1. give him a piece of your mind, be self aware and admit your shortcomings but show him you don’t take any shit
2. don’t do that because it makes you seem like a bitter woman, the type of date guys talk to their friends about whilst they drink canned beer in the proximity of a suburban roundabout
3. actually do it, because FEMINISM! and it shouldn’t matter that you seem crazy. life is easier when you just ask for what you want.
4. yeah, feminism, sure, but actually, no one wants that much crazy. even they are looking for a member of society who’s a little bit depressed, half as smart as them, but overall normal and productive seeming on the outside. even the artists have understood that downright crazy seeming partner means you’re fucked in the long term. maybe mention it half-jokingly but overall, maintain that easy going girl vibe. MUST maintain in order not to fit stereotypes.
5. am i pretending to be an affable tomboy because at heart i am just a subservient GIRL. WHAT is this. i need to tear tepid motherfuckers a new one and my ego shall be boosted again. out with the ‘real talk’, be self aware but also put your foot down.
IT NEVER ENDS
idea - 2 speakers of a dying language refuse to speak to each other
She sits at the bar, a masked narrator of sorts, channeling the allure of a girl perpetually under the male gaze, selling Pepsi to a patronising but endearing target market in her head. The band downstairs has just stopped playing but everyone in the bar is still kind of revved up, perhaps under the influence of the skittish sound of small time musicians picking up their instruments and abandoning the stage to have a few drinks.
Around the corner, a bearded figure sits not far from the stools that line the front of the bar, deep in thought, the beginning of a bizarre episode of solipsism. His nostrils flare up when he forces a smile, yet somehow this contrived excuse for emotion is expressed naively and sweetly on his face, as if beyond post-ironic, as if he were smiling to the camera during a holiday family picture photo shoot.
She looks across the room and rests her gaze upon the massive wooden door labeled ‘Artists’ entrance’ and wonders how she had missed it so many times. Absent-mindedly, she drops a pint glass and as it splits into tiny obnoxious shards on the hardwearing oak floor and a dozen well-kept, bushy eyebrows reorientate towards her feeble hands as if asking her to validate what they had heard. The bar had always tried to attract less ordinary clientele, and it showed.
Ben senses that something shady is afoot when she neglects to immediately pick up the pieces and an insipid bystander starts to throw a compendium of brutish insults at her face, tiny bits of glass having now protruded the unusually soft soles of his feet via a small coin-sized tear in the fabric of his shoes, ruptured in places and with a proclivity to produce maddening squeaks (she had heard them throughout the band’s repertoire, as well as throughout the pre-gig pub quiz before, a sound higher than the dozen groups of little cliques reciting odes of admiration to various pop cultural juggernauts) : a testament to poor ’main street’, bricks-and-mortar shop footwear manufacturing. But alas, none of the audience at this gig are cobblers, and it seems like the night is kind of alternating between grasshopper moments of sloppy but well intentioned kissing and people hazily gazing at their overpriced ales, trying to construct cosy scenarios of nights out so they can go home and reassure themselves that it’s okay to live in the comfort of black and white morality because ‘everybody does it’.
“I can’t stop looking at your boobs in that shirt”, says Polina to her, echoing what this little microcosm of humanity had been thinking for a while now, a simplistic but marring revelation from a quasi-religious girl who stands as tall as a hummingbird, wearily shuffling along the sleazy linoleum like a fragile dustball.
“Yeah man, it’s one of them ‘bodies’ or what do you call them…so…yeah.” she says hastily, smiling through clogged pores and the second shift of the day (but this is happiness, she thinks, keeping herself busy, reading tennis tournament regulations, not worrying about whether or not she might have momentarily left the stove on).
Polina is bored by this point and starts waving frantically to vague acquaintances she finds endearing because of their exoticness, She’s one of those old school pub girls who have been working there before the ominous collapse and subsequent desperate renovation of the place. Ben’s already forgotten what he was after when he got up off that dubious looking stool by the piano with the grim graffiti on it, so she’s good. Just pick up the shards and get the fuck home, she needs to take her homeopathic sedative, and contraceptives, and eyedrops, and supplements, and ADHD medication, and various other enzyme inhibitors, and beta blockers, and feed the cat and water the plant and check that her belongings hadn’t been stolen and there were no cockroaches underneath that weird flap on the side of the bathtub.
She politely asks who’s working the long shift tomorrow, as if she hadn’t memorised the rota by heart, as if she hadn’t written it onto her pale hands the moment she saw it. Quick kiss here and there, complimentary drink and simulating the meticulous reorganisation of ruffled aprons underneath the beer keg and off to catch a beautiful orange train full of spoken word artist wannabes and lonely bags of Wasabi peas on the cushiony seats.
Headed towards the door, she walks by the men’s toilet door with a stuffed ram’s majestic head on it, its dead eyes lifeless but not disillusioned, an urban animal dragged out into a concrete environment to serve the aesthetic fancies of men who perhaps have slipped into doing venue-related admin for 6 hours a day. She thinks of waving it goodbye sweetly as an obsessive ritual when a transfixed stare travels around corners to the base of the nape of her neck, igniting little follicles of blonde mammalian hair, making them stand and oscillate against the humidity coming up towards the airspace of the bar as if from the musky burgundy carpet below, but they oscillate for a while and then start dwindling and collapse back on top of her freshly electrified ridges of her vertebrae.
She turns around, not surprised to be greeted by Draeden, on the cusp of delivering an effortlessly unctuous witty pitch for her to join in and weave a web of pleasantries that bounce off each reply with the special magic that happens whenever two acquaintances exchange a particularly gratifying chunk of chit chat.
Draeden was a local postman who occasionally delivered lease-related documents, bills, and other minutial written communications not germane to this description of his overall aura. D stood 6 feet tall, and was a Grenadian fellow in his early 30s with a benevolent if somewhat mysterious or creepy ambience to him.
The incident happened on BEACHY Road, and tropical name notwithstanding, the road was not pleasant to look at at all, nor did it offer any decayed urban hospitality either
all i want is a little bit of authority
Ephedra was my seat companion on my coach ride from London to Edinburgh, and she laughed nonchalantly all the way as the coach’s wheels slid gallantly on the roads of the dismal hellhole that is industrial West London.
She was not doe-eyed but something about her was distinctively kind. She gave off a pretty comforting vibe, considering that she wouldn’t tell me her real name, choosing to give herself a pseudonym that is just another word for some sort of traditional Chinese remedy. I kind of resented sitting next to a mildly intriguing person because I was looking forward to having a 12 hour moment of listening to violent ambient music while kind of crying on the inside, and I would have just shrugged off her remarks were it not for my firm believe that classic dream symbolism theory is severely flawed.
Dressed in a subtly glittery, loose fitting jumper and a dark green corduroy maxi skirt, tapping her fingers to the same fucking top 40 track she had been playing 5 times in a row on her second hand mp3 player, she had a knack for bringing out the most latent frustration and combativeness in the most serene, backboneless of her peers. I know this because she chose to condescendingly croon at me instead of her usual (or what can be considered usual for a person you’ve known for 20 minutes) playful whisper after I had been ignoring her requests for verbal hostility for a while.
'So what's your deal?', she says, twisting her face into a thousand kinds of hoodlum expressions as she tries to get pureed but consistent clumps of biscuits out from behind the crevices of her otherwise pearly white teeth.
'For someone with such obnoxious ideas, you're awfully quiet. Are you going to Edinburgh to discover yourself?' she goes on, clearly amusing herself beyond reason.
‘What obnoxious ideas? Look, you think just because you worked part-time at a skeevy psychic centre in East Hounslow for a year that means you’re qualified to psychoanalyse me? I’m really not a passive aggresive sort of person by any stretch of the imagination but you’re kind of cramping my style if I’m honest”, I retorted, surprised by my own assertiveness, my only quality that only comes to light once every couple of months, after a few too many.
Taken aback, Ephedra raises her eyebrows as if to say 'I'll just let you slowly realise what a freak you're being about this' and as her day-old fake eyelashes start twitching with disdain, I notice the finesse of the dark bags under her eyes, hiding spider like little veins that reluctantly carried her boiling blood to the periphery of her untamed face.
'Well, I'm just trying to make small talk' she continues, with a sense of humility so fake I almost puked in my mouth.
Very intense silence ensues, and I’m unwilling to play her demented game because I know what I’ve read and I don’t want to be told what my life is like by strangers anymore. She can’t resist slowly punching me in the throat with humble and tempting remarks that threaten to uncover my whole shtick, that of the exhausted 26 year old with nothing to hide anymore.
‘…after all, wasn’t it you who started yapping about dreams and dreaming about broken houses last night in the coach waiting room? Look, I won’t even ask for money, just let me do a quick reading, I’m sure it’ll surprise you' she smiles coyly, knowing she's got my attention when she sees my befuddled facial expression, the one I often make when I sing along to stupid French songs in the mirror, pretending to be a young Brigitte Bardot because I've abandoned all traces of feminist principles.
‘Fine man, do a reading, whatever. I’m pretty much in the dark here, so why not.’
He seduced me with profound witty conversation over blues and wine and I understood that all he had to do was make sure he had my attention for more than a minute - that’s how they suck you into their blob-like means of transportation - no flying saucers and certainly no bags over my head, but more like an absent-minded pedestrian getting hit by a pick-up truck and waking up to a table of assorted citrus fruit and flower bouquets in the hospital 24 hours later.
This isn’t to say that the impact of the mental journey hadn’t taken its toll on my physically. A pulsating migraine encased in a foggy head surrounded by a haze of what smelled like sunlight on another planet was perhaps the first clue towards this becoming somewhat of a transformative hostage situation. He said he thought I could maybe make it through the first segment of the strange quest for enlightenment they were preparing for me but I was more than likely to have my head lasered off by my (now) intelligent amputated hand, sometime before the first half was over.
guttural hisses, bouncing off walls, inside a makeshift bus, inside a parking lot at the edge of an inner city playground, inside an inner city project, on the southeastern fringe of the city, inside an enclave of projects, inside a borough of postmen tearing each other’s hair, inside a comfort zone i never quite left, within a part of the country with everchanging hills that look like blossoming tissue growths, in a state that’s playing a prank on itself, in a country that makes that weird nettle shampoo you use.