Spain: Gay clones, rubbish graffiti, and a ‘private’ pool


Day 1

We touchdown in thick drizzly clouds. My iPhone told us it would be a sunny 24°C here. My iPhone lied.
The stag party in front rises in pitch.

“Whose idea was Barcelona?” one stag crows. “Fucking chump!”

Spain smells of sickly sweet granny talcum powder mixed with strawberries & cream boiled sweets.

There’s lots of cute lost in translation graffiti saying things like “SPERM” and “mixed media.” The clouds start to clear, and there are parakeets. And palm trees. And youths with mullets. The food shops are called SUPERMEERCAT (well, almost) and the announcements on the Metro sample Electricity by OMD. I’m starting to like this place.

We’re renting a private villa with a swimming pool, so Esther can hide from the world in style and minimal clothes.
We’ve been contacting our villa’s owner via email.

“Check in is from 6-7pm. Ring my son Sergio from airport if you want,” he’d written, “he speaks good English.”

Me: “Shall I ring Sergio?”
Esther: “No, he’ll be there at the villa at 6, he’s expecting us.”
Me: “Are you sure we shouldn’t ring him?”
Esther: “Yes.”

We get a train to Sitges, the nearest town to the villa. The entire population is made up of gay clones with big beards and shaved heads.

Coincidentally, I have exactly the same hairstyle.

“Where are all the fem gays?” I think aloud. I’m getting dizzy from all the testosterone in the air. It’s all bears. And no goldilocks.

There’s a man wearing a t-shirt that says “Bear Construction” on it.
Another man has a picture of one on his.

We have a coke on the strand and watch the waxed abs of the sea and the endless hairy abs of the bromancing bears in the briefest briefs I’ve ever seen.

“It must feel nice for you here,” says Esther, “being fancied.”
“Maybe. Is it a relief for you,” I say, “not being stared at.”
“I guess so. It’s like I’m invisible. I imagine if we were here for a while I’d start to feel really ugly.”
Truth be told, I feel like a minibar in a room full of fridge-freezers.

"You there!"

“You there!”

We watch a younger Spanish man with an umbrella. He starts chatting to a big hairy man who could eat him up. The big man laughs and pats his shoulder, squeezing lingeringly. It’s like watching a lion toying with a hyena. They walk on a bit before the big man heads off in a different direction.
The umbrella man walks back and loiters against the sea wall.
Two older, chunkier men stop near him and he starts chatting to them.

“I think he’s a rent boy,” Esther says.
“How much for a threesome?” I voiceover.
Another couple joins the convo.
“How much for a fivesome?”
They laugh and then move on.
“Too much.”

“I wonder if the umbrella is gay code for ‘For Sale’?” muses Esther, “Oh look, this guy has got an umbrella and a jumper over his shoulders. I wonder what that means.”
“He wears a condom?” I say.

About 5.30pm, we get a cab to the villa which takes us up and up through the hills, past desert scrubland and coniferous sprawls and mini chateaus and crumbling postcard farmhouses in 80s Ralph Lauren colours.
It costs €27.

We’re getting a bus back.

As we’re early, we sit with our food shopping and rucksacks at the end of the road and wait.

“Do we look normal?” Esther says.
“I don’t know.” I say. “I never know.”
Bang on 6pm, we go and ring the bell.
No one comes.
We wait.

The beer I had in town is making me dance.
“I have to wee,” I say.
“Hold it in,” hisses Esther, looking at the villas around us, “please.”
“I can’t. I’m going to go up that hill.”
“Well, be quick.”
I walk until I think I’m out of sight. But I can still hear Esther’s stern voice.
“Hurry. I don’t want you pissing against a tree to be the first thing they see!”
My wee seems to go on forever, but finally, I run back down.
We wait.

Neither of our phones work here.
It starts to dawn on me what’s happening.
I’m going to have to go knocking on villa doors.

“Go and knock on all the doors,” orders Esther.
She watches me disappear up the road.

Dogs are going mental in every garden.
I choose a house where kids are running around outside.
When I ring, three tiny children open the gate with their huge guard dog.
They talk fast Spanish at me.

“Habla Inglais?” I ask.
They look at each other.
“Where are your parents?” I ask.
They babble at me cutely.
“Father and mother,” I say, raising my palms, “mama and papa?”
“Mami et papi?” says the boy.
“Yes, mami et papi,” I say, “can you get them?”
I point at the house and then at me.
The little girl twirls her fingers in the guard dog’s hair and stares blankly. The dog starts to lick my fingers.
“I’m sorry,” I say, walking away, “I don’t know how to say goodbye.”

They chatter to each other, staring after me down the road.
“I think there’s a phone up the road,” Esther says, “I saw it on Google StreetView.”
She’s been virtually up and down these roads for weeks in preparation for the holiday.
So we walk in single file up the tiny hard shoulder because there are no pavements anywhere.
There isn’t a phone, just lots of unfinished concrete and breezeblocks and signs with the Olympic symbol on.
There are acres of vineyards and white pine forests, and the few villas are all new-build holiday homes with interiors that look like kitsch pre-industrial cottages.

I read later that the Olympics were in Barcelona in 1993. I guess everything around here was built in a hurry for that, and the builders left in a hurry when the money and tourists sloped off.

Eventually, I ring the children’s doorbell again, planning to mime a phone and say “mami et papi” until they go and get them.
A woman’s voice comes over the intercom. I think it’s a video one, and as I try to talk into it, I imagine my shaved head and wispy beard looming on the monitor.

“Hola?” she says warily.
“Hola…habla Inglais?”
“Non,” she says definitively.
“Erm, telefono por favor?”
Silence. “…Una momenta.”
There’s a heated discussion behind the gate, then a chavvy man answers in a vest.
“Hola,” I say, trying to smile innocently, doing the phones4U sign, “telefono por favor?”
I show him the email from the man, pointing at the No Signal sign on my stupid phone.
“Una momenta,” he says, closing the door and restarting the heated debate in loud whispers.
Thankfully, he reappears and keys the number into his phone.

5 minutes later, Sergio is here.
10 minute later, we’re alone in our new house.
It’s massive, with 7 bedrooms, all of which are locked apart from ours.
There’s a pool out the back, and a chicken coop, and a spiral staircase, and a vegetable patch full of massive green tomatoes.

On the first night, we get massacred by tiny mosquitoes with stripy legs.
Esther spends the first of many nights scratching meatily at her calves and moaning.

Day 2

After running around the place like fools, discovering the pool is freezing cold, looking in cupboards and drawers (especially the ones with a big sign on that says “PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THIS”), we have a 2 hour-long brunch on the wicker chairs overlooking our olive tree grove, before going for an afternoon nap. A siesta.

“Have you realised how my daily routine is perfect for this country,” says Esther.

I’m snoring away when I hear something heavy hit the pillow.
My eyes flicker open to see that something scuttling past my head.
Before I know it, I’m out of bed and across the room, back against the wall.
I appear to be moaning.
“It’s only my hand, silly!” says Esther giggling, “I was just trying to pull the duvet up over you. Sorry.”
I look around the room suspiciously.
“Are you sure it’s not a tarantula?”
“No, it was my hand.”
I come back to the bed and check under the pillows.
“It was my hand!”
I still don’t trust her, so I get up and go for a walk.

There are no pavements anywhere. I walk up a bank and into a field of lush crops. Massive butterflies lurch up from baked mud in every direction. I give up trying to chase and photograph them, and cut through the woods.
The only things that grow here are sinister succulents with evil leaves as high as horses and as tough as fascist epaulettes. Soon I’m surrounded by scratchy, vicious plants. I’m in my shorts.
I want to be back at the villa, not tearing my shins through bush bullies.

I make it back to the road and try to find a short cut.
The only people I see are a woman in her 50s wearing a shocking pink trackie top under a Hoxton facelift, talking to a small chubby boy. It sounds like she’s either interrogating or propositioning him.
They stop and stare, slack-jawed.
I prepare to say “Hola,” in a friendly, probably camp way.
They turn their backs on me, so I keep walking.

"Offensive pastry"

“Offensive pastry”

Back at the villa, I play with the massive TV.
There are over 2000 TV channels.
The only English one shows back-to-back Friends.
The rest are German.
There’s one with German girls singing folk songs to boys on horses.
There’s one with a dirty old man in a flat cap shouting at the camera as topless girls primp and pose behind him.
I watch Twilight in German for a while. What an unsexy language it is. If only Bieber and One Direction were German, they never would have made it over the border.

Later, I rescue a big grasshopper out of the pool and in return she lets me photograph her. She knows how to work it.

Esther spends half an hour lowering herself into the water.

“Oops, I’ve done a wee,” she says halfway through. She hasn’t even got her bottom fully under yet.
This is why I hate sharing her bath water. She usually only tells she had an accident in it afterwards, with a cute grin and a little “Oops, I forgot.”

When she’s fully in the pool, she screams.
“What are those?!”
There are 2 water boatmen swimming around in there. I don’t know how the hell they got in there, seeing as they can’t fly.
“They’re coming for me!” she yelps.
“Don’t be silly, they just want to be your friends.”
“No! Get them away from me!”
I watch and laugh.

Day 3

Sitges again.

We go on the beach, where there are no less than 4 topless women and the rest have string bikinis. This isn’t even the nudist beach. All the men are topless too; tanned, and hairy.
I suddenly realise how Celtish we are. Pink, with belly tyres and no muscle definition.
After a few minutes, Esther gets grumpy.
“I’m going over there!” she says, stomping off towards the road. “I want to go back to the villa, I hate people.”

Back at the villa, Esther watches my attempts to swim.
“Is it imperative that you spit while you do it?”
“Yes, if I don’t want to drown. Why don’t you teach me how to do the breast stroke?”
She shows me. It’s not what I meant.

“Oh I get it,” she says after several more attempts, “swimming requires co-ordination. That’s why you can’t do it.”

As I doggy-paddle up and down, I realize that men spend their adult lives finding someone with the right voice for their conscience.
So now, as I go about my daily business, Esther’s voice keeps up a helpful and authoritative narrative that stops me from feeling too lonely or too carefree.
‘No!” it says, “think what’s likely.”
[It’s only recently that I realized there is philosophical precedent to Esther’s catchphrase: Occam’s Razor holds that the most probably explanation is usually the correct one. I’m not going to tell her, it’ll only go to her head.]

Later, I find a dead water boatman in the chlorine filter.
“There were 2 in the pool,” I say, wringing my hands, “Where’s the other one? Have I killed its partner?”
“Don’t be so silly,” says Esther. “Name me one insect that mates for life.”
I can’t.

I think of spiders, though they’re not insects, then I remember that the females eat the males after sex.

It’s always the case that the things you hate the most are most like you.

After ten minutes of searching, I realise there are actually 4 water boatmen in the pool. Thank fuck for that- the other one was just a gooseberry.

There are 4 eggs in the chicken coop. The chickens are staring at me, so for something to say, I show them what’s in my hands and say “thank you.” But then I think I was rubbing it in their faces that I stole their babies.
“Well, they shouldn’t have let them go cold,” I think to myself. I don’t feel any better.

Day 4

It’s hot and Esther is snoozing, so I decide to have a naked swim. I look all around, checking for telephoto lenses or giggling children, then whip off my jean shorts and boxers.

As soon as I hit the water, my penis and balls shrivel, like a timelapse shot of how a grape becomes a raisin.
Oh well, no-one’s looking.

I do a few lengths before I hear a loud noise, and look up to see all the shutters shoot up on the one villa that overlooks us, the villa which is only half built.

"Don't look, it's pointing at us!"

“Don’t look, it’s pointing at us!”

It must be the estate agents showing people round.

Shit shit shit.

I tread water in the deep end, trying to pretend I haven’t noticed.
Then a woman comes out into the garden talking on her phone.
I start to get annoyed.

It’s a private pool – I can swim naked if I want.

I look down at my child’s penis.

I do my version of the breaststroke for a few lengths, making sure that I turn with my bits concealed, belly down.
After 4 or 5 lengths, I’m knackered and starting to get hungry.

Dammit, I want to get out.
There’s only one thing for it.
I manhandle my bits until it’s an acceptable size, but then it keeps on growing, so I have to flounder around in the cold water till it goes down again. It’s so cold that it starts to shrivel instantly.

I heave myself up the ladder and into the sunlight, imagining that I’m Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
I walk leisurely over to the decking area and slowly put on my shorts as if they’re an afterthought.

Ridgmont High

Day 5

I go for another walk while Esther lazes in her airless mosquito-proofed room (towel rolled up as draught excluder; windows shut tight). I pass a gang of local teenagers in a beer garden. All the boys have shaved temples and a longer Mohawky bit on top, with a curly rat’s tail at the back. Proper trailer trash.
They make funny noises when I walk past, so I grit my teeth, that thing handsome men do in films that makes their jaw muscles stick out, but in my face only produces a kind of sunken slump.

Unlike the nice, innocent graff of Sitges and Barcelona, I’m starting to see anarchist As and swastikas around here, on the semi-rural unfinished surfaces.

"Death Fucking Master!"

“Does it say ‘I love tourists?'”

According to Google, this one says either:
“Death fucking master”
“Fucking loved to death”
Or
”To death male prostitute loved”

I’m going for the second one, it sounds quite sweet.

Everywhere is so dry, all the riverbeds are barren and it’s making me thirsty. I can’t stop thinking about getting a cold coke from the trailer trash bar. I wonder if the mullets are anarchists or Nazis, and which one is least scary.
I give in and walk back to the bar.

As I’m walking away guzzling the ice cold brown poison, I realise with acute embarrassment that I’m wearing a vintage “Enjoy Coca Cola” t shirt.
I must look like a rubbish walking advert.

"Enjoy Coca-Cola"

“Enjoy Coca-Cola”

After afternoon tea of white chocolate-dipped Orios, we watch The Purge. It gets my dander right up.

“Torture ‘em,” I scream, “feed them their own ears and such!”

Esther remains impassive. She knows not to indulge my adrenaline fantasies. And she saw me cry when I accidentally killed a mosquito last night.
Adrenaline and testosterone are such afflictions. It takes ages to calm down after seeing men hit men on TV.
I keep getting the desire to watch Jason Statham movies end to end. It always goes away when I start watching one.

Day 6

While we wait for the rickety minibus to Sitges again, two police cars screech up next to us. A man and a woman get out of the closest one. He ignores us, but the woman says “bon dia.”
She has blonde hair plaited at the back and is very imposing.
“She’s impressive,” Esther says, “blonde and handsome.”

They stand at the junction and stop every black car that drives past, with a harsh whistle and authoritative hand gesture.
Esther & I cower by the wall, feeling like we’re in the middle of some sting operation and a mistimed smile could get us arrested.

Finally, the ‘Plana’ minibus arrives.
“Quesilla dos billete a Sitges” I say in a rubbish accent. I’ve been rehearsing that the whole time we were waiting. The busdriver grunts and I just say “Sitges” until he agrees.

We look a right pair. Esther has to hold her period-swollen boobs while I cushion my cake-filled moobs as we lurch over endless speed bumps and up and down hills.

Luckily, it seems that only old women and young girls use public transport in Spain.

I read in my Lonely Planet guide that most Spanish housewives are on the dole. And that Spain has the lowest fertility rate of any country in the world. There’s something weird going on here.

Sitges is snided with chunky clones again. Some are so tanned they’re nearly black.

We see a gay guy on his own, wearing a t-shirt with moths on. The kind I would wear.
“An MIT gay,” Esther says, “poor thing.”
We watch his lonely trawl along the strand for while and wander off. There’s one vintage shop in Sitges, and we spend about an hour in there trawling through stuff.
We end up spending about €40 in there. As we leave, I try to sound more Spanish by lisping.
“Grathee,” I lisp, “muthas grathee”. It feels very weird to deliberately do what I’m scared of doing accidentally.

Today’s matinee is Lars and the Real Girl. I take great pleasure in seeing The Gos looking frumpy.

"Mwahahaha"

“Mwahahaha”

“He’s always smirking,” says Esther, “it’s really annoying.”
I also realize that Talking Heads are the best band that has ever lived. What a noughties think to think.

When Esther opens the door to the outside toilet, a gecko scuttles from behind a plantpot and hides under the hose pipe holder. I spend half an hour trying to shove my phone up there to take flash photos (nothing shows up on them), and banging it with the pool skimmer to make it run out. Nothing works. I end up believing it was never there in the first place.

“Wildlife is just too wild,” I moan, “I’m fed up of trying to see birds who don’t want to be looked at, and trying to catch butterflies that don’t want to be touched. I’ve had it with nature. The mofos can come to me from now on.”

Our evening film is Branded.
The actor’s face makes my jaw ache. I’ve only ever had this before with Rooney Mara. So attractive it hurts.
His deep black rock pools for eyes. His ability to grow a thick beard overnight.
I can’t bear the idea of Esther drinking him up with her eyes, those bumps and caverns in his bone structure where desire lurks like lizards.

“He makes my face ache,” I admit to her, “he’s too good looking.”
“Yuck,” says Esther, “he looks like a skeleton.”
“B-but his cheeks…”
“Sunken like a skull. Disgusting.”
Well alrighty then.

"Meet my brother, he's older and fatter"

“Meet my brother, he’s older and fatter”

While Esther goes out for a fag, I turn the overhead fan on full, trying to recreate that scene in Apocalypse Now.
I find that if I flick my eyes quickly from right to left, I can momentarily pick out an individual blade from the blur as it passes by. Of course as soon as I realize this, it becomes almost impossible.
I try whipping my whole head round to see if that’s better but it only makes me sick, so I try imagining I am a paraplegic and can only move my eyes. They roll around like marbles in a plughole and start to ache.
My whole body has gone rigid with effort. This isn’t making me relaxed and ready for bed at all.
At this point, I notice a spider, which was once over Esther’s side of the bed, now over mine.

“Keep to your own side, fucker,” I snarl, hiding my terror. It doesn’t.
Esther comes back and sees me staring up.
“If you don’t stop looking at it, I’ll turn the light out and then you won’t know when it’s coming for you.”
“But I read that they climb down in the night and drink from the dribble at the side of your mouth,” I say in rising pitch.
“In that case it will already have done that every night this week, so get used to it.”
I lie in the dark, waiting.

Day 7. Last day.

Esther: “I dreamt I took the police exam and failed, and then I cried and said, “I’m mentally ill, you have to let me take it again.” And then I failed again.”

Then she says those three little words. The ones that fill me with terror.
“Let’s make lists.”

“Come on,” she adds, “it’s what helps ill brains.”
My brain isn’t ill, it’s normal. Mental illness is a normal response to the world.
“I keep thinking how if I fast forward a week,” I tell her, “it will be me sat somewhere else; then another week, me sat another place, and so on, forever.”
“Healthy brains don’t think like that, “ she says, “they just get on with it.”
“I wish I could infect healthy people with my worry,” I say, “see how they like it.”

We get presents for the folks. I get a wind up donkey that hops with its back legs. It’s for my parents.
When we get back to the villa, we wind it up. When I look up, Esther has a funny expression. Oh no, I recognize it.
“I really want it,” she says in her baby voice, “please, we can get your parents something else…”
There’s no point arguing.
“You bugger,” I say, “What the hell am I going to get them now?”
“We’ll find something,” she says, winding it up again, that look passing over her face like a butterfly of innocence. “I’m going to call it lavabo.”

It’s Catalan for washbasin.

Typical.

On the plane back, there are two girls behind us are saying Jimmy Carr things but without any irony, like:

“I’d love to sleep in a shack.” And

“I love monsoon floods, they’re so refreshing.”

#ThirdWordProblemFirstWorldFetish

The Duty Free trolley is selling a perfume called Urban Decay.
What’s going on?
This ranks along with The Health & Postcode Lotteries as something life-sapping and depressing made into something money-sapping and depressing.
Someone is having a cosmic joke. Well, I want in.

Here’s what my perfume is going to be called: Slum Smells for Infidels.

"Still Live with Horse"

“Still Live with Horse”

Life’s a game of three thirds…


Mon

Lisa smokes like a cooling tower. She’s convinced this wont be a problem in our utopian future. Do as much damage as you want and just replace the parts.

“I want a lung transplant, but I don’t want them to be too big,” she frets, “I’m already bloated enough.”

Tues

Lisa is coming to stay for the night while Dom is away.

“Shall we have a pamper session and get loads of chocolate?” I say with sheer abandon, clasping my sticky palms together in supplication to the God of feminine delights.

Esther looks me up & down, stony faced.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Nothing.”
“Don’t I look normal?”

I was sure I was incognito as a normal bloke today. I was sure I’d got away with it this time.

“Normal. For an 80 year old man playing golf,” she qualifies, surveying my loafers, argyle socks, beige chinos, baby blue Harrington jacket and skipper’s cap.

Oh.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZXI9RJSgok]

Wed

Staggering back on the wrong side of town from a night out, Esther spots a tube of lippy and grabs it.
“That probably belongs to a prozzy,” I caution.
“Nah, it’s too expensive to be a whore’s,” she reasons, smearing it round her mouth.

Thurs

A moth bullied Linda tonight. She was flat out on the bed in front of our giant prehistoric TV and it came hurtling at her, mistaking her glowing white belly for an obese light.

She twitched with annoyance when it impacted, half-heartedly shooing it away with a turgid paw. After a while of relentless buffeting, she took herself downstairs.

“No way am I watching The Mothman Prophesies.”

Fri

I’d quite like to get a tattoo. They seem like a good way of hiding puny white arms under a mask of rebellious alpha masculinity. Better than relying on speech, which I would probably get wrong:

‘I’m a naughty boy, sorry I mean a bad boy’.

Instead, a tattoo would proclaim;

I eat pain for elevenses.

Speaking of elevenses, Esther has formulated a diet for us. It’s called The Thirds Diet and it means that between us we only eat one portion of any given meal; I have two thirds and she has one.

A sample day in our diet:

Breakfast: One mini chocolate brioche for me, a half for her.
Elevenses: Most of a yogurt for me, scrapings for her.
Lunch: Two thirds of a bacon sarnie for me, crust & rind for her.
Afternoon Tea: Three pieces of cherry & chilli choc for me, one for her
Tea: One ready meal unequally divided into two.
Pudding: An almond Magnum: she gets the frozen top first; I get the half melted bottom.

Sat

My exp-pat cockney pal Alfie is accompanying me round the university degree show. We go to see one of my student’s work. Liz is very blonde and has combined wedding photographs with Photoshop unicorns and rainbows.

Alfie is good in these situs, swapping his barrow-boy patois for bourgeois dinnertable talk in a heartbeat.

“I like these. They’re very, dare I say, kitsch,” he says to Liz with a smile.
She’s not going to understand that. I want to nudge him and whisper ‘She doesn’t know anything.’
“Th-Thanks,” she says, trying to gauge if it’s a compliment or not.
“Yes, reminds me of Jeff Koons,” he adds thoughtfully.
Her face goes blank.
“They’re good” he translates.
I steer him away before she overheats.

My parents got me this. They assure me that fans thought Liberace was straight. ikr!

Alfie has got me a ticket to see the fashion degree catwalk show. He says he got it especially for me, but I know he offered it first to a girl and she said no.

As soon as we arrive, he transforms into a full-on diva. The seats are nearly full.
“We’re going to sit at the fucking front,” he decides, “we’re fucking VIPs!”
The front seats all have names on which aren’t ours.
“I’m having a fucking drink!” he strops.
“The drinks are only being served after the show,” an usher explains.
Alfie goes straight up to the bar and yanks two free from under the protective covering.
“We’re fucking VIPs” he explains.

The show is the best student one I’ve seen. A monster comes on at first with ten-foot arms and legs, glaring at the crowd. Then ten-foot tall amazons stride up and down parading their freakishly proportioned bodies. My god, what’s wrong with them? They’re not hunched over or sagging in the middle. Freaks.

At the afterparty, I have one of those moments. I’m introduced to one of the models and I look up at her.
Surely by now I will know how to speak to women? There will be no unattainables any more- adulthood is place of accepting our common humanity etc?

“Wow,” I murmur in an awed child’s voice. I’m not going to say what I think I am am I-
“You’re really tall,” I murmur as I gaze up, stupefied at her (and at me).
She looks over my head and walks away.

A little while later, our friend High Bri comes over. He passes the model and is a good 2 inches shorter.

“Ha, that girl is even taller than you,“ Dom says with Record Breakers glee.

“No she fucking isn’t,” says Bri, going back over and straining to show that he is, in fact, marginally higher.

“I win,” he shouts in a voice unintentionally like golem.

Life would seem to be about small victories played out on the epic battlefield of human activity. There is no ultimate victory, only desperate deeds done in semi darkness, with the vague hope that you’ll have time to eat your pot noodle or have an orgasm before the next blow falls.
Or something.

Sun

“I want hot dogs for lunch today. What’s a portion?” I ask Esther.

She raises her eyebrow. Of course, how could I have been so insubordinate?

“I’ll decide,” she says in a no-messing tone before adding, “Jah will provide. And decide.”

I’ve never realised how must Esther sounds like a rasta…

“I googled ‘sad rasta’ and found NOTHING. I give you this instead: a rasta dictator, aka Esther.”

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the most fucked up of them all?


"Mother versus Memory Foam"

This week I have had a headache because our bed is too comfy. I have wanted a soft mattress for ages and now I have one, my spine is dissolving into it.
Last night we watched ‘The Kids are All Right’. I wish I was gay and funny. But instead I’m bicurious and uptight.

It’s nice to know that everyone goes through the same shit (yes I like seeing other people in pain, it makes me feel better).

All relationships go through the same stages: the sexy honeymoon; the cooling off bit where sex gets less but comfort grows; then the long dry years where all your neuroses re-take hold and you start to be repulsed/angered/numbed by your other half because they remind you of yourself.

Julianne Moore has just stopped being lesbian and faithful and shagged her sperm donor:

“sometimes, you know, you’re together for so long, that you just… You stop seeing the other person. You just see weird projections of your own junk. Instead of talking to each other, you go off the rails and act grubby and make stupid choices…”

Esther has become a fairground mirror reflecting back my own shit scary junk. I nearly cheated on her because I thought being with someone else would make me feel good.

I don’t like fairgrounds or mirrors. I remember when Desperate Dan was once kicked out of a Funfair because he was too strong, and was winning all the prizes. On his way out, he ripped off the ‘F’ so it just said ‘UNFAIR’.

 

"I'm a little self righteous"

Last time I went to the fair, it was the pikeys that flock to Endcliffe Park every year. A rash of robberies and underage pregnancies follow in their wake. I went there and was persuaded to go on the Dodgems by a friend. I don’t like competitive rides, unless I am going to win.

As soon as we climbed into the cars, a horde of gypsie boys descended and filled up the other cars with expressions of gap-toothed relish. For the next half an hour, I was rammed, smashed, shunted and kettled by the feral children, while I tried to smile it off as my knees smashed again and again into the steering wheel of the kid-sized car. Finally it ended and I climbed off with shaky legs. The children of the corn had disappeared into their holes. I had bruises for a week.

‘Pike-strike’ they should call it; a flash mob of free swinging knobs, hammocked in the finest tracky bottoms their cousins could afford.

Oh well, it added to my hard-done-by martyr complex. I can feel justifiably angry because I am one of life’s victims. Hehe.

What’s the washing-machine setting for ‘ethnic cleansing’?


12th March

Round at Dom and Lisa’s.
“Do you know what? This morning I realised how important the tools of someone’s trade are. And my trade is facial camouflage. Dom has his guitar, and I have my make-up kit”

I might write a romance novel. This line will go in it somewhere just before the first sex scene:

“I sat on my future son-in-law’s lap and purred like a kitten”

Question of the day: Why are old people so racist?

When I was 14, my granddad gave me some pocket money and said “Don’t spend it in Tesco’s because that’s a Jewish shop. Go to John Menzies instead” My nana nodded in agrement.

It was a very small shopping centre.

I just thought ‘bigots’ at the time, but now I’m thinking:

Was the War fought about who had the right to diss the Jews?

Dane told me his grandparents had a revelation recently. “All along I thought it was the blacks and the Jews, but I’ve finally realised it was the Americans all along” his grandad said with satisfaction.

"One Nation Under a Tash"

It’s 2pm. I am sat still half asleep in our new attic bedroom. I can hear a woman shouting “Becky”, “Abigail” on the street below.

Maybe it’s her cats. Maybe it’s her daughters.

I should care. I do- the whole time she’s out there shouting, I feel guilty. I can hear someone in distress who needs help. I should be out there helping her. But the thought of joining her in being a weirdo walking the streets shouting makes me hide inside and watch her do it. No one else is helping. Everyone must hear her; she’s walking the whole length of the street.

Apathy. Or fear.

There have been court cases where whole apartment buildings have failed to go and save someone’s life because they presumed someone else would do it instead.  Apparently it’s better to shout ‘Fire!’ than it is ‘Rape!’ because a fire might actually infringe on other people’s property. That’s when they give a shit.

Until this woman goes away I’m going to feel like a failure- like I’m in a society that I am refusing to be part of. Like I get all the benefits of being in a welfare state with a decent standard of living, and yet when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t help someone else. I fail to fulfil my side of the social contract. I should be sued, fined, or made to leave. But I’m not. Because everyone does it.

We have emergency services and laws to care on our behalf, so we don’t have to. Should I feel bad? If the police are coming for me, if I’ve transgressed, then I must feel bad. Otherwise, everything must be ok. Morals are ancient history- now you only know you’ve been bad if you get caught doing it.

I tried to cheer myself up yesterday by seeking out people who used to be popular at school on facebook. I wanted to prove my theory that people who enjoyed their school life went on to fail miserably as adults.

However, I found 2 of the fuckers and one is an international conceptual artist, and the other is a designer at Superdry. I am sorely disappointed and may ring the 24 hour Karma helpline later to complain.

"I'm fully prepared for my school reunion"