Me, Myself and Many Others


I don’t know how it is with you, but often when we are getting ready for bed, I strike up a conversation with one of the weirdos in my head.

“That’s just so typical for a namby-pamby white boy!”

“I’m like this usually am I?”

“That’s what typical means you dickwad”

At this point Esther interjects

“What the hell are you doing? Stop being horrible to yourself!”

“I wasn’t being horrible to my self, I was being horrible to him”

“Who’s he?”

“He’s…someone in my head. I was just telling him he’s talking tautologies”

“Well, I can’t see any other namby-pamby white boys in here” she reasons, ” so you must be talking to yourself.

I open and close my mouth, but I can’t explain the complex social world of my imagination. So she continues;

“You make the world seem darker when you express your mental illness like this. It’s already dark enough”

Oops.

In other news, Lisa has just given her tiny cottage a Spring clean and found some unopened Christmas presents from her sister.

And Tobias and I went to a life-drawing class in Manchester that promised sleazy rock n roll with a model who looked and sounded like Joan Jett.

What actually happened was there was a chubby girl in an ill-fitting bodycon dress and too-small bikini top who stood around holding a guitar (badly) and trying to look moody (even worsely). And then some bloke came on and played punk songs on a Ukelele, which could have been good but he looked like Kevin McCloud and sounded like Billy “shoutyman” Bragg, who I despise (Where’s the pop? Where’s the camp?).

So, we skipped out early and met up with George, who refused to subject himself to the embarrassment of drawing in public, and instead who’d been sat happily eating a burger in a bar round the corner. Until that is, he’d made the fatal mistake of nipping to the loo, and some people had stolen his seat even though his half eaten burger and pint were still there. We are obvs not used to big city life, having come from soft-lad provincial Sheffield.

“They’d already started eating so I didn’t want to cause a fuss” he explained.

Bless

“It’s the big city, boys” Tobias chimed in, with a maniacal glean in his eye.

Indeed it is. I once saw a woman chased down the street by a driver enraged when she had tapped the boot with her hand because he had stopped in the middle of a pelican crossing. He ran from the car, yelling “drive round the corner” to his girlfriend, who was obvs practised at this and leaped into the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, the offending woman was cornered and cowered under a staccato dance of almost-blows as the man spent his anger.

I resolved there and then to desist my car-tapping ways.

Lastly, Esther has had her wisdom tooth out. The anaesthetic didn’t take so they had to jab the needle in two, three, four times before giving up and just yanking the thing out. This was a day ago and she has swollen up so much now that if you catch her from the wrong side, she looks like a gorilla. She will only eat liquid food, apart from soup.

“Eating soup is like drowning in food. Food shouldn’t be liquid, it’s disgusting. Apart from chocolate mousses.”

So far, she has eaten chocolate mousses, jelly and fish pie. She’s just bought some marshmallows but she can’t open her mouth wide enough to fit them in, so her moans have become more frequent. Eventually she fell asleep, but her snores are amplified by the swelling into deep cave rumbles.

At least I can’t hear the cat snorting coke anymore.

I’m not asking for much…


Week 1, 2012

Hello 2012, I’m viewing you from my phlegm-festooned bed where I have been holed up all week in a state of not-quite-well-enough-to-move. I’m also 872 pages into The Passage by Justin Cronin, a post-apocalyptic vampire story and I’m starting to forget who I am. Have I got ‘the virus’? It’s so long since I’ve been out of the house, or even opened the blinds, that everyone could be dead.

I’ve got end-stage cabin fever.

The edited lowlights of my week include:

Building some kind of wattle-and-daub structure on my bedside table using tissue and mucus. How colonial.

Spending quality time pinioned under my fat bastard cat

Talking like the transexual cab-driver from Royston Vasey.

Being so bored that I plan to write a sweet children’s story featuring guinea pigs to alert 3-6 year olds of the horrors of sexual infidelity. It’s going to be called “Weet-Weet and I will Come”.

God has seen it fit to Spotify my scalp. Each pulsating boil, when squeezed, makes me sing a range of genres from torch song to scat.

Listen to the little strumpets!

I seem to have become a figure of ridicule in this house. The other day Smee showed us a video of a poor boy whose video was ruined by his bully of a brother:

At first of all I laughed and then I realised that Esther and Smee were looking at me as if to say “That’s you that is”. Now every time I get justifiably annoyed they say;

“I can’t believe you’ve done this”

in a mocking voice. Some things just aren’t funny.

And now ever since I expressed my jealousy of a boy who was knocked off his bike by an antelope, they are bullying me about that.

They came home from the pub last night talking about rampant attacks by guinea-pigs and how I missed out.

I just want animals to touch me, any which way they do it is fine by me: a nibble, scratch, or lick will do.

It’s like a few autumns ago when Esther and Lisa kept getting hit by falling acorns, I did everything I could to make them fall on me but nothing happened. I shook the trees and threw sticks at them, but as with life in general, the more you want something the less chance you have of getting it.

Then finally my wish was granted and a corker lamped me on the top of my bonce. The feeling of elation lasted until a week later when Esther admitted that she’d done it when I wasn’t looking. I felt cheated.

As I write this, Smee is passed out downstairs and Esther has her hungover head shoved under the pillow. I’m the one who needs looking after- I can’t believe they’ve done this!

 

 

Don’t Let the Bells End!


Christmas Day

This was mostly uneventful, apart from Esther crying about how shit her life is, and moaning about how crap her presents to me were. The roast was postponed as well because it hadn’t thawed out.

Boxing Day

Esther didn’t moan as much today, and we finally had our Christmas Dinner while watching the Borrowers. I fucking hate the BBC family dramas, and Christopher Eccleston has never been good. He didn’t reject Dr Who because “it wasn’t serious enough”; it dumped him because he has no sense of humour. So, in combination, The Borrowers was enchanting. Then we had trifle with yule log and squirty cream. Then we went to bed and and tossed and turned, racked by heartburn.

Day after Boxing Day

Esther went into town to get a present for Weasel, and I walked the dog and tidied her side of the bed. I think she might have a problem because most of the rubbish was sweet wrappers (Twirl bars, popcorn packets, Lindt truffle wrappers), screwed up tissue smeared in eye-makeup, the plastic filter tips of a million e-cigarettes, and a giant subterranean beast made of entwined tights.

Later, Weasel and Kung Fu took us for a Mogul Room meal. As Esther squeezed past the table to go to the loo, Kung Foo slapped her bottom heartly and said;

“Nice arse; use it wisely”

To which Esther let out a disgusted squeal of indignation.

Lisa insisted on trying a bit of everyone else’s meal before her own, convinced as always that she would have made the wrong decision. This is normally my feeling, but seeing it demonstrated by someone else, I vowed never to be so silly again.

Xmas is Dead; Long Live Xmas

I had a sexy dream last night. I think the sexiness of my dreams is hampered by my limited sexual appeal, ability and experience in real life.
I met some random girl and we were making out while she chatted to her BFF on her mobile. She was going on about all the lame guys that hit on her, and how cute her husband was, all the kind of stuff that makes your willy shrivel up and your decency start to growl. But instead, I soldiered on, unzipping her bustier and kissing her back. As I started to finger her, she put down the phone and said;

“I’m going to slop you out so much you won’t believe it!”

I gathered from this that I was in for some fellatio, and supposed this allowed her to tell her husband that-

“No darling, I would never cheat on you”.

Then my mum walked in the room and I woke up.

You can probably tell from my dream that I have never talked dirty apart from once when me and Esther were both drunk and I was yelling at the top of my voice;

“Touch my thing! And those too!”

I think I sounded more like an angry film director than a dominatrix.

Anyway, going back to the dream, I have to ask what I was thinking to come up with “I’ll slop you out” as a turn on. She sounded like a Prison Warden or a cleaner at the dog kennels. I wonder if some people are born sexting and talking smut, like other artists? I’ve always felt too guilty to watch porn, so maybe I missed a certain kind of education.

The dream effectively ended when Linda got her claw stuck in the end of my nose in an attempt to rouse me. I threw the duvet off in frustration and strapped myself into my tiger-print all-in-one. Yet again, the day began with my immortal words;

“Come on you fuckers”,

and a cat trying to trip me on the stairs, unable to predict that she would never, ever get her biscuits again if she succeeded. I almost want it to work, just to teach her a lesson…

In other news, it’s the Deer Leader’s funeral.

I wonder what the funeral will be like for our Tortoise Leader?

Boring and Ugly Crimbo Special: 1st Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


22nd December

I’m not sure I’m getting the point of The News. I’m sure it’s meant to be sad and gritty, but all I can think about is clothes and how good people look when they die young.

The Stephen Lawrence enquiry has revealed some great 90s clothes collected as evidence. With a 90s revival nearing the end, I am still in love with the clothes I would have been wearing back then had I been cool.

What an outfit! Jazzy jacket, sparkly cardi, pink polo shirt and high waisted acid-wash jeans. When I look round today and see all these draw-string grey tracky bottoms, v neck t shirts and silly bobble hats, I despair. Think about it people- do you really want to die dressed head-to-toe in Primark?

 

24th December

A relationship is a relay team, and each couple passes on their own make of baton. Ours is misery and irritation. All last night and this morning, Esther has had the full blown grumps.

“What’s the point? Christmas day is just like any other- we’ll get up, eat till we’re sick, walk the dogs, watch TV and go to sleep”

The thing is, when I think about it, that’s true. Coz Esther doesn’t work, this isn’t a holiday or a treat for her. It’s just another day.I cling onto hope when Weasel and Kung Fu, Esther’s parents, ring up and invite us for coffee.

Surely she won’t dare ruin their day too?

Of course she will- that’s her sacred role in the sisterhood.

We go for Eggnog Lattes in Starbucks with them and Lisa. Weasel has promised to buy a winter hat for Esther. She gets out the brochure for her to choose from.

Weasel- “Choose your top 4 from here”

“I don’t want one” she petulates (this should be a word- I’ve written it, so now it is)

A look of weary resignation flits across Weasels face. Lisa rolls her eyes.

“Give it here then” Esther chides, snatching the leaflet from Kung Fu’s hand, and without seeming to look, scrawls numbers next to  pictures.

“You didn’t even look at that!” says Lisa in horror

“Yes I did; white’s the best colour, so I chose the whitest then numbered down from there”.

We are clearly dealing with a genius here, for whom simple tasks like this are odious and best treated with contempt. She is Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon in foreshortened female form.

"Whosoever invented this should be flayed alive!"

Well you know what, now it’s time for my go with the bastard baton. It always changes from red to green in my hand though- from misanthropy to jealousy when passed from a middle to an only child. a week ago we paid £15 for the runtiest tree we could find. It leans over drunkenly like my erection.

Now, on Christmas Eve, the trees that were for sale at the bottom of our road have been abandoned. Lisa and Dom can take their pick, and choose one 3 times the size of ours, for free! In what universe are the poor allowed to triumph over the rich with such smugness? What’s the point of having ostentatious spending, if other people are going to get the same stuff for free??

I know I should be thinking “It warms the cockles of my heart to see the Tiny Tim’s of the world smiling”

But instead it’s “I want a tree that big! Maybe I should have two trees, then I’ll win!” Winning in my mind is a vague concept, something to do with the unhindered accumulation of stuff. I guess it comes from the entitlement of being the golden child backed into a corner by a real world full of grasping hands.

Suffice to say, when we both got home we had snapped the baton in half and carved each others faces with it.

Esther- “I’m not going to wrap your presents…”

Me- “Why not?”

Esther- “Coz I hate wrapping presents. I can’t be bothered”

Me- “Well, we can put them in plastic bags at least…?”

Esther- “I can do what I like. You can do what you like”

She stomps upstairs for a snooze.

“Don’t go to sleep” I call after her plaintively

“Why not?”

“Erm, because we can go and watch Christmas TV…?”

“I’m bored of TV”

“We can…tidy up?”

This isn’t going to work. She grunts and disappears. Why can’t I think of anything to do anymore? My excitement is draining away. What’s the point of anything?

I trudge upstairs to bed.

TO BE CONTINUED…

I can’t get no sleep


My favourite time of the day to travel on Sheffield’s glorious buses is around 2pm in the groggy lull between lunch and school run. On this particular occasion I was roused from my torpor by the sing-songy voices of two women who chatted in the finest Queens English behind me:

“I’m bored” a boy moans loudly.

“Treat every moment with the utmost sincerity” comes the reply, uttered with enough volume and flounce to filter down into the handful of grimy ears on the bus.

“One tries to be sincere…” muses the mother’s bff wistfully.

“Yes, but occasionally one forgets…” she entreats

I twist my head involuntarily to see the faces that spawned this rancid pomposity. Largely unremarkable, both women are noticeable only for their pert posture and earnest eye contact. Buoyed by starched cotton and principles, they manage not to slump into their seats like the rest of us. As they leave the bus, I get a whiff of something I’ve not smelt for a long time- cleanliness.

"This is what I found when I Googled "utmost sincerity""

My day at work continues this exercise in diversity. I overhear a conversation between an earnest Mentor and a mole-like Autistic boy with a voice like the post-op transexual taxi driver on League of Gentlemen:

“I want to change courses. I’d like to do Criminology and that”

“Oh yes? And why is that then?”

“Well, I like Midsomer Murders. And I like CSI”

“Oh really?” (The Mentor is desperately thinking of how to inject some reality into this dream. I’m guessing mainly so that he don’t laugh in his face).

“And I’m interested in crime like murder and rape”

Other students are starting to look round at them now. The Mentor makes a last ditch attempt to steer the convo away from inadvertant pronouncements of megalomania. After a silence, they talk about the weather and everyone goes go back to their work.

When I have a moment at work, instead of eating or drinking, I log onto my newest obsession, Facebook Scrabble. I have found it the only anaesthetic that completely blocks out my bad thoughts. The simple task of shoehorning letters into squares acts like a blanket muffling everything around me. I have started to dream about it. Last night I woke up around 5am to the sound of a drunk girl on her mobile somewhere in the streets below.

“It’s a dead end. Listen Amy, this is not the time to be having this conversation. Shit, it’s another dead end”

Eventually she found the right way and disappeared from hearing. I remember now that I was dreaming in white plastic letter blocks. I was overjoyed when I realised that I had a really good word score when I used Vanessa from Eastenders‘ real name- in my dream it was CROZIER or LUCKIER or something. Oh lord, what am I becoming?

I am disturbed from finding the answer to this by the sound of the cat in rictus, telescoping her chubby body in and out to make herself barf. After two or three loud hiccuping burps, there’s the sound of a fat chav gobbing- it’s out, and I lie there thinking ‘oh god, any minute now it’s going to stink’. Because I still can’t be arsed to move, I sniff the air tentatively every three seconds until I catch a whiff of something. Before I know it, the light’s on and I am upright with toilet roll in hand, searching the floor.

For such massive upheaval, there are only two tiny patches of chunder. As I crouch over them, the smell hits me. I realise now that shit doesn’t just become a stinking thing upon exit through the anus, it wallows for hours in the mucus of the stomach, fomenting and brewing (“a hard poo’s a-brewing” as Bob Dylan sang). What I am picking up is young shit, as yet unformed by the piping bag of the sphincter. Retching, I throw the heavy tissue clumps into the toilet and flush with vigour.

Now for some sex. Esther still hasn’t woken up despite all this, but now I’m wide awake. As I flop down, my hand somehow ends up on the upper reaches of her pubes, accessible because she has had to cut the elastic band off all of her knickers to let her swelling cake-filled belly fall out. It turns out I am a feeder. Normally though, the feeder is thin because all they want is to indulge their ballooning partner. Think Jack Sprat. With me though, I stave off my guilt about perpetual snacking by getting Esther to eat the same as me. This also serves a second purpose: I don’t have to decide for myself what to eat- whatever she allows me to give her must be ok for me.

As I remember the sick, my sex part shrinks. I may be sick, but I am not turned on by it. As I listen to strangulated cries of drunken men singing, I release a series of absurd cartoon farts. They are the best kind, that sound ridiculous yet strangely don’t smell. Esther chuckles in her sleep, then wakes, and we tuck into the unwanted remainders of a Tesco Classic Chocolate Selection (reduced from £6 to £3, effectively duping us into believing it is more than a cheap version of Roses). What is left in the expanse of the disappointingly single-layered box seems like a feast at this time of night:

2x milk choc turkish delights,

2x orange cremes,

and 2x plain chocolate toffee (my personal hatred is reserved for these teeth-destroying rocks of pain, but I eat them anyway with a grimace).

Esther turns the TV on and flicks between BBC News and Sky News, watching the same 2 articles (death of Anwar al-Awlaki; Jacko trial) reported different ways: while Sky is all out sensation, the BBC is deadly serious, although they seem to be loosening their impartiality to compete. What you end up with is sexy newsreaders with straight faces.

"Doctor, Doctor, there's a child in my bed!" "Don't worry, you're just having a little stroke"

Dr Conrad Murray‘s face is undergoing a procedure on TV- mummification. As more and more damning revelations stream out live across the world, his face is lengthening and hardening into an Easter Island grimace of hopelessness. What surprises me about all of this is how most of the court time is spent in awkward silences, stutters and paper shuffling. This isn’t like the movies, though the accents help with the illusion. When I got Sky TV it was because I thought it was the ultimate in voyeur TV: Courts, houses and legs would all be opened up for my delectation. But it seems that the British version is still uptight about most of these. Would Court TV work over here? Would we really want to see a succession of scrawny boy racers and benefits scammers being chastised in bloodless English?

I’m sitting on the toilet now, and I hear Lisa and Dom come in downstairs. This usually has the effect of making me instantly grumpy- some sort of Pavlovian response to a stimuli that I can’t even remember. Something to do with being an only child, Esther would say. “No’, I tell myself, ‘I won’t give in to the grump’. A ridiculous jingle comes into my head;

“Challenge each emo-shun”

it goes, sung in the hyper-sedated voices of  a chorus of American life gurus. As I descend the stairs, I sing it over and over in my head. I enter the kitchen, closed off to prevent Devo from destroying the house. So far so good. As I say hello to Lisa, who has stolen my seat (keep calm), I notice that she has ‘re-appropriated’ one my favourite of Esther’s tshirts. I’m starting to lose it now. Rage or depression is never far from my door.

Instead of letting the fuckers in, I sit down and turn Scrabble on.

I’m doing the beetroot workout


"surely not?"

After work, I head down to the gym. I avoid the treadmill like the plague because I have had to lather my thighs with vaseline to stop the agony of constant chafing. I am also being very careful about how hot I get- last time I went, I overdid it, and went to meet Esther and Lisa in Tescos afterwards. Along the way, I seemed to be the centre of attention. I felt like a guy from a Lynx advert, who has stumbled across the secret of universal seduction. I get the pansexual eye (girls, boys, dogs), and my ego inflates like a pull string dinghy, floating me along the street an erect penis’s height from the ground.

The problem is that although I think that I crave attention, if I ever get it, my brain melts and I have an ugly panic attack. I am starting to forget how to walk and to breathe when I manage to run into Tescos and find the girls.

I creep up behind Esther. I like creeping up on people. As Esther catches sight of the looming freak behind her, her face spasms in horror.

“Oh my god, you look like a beetroot” she says.

"Having exercised, I must go into hiding"

It turns out I had been waking along looking like a boiled lobster/sore thumb/busta blood-vessel comedy character, and that was the source of my allure. How disappointing.

I get to Lisa’s having escaped the gym in a milder hue of cerise.They must be in a good mood- there’s a cup of tea waiting for me. We all fall silent as we guzzle and read the trashy magazines lying around (Heat, Grazia, Look).

“What’s the point of donkeys?” says Lisa out of the blue.

“Some people just have fields full of them. What do you do with them?”

Nothing comes to mind.

“I spose you can stroke them” she reasons. Yes, that’s right. That makes sense to all of us, and we go back to reading.

“I just had a really strong urge to superglue my lips together” says Esther, again breaking the intellectual silence. I think it was my brain telling me what I wanted to hear, but no, she actually said it.

“I thought the tube of glue was Zovirex. When I realised it wasn’t, I thought ‘what’s the worst thing I could do?’ and I have to stop myself from putting it on my lips”. It’s a traditional bloke joke, to want the woman to shut up. I briefly feel a sense of belonging by wishing it too.

I reach for my special Blog notebook. The girls notice, and figure out what I’m doing.

“Quick, say something funny” thinks Lisa aloud.

After a few moments of tense, brain whirring silence, she blurts out;

“I wish I could transform my body…into a frog’s body! Ha, then everyone would love me.”

She pulled it out of the bag didn’t she? However it all goes downhill from there, so I put my notebook away in disgust. I need an invisible pen and pad really, or to do some serious ethnographic shit to live in this crazy uncivilised world with the natives till they forget I’m there. Oh, wait…

"I was invisible till I got 3rd degree sunburn"

BAD as in BAD


"do you want a cup of tea? can I caress you?"

Arseholes, bastards, fucking cunts and pricks

This is what I was like in my dream. Everyone hated me because all I did was cuss all over the shop. Not like me at all. I was visiting some country mansion with a load of silver haired tourists.
In fact, the only person who liked me was this really cute young cleaner who worked for English Heritage. She followed me when I stormed out and we eloped.

But then as soon as she showed an interest, I stopped being an ice cold bad boy and became my usual room temp. self- needy and demanding: “you’re really beautiful”, “I love you”, and passion killer numero uno “do you really like me?”
I turned from a handsome, upright cactus into a saggy week old lettuce, pathetically dripping on the floor.
Yuck.

"place in a microwavable bowl for 2 mins before turning over. Serve with salad"

At least I’m not The Man with the Cold Meat Hands. Probably an urban myth, but I heard about this guy whose microwave had a hole in the door and for some reason he had to hold his food up through the hole while it was on. After a while, his hands started to feel funny, and he went to the doctors only to be told-
“You’ve cooked your hands. There’s nothing we can do”
Ugh.
Imagine having 2 cold dead lumps of meat where your hands should be. I imagine when you touch your own face it’s like being caressed by a dead man. It is the most disturbing thing I have ever heard, because it makes me realise that yes we are just lumps of flesh like the ones we fry and gobble down and that a simple cooking procedure would turn us from human to animal, from warm body to tepid meat.

Whenever I feel tired in the afternoon, Esther chirrups “you should be horizontal between the hours of 2 and 4 in the afternoon and 1 and 2 in the morning. This triggers the liver’s downtime”. This is the excuse she uses whenever there is a hard task to do after 2pm “I can’t, it’s liver down time”.

Apparently, Esther learned all her wisdom from Carol Kaplan, Cherie Blair’s “style guru”. Thanks Carol.

"Carol, I've stopped eating lemons, but I'm still not Queen"

Last night I couldn’t get to sleep because I was trying to work out a joke.

As Esther is dropping to sleep, I stifle a giggle but end up snorting with laughter.

“What’s so funny?” she demands

“One guy overhears his friend on the phone.

He’s saying “three ohhh…ten, ten, ten…two fifteens…” in a breathy voice.

“What the hell are you doing?” the friend asks.

“Oh, my wife loves it when I talk thirty” he admits”

I can barely get the punchline out because I’m sniggering so much.

As I chortle away, Esther rolls her eyes.

“That’s not even funny” she says and turns over.