Assured by Dave that #650pcm isn't a terrible price for one or two bedroom flats in zone 3, and assured by my customers that I'd be mugged, killed raped and bombed in Peckham, Penge or Anerley, I found three flats to look at tomorrow night, with the possibility of moving in on Sunday. I worked out what 'pieceful', 'w/m', 'f/kitchen' and 'OSP' meant, but I have no idea why flat number three is 'p/b'.
Evaluation: No tube station nearby. I'll be living in the middle of nowhere, and while I'm paying the mortgage here on top, I won't have the money to escape. But it'll be dead leafy and green.
Item: I shall be living near work. That means I know fairly well (in an 'and I don't want to know them any better, thank you') at least two thousand people who live or have recently lived there. I know, because I just got out my calculator and made sure.
Priority: Eeek. Thank god I don't drink any more.
Item: I was supposed to finish this report, see, five weeks ago, but I dragged my feet and dragged my feet, and now it's up against the last deadline. And Wickedex has put it in a box somewhere I can't find.
Action: Oh shitshitshitshitshit.
Item: I'm going to change all the pseudonyms on here. HarvardBoy is already Harv. Ernesto just has to become Coriander. Duch really must stay the same, I'm afraid.
Assessment: I need a new name for Wickedex.
Item: Speaking of whom, I don't think she was happy to find me in when she arrived this afternoon. She said 'what are you doing here', turned round and left. It took two phone calls, a lot of screaming and me hanging up to find out. Apparently I'm so selfish that it will take her forever to forget 'this' (ie, me being too depressed to clear out boxes last weekend). She was all Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries that thou hast done to me*. Pffft. Take forever, then. I shan't be there to care.
*Addendum: Actually, that's it. That's the name. Tybalt.
The first gig I ever went to was at the Mean Fiddler in 1991. I'd been to loads of festivals, and I'd followed local bands about making puppy eyes on a regular basis, I'd even played extremely badly alongside three or four indie chart toppers on their worst, most drunken gigs, but weirdly, despite living with a musician who'd charted, (once, heh), I'd never been as a punter to a proper single big name gig. So for my first gig ever, nervy, wired, not a bit drunk on gassy beer from Irish pubs, I chose Henry Rollins.
Here's what AllMusic has to say about Rollins:
Styles American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Metal, United States of America, Alternative Pop/RockYeah, well 1992 was a pivotal year for me, too, but in 91 I was still germinating. Although the sugar was turning to alcohol by then.
Tones Fiery, Passionate, Thuggish, Aggressive, Literate, Cathartic, Bleak, Volatile
In the '90s, Henry Rollins emerged as a post-punk renaissance man ... Since Black Flag's breakup in 1986, Rollins has been relentlessly busy, recording albums with the Rollins Band, writing books and poetry, performing spoken-word tours, writing a magazine column in Details, acting in several movies, and appearing on radio programs and, less frequently, as an MTV VJ. The Rollins Band's records are uncompromising, intense, cathartic fusions of hard rock, funk, post-punk noise, and jazz experimentalism, with Rollins shouting angry, biting self-examinations and accusations over the grind.
Similar Artists: Greg Ginn The Red Hot Chili Peppers Minutemen Jane's Addiction Husker Du Gone Fugazi R.E.M. Shudder to Think Jawbox Sonic Youth Faith No More Dinosaur Jr.
Roots and Influences: Minor Threat The Velvet Underground Thin Lizzy Suicide Led Zeppelin Dead Kennedys Black Sabbath Bad Brains Iggy Pop Phil Lynott Ted Nugent
1991 was a pivotal year for Rollins, for better and worse. The Rollins Band inked a deal with Imago that promised much-improved distribution, and also appeared on the Lollapalooza tour. But in December of that year, Rollins and his best friend, Joe Cole, were held up by gunmen waiting outside of Rollins' L.A. home. Cole was fatally shot in the head; the devastating trauma of the incident never quite left Rollins, and occasionally (though indirectly) informed his subsequent work.
Stripped to the waist, skinheaded, monobrowed, rippling with muscles and tats covering his entire spine and calves, in cycling shorts and nothing else (these were the days before Kiedis made such displays acceptable), a pitbull terrier in human form, Rollins looked like a bad case of steroids gone wrong. My eyes boggled and the thought flashed through my mind: "Fuck me, it's Buster Bloodvessel. Oh God."
I was certain I'd be slinking away from a neo nazi mosh pit within twenty seconds, trying not to be noticed.
Wrong. He was thrash, and it was electric. He stood barefoot on the stage and screamed, bent over double, till his undeniably mentally disturbed looking face seemed to be spitting the words directly at the stage floor, a few inches away from his nose. Each lyric was screamed in this contorted pose.
Okay, so the energy convinced me to stay for two or three tracks. Infectious. I pictured the boyf nodding sagely in a 'jazz' fashion, laughed cruelly, and bopped up and down excitably. Didn't matter what the music was like, the buzz was energised.
Then, between songs, Rollins talked. And talked and talked. He talked about what had happened to Cale. How seeing your best friends brains blown over your shirt make you reassess whether you want to act like a new metal dickhead all your life. He read some of his poetry on the matter.
He analysed how he felt. He weighed up relationships he had with his family, with his friends, with friends of his friends. He blogged aloud, essentially. It was intriguing: this thrash merchant, this angry looking single neuronned purveyor of white noise, was articulate. Emotionally aware. Intelligent even.
But what really captured me wasn't any of these things. It was his humour. He knew how he looked, and he played with it. With my expectations. Just when he'd suckered me into the New Man, emotionalguyintouchwithhisfeelings thing, just when we were eating up all the details of his therapy, he turned to the issue of a pal's girlfriend, whom he'd never really connected with. He analysed the difficulties they'd faced, and explained his decision to put the past behind him, and document his newfound feelings and understanding of her in a song. I was ready for a slowie on the rebirth of a friendship - a poem in acapella format.
"one - two - three - four - crouch: YOU FUCKING BITCH - I HOPE YOU DIE - YOU FUCKING BITCH."
God, I thought I was going to piss myself laughing.
I came out of my first proper gig ever walking about two feet above the ground, pogoed my way into the chippy and picked up the bloke. Bounced, shouted and laughed my way home.
I let the alarm go off at five in the morning, and let it continue to drone itself into exhaustion, emitting another screech every ten minutes till six forty-five.
It wasn't that I was tired - I'd gone to bed at half six the night before, figuring that lying awake staring through the window at the tree branches across the night sky was going to be more fruitful than pretending there was anything to be gained by sitting in the darkened front room listening to the reverberating echo of the neighbour's playstation game.
I just lay there, like ice, wondering if I'd ever get out of bed again. If I was ever going to go to work again. If anything would change if I didn't. Eventually I reasoned that it would be humane to tip a giant bag of cat food out in the kitchen and turn the bath taps on before going to bed and boring myself inescapably with my sheer me-ness, till death released me from the utter tedium of being myself.
I got up in the end, simply because if I stayed there, a social conscience would have forced me to contact a medical professional, for my own well being, and in the end it seemed less fuss just to give in and go along with the pretence that reality is still real. If you know what I mean. That any of the tedious stuff matters.
Don't get me wrong, I don't feel sad, or upset, and I'm not about to do anything stupid. I'm just incapable of doing anything at all. I eat things that I know will make me sick, for something to do. I sleep almost all the time. Really simple things seem beyond me. (I've washed the BNPSEA sweater about four times this week, because I keep failing to hang it up to dry.)
I like my job, and I'm good at it - one of the best. I even got a raise this week, for outstanding performance, for god's sake. But I can't summon up the empathy to care if I'm there or if I'm not.
That's new, because no matter how horrific or over-emotional things got over the last few months, I could always rely on the frantic pace of work to cheer me up and snap me out of it. To take me away from being me, and into a safer territory of being there for other people.
I wondered if it was the time of year - it's notoriously grim, grey and stern looking till March or April, here. Most people seem to have emerged from Christmas with gritted teeth and a spark of fire in their eye, as if it's going to take guts to get through it till Spring.
No doubt having to come face to face with Wickedex every single day, as she removes my things from the steadily emptying flat doesn't help. Each room is gradually being wiped clean of its personality and its resonance, until it stands bare and white, for me to echo in. I know for sure it's been utterly mind blowingly difficult for her, too. But that doesn't explain why I spend my weekend lying prostrated, teeth grinding slightly, refusing to move.
Then I wondered if sleeping all the time is itself a symptom of a depression. It's an easy way to hide. And I've been getting the stupidest most basic things wrong, lately. This morning, I forgot the way to work, got lost and missed the eight fifteen meeting. (The one I've missed every week since October, somehow.) I forgot the way.
I've worked at this place since 1994. If there's one thing I fear deep within my bones I will never ever forget, it's the way to Catford. It's beyond belief that I should look around me and not know where I am on this journey, but that's exactly what happened this dank and steely Monday morning.
So at the third meeting in a row after work, when I stupidly managed to inflict upon myself the worst paper cut in history - blood spurting everywhere, real thick gobbets of it, and all round my mouth too, because without a tissue or a plaster, I kept trying to lick it up - I decided to talk to my newly-minted boss, Peachykeenyboy, about all the extra work projects he's been ladling on me.
I told him about splitting up with my partner of nine year's standing last October, about not sleeping, then sleeping too much, and about having her here daily to sort my chaotic flat out to sell it, and trying to find another. I took care to say that the reason I was telling him this was not for pity but to set a context for my behaviour: catching so many bugs and colds, for being late with reports, and for forgetting things. That he might need to give me more reminders than other people this year. And that if he gave me extra work, on top of any reasonable expectations, he shouldn't be surprised if I didn't do it.
I pointed out that I didn't care if it didn't get done. I didn't care if he thought that was crap. That I thought they were stupid for ladling extra pressure consistently onto someone they knew was having a hard time at the moment. And I pointed out that I don't tend to tell people when things are getting too hard, I just push myself harder till I go under.
I mean, really, has that line ever worked on an employer? The truth line?
He thanked me for being honest, and gave me another job to do. I trudged out, carrying a pile of memos and folders, trying to remember the deadlines for this report, that poster, the other data collection. Dripping thick scarlet blood on his carpet. As I left, he pointed out that his life was difficult too. After all, he had a lot of highlighter stock to count up. Someone had stolen his coloured pens, he was convinced of it.
It's not like they're not already well known, or they've just started up - it's just that I learn something when I read them, and I keep on going back again. That's a good blog in my book.
The Gorgeous Lovelies of Bitchfest have nommed me up for the Hit Whore Bitchie. I have to agree it's true - I mean, just look at that Link Whore list over there .... can I be any more obvious? In fact have you ever seen a blog without my comments on it?
Cheers to Yidaho for the heads up - and if I win, I promise to cry like Gwyneth. Into my beer.
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I used to really be sullen as fuck at the hairdresser's - it's one of the ancestral trades learnt at my granny's knee, so I'm familiar enough with the mystical delights of beer shampoo and a vented blow drier not to respect what's being done to my head, because, given enough mirrors, and probably an extra limb extruding from my spine, I can do it myself. My customary hairdresser banter tended to run a varied line ranging wildly from "it's just shit, innit", through "that's not short enough, do it again", to an eloquent "no."
At least, until my first East End haircut. Tower Hamlets being somewhat rough, the salon round the corner generally holds obvious signs of anything from a recent scuffle to a violent brawl. On one particular occasion, I sat in my winching chair, and noticed that several of the sinks had recently been ripped forcefully from the walls and one of the mirrors was cracked just below head height. Regardless, I wittily quipped "no" at camp hairdresser, as he proceeded to dye a lump of my fringe bright yellow.
A frizzyhaired frowsy looking woman came in forty minutes early for her cut, and asked if she could be seen earlier. Camp 'stylist' politely explained to 'Modom' that this would not be possible. Frizzyhair woman pulled an annoyed face, then bumbled off to do some shopping till she could be seen.
As she exited the 'salon', camp stylist's face metamorphosed so rapidly he could well have been possessed by the evil spirit of Bob Monkhouse.
"Bitch!" he hissed, swooping right down to my ear - "she's going to get a shit haircut now."
With that he minced off to find another pint of hairspray. This one line was all it took to get me chittering like a squirrel denied its nuts. By the time I paid up, not only did I know about his last three holidays in Ibiza, I'd cooed and burbled like a retard over photos of his entire extended family, in a paroxysm of socially discomfited horror about what he might do to my head. (At the minimum, I was experiencing unprompted mental visions of myself wearing a Chelsea smile.)
I can't decide who was the more stupid, him or me.
Wednesday: My farts smell of stir fried beef. So that's all right then.
Thursday: Cat's happyfarts smell of cabbage. She doesn't eat cabbage.
Who the hell is feeding the cat this stuff?
You have decided that I am your prisoner. I never ever go out. Except for those few times I got between Wickedex's legs, dashed down the stairs straight into a fight between some monstrous rabid cats.
Still, some sights are arresting. Some days I manage a glimpse of what life might be like if I didn't have a fucker like you locking the door.
Yours, The Cat
I live on the wall at the end of your street. I try to explain why half your street is Georgian terrace, but every now and then is a modern building, looking out of place. Why there's a sign by the tube memorialising all the dead.
I do my level best to remind you that there are worse things than selling your poncey yuppie flat at a vast profit and moving on. But do you fucking notice? Look up more, woman.
With regards, The Sign.
You're a Londoner so I irritate you. I've heard you slagging me off and saying you've seen me eat sick. Flying rat, you called me. And you voted for that bastard mayor who banned pigeon feed.
But I have other issues. I can't swim, see. I have to stand at the side and watch the world get their bread. Maybe it's not so great in there. Maybe the bigger birds peck at you, or nick all the good stuff. Maybe it's icy cold, and you have to fight the others to get to your crumbs.
I know there's nothing I can do about it, but some days you have to dream.
I remain, The Pigeon
In the last few days, almost everything I own has disappeared from my flat, spirited away by the engine that is Wickedex; the walls have changed colour, and I can see out of (some) of the windows for the first time in three years. My kitchen is now blue, my hallway is brown, and I possess no music, nail varnish, perfume, tights, dvds or nasty messy videos.
Suddenly, I only have a few books, and they're only one row deep on the suddenly visible shelves. There isn't a small dark hole that opens directly into the attic and makes weird windy rustles any more. My bathroom tiles look like they could be white and not grey. I only have four hair products, and they're kept in a silver box - there's no space in my cabinets for five year old Nurofen or half used shampoo. There's bits of rubble, plaster and boxes over many many floor surfaces, but my cupboards are all empty, or colour coded and regimented.
My back yard contains the smashed remains of a three seater sofa, a cupboard, and a six foot high furry cat tree. Somewhere in the depths of Big Yellow Hell is a cabinet containing carboard box after box after box after box of my mistakes, but for now, it's padlocked, alarmed, and I don't have to open it again till I've spent a hundred and seventy five thousand pounds more.
Sounds like a deal to me.
Yesterday I deleted seven and a half thousand emails. Then I threw away all the music I'd collected in my teens and twenties. Every bit. After that, I listened to an orchestral piece that was left in my car, that I can't stop listening to again and again.
Currently, my day is all pain, hate, anger, upheaval, loss, separation, denial - all extreme emotions, and it's the most wearing thing. I spend every minute of my day trying to numb and deaden everything back into that droning routine, because too much drama is exhausting to the emotions, the spirit and the self. It has the same effect. I blog to get away from it.
Sorry, that's completely irrelevant, I know, it just struck me that we were both feeling emotionally anaesthetised, but for the most separate of reasons.