Oh, hello, stranger.

There is a woman next to me eating a tuna sandwich. Well, I think it is tuna. I can’t be too sure. You never can, with the wide variety of sandwich fillings these days. What happened to good old cheese and tomato? That washes down well with coffee.

This lady is sad, folks. Her face is flushed, and she pulls a tissue out of her coat pocket to wipe her eyes and nose. She also stares vacantly out the window for a while, and her shoulders slump as though the weight of the world is settled on them. She holds herself close to her heart, her knees inwards, her chest bent in on herself, as though she is curling up like a desert leaf to hold herself in and protect herself. Her posture suggests she might be nervous or uncomfortable.

She has a slim notebook in front of her. The cover is black, with green drawings all over it. She is left handed, and writes with her hand bent over her sentences. It is not a way I could envision writing. Her bag is purple, like space, dotted with stars. Her hair is shoulder length and curly, and she wears glasses.

Her eyes are sad, and I want to go and sit next to her and sprinkle some joy upon her day. But I don’t know how to. What would I say?

Hello, I noticed you look sad. Wanna talk about it?

Hi! I’m Lenora. I love your diary.

Oh, hello. Look at these pictures of cute squirrels I found on the internet.

Good afternoon. Do you think you could take a few moments to talk about our Literary Lord and Linguistic saviour John Ronald Reuel Tolkien?

Hi, I really like your hair.

Hello, ….

The possibilities are endless. But none sound remotely right.

Oh. She has put her coat on, and off she goes. Mayhaps she wrote all her sad thoughts in her diary, and now feels relieved to carry on with her day.

Perhaps she wasn’t sad at all, but had hay fever.

I wish I talked to her. I want to know what she has to say.

I don’t know how to talk to strangers though, without seeming like a creep, or uncommonly odd.

Well. Maybe next time.

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The Scream

I have this scream that I do in my head sometimes when the going gets too tough.

It started when I was young. I stopped a moment and looked out of the large, metal framed windows in the flat I lived in; the view was dusty, solid buildings, ugly and radiating curly heatwaves. I stopped amid all my exam stress and my bedroom junk and my disorganisation, and I screamed.

It was an internal scream, a scream in my head. It was loud, raging, desperate. But it also had an order to it; it followed a tune.

AAAaa-AAA-aa-aa-aaaaaargh.

It isn’t a bad tune, as tunes go. It is my tune of solace. A vent of sorts. A screaming tune with a lilt to it. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes it makes the pain of nostalgia cloud the stress and make my mountainous pile of Things To Do a little less steep. Sometimes it just clears my head and allows me to get back on track and get on with what I have to do. Sometimes it highlights the frantic, anxious emotions that accompany the stress, and I have to call my mum and have a cry.

It started when I was about ten years old, living in the hot desert of Arabia, where my father had whisked us off when he decided to follow his career.

It still resonates with me now. On this cold island, surrounded by the raging seas of winter and politics.

The fantastic thing about this Scream folks, is that I can do it anywhere, at any time, and nobody will know.

So, right now,

AAAaa-AAA-aa-aa-aaaaaargh.

There. Deep breath. Carry on. God bless.

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Peace and quiet.

Girl Walks into a Bar

Hello, good day, how can I help?

Yes, hi, can I have one Marriage on the rocks, please?

Sure. If you take a seat, I’ll bring it right over.

Thank you. Oh, and can I have a packet of frustration and irritability with that too? Salted, if you have any.

We only have spicy.

Oh, I like spicy frustration and irritability.

Do you still want the Marriage on the rocks with that? It doesn’t go so well with spice.

No, hmm, it doesn’t really does it?

No, ma’am.

Alright, I’ll have a Marriage on the Hold please instead.

With a shot of syrup?

For good measure, yes.

You need a bit of syrup to carry off the frustrations nicely, don’t you. Balances it all out, as it were.

Ahh, yes. When I have more time, I might get a Happy Marriage.

Oh, ma’am, it’s all here as and when you please. You just gotta ask.

Really, just ask, huh?

It’s that simple, ma’am. You might need to turn a blind eye to the little packets of frustration that come free, though. Nothing we can do about that, I’m afraid. Just grin and bear it. You can give it away, if you like.

Yes, my boss likes those.

Well there you go then.

Thank you.

You’re welcome. 

March Hare

Fleeting days

Restless nights

Cluttered corners

Of my mind

Half me here

Half me there

All of me wanting

to be elsewhere.

Unfinished essays

Unread books

 

Bits of work

In every nook

Hair needs washing

Face needs threading

Wear a hat

that’ll sort that

Body to scrub

Bath to have

Never smile

Force a laugh

Clothes to wash

Muscles to toughen

cloth and brush

dishes and ovens

Butterfly tea

snailshell toast

ground beetle gravy

over duck roast

unfinished talk

with my other half

rats scuttling

fore and aft.

Scatterbrain mind

deadlines at large

February looms

I was born in March.

Half me here

Half me there

I’m all over the place

I am a March Hare!

 

 

I am going MAD!

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My Doctor Says I should Not Drink Coffee

Image

 

My. Doctor. Says. I Should, Not. Drink. Coffee

Even. Though. It. Kills.

Me

So I DON’T

Drink it

No I DON’T

Drink it

Even though it kills me.

Even though it kills me.

 

(This has a tune. I don’t know how to write the tunes I make up. But it goes somewhat like this: My DOCtor says I should Not Drink Coffee. Oh. I can’t get all the variations of tone in. Forget it. *sadface*)

Meeting in a Cafe

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John Singer Sargent (1880)

Today I met a woman in the library cafe.

She came up to me and asked if she could sit at my table, as the library cafe was bustling with people.

I said, of course!

I noticed she looked Arabian so asked if she was Arab.

She was!

We got to talking in Arabic. She was a very intelligent woman. I would put her in her mid-thirties. Very pretty. What struck me the most about her was her thought process. Her thoughts seemed to run a mile a minute. She was explaining something about having a phD and it not really being much of anything unless one chooses to use it for good interaction. I felt as though I was focusing on the fact that she was saying something, rather than what she was actually saying! This made me feel perturbed, because zoning out while someone is telling you something you are dying to hear is not normal, is it? my father is guilty of this habit.

After she left, I thought in horror: I am my father!

Not that my father is a bad person to be. In fact I would be quite chuffed if someone said I took after him. He is a very intellectual man, with oceans of knowledge. It’s just this habit that he has of not really knowing what people are saying to him from time to time. He zones out when people are taking to him. My mum reckons his head is in the clouds. It’s not a bad trait to have. But it does mean you miss out on what many people have to say.

Like me, today.

I think she said that having a qualification means nothing if you can’t apply it in social interactions. Like, for example, it’s well enough for a doctor in medicine to have all the qualifications necessary for practise, but if said doctor doesn’t possess the social skills to be able to interact effectively with patients then there really is no point in that doctor being a doctor at all. I think that was what she was saying. I wish I’d managed to focus on what she was saying.

I just nodded dumbly and agreed with her, rather than contributed to the discussion, so it just trailed off, and I think she probably thought I was an idiot. Or that I was rude for not really saying anything properly back.

She paid me a lovely compliment, though. She said my Arabic was excellent.

Why thank you, kind lady.

How not to murder a romance.

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I want to write a romance (the younger version of myself would vomit at these words.. Sorry, younger Len. It had to happen) about a young boy and a young girl who are neighbours. They both have the attic rooms of their respective houses, and their windows are two dormer windows poking out of the same roof (semi-detached houses).

I wrote a screenplay about this for an assignment. I think the younger me resurfaced though and rained a vicious tantrum over this story, coating it in morbid drama. The young boy decided to kill the young girl, and he went about it in the most cruel way possible. There was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. No matter which way I tried to turn it, the act was inevitable.

He seemed so nice at first, did George. He was caring and sweet and so charming. Perhaps that was his downfall. I was sad that it had to come to that.

I think I am not cut out to write a decent romance.

I don’t want to write romance like the erotic fiction section in the library. I don’t want to write chick flicks either, about domestic goddesses and frenzied young ladies who ‘don’t believe’ in love until a handsome, dashing bad boy comes and whisks them away against their will and they can’t help falling for him.

I don’t want that.

I want to write a coming of age story about a small girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders. A girl who meets all sorts of odd characters, not because she is a novel girl, a story book girl, but because she goes out of her way to talk to people, and learns that everybody is a character. A girl who leaves an impression wherever she goes, not because she is beautiful or possesses magic powers, but because her mind is a beacon; a vast ocean of imagination and creativity and intelligence.

I want her romance not to whisk her away, but to creep up on her playfully and poke her on the shoulder like an old friend.

I don’t want scenes of her doing intimate things, I want scenes of exploration and chatter. Scenes of life in ways we have never experienced.

I don’t want George to murder her. I want another young man to come along and steer her ship with her.

I want her to go back to her house and stand at her dormer window and look out at the city in the sunrise, her hair flying about everywhere. The Phenomenal Girl walks along the street, road reading, her hair decorated with an array of colourful cloths, her rainbow socks poking out over a pair of old boots, and she looks up to see my protagonist and waves her book at her. The Red Lady shakes her carpets out of her windows and calls out to my protagonist that it looks like rain today and not to let the sun deceive her. A man in a patchwork topcoat raises his hat to her, and waggles his bushy eyebrows. He can’t talk. I want the girl to look to her right at the empty dormer window next to hers.

I don’t want to know if they live happily ever after. I don’t want to know how many children they have. I just want to write about the connection between two fantastic minds. I want to know how the boy sees her fiery thoughts, and how he catches them before they escape. I want to know that the girl isn’t oblivious to love. I want her to welcome it

like,

an,

old,

friend.

I don’t want to know what she looks like, I want to know what adorns her mind.

Is she white? Is she brown? Is she yellow? Is she red? I don’t care. She is her. In fact, I don’t want any description of her features whatsoever.

Insert Feature Here.

She can be anybody you want. She can be you.

But how do I write all this without murdering her before the story has even begun!?!?

Something Precious

It’s not what you think.

It’s not family, love or hope.

It’s not vivid nature, nor personal exuberance.

It’s not the skies flying rapidly by, changing colour with each hour, month, season.

It’s not the sun, revolving around the earth.

It’s not the moon controlling the tides.

It’s not growth, not the blossoming of petals after stark, winter dormancy.

It’s not appreciation of the world in all its forms.

It’s not peace.

Not world connectivity, cultures drawn together, happiness spread.

It’s beans on toast when the skies are grey and the world is cold. It’s steaming beans trickling over warm toast with butter melted on top, and a fried egg, sunny side up, on the corner of the plate. Some mushrooms pile up in another corner. Maybe a little bit of feta too. It’s a mug of delicious hot earl grey with a teaspoon of sugar and a glug of milk, because it’s the weekend and I am indulging.It’s fluffy socks, crossed under the table, as the delicious breakfast is downed slowly, every bite savoured, all washed down with the sweet, flavourful tea. It’s a day stretched out, wonderfully  empty, with no assignments or chores looming ahead. A pile of exciting books by a freshly made bed, crisp sheets, a soft dressing gown. A pretty, glowing lamp in the corner of the living room after a relaxing walk in the cold evening, cheeks red, nose cold. It’s falling asleep to the gentle patter of rain on the window panes, all relaxed and ready for the hectic week ahead.

It’s the little things.

 

 

 

N.B. I can’t wait to move into my own place again so I can experience said precious thing. Living with so many people is starting to take a toll on my sanity.

Two Packets of Crisps

“Len, why did you have two packets of crisps?” my sister marched into the room. I could hear the kettle boiling gently in the kitchen when she opened the door.

“What? How did you know?” that was me, shocked. How did she know?

“You didn’t even say sorry!” she turned and walked out, determined and cross.

“Why should I say sorry. I’m not sorry.” I was still bemused about how she knew I’d eaten two.

“You should, you’re fat.” she called from the kitchen, the clink of a teaspoon hitting the ceramic of a mug a rattling tune to accompany her voice.

“That’s not true!” I cried, indignant. Secretly, though, I could feel the extra pooch around my middle settle comfortably, and place its hands on its tummy. It wasn’t going to budge for a very long time, and only after much sweating, effort, and wheedling. The backs of my arms jiggled a little as I quickly typed the conclusion to my essay. Gulp. I am fat. I ate two.

In less than two minutes.

I got up to put the heater on.

“Well it is,” my sister, ever the obstinate, stubborn creature, took her tea up the stairs. Her long, cricket legs bending sharply beneath her.

She glanced back at me, an evil glint in her eye.

Do you ever feel guilty after involuntarily shoving down two packets of crisps? Don’t you think some junk is sometimes warranted, especially under duress?

Or are you like my slender, tall sister, who, no matter how many she eats, always maintains her sculpted, streamlined body?

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By 1mad-moo-cow1 on Deviant Art (obtained from Google Images)