Having Yet To Find Oneself

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A twenty five year old woman spoke into a camera and told me she had found her calling, her place in life. I sat back, for a moment, as she carried on speaking. My eyes roved the stacks of books by my fireplace, the piles of things on my bedside table, the lamps, the globes, the jewellery, the clothes, the box of mango and papaya incense, the little rug, the calendar waiting to be ripped into and scribbled with annotations of 2014, the scruffy paintings on the walls, their edges curled with age, the postcards, the bottles of cosmetics, strewn everywhere, whiffs of scent tracing the air, mixing with floating dust motes, the old shoes, the holey socks, the empty mugs, the crumpled hoodies, the stray lonely glove, the scrunched up tissue, the glowing snowman, the reel of shiny ribbon…the bag of brushes on the unused bed, the canvas on the bed, half painted..

The smear of dark green, on the bedsheet..

The lace of a boot, frayed at the edges, dangling from the bedside lamp..

Who am I? Am I all these things, put together? Or am I none of them, struggling to break free of the layers that encompass my being.

Are the books I choose to buy significant of who I am? Or are they just masks over what I have the potential to be?

Lots of things happened in 2013. Perhaps the most significant of them was finding the courage within me to stand up for who I am, to who I was afraid of. In some ways, I believe I found myself this summer. In others, I am still lost, alone, far away from my final destination. Yet it taunts me, dancing just beyond my grasp. It’s laughter is a mocking echo in my thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if it is even there at all.

Anxieties on Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks has, for a long time (in my sights at least), peppered the conversations of chick flicks and chicks who like flicks, and for the greatest time, I also was not aware of who this critically acclaimed man was.

Hmm, thought I, well I know about John Green now, given that I have read four of his books in the span of a week. I know John Green is an author, and Steven Spielberg is a director. I don’t quite know who Steven Moffat is, but I know a lot of people hang on to his words. So who is this Sparks fellow?

By the by, my sister is in another country speeding her way to a hospital because of severe abdominal pain and I am very worried about her, even though she told me in a ragged tone that it was okay, I am just a worry wart and she knows it and I am so worried about my little sister so worried I can’t even do any of my duties this morning oh God I hope she is okay, anyway this is a distraction while I wait to hear from my father who is driving her there.

So, yes, who IS this Sparks person? I already knew that chicks in flicks like him, and that people quote him in relation to notebooks. A quick search on google told me that he was indeed an author, and he did indeed write something called The Notebook, and also something called The Lucky One, which turned into a film, the trailer of which was shown once before I watched The Hunger Games, a lifetime ago considering that I watched it at the time when I thought Catching Fire’s release was a lifetime away, and hey ho look where we are now, a lifetime away!

Anyroad so I reserved The Notebook at the local library, thinking okay this cannot be too bad, everybody is banging on about it. Give a man some credit before you read him. Benefit of the doubt and whatnot.

My sister my sister why have they not rung me yet and why has my mother fallen asleep on the sofa omg.

It turns out that The Notebook was actually a pretty lame story. I felt as though it was rather excessive, you know, when

SPOILER ALERT. 

she gets sorted eventually and whatnot, and I did watch the film also because I cannot seem to recall whether or not they died together in the book as well as in the film.

well what did I tell you.

Either way, I really don’t see how this could have been a bestseller. But then again, look at 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. Romance is terribly popular with humans, so I guess it comes as no surprise, really. Except that this wasn’t your average teenage-infatuation-with-a-manipulative-control-freak situation, it was a genuine story about two teenagers who fell in love, got separated, became reunited in undesirable circumstances, still found a way around it anyways, grew old together, blah blah, so on, so forth. What I really didn’t like about it was it’s unrealistic, happy happy joy joy the sun shines out of our bootlaces optimism. Life is never such a symphony and a melody. Never. And while the IDEA is beautiful and sweet, I, as a person, feel like putting such an idea down on paper perhaps wasn’t the best idea.

Then, I watched the film. Now the film was definitely a coast on the happy waves of life. It was so much more realistic, and the acting of the lady involved was pretty brilliant. She was definitely not your average picture perfect weak female; she was strong and had a mind of her own, which I relished, of course. And, the lead male character was played by none other than Ryan Gosling himself, something which my heart, of course, warmed to, given that if Ryan Gosling was a reachable human and I was completely shackle-less, I would marry the damn fellow. Somehow the film moved at a faster pace and had a sparkle which the book didn’t, which is somewhat wry considering it was written by a Sparks, of all humans.

The film is certainly recommendable, although the book, not so much. I also didn’t think a sex scene was necessary, in light of the fact that this was supposed to be a beautiful love story. The notion of sex scenes on first meetings gives the impression of infatuation and lust, rather than love, and defeats the purpose in some inexplicable way. I was actually enjoying the novel until I happened on that scene. I also seem to recall a lot of sexual references, which is something that, if it was a story told by an old man to his wife, seems terribly far fetched. An old man would be recalling the good memories, methinks, and not the sexual ones, considering that they have been married years and years and one’s memory of the vivid details of one such encounter would be distorted, to say the least.

Either way, the whole debacle made me think, well this is the last of my dabbles with the world of adult romance. I shall stick to what I know for a little longer, and explore the realms of the youth, before I venture out again into the minds of older humans. Needless to say, I did not heed my own words and borrowed The Lucky One from the library because it was lying on an empty shelf staring at me, and I thought, well one mustn’t judge a genre by an author, or an author by one bookt. However I am only twenty pages in, and the thought of struggling through anymore of it is intensely gloomy. I also watched the film and I thought it was rubbish, and laughed a little bit, and threw the book across the room, because it’s yet another conventional mess of a romance, and frankly I am done with romance.

Speaking of books, here’s a gem. The Raven Boys. It explores the world of the dead, and the seers, and it is, so far in the series (I think it might be made into a series of four) brilliant, and awaiting the sequel is proving to be very hard. I shan’t say any more on the matter, considering not all four books are out yet. However, once they are, and once I have read them, I shall of course be writing another pretentious review, altouhg

Oh my God the phone the phone the phone.

Although I shall try to make it not pretentious.

Right so. Here is the news: She is okay, and I can breathe again.

The March Hare

alice in wonderlandYes there does seem to be rather an obsession with the creations of Lewis Carroll. Can’t you find any characters of your own, Lenora, rather than plagiarise everybody else’s!? Good grief.

Well yes, but I haven’t quite invented anything to do with March, and March happens to be a very important matter in my life. For example, at some point in my life, I shall demand to visit the town of March. Given than my husband to be is also born in March, this does not seem like such a concerning possibility. The March Hare, now, is a very celebrated character and I feel as though he deserves a very special dedication.

So, here’s to the March Hare, the subtle creature whose madness is rather equal and just as potent as that of the Mad Hatter, whose loyalty to his opinion is disdainfully grandiose, and whose ability to be demeaningly gracious is marvellous to behold, and quite candidly I tell you this, but it is also terribly enviable.

Here’s to his dubiousness on whether liking what one gets is the same as getting what one likes.

Here’s to his distinctly severe attitude to uninvited sitters at his table, and here, finally, is to his ability to be rather less grumbly than the Mad Hatter, and to possess a likeable amount of gloom and absurdity.

Here is, in short, to him who stands below:

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What Is This Madness?

hes terribly ugly is he notAn old joke in my family is to buy me hats for Christmas. I have a rather large assortment of hats, actually. Boxes of them.

I have a large blue Mexican hat with bobble tassels. That’s my favourite hat. I usually wear it out when it’s dark, and have creepy old Indian ladies glare at me.

Well, that actually only happened once. Terribly daunting, though. Killed myself laughing at the time, however.

So, why do I get hats? Well, it’s an old joke, you see. A take on the Mad Hatter, as it were. A pokage at my belief, of sorts.

I don’t believe in Christmas, as we have established. Therefore I wait until after New Year to give all my ‘Holiday’ presents. People used to think this was very pretentious and annoying of me. Like I was shoving my beliefs down their throat. They were also mad because they wanted more presents. Greedy pigs.

Anyroad. I said to them, “Well, humans, the thing is, you’re shoving YOUR beliefs down MY throat, by MAKING me celebrate with y’all”

That shut them up quickly enough. So, my parents and siblings agreed to let me give them their presents after New Year’s day, and I agreed to receive hats for Christmas. Well, I didn’t actually agree. They just do it. Rude cows.The Christmas presents I do get, I generally don’t open until well after Christmas. I generally don’t get them from family. Which is a good thing. Jolly good. Capital. And the rest of it.

This may be a little far fetched. But it is a fact, and a fact it remains.

Either way, I got seven hats today. One from each family member.

One hat was miniature. So, I put it on my mini globe. She feels the cold, poor dear. Then I got a bowling hat. That was green. So droll. I am wearing it as I type. I also got a beret, and it is red. I also got a tophat, which is green also. Like ‘That Green Gentleman’ (Shoutout to Panic! At The Disco fans!). I also got some other hats, but they were general hats, and not very specific hats. All in all, I am terribly pleased with my hats.

Hatrific day, as it were.

WELL, I SUPPOSE IT’S CHRISTMAS.

Merry Capitalism

It’s Christmas, folks.

Huzzah.

If you’re into that sort of thing.

I expect one would be expected to leap around in joy, clapping one’s hands, and releasing odd little squeals that tell of the inner hysteria, trepidation, frenzy and elation one is supposed to be feeling.

Well let me tell you that I am not doing any of those things. I am eating my decidedly unfestive dried figs, drinking my decidedly normal cup of honeyed green tea, and sitting in my decidedly messy bed, writing this decidedly melancholic blog.

My room also smells decidedly odd. I sniff at it through the blockage caused by my chest infection, and think to myself, yes, this is a decidedly mousy smell. I expect my little micies are running rampant under the floorboards this holiday. There is simply no getting rid of them. You catch one, and there’s always ten to the one you’ve just caught. It’s all very daunting and morbid, but in the grand scheme of things (I seem to be thinking about things in the grand scheme very often these days), I suppose it isn’t much worse than a burnt cookie. They will eventually leave, or we will eventually leave, and they won’t be much more than a spatter of a memory, too faint to be of any consequence.

At least, I hope so.

Anyways. Back to this Christmas fiasco. It just seems to me to be desperately overplayed!

It really does! All this tree buying and ornament hunting and gift wrapping and special singing and odd candling and remarkable cheering and frantic stressing and worrisome argumenting and ridiculous spending and extravagant, mindless indulging.

I was watching a vlog the other day, where this young lady was going out to BUY Christmas day clothes! How absurd! One already has a wardrobe full of fancy beauties, and one is going out to BUY nothing but a velvet T-shirt, for Christmas day! Now if it were something special, like a pretty dress, or something party-ish, then yes, go for it! But it was so decidedly something like all the other things she owns. What is the point in wearing something so decidedly like every other thing you own!?

I just think it’s all rather toshy, really.

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Especially considering lots of humans really want a piece of bread for dinner, and nothing else.

Especially how they prepare you, FORCE you into this festive mood, MONTHS before the actual occurrence. It’s all a terrible mistake, really. People stuff themselves full and count down… all for what? A sack of presents, a bit of fairy lights, and some dinner?

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And the significance? Oh please. Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, darlings. He wasn’t even born in the winter. He was born somewhere around the eighth month, to be exact. So, really, now, this whole Christmas palava is a bit of a joke.

So. What I have to say about christmas is, I enjoy the fact that there is rather a tonne of chocolate at a great price in the shops, and there are rather good sales after the event, but really, when it comes down to it, Christmas is just a material event, laced with materialism and things, and everybody loves each other and all that, but sometimes they don’t. and people’s expectations are raised too high, and they are pressured into spending a foolish amount of money, which they would benefit much more from investing elsewhere, and really, c’mon, stop allowing yourself to be pulled in by the shameless and rather obvious bit trickery the world of retail is indulging in.

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There. Now I shall finish my tea, and eat my figs, and go to sleep, because I am poorly, and being poorly is nice, in that one doesn’t have to work as much. Even though one has to fit into a dress by mid January, so bit pointless of one, really.

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Cloud-Men in my Chest

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So I woke up this morning feeling short of breath. I was wheezing despicably, and when I realised that I couldn’t breathe, I had a full on panic attack!

I fell out of bed, drenched in sweat, and crawled up to my mother’s room, where I woke her up amid a torrent of tears and gasps, telling her to call an ambulance.

I certainly worried her, because she leapt out of bed immediately and told me not to be silly, and to have a wash and ring the doctor. What would I do without this beautiful mother of mine, eh? Thank God for her. May He shower his blessings on her, that’s what.

Anyway, so I rang my local surgery, and gasped to the receptionist that I needed an appointment as soon as possible, and without her usual ado and fuss about no appointments being available, she told me to get there immediately and they would try to fit me in.

There, how’s that for efficiency!? She is usually awfully cold and skeptical when I ring in with an ailment, so I tell you it made a pleasant change. I think I must have sounded really bad, for her to give in so easily.

I then stumbled to the bathroom, towel-washed myself (I positively reeked after the sweaty bedsheet debacle), brushed my teeth and pulled my scraggly sick-bed hair into a bun before dashing out and shrugging on a coat, not even bothering to put on new pyjamas.

There were cloud men in my chest; pouring, digging, holing, building, snowing, raining, and whistling. Each breath I took was laced with lashings of sleet, and each exhalation was like the wind whistling mournfully over the moors, and I had no control over it!

It felt so strangely odd, not having control over your breathing. All I could manage were short wheezes, each time hoping I would get enough air into my lungs, and each time panicking more when the air wasn’t sufficient!

Oh dear, I thought, passive smoking is finally leading to my untimely demise.

My mother told me to wait, as she would come with me but I told her not to worry, as I was already halfway out the door.

The five minute walk to the health centre seemed to last five hours, I kept having to grip things to hold me up while I caught my breath. It was despicable. I felt like an old person. Then I felt sorry for old people, for going through this awfulness everyday.

Well, not all old people, of course.

Anyroad. When the doctor could fit me in, he checked my lungs with the heart listening device that I used to use a lot as a child, and which I am still fascinated by. I was very self conscious because I thought I must have smelt really bad because, being sick, I had not bothered to shower. I also asked a lot of frantic questions along the lines of “are you SURE I don’t have pneumonia” and “How would you know if I had pneumonia?”

I think my doctors know I am a hypochondriac by now.

So they put me on a nebuliser thingy, which I thought was tremendously fascinating and very dramatic because it came with an oxygen mask, and I have never worn one before. I tried to act normal though, and not wounded or invalidy because that would have been really lame. Then they told me to take antibiotics (surprise surprise) and told me not to worry about having pneumonia, and if the symptoms presevered, to return to the GP immediately.

Yes, I said, thank you very much.

And, feeling much better, and much more reassured, I got up and walked out and called my mama as soon as I stepped out into the crisp, cold air. 

So. It appears I will have to join the antibiotics family for the first time in my life, and the asthma family also. I suppose it is not so bad, in the grand scheme of things, and being poorly is just an inescapable part of life, and something humans must deal with.

I should be thankful it’s nothing worse, like that awful lung disease that girl had in that blue book by John Green. I was actually thinking of her, you know, when I was gasping my way down to the health centre. I thought, how romantic, if I had to have tubes in my nose, and this was my last walk, of sorts. How simply divinely dramatic! But I expect if I were really suffering from it, I wouldn’t be half so jolly about it. There is a sense of frivolous indulgence in knowing one isn’t actually dying from a lung disease, and can afford to play at it.

I shouldn’t speak so, though. Imagine if it did turn into a lung disease! You never know what could happen.

Oh dear.

 

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The Curious and Interesting Issue of Bananas

Recently I was having an email conversation with a friend and this friend informed me that my novel, which I am working on, and I have named The Curious and Interesting Issue of Bananas, should actually be called “Bananarosity”.

Now the immediate consequence of hearing my friend’s opinion was that this was a brilliant name, and far better than anything I could ever concoct!

However, as I sat back and thought about it, I conceded that it WAS far better than anything I could concoct, but in its being so, didn’t that mean that it wasn’t really MINE? If I called it something I wouldn’t have dared envision, didn’t that mean it was really my friend’s touch, instead of my own?  And while I have absolutely no problem with that, I just think that if it is my writing, I ought to at least title it something I deem worthy of my own efforts! For I would never flatter myself as to compare my literary talents to those of said friend, and I feel quite strongly that I should publish my works as mine own.

I actually thought “The Curious and Interesting Issue of Bananas” was a nice title, and suited the tone of my story perfectly, but my friend reckons it might be seen as too redundant, and I do think that is right, but the whole point of my story is not to be politically correct, but to be on the rather bonkers side of things. A peek into the world of the Mad Hatter, as it were. And this includes being rather excessive and bombastic, because in essence that is the sort of humour I posses!

This is what my friend said, exactly, “Anyway, your book title is hilarious but should you ever publish it, I fear that “curious and interesting” will be perceived as slightly too redundant D: Might I suggest shortening it to the extraordinarily creative portmanteau: “Bananarosity”?

Should I shorten it, or shouldn’t I. That is the question.

Oleaginous Child

cupcakesToday was a busy day. I woke up pretty early, intending to go on my four hour cycle, but ending up lying down. Five minutes, I told myself. Just five.

Then, three hours later, at five past nine in the morning, my mother yelled at me to get up because we were late!

After spending four hours running errands, I returned home, to realise I had a lot of planning to do before the evening party at the place where I teach! I then rushed about, doing research for my ‘talk’, baked two batches of chocolate cupcakes which my mother kindly iced for me.

When I told a particular student of mine that it wasn’t actually me who iced them, she smarmily told me that in her house she did all her own icing. What got me really riled about this is the fact that this particular child always finds a way of undermining me in some way! It is frustrating, and sparks a lot of ill will within me towards her, which is awful considering that I am her teacher.

She is an extraordinarily trying, obnoxious, pessimistic and narcissistic child. I do not know what to blame it on, given that everybody has their own story to tell, and nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. However I feel as though she hungers for recognition even though she doesn’t particularly deserve it. She goes out of her way to contradict everything I say, and her expression when I am talking to her could make milk go sour.

Needless to say, I absolutely despise her.

This is an awful thing to say. As a teacher, I feel as though I have failed with regards to this child. I can never reach her, and I do not want to, although at the same time I feel as though I need to.

She is just atrocious, and horrible to be around. She makes my insides writhe. The perpetual expression on her face is one of distaste and snobbery. I do not know what makes her believe she is better than everybody else, and telling her she is not only serves to magnify her hatred towards me.

So today I am feeling like a failure, a pickle, a sour bottle of milk, a slice of congealed steak, a drain pipe, a drawback, a handicap, a pathetic creature, a snow drift, an unwanted piece of cat excrement on the front lawn, a liar, a fool, a two timer, a limitation, a trammel, an impedance, an impediment and a hitch.

I also said some terrible things, and things which make me cringe, and feel as though I am a breadstick in society.

On a much brighter note, I did get quite a lot of compliments on my cupcakes, and I did not fail to mention that my dear mother did ice ALL twenty four of them remarkably beautifully and assembled them in their box to be taken with me and for that I thank her, because without her I would have been late and behind and held up and in a bind and tardy.