As luck would have it, my greatest skill in life is in making life less skillful.
Yesterday I had a phonecall, which reverted to NATO’s phonetic alphabet (beloved of bobbies and geeks) with foolish consequences. Why she couldn’t make sense of my usual phone slurring I’ll never know, but we started to speak in letters and then words-for-letters. I don’t know the phonetic alphabet, so I made up my own. “Bezelbub, Electric” I said with trepidation. “Bravo, Echo?” she corrected hesitantly. “Figaro?” I added. “No, not Figaro” she said with confusion, “send me an email”.
I also had to call Amazon that day, because I have ordered 15 books to go to my old house. By mistake of course, I’m not that perverse.
It seems I will have to wait for them to be sent back before being refunded and re-ordering them to be re-delivered the correct address. All except one book, which is out of print. She won’t tell me which one.
“Which one is out of print?” I ask
“Err, the Chris Kraus book” she says after some hesitation.
I scan down the list of orders, and see “I LOVE DICK” by Miss Kraus. Why did it have to be that one? I think about possibly coming up with a story about why I am not like that. Truth be told, I can’t remember why I ordered it. I think it looked ‘interesting’.
Thinking back, I wish I’d probed a little more;
“What’s the book called? I can’t quite recall it…”
“Erm, I Love…Richard”
“Oh, I don’t remember that title…” followed by a Sid James guffaw…
In other news, I’m just like Shakira. My hips don’t lie; I just can’t pretend to be skinny anymore.
But, neither do my hips say sorry. I just went to the shop to get some stodge. On the way out, I was bottlenecked with 2 young women coming into the shop.
“Sorry” I said automatically, and backed up. Really, I was being chivalrous and should have barged through in the name of equality.
As the front one walked past me I found myself pushing past, and somehow managed to flip her into the magazine shelf with my hip.
“Oh!” she yelped in shock. I had crossed the boundary into her personal space and not only that but touched her. I mean, ugh!
I seem to have that reaction. On the first day of high school I sat down for the first time in my form class, to be met by “Ewww!” as the girl nearest me pushed herself away in revulsion. Ah, school days. Truly the best time of my life-if best has reversed its meaning and now means abject shitiness.
“Sorry” I said again, only this time it was my moral duty. I daren’t look behind me because no doubt both the girl and the viewing shopkeeper were giving me the evils.
As I left the shop, I think I even added another “sorry” under my breathe; this final one was for generally being alive. I affected the rolling gait of a generic cripple just in case, to make it seem that it was my body that was impolite, not my mind. Regular readers will know this is not true.
I have just returned again from a shop- this time however, things went relatively smoothly. I am catching my breathe and looking down on the 2 comatose, puffy faced girls in MY bed- the sisters and their snoozing takes priority. There must be something in this genetics lark, because they are both facing the same way with the same arm draped across their fronts. I imagine the same daft puppies are lolloping around in their dreams too. So bitter and jaded on the outside; so pathetically girly within.
Earlier, we were talking about holidays this summer. Correction: I am remaining mute and listening, having used all my chitchat ability up for the day keeping up with the nattering of the two sisters in the first half hour of their getting together.
“I want to go to Berlin” says Lisa, with a voice and expression that would make Guardian readers reach for their credit cards with one hand while continuing to whip themselves over Third World poverty with the other.
“It’s rubbish” says Esther. “It’s just like Sheffield except everywhere smells of cowpats and everyone speaks German”.
“Oh” says Lisa. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Isn’t it full of amazing cool people?” asks Lisa
“No, they’re all old and ugly”
I have left Esther in charge of sorting out our holiday this year. So far, she has found a weekend on a barge on Sheffield canal for £1000.
Kill me now.