Last weekend I developed a disease that isn’t fatal, unfortunately, just unpredictable and painful. i felt like my whole life changed, for some reason. Of course it hasn’t. If it had I’d be doing something else other than writing blogs. It’s called trigeminal neuralgia or ‘atypical face pain’ if they can’t fit all the symptoms into the box. If you have the first thing you get to have pain with remissions, the second, no remissions. So for once I hope I fit in the box. The first thing I felt like doing was never going to work again but since the alternative to that was lying in bed every day sleeping, I didn’t think that was a legitimate way to spend my life. Some people would. It does seem very attractive when I think about it. Anyway money made the decision for me – today I went to work. Apart from my supervisor asking me ‘how’s the face?’ nobody said anything about my entire life having changed. In fact nobody even asked how I was. It reminded me that I really have to move to more caring surroundings, and I mean that with the utmost irony. It is wonderful to work in a place where people really, really, don’t give a flying fuck. Mind you if they had I would have started to cry, which is what I’ve been tempted to do ever since I got my first attack, being a big coward. I’d cry and cry and cry. I could cry on my ex-boyfriend’s shoulder but I know where it would end up. I could cry on my current boyfriend’s shoulder but he’d be embarrassed. I wonder if this is what it feels like being depressed, officially. I’m usually officially cheerful – ish but I think the desire to stay in bed and cry is definitely moving over to the other end of the spectrum. What I have to do is become a novelist, then I can stay at home, lie in bed and cry – and get paid for it. Trouble is there’s a lot of competition. My ancestor has a ‘worst opening line in a work of fiction’ competition named after him, so that’s a good start to my ambitions. The second problem is, I have no idea what people who are different from me might be thinking and feeling, and what they do when I’m not watching them – they might as well be beetles from Mars. Does anyone? Perhaps the thing is to write about them as if they were beetles from Mars, and I’m studying them for scientific purposes. Except that I get bored. Babe, go to sleep.
today have been mosying around doing all kinds of stuff on automatic pilot (such as driving on single lane highways, manoevring fully laden shopping trolleys around aisles filled with tottering old women, etc) while thinking about errant lover. They should do a study of accidents which occur to women while engaged in this activity – ie thinking about current, ex or future lovers – they’d probably find out it’s a huge cause of fatality amongst innocent bystanders. I’m annoyed with him for not having rung me for a week. It’s like death. First you go through denial: it’s not quite a week yet, maybe he’s really busy. Then anger. Just about a week now. Who does he think he’s fooling with! Then more denial. Maybe he’s just really involved with watching the footy right now. Then soul-searching..how do I put this, my dear, your lack of obvious enthusiasm or is it your obvious lack of enthusiasm is really making me wonder, should I be out fucking someone more flattering to my ego? After all, I am hot stuff – it says so in The Bible on He’s Just Not that into you.
There is a site on the internet for poets which gives you rhymes for any word you can come up with, to round off your verses. I was told this by a poet friend today. So what if you give it a word like ‘orange’. As in, “Your eyes are blue, your hair is orange, I love you true, but…you look like a blancmange? let us share a syringe?” I’ll have to try it. I was trying to convince this friend that there is no use in writing poetry on love affairs and one’s personal thoughts (any more than there is blogging on them) because they have no universality, as they used to say in high school. Any poem addressed to ‘you’, as in ‘You, who have treated me so cruel/so cold and mean/and so unclean..” is going to mean precisely nothing to anyone else. Likewise anything which describes your own psychological agonies. They’re too personal, too unique. Your ‘you’ is going to be completely different from your next-door-neighbour’s ‘you’ who had a whole different set of beloved idiosyncrasies and hated misbehaviours. The only fun in writing a ‘you’ poem is to get it off your chest. I wrote a few ‘you’ poems to my ex as he was in the process of becoming just that, and they still make me laugh – poems about how I hoped his prick would shrink and fall off, and countless women would reject him, and he’d get fat and ugly, and I’d laugh in his face, or his belly, whichever I got to first. On second thoughts, perhaps there is a certain universality about that – I will find the poem and put it up here for no particular reason, with his name expunged.
The thing is to write poems about the condition of mankind, like TS Elliott. Not that I read him or any poet, but he gets quoted a lot and read in schools. That should be the ultimate objective of poetry. Now, if I had any thoughts about the condition of mankind, now would be the time to poetrise them…think. think. No, not today, TS Elliott in the making, unmade by the failure of one stupid football watching slob to call.
This weekend has been totally wasted in thinking about the executive boyfriend and what to do about the bastard (who is really quite a kindly idiot). I finally made up my mind today that he must go the way of so many before him, and told my son at bedtime that I was off to perform the latest de-lousing ceremony. But why! asks my bewildered son (who’s ten). Because he doesn’t take me out enough. Because he hasn’t rung me for a week. Because I don’t trust him. Don’t dump him, Mum, says my son. It’s not that I particularly like him (he does like him, for the record), it’s just that you have to keep one of them, someday. How long are you going to go on dumping your boyfriends? How many have you dumped so far? Millions, I reply (a lot, it’s true). So anyway off I go to do the deed, but kind of melt at the sound of the familiar half-unintelligible accent (he’s Ghanaian), going on about crises having to be solved over the weekend, reports having to be written late on Sunday night, the hassles of rent-a-cars, etc etc. I didn’t have the heart to say, well I noticed you had the time to check out your internet dating hits…I thought I’d save that for later. If there is a later. I did say that it might be a good idea in future IF he said he’d ring on Friday to actually ring on Friday, because otherwise I get grumpy. Okay, says he in a tired, couldn’t give much of a fuck at this stage voice. Perhaps that will make him dump ME. All the better. One of us ought to dump the other before I drive friends and any chance readers mad with boredom.
But look, I’ve got legitimate grievances! And these ought to be drawn to the attention of guys everywhere, so that they don’t suffer at the hands of women less merciful than myself. Ie. Watching a video together in bed once is sweet. Twice is cute. Three times in a row and you’re asking yourself ‘Is this his idea of fun? Is he trying to save money? Or, worse, doesn’t he want to be seen in public with me?’.
I stopped by the bookshop today and while my son bought a copy of Horrible Histories I checked out the Bible. It said, if he doesn’t call, he doesn’t much fancy you. Ok, in a hectic week maybe you’re not thinking of much except the hex. But if you don’t ring, she has time to think. And think. And think. And check out the internet dating sites. Then, too, during the first heady weeks most guys call you gorgeous in text messages, and remark on your beauty. It’s addictive. He can’t just stop. If he does you get withdrawal symptoms and think he doesn’t appreciate you any more, especially if compliments aren’t replaced by any other symptoms of appreciation such as presents, putting up shelves, or diamond rings. So perhaps my executive boyfriend (I call him that because I basically think management are psychotic so it’s a slur not a compliment) is not so keen. Maybe he just settled on the first flower he came to, so anxious was he to pollinate or build his little bee-ly nest or whatever it is bees do. According to the Bible it doesn’t matter HOW busy he is, he calls. So probably we now have all these hassled executives wondering why their girlfriends are suddenly demanding yet more and more phonecalls…..And that reminds me, have you ever read a book with too many ….sentence endings…It is really infuriating and virtually unreadable. Kind of like this…
I’ve always thought that most people are putting on an act most of the time – yeah I know, brilliant – in terms of maintaining their social status. So most people pretend that they’re reasonably popular, reasonably romantically in demand, reasonably sane, reasonably normal. Whether they are or they’re not, it’s necessary so that other people don’t turn from them in embarrassment or whisper behind their backs ‘God she’s so pathetic’ etc etc. If you can exceed reasonableness – ie be dramatically and demonstrably popular – that’s great. If you do whatever the opposite is of exceed (inceed?) then you really need Front.
Anyway there’s this woman at work who seems to have virtually no Front. Twenty years ago her husband ran off, either with another woman or just by his own self, then ten or less years ago she had an accident which left her partially brain damaged (maybe the Front part, who knows). A year ago she lost her only daughter, twenty or so at the time, in a car crash. Now she’s building up, or is it winding down, to retirement, with a limited job, colleagues who think she’s half crazy, and relatives in Queensland (I don’t know which is worse).
But in fact she was the only person at work to seem genuinely concerned about my health, perhaps because she senses a fellow-crazy, and so we started to chat today about life, for a short time, and she mentioned how unappreciative she found the current work environment (my boss has about as much sympathy as a pet rock) and how of course she was ‘nothing’. Now even in my most depressed moments I haven’t felt like ‘nothing’. Sometimes I’ve raged about how other people seem to view me as nothing, but I’ve always felt this to be unjustified. I might be pretty weird, selfish, ugly, and painful to be around, but nothing? no.
Of course she probably doesn’t really think she’s nothing either. She just thinks other people think so. But without a child, a husband, friends, all the things that usually define a ‘life’ as in ‘get a life’, she is pretty close to nothing. And for that reason I want to spread my wings around her and say, hey, let’s us crazies stick together, us nothings, let’s go out and have some nothing fun! Except that her idea of fun is probably much different than mine. I must test that.
So what is the point of all this? Only to say, how cruel we are. And how banal it is to say so. But why should anyone feel like nothing? Or if anyone should, shouldn’t it be some rotten corporate financier or criminal or politician – Brendan Nelson for instance. Then again, isn’t that what they say about the furious quest to be ‘something’?
Or, what to do when your boss is afraid of her boss, who is afraid of her boss, who is…
I have this task: to get a set of minutes approved by the CEO and pass them on to the CEO of an overseas organisation who has to approve them before they move to another job. Deadline!So two days ago I got them approved by Boss No 1, which was relatively easy – he is too lazy to bother with doing more than adding a few semi-colons. Yesterday I gave them to Boss No 2, further up the hierarchy, who has still got them. So since the deadline for giving them to this foreign CEO is actually today, I went to see her and suggested that they be given simultaneously – amazing what you can do with modern paper technology! – to Boss No 3, our CEO. Boss No 2 shuddered visibly and said no, she’d have to look at them first but she just didn’t have time. It was abundantly clear that Boss No 2 is afraid that Boss No 3 will discover some mistake or omission and be down on her like a ton of executive lipstick. Boss No 3 is not generally pleased at the moment with the performance of her minions and that’d be just the last straw – or at least one of several hundred last straws.
So what kind of person is Boss 3, that she inspires such fear? What kind of person reads a document, finds mistake/s in it, and goes ballistic? It’s not her birth certificate for god’s sake! Recent research indicates that she is the typical ‘psycho-boss’, that psychopathic tendencies are apparently more common in the average manager than in the average minion – no kidding. She’s a kind of honeyed psychopath – that is she can conceal her desire to axe-murder people behind a smiling exterior, when necessary. But who gets to be CEO, unless they do. She is also a remarkable monument to invisible anti-ageing technologies and to the hairdressing salon, being as old as I am if not older (42, for the record) with the freeze-dried looks of someone off one of those Lost in Space programs, where they’re all dressed in tight white jumpsuits and have glued on blond hair.
Makes me think about my own executive idiot. Does he have psychopathic tendencies? I think so. Not having any consideration for my feelings or needs is surely psychopathic. Maybe if he stopped being a manager he would get nicer. If we keep seeing one another, which is looking more and more unlikely, I must encourage him to move into some less bossy position.
The executive idiot has dumped me at last. So much for shy and sweet. At least, he didn’t do it as such, just ignored my various attempts to contact him, until finally I got the message. What hath been done to others shalt be done unto you. Not that I’ve actually ever dumped anyone that way, I usually front up and tell them, and difficult it is too. But I have heard of this kind of dumping, anyway, finally got the chance to experience it for myself and it was, well, ok. I think perhaps it causes less tears on the day, but wastes more time waiting around to see if you’ve been dumped or he’s just busy. Time when you could be out looking for new boyfriends, or having sex with old ones.
Anyway no tears. I think I had really got sick of his antics. Who wants to have a ‘boyfriend’ and still stay home on a Friday and Saturday night, unless you decide to fix something up with a mate. Who wants to be always wondering when he’s going to call you, and when you’re going to be together, and what he thinks about you, and whether he has an internet lover (or how many) . Who wants to be always the one who has to put in the yards – come over, I do like you, I do want to see you, that was fabulous sex! – with little return except the enormous pleasure of being allowed to watch sport in a bed with an electric blanket (I hate sport). That is not fun. That is masochism.
He was kind of tall and not bad looking – big upwards and sideways, which is how I like them. But his dick was surprisingly small for all that bulk, and his sexual technique was very limited. I think perhaps he liked domination – ie being dominated – but was afraid to admit it. And alas, not a single hair on his chest. Last night I spent with my ex-lover – not in bed, but strenuously arguing that we shouldn’t go there because I was bound to be ‘faithful’. No longer, but I still have to think of his welfare. Is it good for him for me to use him for sexual purposes and then discard him for a more intellectual or cashed-up lover when I find one? No. But tempting.
Last night I gave in to temptation. Hey, when you’ve been dumped, and you haven’t slept with anyone for three weeks, a person can ask once too often. I had sex with the ex. The leadup was nice – so nice that he has hair on his chest! – but the actual thing itself was a bit of a let-down. We used to have such good sex too. He’s Nigerian and has a nice body, and he always had an instant turn-on effect for me, as if he were wearing one of those hormone sprays that are supposed to ‘make women attracted to you,but they won’t know why’. He still does, but somehow the sex wasn’t quite right. It’s been too long – since January. I didn’t call him up for a repeat – I’ve still got some moral conscience.
Being the dumpee rather than the dumper this time, makes me think about what it’s like. You check the mirror harder. You line up guys on the internet, but then you think, either you won’t find them attractive, or they won’t like you. I often used to forget that it was possible for men not to like me, once I put any effort into it. I’m not even pretty so you’d think it’d be the first thing on my mind, but somehow I’ve acquired a bit of an ego from the line-up of lovers eager to get me into bed by hook or by flattery. Anyway of course, often they don’t. So then you go back to the mirror and you tell yourself, god you’re ugly!
The funny thing about being dumped by disappearance is that every time the phone rings or there’s lights in the driveway, you somehow think it might be him, come to explain that his mother died or something. It’d have to be pretty damn good. Then you imagine yourself opening the door and telling him to go fuck himself, there’s no way I’ll ever take you back. But you never get the chance to say that, because he never does knock on the door. Today I told a friend that he’d be sorry because he’d be sitting in on Saturday nights while I already had ten guys eager to take me out. Afterwards I thought, how twelve! Don’t I ever grow up? Not really I guess.
To change the subject, we always assume that bad is the exception in people. At least,unless you’re into gospel and hellfire, you do. But perhaps people are lousier than we realise. Some blues guy was blinded at seven because his stepmother threw lye in his face in revenge on his dad. Jack Thompson’s dad put him in an orphanage and forgot about him. So many little ordinary stories of rottenness. Lucky people are mostly optimists.
And why ‘But I’m Beautiful!’. It’s the last line in Muriel’s Wedding, and since I’ve been dumped it’s my take on the situation – ironic of course. How could you dump ME, I’m beautiful!