Tag Archives: humor

Trawling Tinder

8 Aug


I’ve never had a good experience on Tinder. And yet, like a woman trapped in a co-dependant union, I keep going back.

Because Tinder is fucking hilarious.

Pockets of humanity lurk on there and trawling Tinder freaks has become a perfectly acceptable way to spend my weekend.

He Gives Good Head

Take this guy:

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Check out what he’s holding. Doesn’t the image of a man with a decapitated goats head scream, “IT PUTS THE FUCKING LOTION IN THE BASKET!”?

Who’d make that their Tinder profile pic anyway? I mean, doesn’t that just get your goat?

I’m ‘kid’ding.

Can you see where this is ‘head’ing?

Ooh- maybe he’s trying to allude to giving good head?

This joke is old now. It’s time to put it out to pasture.

Pre-Battle Banter

Some men on Tinder are only after one thing.

TinderMan1: “So are we going to meet? What’s your address?”

CC: “We can meet, but I’m not giving you my address. How about a coffee?”

TinderMan1: “We know where coffee is going to end up, so just give me your address.”

This vexed me: Where, exactly, did this audacious prick believe that coffee was going to end up? Does coffee herald coitus? Not necessarily. Coffee can wind up in lots of places: a manic discussion on Jack Kerouac. A hilarious foam-on-the-upper-lip moment. Hell, I could be a stage five clinger that thinks espressos will mean babycinos.

CC: “You see, coffee is my he’s-not-an-axe-murderer-and-I-can-invite-him-into-my-house insurance policy :)”

TinderMan1: “Yeah. See, I work in the music industry and I can’t afford to buy every girl coffee.”

As this message was read, a thwack echoed across the city as the drawbridge to my lady-parts slammed shut.

CC: “What a shame: I’m a gold-digger and I’m not interested in poor men. Better luck next time.”

Luckily, the men on Tinder are a production line and Tinderman1 segued seamlessly into Tinderman2.

TinderMan2: “Where do I work? I work in banking and investments. So how about a vino sometime?”

When I didn’t expeditiously respond, he messaged again.

Tinderman2: “What, is working in finance a deal breaker? :P”

CC: “No. It’s not a deal breaker at all. In fact, it might even be fun to have a drink with someone devoid of a soul :D”

He blocked me after that. He wasn’t devoid of a soul, but apparently devoid of a sense of humor. My sardonic wit often combusts in the tinderbox. I was blocked by another fellow after I playfully said, “Don’t get too excited to meet me- I might yet be a convincing pre-op transsexual ;)”

Testing my Patients

I recently matched with a bearded bloke from Enmore whose profile spoke of ‘sustainability’, ‘craft beer’ and ‘meat trays’.

My, how I do love a hipster.

On our first interaction, The Beard gave me his Instagram handle and invited me to stalk him. I did. There was- amid jumpy iPhone footage of a plethora of live bands- a surprising number of posts dedicated to Shiner Bock beer. These were photographed in glistening, moist, pornographic glory. I counted eleven pictures of beer, but hardly any of him. There was more beer than beard on there.

I pulled out my phone and typed, “Saw your Instagram. Nice. I think my first question is: are you still sponsored by Shiner Bock?”

It was a whimsical bon mot that deserved, at the very least, an emoticon smiley. Instead I got a long, not really coherent explanation that was so convoluted, I wondered why he didn’t just type the word ‘no’ and save us both a lot of time.

We decided to meet for a drink at Newtown. I caught public transport in. Trains weren’t running due to trackwork, so I arrived ten minutes late, breathless and nervous. I scanned the crowd, my gaze finally settling on what I can only describe as a ‘demented lumberjack’. And he wasn’t okay.

Neither was I, actually.

Because who this bloke was in the Tinderverse and who he was in reality was somewhat incongruent.

The man from Tinder was bearded, smiling, slender. He wore Wayfarer sunglasses in one shot, clutched a bass guitar in another. He drank from a stein. He posed with a mischievous pug.

And the man trudging towards me? Well, he was the kind of overweight that usually has the adverb ‘morbidly’ attached to it. His soft, round midsection poked through a threadbare, black sloppy joe that was long ago washed to grey. It was, at least, clean. There were no obvious cum-stains or spag-bol remnants on it. His beanie, on the other hand, was coated in a powdery white substance that was, at best, cocaine and, at worst, dandruff. His face and eyes were completely flat- nary a flicker of emotion was spared for the jittery brunette before him.

And really, an expression would have been nice.

Because I’d only made a tiny bit of fucking effort in getting there.

I’d only spent an hour or so trying on outfits in my bedroom in a Tassie-Devil whirlwind of cotton. I’d only spent ninety fucking minutes battling rail buses, half of which was time spent in close proximity to a man with a facial tattoo who overused the word ‘cunt’. And then, when I changed buses at Strathfield station, there was only that tiny, little argument that I got into with the douche-bag in the hatchback; the guy who, after clocking my vintage army jacket and Doc Marten boots, decided that I was a Neo-Nazi. The dude that then began to trawl me in his car, chanting things like: “Where’s your Swastika, love? Adolf, hey? Seig Heils! Yeah! Nice boots Adolf!” through the open passenger window as I willfully ignored him for as long as I could.

‘As long as I could’ turned out to be ‘half a block’. I snapped after that and shouted- yes, shouted– “Go fuck yourself, you Peugeot-driving wanker!”

Not my finest moment. If I didn’t look like a scary skinhead before I started shouting at passing motorists with wild-eyed zeal, I certainly did after. Something clever and punchy like: “How dare you call me Adolf! Call me Eva. Or Miss Braun, you socialist swine,” would have been better.

Fucking l’esprit d’escalier.

Anyway, this bummed me out, because I thought that my carefully-chosen outfit said, ‘I’m stylish without trying too hard and my Heathers t-shirt says that I understand and embrace cult pop-culture references.’

But it didn’t. Apparently it just said two words: Master Race.

But, back to The Beard: when he greeted me, it was in a monotone, and he slurred his words.

Oh fuck, I thought. Is he drunk?

He leaned in for a kiss. I offered a cheek. He rested a paw uncomfortably close to another cheek. I pulled away. His hand lingered on my jeans like Velcro. He told me about his Sunday: a long walk with a friend that was hard because he got “munted” Saturday night, but a walk that he persevered with nonetheless because he’s “a fat bastard now”.

Then he asked where I wanted to go. We could go anywhere except The Townie. He’d been kicked out of The Townie last month- a feat that I, nor anyone who has ever set foot in The Townie, would think possible. But it was. The Beard’s version of events was: ‘I slur even when I’m not drunk.’ The bouncers was: ‘Even so, ten beers and a broken chair is inappropriate, and you have to leave.’

He asked if I’d eaten, the memory of his fat arse breaking a chair seemingly jogging him back to food. “Let’s go to Mary’s. You ever been there?”

I hadn’t.

He wiped his mouth. “I can’t believe you’ve never been to Mary’s,” he exclaimed in a flat voice.

We began walking up King street, taking a left turn down an alleyway. He led me through the darkness, deep into sex-crime central, before stopping at a place that had no signage, just a bare red bulb glowing above the door.

Oh Christ, I thought. He’s taking me to a brothel. Or a rape dungeon.

It wasn’t. In fact, Mary’s may be the only good thing to come out of that night. Mary’s is a dingy, heavy metal pub that serves fried chicken so consumable, I’m fairly certain it was a Breaking Bad, crystal-meth laced, Los Pollos Hermanos bird. They also serve a fried chicken dish named ‘Larry Bird’, which tickled me. Immensely.

He sat opposite me, studying me with open curiosity. “So how’m ah’doin?”

I put down my piece of chicken. “What?”

He wiped his mouth. “How am I doin’ on the date?”

I was taken aback and laughed. Loudly. “HAHAHAHAHA! That’s a…question. Isn’t it? Look at you asking…questions.”

“Is there like, any chance of,” he paused. “You know…”

Oh please God, don’t say it.

“Because I don’t go for casual stuff,” he continued. “Mostly. Like, I had a friend with benefits once, but that ended. It’s not me. There was one Tinder girl who took me home. That was weird because, like, she was tall and our feet touched during it. She left straight after it.”

I’d like to pause the story and assure you that I am absolutely not making this up. He absolutely said this to me, and as he spoke, I was absolutely conducting a mini-mental examination on the poor bastard: What the fuck is he talking about? That didn’t make sense. That was thought disordered as fuck. And I think he’s derailing. Is he derailing? No, he’s totally derailing. Is he a patient somewhere? I bet he’s a schizophrenic.

He wiped his mouth again. “You’re, like, big- for a chick, I mean- aren’t ya? You’ve gotta be five eight or…?”

Maybe I should ask if he takes Clozapine. The belly. The drool. Fuck! Okay, this is weird. I think I’m accidentally on a date with a fucking-

He considered me. “How do you usually go on Tinder dates? Like how do you do this?”

What the shit…? Oh no, he’s staring at you! Quick, say something now! Change the subject! Talk about  the chicken! Larry Bird! LARRY BIRD!

He left to use the bathroom. I took the opportunity to broadcast my woe on Facebook. When he returned, I casually brought up the uni assignment due that evening. I’d already done it- it was submitted earlier that afternoon, in between leg-day at the gym and my ‘yuck, I now smell like a diseased yak’ pre-date shower. I didn’t know that The Beard was going to be a living nightmare and I wanted to be free from responsibility if he wasn’t.

“So I have to leave. Right now.” Which is a shame, I tried to say with my eyes. But, you know, responsibility. Stuff.

“Have another beer.”

“I can’t.”

“I’ll drive you home.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that! To Hornsby!”

“It’s an easy drive.”

“No, it’s fine. Besides, you’ve been drinking.”

“Only four pints.”

In two hours. And I don’t want to die in a fiery car wreck. At least not before I erase my Google Chrome history. “Really, I’ll get the train.”

He walked me to the station, I glanced at the board and saw that a train- although not my train- was leaving in two minutes. “Two minutes! Nick of time. I’ve really got to run.”

He responded by grabbing me around the waist and grinding his crotch into my hip like a horny Doberman. He went in for the kiss and, again, I offered a cheek. He smelt like chicken. Craft beer. Plague. Peristalsis. Hormones. And desperation.

I boarded my train feeling fed-up. You can’t go on a bad date without it draining you of something. Even if you enter the evening with no expectations, you leave robbed of a little effervescence. I can usually see the funny side, and writing about it fortifies me, but there are times when I can’t help but wish I could go back to that heady period in my early-twenties when the world didn’t seem to be full of weirdos.

Wanting a little pick me up, I opened Tinder.

And found this guy.
img_0023His profile states- with a two-finger salute to the rules of grammar- that he is “the badboy you’re mothers warned you about”, he’s “the real 50 shades baby.”

He’s also a poet, because he goes on to claim that he’s “hung like an ox”,

“enjoys nibbling at your…”

“and making you scream with his…”

But only blows his load into socks.

Okay, so I made that last one up.

Tinder, hey?

Shit.

A Shitty Thing to Write About

6 Jun

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It was a bus shelter empanada that made me break that bathroom in Cartagena.

Three hours before consuming it, I was in a seedy cantina with my new friend, Atlanta: an ex-army medic and survivor of the Fort Hood massacre. Atlanta’s PTSD had pushed him to the north east of Colombia where he volunteered at an isolated jungle hostel, periodically returning to civilisation to replenish his stocks of rum and cocaine. It was on one of these trips that we met, striking up a conversation as he urinated on a police car—the sort of introduction you can only have in Cartagena. After an evening of mayhem and laughter, he decided to smuggle me back to the Sierra Nevada, too.

We found a bus shelter hidden in a laneway that, for reasons unknown, was still selling tickets in the middle of the night. We asked the emaciated Morlock behind the counter for two on the early bird bus to Buritaca.

“And,” I added as an afterthought, “one of those empanadas.”

“I wouldn’t eat that,” Atlanta said, eyeing my Colombian surrogate midnight kebab.

He had a point: it’d been baking under a heat lamp like George Hamilton for the better part of the millennium, and the hands that plucked it from the cage were varnished with grime. Nevertheless, I took a bite. It was basically Whiskas in shortcrust pastry; and while a reasonable person might think, ‘Yuk, if I wanted to eat something crusty and fishy, I could just track down Lindsay Lohan and have a gnaw on her’, I was too stubborn to admit that he was right. So I forced it down with the vigour of a dickhead.

Back at the hostel, I clambered into my bunk, set an alarm for quarter past dawn, and dropped into sleep.

My stomach woke me before the alarm could. Apparently the piscine abomination I’d just consumed was so fetid that my body’s only option was to violently expel it. Right. Fucking. Now.

I vaulted off the bunk with an athleticism that I don’t possess and spent the next hour trudging to the bathroom and back until I gave up and lay on the floor, my head resting on the tiles, breathing shallowly through my mouth like a pregnant kelpie. I was okay with this—what little pride I had was lost when vomit had leaked through my fingers when I didn’t make it off the bunk in time.

And, on a side note, I’d like to apologise to the girl in bunk number seven. If you send me the dry-cleaning bill, I’ll reimburse you.

At about 3:45a.m., my belly gave the sort of ominous rumble that tells you to find a toilet, trash receptacle, or tin-can of sorts. Exhausted, but desperate, I grasped the side of the sink, intending to use it to lift my turgid carcass from the floor. As I pulled myself up, the basin came out from the wall, separated from the porcelain column it rested on, tottered elegantly in midair for a moment or two, and then crashed to the ground like Newton’s apple.

So—to recap—I was trapped in a bathroom wearing a Peter Alexander singlet in fetching, vomit-fleck yellow, and men’s Target-brand boxer shorts with an erroneous, easy access crotch panel. Half-digested Nemo could be found in my hair. My hands clutched part of a sink with the remainder scattered in shards around me, and, to be honest, I probably smelt like a sex crime.

My stomach rumbled.

Oh, and I still needed to go.

The remainder of the basin dropped from my fingers.

 

Shortly later, I snuck to the reception for confession.

The night porter was sitting at the desk, his feet crossed at the ankles, a block of chocolate resting on his belly. He was engrossed in his laptop, which was playing pornography. He jumped when I approached him, dropping his chocolate (which is a nice euphemism for what I’d just been up to myself, really), adjusting his glasses and offering an uncertain, “Hola?”

I attempted to explain in manic Spanglish, trying to highlight the fact that I hadn’t intended on smashing the bathroom like Keith Richards on crack, but an empanada (“Which might have been cat food. You know, el gatto.”) caused me to vigorously evacuate everything from my system which had, inadvertently, caused me to break the bathroom.

Perdon?”

“I’m not on drugs you know,” I babbled. “Honestly.” For some reason it was very important to me that he know this. “I mean, I know it’s Colombia but I’m not.” I blinked, my anxious eyes jittering across his face. “I promise. But the bathroom is—”

From the desk, the naked woman on the laptop let out a moan. We both glanced at it. With one hand he slammed the lid.

“—completely fucked.” I finished.

He explained that his English was not very good, and even if he spoke fluently, he’d struggle to cohere the nonsense that I was hurling at him, so I should just shut the fuck up and show him whatever the hell I was ranting about.

To paraphrase.

I led him to the bathroom, head bowed like a war widow. He looked in. Coughed. Crossed himself.

I glanced up.

The toilet hadn’t flushed properly.

Fuck.

“The other bathroom,” he began, a smirk on his lips. “She is okay?”

I frowned. “I guess so.”

He locked the door. “Then use other bathroom tonight.”

That was it?

Wait—that was it?

He just shut the fucking door? I could have done that! In fact, why didn’t I just do that?

“They fix in morning. Now it’s late. You sleep.” He laid a paw on my shoulder and, remembering the porn, I tried not to think of where it had been.

“You need something else?” he asked.

“Do you have any Gastro Stop?”

He frowned. “I don’t know what this is.”

“How about a cork?”

“Goodnight, miss.”

 

The following morning, Atlanta was in hysterics. “I told you not to eat that shit!” he crowed.

“Be kind to me,” I mewled.

Dehydration had pulled my eyeballs into my skull and the soles of my feet were laced with micro-cuts from the porcelain. Brittle and wan, I was shaking like a dild—

…um, like a…llama. With Parkinson’s. Yeah.

I’d run late for the bus, too. Which was total bullshit. Colombians operate on ‘Colombian time’: a vague assemblage of moments distinguished by phrases such as ‘mas tarde’ and the idiom ‘ahorita’, which, to Colombians, means ‘Nowish…ish.’ It’s impossible to be behind schedule when even a nebulously binding reference to time is abstract. This bus driver was apparently a German expat because Atlanta had to bribe him to wait for my leaky arse.

“You want drugs?”

I peered at him through knock-off Raybans. “You think cocaine fixes everything.”

“I’m not sharing that. I mean these,” he fossicked in his pockets, dropping loose tobacco, receipts, lint, and lighters on my lap before presenting a battered pill packet.

I turned it over. “Codeína?”

He nodded.

“You want me to take,” I squinted at the packet, “sixty milligrams of codeine for food poisoning?” In a distant part of my brain, my nurse training came online. “I don’t think it’s indicated for that.”

“Codeine causes constipation,” he began with forced patience.

It’s true, codeine can turn chia seeds into concrete…and we had eight hours before we reached Buritaca…

“If nothing else, it’ll help you sleep. Keep the pack,” he grinned. “I’ve got shitloads.”

That pill packet would resurface a year later on a bus in Nepal.

 

My gorgeous sister and I had travelled through there in January and—aside from a slightly rapey overnight train, a pair of sunglasses landing with a squelch in a squat toilet, and a clutch of hysterical pilgrims that nearly swallowed my blanket-wielding sibling whole—we’d navigated it without incident. I even swam through crap and corpses in the Ganges, managing to emerge free from sin and dysentery. So when I kissed my sister goodbye in Pokhara, feeling bulletproof, I did what any cocky tourist would do: I gave salmonella prevention the middle finger and ate a discounted hamburger.

The following day, when the rancid meat was somewhere in my jejunum, I boarded a bus to Kathmandu, fragile and cranky. Initially, my ire was blamed on the obnoxious Americans behind me: the ones comparing the selfies they’d taken with malnourished, haunted, but tentatively hopeful Cambodian orphans on their recent poverty-porn world tour. At the first rest stop—with six hours left on a bathroomless bus—I sprinted off to abuse a roadside toilet. It then became as clear as the second line on a pregnancy test that I was screwed.

Buying a bottle of water, I downed the Colombian codeine along with a handful of Gastro-Stop, hoping to calcify the evil that was incubating within me. It worked and six Gastro-Stops later, I was in Kathmandu.

I disembarked into chaos, knowing that my hostel was somewhere, unsure of where, but trusting HostelWorld’s claim that it was a $3 cab ride away. The first two taxi drivers didn’t know where somewhere was, but could get me everywhere else for $5. I declined, and since they didn’t want to go nowhere, they followed me around until I tersely said that I wouldn’t be going anywhere with them.

The third driver didn’t speak English, but nodded with the sort of earnestness that I find charming. I showed him the address on my iPhone—a move which proved to be as useful as a bathroom door around Oscar Pistorius—he couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t pinpoint where Samjhana Street was in the melee before me. We drove through crowds, sporadically stopping to ask random strangers for directions, my iPhone proffered like pocket-sized oracle. In three Gastro-Stops we found it. I checked in, went upstairs to my room, and passed out on the stained futon.

I awoke just before midnight in a batten-down-the-hatches state that can best be described as ‘gastrointestinal Armageddon’. Throwing open my door, I bolted downstairs to the dingy washrooms. This became my first evening in Kathmandu: a veritable red, white and green kaleidoscope of bad decisions punctuated by a shitty staircase. In desperation, I took my entire stash of Gastro-Stop, something that may have caused mild delirium because I recall kicking open the toilet door at one point and swaggering to the bowl like John Wayne after an enema, snarling, “Hello again, you old bastard. Remember me?”

Even though I’d booked the hostel for three nights, I decided to leave early the next morning, because fuck running up and down stairs like Tom and Jerry. I splashed out on a hotel that had a bathroom in the room, packed my bags, and headed to the front desk.

Not wanting to pay for the whole stay, I approached the clerk with a smile and said, “Hello, my grandfather’s dead. Can I check out?”

In Australia, a family emergency trumps a cancellation fee. In Nepal, it opens up a negotiation. With a small nod of condolence, he tallied my bill, swiped my card, and presented me the receipt as if it were inconsequential: bacon rind given to a hungry dog. I glanced at it.

“You’ve charged me for three nights.”

“Yes.”

“But I’m only staying one.”

“Yes.”

“But,” I paused, trying to direct my thoughts through the fog of fatigue. “Can’t you…?” I trailed off, letting the sentence rot in the air between us like a bag of liposuction fat.

He slid a notepad and pen across the counter. “What is your offer?”

I stared at him. “What?”

“You tell me what you want to pay and then we discuss.”

“But…I,” pause. “No! My—”

“And I’m sorry for that.” He tapped the pad, looking delighted. “Your offer?”

The only offer that felt appropriate was a bucket of dicks for him to suck but I had no idea where to unearth such a treasure—not in Nepal, anyway—so I gave up. I reasoned that the money wasn’t worth the very real danger of shitting my pants mid-negotiation—a tactic that could have worked in my favour, but seemed like the sort of thing I’d ultimately regret.

 

Outside, the streets were still quiet and I stopped at the only pharmacy that was open. I bought the essential narcotics from the white-smocked clerk, neglecting to do the currency conversion in my head. Later that evening, I discovered that he’d charged me roughly three times the amount he was supposed to. A fact which bothered me roughly three times the amount it should have.

Sure, it was a minuscule amount of cash to me but a modest amount to him, but I was vexed: It was wrong, I was just a tourist. And I was sick. Vulnerable. He was taking advantage of that. He was shitting all over me. I had to say something—for colonically-challenged travellers everywhere.

Two days later, lathered into frenzy, I strode to the store with my indignant inner monologue juggling words and phrases in my head like linguistic Sudoku. I stormed up to the pharmacist, struck my fist on the counter, and said—among other things—“You ought to be ashamed of yourself!”

Yep. Apparently food poisoning turns me into Dorothy from Oz. I mean: who says ‘ought to’ in general conversation? What the fuck was that? Why not just go all-out and put my little soliloquy into iambic pentameter?

At the end of my rant, he was flummoxed. Here we go, I thought. He’s going to find some ridiculous justification for it.

“Madam,” he began delicately. “I’ve never seen you before.”

My first reaction was shock, “What?” which slowly gave way to confusion, “I was just in here the other day,” then realisation, “Oh,” and finally, a throbbing mortification: “You didn’t serve me, did you?”

He shook his head.

I looked around, trying to pick the offender from the line-up of neat men in matching uniforms. “Does your twin brother work here?” I gave what I hoped was a charming, disarming, and completely non-racist smile. “Maybe he served me?”

“Madam, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Okay,” I turned, and then looked back. “Just, you know, don’t overcharge tourists. Not that you do. Because, um, we now know,” grin, “that you don’t.” Pause. “I’m a nurse by the way! Yep. An egalitarian nurse who is totally supportive of refugees and…”

I prattled on like this for a while, determined to dig myself out of the hole I’d just placed myself in.

Perhaps I should have just buried my shit in it instead.

Most cats do that, you know—bury their crap.

But not this one.

This cat flings it into the ether of the internet in a scatological frenzy.

Cropdusting Hipsters

31 Oct

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It all started when I farted in yoga.

It happened once, twice, three times a lady flatulist.

Not many girls own up to a fart, so at first I pretended that the pop was simply a wayward hip joint being wrenched from its socket like a newly-weaned, puppy farm kelpie. It kept happening though: every class I’d cropdust inner-west hipsters like a leaky Vietnam war jet, blithely turning the yoga studio into a miasma of my own special brand of Agent Orange. And sure, those bastards were breaking wind in uttanasana waaaaaay before it was cool, but some poor fucker was going to get their improved flexibility with a side of asbestosis. Seriously, I was about to be swapped out of the class on an emissions trading scheme for a sacred cow. I had to do something. So I tried a champagne cork. My li’l butt-plug became a rogue missile that rebounded off the wall and wedged in my instructor’s man-bun. It nearly took his eye out, actually. Thank god he had those vintage horn-rimmed Ray-Bans on.

Blaming it all on poor digestion, I briefly turned vegan. That was an experience. A windy one: I didn’t realise that eating legumes would cause me to fart more. Why did nobody tell me that? I dropped my guts so often that I’m probably due for a stoma. And it’s fucking hard to be a vegan. Not because of what you can’t eat; but because you have to master a brand-new tone of voice. The most important part of being a vegan is telling everyone that you’re a vegan. And you have to learn to say this correctly. You want only a modicum of snarkiness. You should imply superiority without sounding grandiose. Do this wrong and you’ll get punched in the face. And you absolutely cannot get punched. Trust me. A physical blow is devastating to a vegan- they’re all dangerously low on iron because vegan food tastes like unwaxed cardboard, elder abuse and broken dreams.

Next I tried The Paleo Diet: one of the most baffling marketing gimmicks this side of a Toohey’s commercial. Paleo is astoundingly popular in Australia- Woolworths are in the process of creating a mastodon section in the frozen food aisle as you read this very paragraph, so it’s not likely to become extinct anytime soon. In my brief stint as a cavewoman, I discovered that you can eat a large variety of foods. Such as bacon and olive Paleo bread served with thick, creamy clarified butter.

I wasn’t aware that Cro-Magnon man cured meat. Or baked, actually. Is Betty Crocker that fucking old? And what cavewoman churned butter? Was that while getting Bubba Yum Yum to stop scrawling on the walls of the cave and consume their autism-averting bone broth? And I have a math problem for you: how much kombucha do I have to drink over what period of time before I get the ‘Pete Evans manic gleam’ in my eye?

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That man is the Charles Manson of the food industry. Have you seen his Instagram page? It’s just drenched in clarified smug. I’m fairly certain that if you scroll backwards through it at a high velocity you’ll generate enough Newtownian energy to play Helter Skelter.

Another weird Paleo thing? Activated almonds. Yep, just because Pete Evans is a dick, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy his nuts. How do you activate nuts? Well, first you soak them in salt water- so the special, miracle Paleo enzymes are released- then you bake them over a low heat. And yes, cavemen totally did this. It’s how we evolved evolutionarily- activated almonds gave us the energy burst needed to outrun the sabre-tooth tiger. Everyone knows that. God, read a book. Activated nuts are easier on your colon, too. So not only will your anus love Pete Evans’ nuts, your shit won’t stink, either. I have to admit that my nuts felt awesome after they were activated. They were so salty and warm! I couldn’t stop playing with them. And I don’t know why Pete Evans doesn’t say to women, “Hey baby, do you want to come over to my place tonight and help me activate my nuts?”

There are people in this world who spend their time thinking about the dichotomy of capitalism and world peace. Me? Paleo pick-up lines.

Anyway, when my Paleolithic era died out, I latched onto the I Quit Sugar bandwagon and rode it to glory.

I Quit Sugar isn’t a diet. Sure, it involves drastically reducing your calorie intake and cutting out entire food groups- just like a diet- but it’s more than that. I Quit Sugar is a cult way of life. That will make you healthier. Glowier. Better at calculus. See, your body metabolises fructose differently to other sources of fuel. For example, when you drink Coca-Cola, your pancreas release insulin. You knew that, right? Well what you may not know- and I didn’t until I started reading Sarah Wilson’s blog- is that insulin then reacts with the soda, causing the glucose molecules to bind together to form a miniscule troll that will then take refuge in a pocket of your liver. Consume enough, and the pocket will begin to harden, calcify, and resemble a cave (this is why I Quit Sugar is so similar to the Paleo diet). If you keep consuming sugar, your body becomes acidic, and the troll will magically procure a pitchfork. The pitchfork then permeates the cells of your mitochondria to give you diabetes, adult acne, unfuckability, and high-magnitude emotional instability. Before you know it, you’re spinning off into a banshee’s orbit, screeching at people, dousing the world in vitriol because some lazy motherfucker forgot to refill the photocopier’s paper tray. Again. Bastard. This causes a chain reaction: the other person gets angry, stews on it, goes home, kicks the dog, slams the fridge door, and crushes their son’s 5th birthday cake- the Power Ranger one that the nice old lady down the street baked for him. The son will then grow up with soul-crushing feelings of inadequacy, which leads him to externalise, shag your only daughter, and dump her in front of the entire school, breaking her heart.

All because you drank a fucking Coke. Shame on you.

So, in summation: Sugar is evil. And, like Buffy, we must roundhouse kick it in the temple.

Odd things happened when I quit. My shopping trolley, for instance, was suddenly stuffed with kale, maca powder and coconut water.

Coconut water. Something that I once proclaimed to be “the only substance in the world less palatable than jizz.”

As the month wore on, my blood sugar levels stabilised, my stomach flattened, and my energy levels increased in direct correlation to my sense of puffed-up superiority. Before I knew it, I was becoming one of those horrible people that post their dinner to social media. Although, I must have retained some modicum of CC-ness because I added the hashtag ‘peteevansisadick’ to everything.

By day 35 I was running at 88% macrobiotic: almost at full Gwyneth. I felt amazing. I was a better person. Better than you. Better than Jesus. So I decided to bake brownies for everyone, which is what Jesus used to do for his disciples.

Don’t believe me? It’s true. Jesus used to bake all the fucking time. He wasn’t a Palestinian. He was a Paleotarian. It’s just a mistranslation. Pete Evans is writing a book about it. It’s self-published. Due out later this year. I believe it’s called, You have to eat Paleo to get into heaven. Apparently Bubba Yum Yum got smart from being fed bone broth instead of breast milk and wrote delicious recipes on the cave walls, which Jesus then found when he spent three days in there over Easter. He was resurrected to bring Paleo to the world. Where do you think the “loaves and the fishes” thing came from? It was smoked mackeral on gluten-free Paleo bread.

Anyway, since I’d been so healthy for so long, I decided to eat some batter. I dipped my finger in the mixing bowl, scooped out a large chunk of sugary happiness, and-

It all unravelled quite quickly.

I came to three hours later, snapping back into reality like a KGB sleeper agent who’d just heard their trigger phrase. I was on my kitchen floor, foetal, with a mixing bowl on my head. Around me, a nest of sugar packets, brownie batter, a mangled rubber chicken, clotted cream, and pinking shears. I have no recollection of what happened and my thongs are still missing. It’s possible that I traded them for some sugar. Or a rubber chicken. And I spent the next seven days consuming more chocolate than Honey Boo Boo’s entire family- including the inbred, extended brother-cousins. I was more saccharine than Delta’s post-leukemia album.

Banning sugar had given me a total ‘don’t push the red button moment’, and when I allowed myself to linger within the vicinity of the button again I not only touched it, but licked it, fondled it, and spanked it with synthetic poultry. I needed a detox day, I told myself. 24 hours where I consumed nothing but vegetables and green tea. That’d pull me out of Willy Wonka’s rabbit hole. I’d reset everything and I’d be okay.

I made it to 5pm before driving to the shops and purchasing a large jar of Nutella, which I then consumed for dinner.

That’s not true.

The double bacon cheeseburger with extra avocado (that’s a vegetable…right?!) was my dinner. The Nutella became dessert. A dessert that I ate directly from the jar with a tablespoon while wearing little more than shame, a basketball jersey and a pair of Batman knickers. Well, I could only bring myself to eat ¾ of it before coming to my senses and throwing it in the bin.

Okay, that isn’t true either.

I consumed roughly ⅞ of the jar before digging the remaining slivers out with my fingers, smearing them across my cheeks like war-paint, and watching Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson on Netflix, because when I cross that sticky brown line into debauchery, my instinct is always to round it like a marathon runner and sprint into the forest faster than a Delorian trying to travel through time.

At 32 years old I should know what I can and can’t do in relation to dieting. Unfortunately, I’m not the kind of person that can airily attend a few extra spin classes and skip dessert in order to fit into last summer’s bikini. When I diet, it starts as, “I’m only allowed to eat broccoli and cottage cheese, upside-down in a darkened room, while an organic lemon myrtle candle burns,” before eventually degenerating to, “So, I’ve spent the morning burning myself and smearing Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream into the wounds while crying and listening to The Smiths.”

So I quit quitting sugar because I didn’t want to be a quitter anymore. I had to. I Quit Sugar nearly turned me into Sally Struthers. So I threw the whole thing away and decided to face reality, to be a grown-up and be honest about where my digestive issues stem from.

Blocked chakras. Obviously. Specifically the sacral one.

So I’ve just booked the Flowering Lotus Spiritual Retreat. It promises to be a “magical journey through Mother India” which includes meditation, reiki, introspective rituals of the sacred goddess and, for some lucky participants, a Delhi Belly purifying cleanse. Inner Peace is guaranteed in the fine print and since I’ve booked before December 1st, I receive a free colonic irrigation upon arrival. Woo!

Sufferin’ Succotash

29 Nov

As I write this, I’ve been in Puerto Escondido for nearly three weeks. This beautiful beach side town has made me it’s unintentional prisoner as I wait to receive a package from Australia. I underestimated Mexican postal services. I foolishly thought that an express post package that should arrive overseas in three business days would have made an appearance in Puerto Escondido within a week and a half. Silly CC- I forgot about the phenomena that is Mexican Time. If one was going to compare the Mexican postal service to anything, it wouldn’t be to a Looney Tunes mouse.

SPEEDY

Once I learned to blithely flick the bull ants off the bed and ignore the geckos fighting in the corner of the room, the accommodation I stayed at for my language school was lovely. Mix that with amazing people in the area and the purpose that comes with a scholastic responsibility each day, and I found myself quite content with my Escondidian routine. After travelling for six weeks, it kind-of, almost felt like my little Mexican home, but when the language course finished, I had to find new digs. Without giving the matter much thought, I chose the hostel that a friend was staying in. It was disconcertingly devoid of human beings every time I walked past, but The Texan had found a private room there for $2000 pesos for the month- an obscenely good rate- so I booked a room for three nights.

I didn’t notice my surroundings on the first night. I’d been involved in a particularly debauched drinking session with The Texan and an English expat chum of his, and I fell down no less than eight times during the 500m walk back to my room. Once I made it to the door, it took me a good fifteen minutes to open it. I stood, swaying in the hallway like an inebriated fuckwit, clumsily inserting and reinserting each key over and over. I was given three keys when I checked in and I never did discover what the other two were for. I jammed them into everything from the storage closet to the cat, but their purpose remained enigmatic.

The next morning I woke up looking, feeling, and smelling like a bruised puddle of bulldog vomit. The bathroom was located down the hall. It was a poky, light blue room, smothered with leopard spots of mould. The noxious odours of Mexican feasts past had long stripped the paint from the walls, and what was left hung in flaky chunks like sunburned skin. The toilet cistern lid was broken, and damp books were piled haphazardly on top it like some make-shift lavatorical library. And there was never, ever any fucking toilet paper in there. In fact, if you asked at the front desk for toilet paper, the staff would half heartedly look behind the counter before saying, “I don’t have.” This was uttered in a completely indifferent tone, almost as if you’d asked for a pen or a cigarette lighter. The first time they said it I was flummoxed, “What do you mean, ‘you don’t have’?” I asked in Spanish.

Shrug. “No tengo.”

“I need to go to the toilet,” I said. “What do your suggest that I use?”

She smiled, nodded and said, “Use. Yes.” Then she turned, walked across the reception floor and stood by the fridge, staring at the wall, her back to me.

It was a tactic that I had employed myself. The staff spoke almost exclusively Spanish and when they’d say something I didn’t quite catch, I’d lean forward and ask them to repeat it. They would, and if I couldn’t cherry pick enough words from the sentence to create a meaning, I’d often just repeat the last word they said and add a ‘yes’, so it sounded like I understood them thoroughly enough to confirm the final word of their sentence. You know, you do it if someone offers you directions:

“Turn right at the park.”

“The park, yes.”

“Then first left.”

“Left. Yep.”

“Then go straight past the school…”

“The school, got it.”

But since the phrase was spoken in a second language, I could have been agreeing to anything:

“We’re going to slaughter a stray dog in a voodoo ritual tonight. Right here.”

“Right here,” Enthusiastic nod. “Yes!”

When the reception gals couldn’t deliver the bog-roll, I was forced to fossick through my bag for travel wipes and, when they ran out, odd athletic socks whose partner had fallen victim to Mexican lavanderias. I’d drop each in the basket beside the toilet with a small sigh- another travelling companion lost in Mexico, like a pilled, grey drug cartel victim.

The shower in the bathroom was a single jet of water, a quarter of the diameter of your average garden hose. The shower head was cemented to the wall, so it stuck straight out at an 130 degree angle. This meant that the adjacent sink often got a better bathing than you did. Unfortunately the angle wasn’t obtuse enough to dislodge the seventeen bars of pubic-hair encrusted soap that were perpetually glued to the porcelain of the sink; but it did create a striking paper mâché effect with the yellowing Surf Class pamphlets that were stuck to the top of it. It looked like something an obsessive compulsive preschooler had created after binge watching Playschool under the influence of acid. The water pressure was unyielding, and, despite the room being constantly shrouded in steam, freezing. It was like trying to clean yourself in a Urinating Cherub Fountain. In fact, if the water had of been warm, it would have felt like I was being peed on by an excessively well-hydrated vagrant. Showering became an endurance event: not something pleasant and refreshing that you do of a morning, but a necessary ordeal undertaken only to rinse the smell of the mattress from you.

The mattress smelt like interspecies erotica, sherbet, and broken promises, but I’ll get to that.

My room had a large concrete mesh window which offered a lovely view of an abandoned toilet in the courtyard. If I squinted, I was transported to The Labyrinthian Bog of Eternal Stench. My window didn’t have curtains on it, something I realised as I was dressing after the shower. There was a cleaning lady outside who was systematically moving through the courtyard, scrubbing the concrete with a weathered red broom. It was refreshing that they paid so much attention to the ground outside. I mean, my room was wallpapered in dust and spiderwebs, and the pool was a particularly fetching shade of flourescent green, but at least the external concrete was clean. That patch of cement may have been more sanitary than my sheets. It was certainly cleaner than my mattress, which had morphed from beige to yellow under the strain of assorted bodily fluids from a thousand anonymous hosts. When I spied the lady, I ducked into a crouch, trying to hide. However, since I could still see her, there was a good chance that she could see the naked thirty one year old squatting on the floor like she’s trying to insert something into her vaginal canal, so I stood up slowly, not wanting to attract her attention. I did, anyway. I’m not sure if the moment our eyes locked was more uncomfortable for her or me. I think it was for her- the hairbrush dropped from my ‘giney when I stood up, and it clattered loudly to the floor with a wince and a disapproving glance.

I’m kidding.

I bring a frozen zucchini when I travel. It’s more ergonomic.

I forgot to take my toothbrush into the bathroom and I couldn’t bring myself to go back in there, so I went to the sinks in the common room to complete my ablutions. Turning the handle gave me a puff of smoke, several bats, and small dribble of rust coloured liquid. I didn’t have a bottle of water on me, so the receptionist helpfully offered me some. I accepted it gratefully.

“Can I have some toothpaste?” She asked as she handed me the glass.

I paused. It was the first time that hotel staff had asked to borrow my toiletries.

“I’ve run out,” she continued.

I was so baffled that I agreed before considering the implications of giving my toothpaste to a stranger to smear across something that scrubbed the bacteria from her mouth. I realised the ick-factor as she was fetching her toothbrush, and when she returned with a dog eared blue thing, I told her that she could keep the toothpaste.

“Really,” I said, offering her the full tube of Colgate like some babbling dental hygiene fairy. “I have plenty and it’s nearly empty, anyway.”

I wasn’t given a top sheet, so that evening I slept huddled beneath my sarong. At some point during the night the fan had stopped working, and I awoke just after 3am in an environment sufficient to bake scones in. The skin that hadn’t been covered in brightly coloured cotton was now covered in bright red mosquito bites, which itched in an insomnia-inducing ditty of frustration. I lay there, mentally offering Satan everything from my soul to the virginity of my first born child in exchange for sleep, trying to ignore the itching that was slowly making it’s way from my skin to the last shred of my sanity. Something crawled over my arm, I smacked it and felt it scurry up my shoulder and onto the pillow. I vaulted out of bed in one fluid motion, turning on the light and flapping my hands at the wrists.

The light allowed me to see that the mosquitoes had made their way into my room via a hole in the flyscreen, which was roughly the size and shape of an overdeveloped child’s fist. I was considering what other item of clothing I could sacrifice to jam into this filthy hole when a moth flew through it. It might have been as drunk as I was the previous night because it spectacularly missed the lightbulb to crash land just below my left eye. My hands started flapping again, the moth flew away, and the next fifteen minutes were spent chasing it around the room with a thong. It was a wily little bastard, I’d thwack one wall seconds after it careened off to the next one. This noise woke up my neighbour, who thought that a spell of vocal masturbation would be just the thing to get him back to sleep. The walls were thin, and I heard enough to be able to confidently do it myself, had I wanted to. I should have offered him my zucchini.

After destroying the moth, I sat on the bed, lit a cigarette and listened to the overweight fellow next door flog his meat like an unemployed butcher. I reasoned that noxious tobacco fumes might be enough to drive away both the bugs and my ever-increasing desire to repeatedly punch a badger in the ovaries, so I smoked and lazily batted at buzzing mosquitoes while he jerked away on the other side of the wall. The only sounds in the hostel were a symphony of pleasure, hunger and frustration. And I don’t even know which was which.

I checked into a hotel after this. It was three times the price. I saw clean white sheets on the bed when I checked in. Totally worth it.

Kind-of, Almost Two Years Ago Today

11 Nov

Every year, on the anniversary of my divorce, I light scented candles, listen to Morrissey, cry, and play with myself.

That’s not true, silly. I just wanted a snappy opener. As boring as it is, I don’t indulge in any bizarre, ritualistic behaviour on D-Day; but ironically, for the last two years, I have found myself on the other side of the world, ensconced in a romantic entanglement of sorts.

It’s Groundhogian. Last year I was making a u-turn across Europe to meet a Kiwi in Amsterdam, this year I found myself with an overly affectionate Italian. Let’s call him Titto- as was his request if I ever spoke about him on the blog. And, fuck-me-gently-with-a-tent-pole, I really hope he doesn’t read this.

Because this is the story of how I fled Titto.

Fled sounds melodramatic. But ‘made a impulsive decision to leave one morning after things began to get particularly intense’ was too verbose.

When Titto and I first met, I was, embarassingly, wearing nothing but a Bonds wifebeater singlet and a pair of bright red, Wonder Woman underpants. Before he knew my name, he had seen more of me than most first dates do. Amazingly, despite being confronted with the sight of my big, white ass, he began to chat to me and, amazing-er-ly, we clicked.

Our travels plans differed- I was heading to Cuba and he was starting work in a hostel in Acapulco. We swapped Facebook contact details and kept in touch. A pocket of time appeared in the week after Day of the Dead. We could meet up again. He started to organise the details, seemingly spending hours on Google. Links were sent via email, clicking them furnished my screen with magnificent-looking beaches. ‘What do you think?’ he’d ask with an emoticon wink. Apparently, the only thing I had to do for our spare week together was show up and be adorable.

Plans changed when he had a fight with his boss and had to leave Acapulco immediately. He asked if I wanted to leave Day of the Dead before the main celebrations and travel to Guatemala with him. I did not. I was disappointed but I didn’t want to chase a dick down a rabbit hole, so I did what any normal girl would: I dealt with it. I booked a hostel at a nudist beach and figured that if we were meant to meet up again we would.

As fate would have it, we met again. Titto was unlike any man I had ever met. Aside from the affectionate, macho, chivalrous Italian blood that pumped through his veins, he was completely open with his feelings. It was a novelty. Australian men aren’t like that- being courted by an Aussie is a subliminal game of chess. You don’t listen to what they say, you watch what they do, you think three moves ahead, and you endeavour to entrap them in a checkmate.

Mwahaha.

The whole situation was fantastical. Surreal. Laying tangled in a hammock watching the sun set, eating fresh guavas for breakfast, long slow make-out sessions on the sand followed by hair-pulling nights beneath the mosquito netting as the waves crashed outside our cabin window. We hitchhiked. We held hands and strolled along the coastline. It was like a tampon commercial. It certainly wasn’t reality- no reality that I know, anyway. That’s the problem with holiday romances. They exist in a dream state, a realm where you are unfettered by the mundanities of life. As a result, they will never, ever last beyond the trip- believe me, I have tried. The only way it can work is if you choose to stay at the party forever- if you kiss the nuances of reality goodbye and live in the Wonderland of travel. Titto asked me to do this on our first night.

“Would you ever leave Sydney and stay in Mexico?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

I struggled to explain the relationship that I have with my loved ones without resorting to saccharine statements like ‘they are my heart’. I explained the deep bond we share, fortified by time, laughter and pain. “I can’t leave them,” I said finally. “I’d miss them.”

He didn’t agree and argued the point. “But friendships don’t last forever.”

“Neither do most relationships,” I fired back. “But my friends and family have been more of a constant presence in my life than any man has. They are always there for me and vice versa. I don’t want to leave them.”

“That’s sentimental.”

“Loyal.”

Besides, am I alone in thinking that this is a particularly intense question to throw at someone after twenty four hours together? Isn’t this the Holiday Romance equivalent of “How do you feel about getting married in Fiji” on a first date? Perhaps he was just harmlessly discussing the future and I am simply cementing myself as an emotionally retarded Fem-bot, but when said hypothetical future means that one of you has to give up everything well…no. Sorry, but that’s too Romeo and Juliet for me. Plus, I have shared more major life events with my Sydney comrades than I will with any man who comes into my life. Don’t make me choose between you and them. Just don’t. You won’t like the decision that I make.

And what happened to enjoying the moment in the moment without worrying where it’s heading? Why force it? If something is meant to happen, just let it happen. Yes, that statement crosses into the sticky realm of Fate and Destiny, but it’s my limited experience that no matter how much you want something, trying to mold life into your plans never works. One of the hardest things that any of us will have to do is let go of something we really want and trust that, in one way or another, it- or something better- will come to us. I don’t believe in pushing an agenda; partially because I am painfully aware of the type of female that does, and partially because I try to enjoy the show without peeking behind the curtain. If life has a plan different to the one that you have in your head it’s frustrating as hell, and there will be many nights that you pout into your pillow at the injustice of it all, but at least you won’t frighten said reality away. If you relinquish control, things you want may never come to you, but at least you know that you didn’t fuck them up- they were just never yours in the first place.

Says the emotionally retarded Fem-bot.

Actually, that whole fucking paragraph sounded like a tampon commercial.

Ergh.

Anyway, it was enough to vanquish my fragile emotions. With that conversation, hairline fissures began to appear in my rose-coloured lust goggles. ‘Affectionate’ became ‘Stifling’. ‘Macho’ became ‘Domineering’. And ‘Wow, he’s so open with his feelings’ became ‘Do we have to fucking talk about this again for the love of chocolate just shut up and stop acting like a god-damn woman’. My skin began to crawl. I became infected with Seeing The Future as well, and I didn’t like what I saw. It was suffocating. I was in a locked cage that he perpetually carried, periodically sticking his fingers through the bars for affection-attention?- the last lights of my freedom fading away as he carted me across Central America like a prized parrot.

I know. Poor, poor CC. She finds herself a devastatingly attractive man who appears to be crazy about her and she isn’t happy because it’s just too much. I should dry my tears on sex stained sheets in my fucking beach-side bungalow.

Relationships are delicate in the beginning.  You need rose-coloured glasses when you look at your beloved because you are often discovering all of their idiosyncrasies. The fluffy bubble of infatuation acts as a talisman of sorts. When you are in lust, the fact that they are chintsy, over-protective, or a nocturnal lip-smacker, doesn’t bother you; and you need that to progress beyond the first stage. You need absence, too. To miss them, to think about them. They have to exist in your dura mater as a fond memory for affection to grow. And this wasn’t happening. Titto was poisoning me with his presence. The ‘Leave Sydney’ conversation gave me an urge for space. When he didn’t give it to me, the urge became a compulsion to mentally point out every tiny shortcoming he had.

The decision to leave was a lightning bolt. My poker face is not my strong suit, and he knew that something was up. I politely asked him to leave me alone, which he did- albeit furtively glancing at me from the top of his laptop all morning. When even a silent gaze felt suffocating, I figured that getting breakfast in town by myself was a good idea. I knew that I had to snap myself out of my foul mood, so as I moodily stomped to the main street, I indulged in the sort of practical, reasonable self-talk that every chick does to stop herself emotionally overreacting to something.

And it didn’t work.

The more I thought about the situation, the worse it felt. Finally my brain snapped in a characteristic moment of CC impulsiveness: ‘Fuck this, I’m leaving. Today.

And I did. The hotel in Puerto Escondido was booked as the banana/chocolate crepes were shoved into my gob.

Sounds selfish? It felt awesome.

Freedom is a drug, man.

As is chocolate.

I dreaded telling him. With good cause. He reacted as every man does when their ego is bruised- he became a petulant child: “I knew it, I knew something was wrong. Why do you want to go? Why are you leaving me?” he whined.

What I hoped was gentle came out clichéd: “This isn’t you, dude. It’s me. You have to understand, I have been single for two years. I like my freedom, and to spend a consistent 48 hours with someone is too much. I want space.”

We argued. Why didn’t I go tonight? We could have dinner. Why did I have to leave him right now? Why?

I felt helpless. Cunty. To try and make an awkward situation less painful, I tried throwing money at it. That usually helps, right? “I’ll give you the money for the accommodation.”

He didn’t appreciate being turned into my low-budget rent-boy. “I don’t want the fucking accommodation.”

“I’m only trying to help.”

“I have no reason to stay here without you,” he said sulkily. “The only reason I came here was for you, and now you are leaving me.”

It was a cheap shot that didn’t register. I wanted to say ‘I’m a psych nurse, buddy, and I’ve been through a divorce, if you want to hurt my feelings, you have to try harder than that.

But I didn’t. I acted like an adult. “Well, you can have the money, anyway.” I rose to pack.

He followed. “When did you decide this? Why can’t you leave tomorrow?”

The more he talked, the more my resolve strengthened. I bid him farewell and waited for a taxi to the bus station.

“You really should take a collectivo, instead. It’s more economical.”

I glared at him.

He sighed. “Do what you want.”

In defiance, I paid for a private taxi to drive the hour to Puerto Escondido. From the backseat, with the wind of the highway relentlessly massaging my face, I worked on feeling horribly guilty about what I’d just done.

So, what’s the point of it all?  I’m sure there’s a lesson hiding in this, but what? That I’m emotionally unavailable? I have ridiculously high standards? That I’m just holding out for a six foot fireman who can bench press a fridge? Preferably one who volunteers at an abandoned kitten’s shelter in his spare time. Maybe I should just give up and buy some scented candles.

How about this for a lesson- no matter how many times you make my toes curl, if I begin to feel even the slightest bit trapped, I’ll run like a flock of seagulls?

Get it? “I raaaaannnn, I ran so far awaaaaaayyyy”?

No?

Come on!

Anyway, if nothing else, this experience has strengthened what matters, which means I’m probably Fem-bot Version 2.0. And while I can’t wrap it all up in a neat bow, I can give you a moral- You never chase a Y-chromosome down a rabbit hole.

You only ever chase a white rabbit with a pocket watch because he has the magic mushrooms.

The Adventures of CC and John West

9 Nov

Day of the Dead

Sunday night, I found myself in the middle of a Day of the Dead parade, hurriedly looking over my left shoulder, with a pink iPhone shoved in my underpants.

Yes. In my undies. Down the front.

It’s a sentence that will stop anybody from borrowing my phone ever again. Unfortunately for me and my poor iPhone- which is now affectionately nicknamed John West- I had no other option. How did I wind up in the middle of a street parade with a mobile phone awkwardly prodding at my genitals? Let me explain.

It’s my last night in Oaxaca and I am almost dias de los meurtos‘d out. I’ve hung out in cemeteries with Kentuckians, photographed parades with impossibly chic French women, and tonight I just want to grab some dinner and enjoy the fact that I have my dorm to myself. I’m sitting in Zocalo, smoking and reading a book on my iPhone, when a guy sits uncomfortably close to me, furtively eyeing me as I put my phone back in my pocket. He starts to talk. His name is Gustavo. And, hey, even though we just met, why don’t I add him on Facebook? His eyes drift to my pocket. Right now.

Something about Gustavo gives me the willies. I can’t put my finger on it. It could be that he sat very close to me, it could be that he appears twitchy and nervous, it could be the fact that he was wearing headphones without listening to music (I mean, come on, that’s weird, right?) or it could be the fact that he fingered my ring when he shook my hand.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

I mean, he shook my hand and ran his finger along the Claddagh ring that I wear on my ‘fuck you’ finger, tugging it ever so slightly. In any event, after five minutes I want to leave my creepy companion and retire to my hostel. At 9pm. Like a thirty-something geriatric. I rise.

So does Gustavo.

I pause.

“Go,” he gives a strained smile.

I wait, frowning. “You first.”

He motions with his hand. “No, you.”

It’s an excessively polite Monty Python skit. I start walking. He trails me. I abruptly zig-zag across Zocalo. He zig-zags, too. I reach the edge and stop, turning around. He stops too, pretending to be fascinated by a jewellery stall.

If Gustavo is a crook, he’s a clumsy one. Nonetheless, the walk to my hostel is down a quiet street and I really don’t want to punch a Oaxacian- with or without nefarious motives- so I take the long way through the crowded parades, figuring that I can lose him.

When out at night, I no longer take a bag with me, choosing instead to wander the streets with my possessions in my pockets, like some heavily pear shaped bag-lady. The problem is, Gustavo knows where my iPhone is. I’m not sure if it’s paranoia or common sense that drives this, but I decide to move my stuff from my jeans pockets, just in case. My coin purse fits in my shirt pocket. As I do up the button, I ponder where to put my phone. My shoe? My bra? Oh, wait- I know!

And down the pants it goes. It’s ingenious, really. Look, if the evening were to escalate to a strange hand being in my knickers sans consent, a missing phone will be the least of my worries. And while it’s not comfortable, it is set to vibrate so if someone calls me, well, things will improve considerably.

Hierve el Agua

Twenty hours, a bus, a collectivo taxi and four chain smoking French men later, I am two hours from Oaxaca, at the ethereally beautiful Hierve el Agua.

It’s 5pm, and if I want to make my bus to Pochutla, which leaves Oaxaca at 9.30pm, I should probably leave. It’s still light and I make the 1km walk back up the hill, pausing to admire donkeys, cacti, and men herding goats. Near the top, I see a couple get into a collectivo taxi. Perfect timing. I’ll climb in and be back at the bus station in 45 minutes.

But I wouldn’t be writing this post if the collectivo waited. It didn’t. It skidded away as I was nearing the top.

Hmph.

No problem, though. Another will arrive. I perch on a rock to watch the sun set over the mountains, painting the sky with a kaleidoscope of pink and orange. I take several thousand photos of it.

sunset4sunset3

sunset5

snuset2Beautiful, isn’t it? However, as 5pm slides into 6pm, I begin to wonder where the hell the next collectivo is.

Six melts seamlessly into 6.15. I’m tapping my foot. Hierve has closed. Tour buses are trundling past. Nobody else is making their way up the hill, and the French dudes from before are absent. I begin to wonder: Do collectivos come this late? Am I supposed to wait here? There is nobody to ask. I decide to walk to the guard booth that we passed on the way in. Maybe people are still there. Maybe they can call a collectivo for me. There is one road leading to the booth, so I will pass anything coming this way, anyway.

So I begin to walk.

Alone.

In the middle of nowhere.

At night.

It’s getting cold, so I put my cardigan on, crossing my arms protectively over my chest. It occurs to me that I now look like a horror movie victim. Not the slutty one that dies first, maybe the bookworm who bites it spectacularly in the third act. I’m utterly isolated out here. Even my Mexican SIM card service has abandoned me. My only companion is Mother Nature, and the donkeys that randomly hee-haw my predicament. It felt like Wolf Creek 3. Or Mexican Creek, perhaps: ‘In Hierve el Agua, nobody can hear you scream…

It’s completely dark, did I mention that? Like, totally dark. I can’t see my booted feet on the road. If I don’t get devoured by a carnivorous goat, there is the distinct possibility that I will trip in a pothole and fracture my left ass bone, or step in a bear trap and have to gnaw a limb off like a rabid monkey. Therefore, to keep myself from spinning out, I begin to sing ‘Dry the Rain’ by The Beta Band.

This is the definition of my life, lying in bed in the sunlight…

So, at this point I have officially lost my mind.

A set of headlights approaches. Feeling more and more like Laurie ‘Boo’ Myers, I flag it down. It swerves past me, slams on the brakes, fishtails, and halts. It sits, idling maliciously. With a small amount of trepidation, I approach.

The Golf Cart

Hola,” I begin uncertainly. “Ah…” I pause to gather the correct words, then begin in a slow, overly-enuncative voice. “Neccissito una collectivo taxi para la Mitla autobus stacion?

His reply? Spanish. Of course.

I try again. “Autobus? Para Oaxaca?

Spanish.

Nothing is ever easy. In frustration, I throw random words at him: “Autobus. Mitla. Oaxaca. Saucepan. Toilet seat. Turtle procreation proclamation. Anything?”

This continues for an uncomfortably long period of time until I begin to understand a single word he is saying: “Voy.” i.e.- ‘Go.’ He gestures to the cart and I come to the hopeful conclusion that he’s saying, ‘Jump in, love. My chariot will rescue you on this cold evening.’

Five minutes later I am sitting in a golf cart as we drive back to the place where people wait for collectivos. We pass it.

Nothing is ever easy. Where the fuck is he taking me?

A group of people stand on the road, holding hands like some Hillbilly Mexican Manson family. The cart skids to a halt. The Manson’s approach. Two men, two women, two children. They begin to pile in. I skid over. The women are particularly portly and won’t fit. I skid over more. I now have one ass cheek perched precariously on the seat. They fit. Unfortunately, I don’t. A man sits beside the driver. There is still a man and two children to fit into an already full golf cart. In the spirit of charity, I move my bag from my lap. A moment later I have a small child randomly perched on it. Her sister stands beside her, staring at me in that openly curious way that kids do. A lady gets out, a man gets in, the lady sits on his lap.

We now have 8 people stuffed into a vehicle no bigger than a 1976 Mini Cooper.

Pause and picture that.

I am shoved up against the side of the cart, angled diagonally, holding onto the seats. I look like a proud father with his arms around the family at Christmas dinner, but there is terror in my eyes, so I probably look like Tony Soprano during the final season of The Sopranos. With, you know, hair and stuff. Wait, he’s dead now, isn’t he? Okay, so I look like a live, female, average weight version of-

You know what? Never mind.

Anyway, the side of the cart is made of flimsy, waterproof fabric. There’s no guarantee it will support my weight. The whole thing smells like an impending brain injury. The golf cart’s engine is spluttering and, in a mark of automotive protest, it won’t travel beyond the speed that the average egg-and-spoon race is run at. This gives me plenty of time to think about how much easier my life would be if I stuck to organised tours like a proper tourist, instead of stubbornly opting to do it all myself. I could be in an airconditioned tour bus right now, happily trancing out to the new Opeth record on my iPod. Instead, I am squished like a Skittle between a fat woman, a sheet of oil cloth, and a potential future in a motorised wheelchair.

Life on the Highway

After fifteen days, the family exit the cart. My ass can spread out again. There is relief for five minutes. Then, relief turns to horror as I am deposited on the freeway like a sex crime victim.
It’s every little girl’s dream to one day be left standing on a highway, at night, in the freezing cold, with a now almost desperate urge to urinate, isn’t it? The driver thought so. He pointed at the small group of people waiting, called out, “Collectivos!” and gaily puttered up the hill.

Apparently, this is where the collectivo’s pick you up to take you back into town. I wait awkwardly beside my car-less comrades. It’s just after 7pm. We are in the middle of what could arguably be the desert. Despite wearing jeans and a cardigan, my teeth are chattering.

Ha- I am now officially The Chattering Cat.

*Boom tish* Thanks folks. Hey, try the brisket- it’s fantastic.

For every set of approaching headlights, the four of us desperately throw our hands out. Cars speed past. Hitchhiking seems like an option. Or suicide. Or, frankly, squatting to pee in front of strangers.

I’m not sure how I get myself into these predicaments. Really. I don’t welcome chaos. I don’t ask for trouble. But when I travel, my sense of wonder often runs neck-and-neck with anxiety and dread. Let’s not forget that I have no fucking idea where I am. Well, I can pinpoint “Mexico” and in a pinch narrow it down to “two hours from Oaxaca”, but aside from that I’m screwed. I could be on Pluto. It’s certainly cold enough. I smoke cigarette after cigarette, trying to stave off cold, hunger and possible stress incontinence.

Life would be so much easier if I knew more Spanish. I could ask these people beside me, ‘What the fuck is going on (!?!) Is it normal to wait a fucking decade for a fucking collectivo on the fucking highway at mothershagging nighttime?! How do you people do this? Why do you do this? Yes, the night sky is radiantly pregnant with twinkling stars, but there is a little place called civilisation, and in it they have transportation options. Let’s talk about that over a Corona sometime.’ We would bond. They’d hug me, adopt me as a foul-mouthed surrogate child, and I’d feel infinitely better about the whole ‘I’m kind of almost lost’ mess.

The Dudes

A bus approaches. Without thinking, I stick my arm out. It slows. I get on with one other fellow. The doors creak shut behind us.

The bus contains men. All men. Workers, by the look of them. There is one seat available. I take it. I have no idea where the bus is going but it’s warm, there is Mambo music playing, and it smells like the Miami Heat locker room after a Celtics game: sweat, dejection, blood, and cum.

The bus stops. Half of the people get off. The driver turns and addresses me in Spanish.

I suppose that I have to get off the bus now.

Wait- I have to get off the bus?!

…No!

It’s warm and safe and although your taste in music sucks, I’m not standing on the fucking cold freeway again.

I can’t guarantee that I didn’t say that out loud. Really, I don’t remember. I think I disassociated.

He says “taxi”, points, then physically shooed me. Off the bus. Now. Come on you silly tourist. I don’t have all night.

I exit the bus. He doesn’t charge me. Small win.

AND I discover that he has dropped me outside the bus station that I initially caught a collectivo to Hierve from.

Awesome.

But it’s now shut.

Hmph.

Three guys from the bus approach me. They ask where I am going. Tired, desperate and thoroughly fed up, I pout, “Oaxaca. Taxi,” and cross my arms like a two-year old. They reply in Spanish. I don’t understand them. They motion up the road. “Taxi. Oaxaca. Aqui.”

I walk. They turn around every now and then, addressing me in Spanish. I repeat the one phrase that, ironically, I can now say flawlessly, “I’m sorry, but I only speak a little Spanish.” They laugh but continue to speak Spanish. Since I have no idea what they are saying, I begin to answer thusly, “Yes…no…bottom left…fourty seven…last Tuesday…”

One says, “Speak English.”

Yes. Not ‘hablas inglés‘ but ‘speak English’.

I stop, now more than a little indignant. “Can you guys speak fucking English?”

They laugh. “A little.”

Cunty. Very cunty.

They ask if I want to go and smoke some weed with them. Oh, sure, I think. I’d love to abandon my inhibitions with a group of strangers who have spent the last ten minutes poking fun at me. Sounds awesome. Let me get my coat. “No, thanks,” I begin with a smug grin, “I don’t smoke weed anymore. You see, I smoked a lifetime’s allowance between the ages of twenty and twenty two and I have to wait for the multiverse to catch up with me.” Sure they can’t understand me, but being clever in stressful situations makes me feel slightly better.

As we walk, my paranoia rises (see why I don’t smoke weed?!) I have no idea where I am going, I just know that three guys have indicated that if I follow them down a dark street, I can get a taxi. The walk begins to feel like a trail of lollies leading to the witches house in the forest. Following total strangers into darkness seems about as clever as amputating fingers with toenail clippers. So I try to find a taxi as I walk. But whenever I stop to flag an approaching set of headlights, the guys stop, too. They tell me that I have to keep going. I have to follow them because taxis don’t stop on the street.

Seriously- what the fuck kind of bullshit is that? ‘Taxis won’t stop on the street’? I just hailed a motherfucking bus from the highway. And it’s been my experience that you can’t walk down the road anywhere in Mexico without a taxi hopefully beeping it’s horn at you. Either you can hail them from the street, or I perpetually have a stream of toilet paper trailing from my pants and they are trying to tell me.

Now I’m convinced- following these boys any further will be about as safe as a marriage to Ike Turner. I stop in front of a store that appears to be open. The store owners are standing at the door. Good. Witnesses. I open my mouth to say, ‘My name is Casey Millikin and in the event of my disappearance please call the Australian Embassy on-‘ when one of the guys walks back to me, stopping just inside my personal space. “You have to follow us to get a taxi.”

“That’s okay,” I say, looking at approaching headlights. “I’ll hail one here.”

“Are you scared,” he asks suddenly.

This catches me off guard, which apparently makes me forget how to speak. “…Hu?”

He grins malevolently. “Are you scared?”

“No, I’m not scared,” I say, sounding fucking terrified. Of course I was scared. You’d be, too. Only a high level sociopath would feel no fear in that situation.

He lunges at me. “BOO!”

I still had to wee, you know. It’s a miracle that I didn’t widdle like a firehose in fright. In fact, if I had spent my life procreating like a normal person rather than existing in a state of arrested development, it’s entirely possible that a weakened pelvic floor would have made me wet my pants right there. He walks away laughing and I bravely mumble that he should really find an opportune time to fuck his mother.

The dudes leave. I remain stubbornly in front of the store. Another golf cart approaches. I flag it down.

Necessito taxi para Oaxaca?”

He drives me 200m up the road and charges me ten pesos. No- It’s not a rip-off. It’s the best ten pesos that I have ever spent. It’s a dollar that assuages my fear. It’s a coin that ensures I won’t make a YouTube cameo as a headless corpse in a snuff video.

Anyway, to wrap it all up, I get a cab to Oaxaca, pick up my luggage from the hostel, have the best wee ever, and make it to the bus station with three minutes to spare.

I said before that I don’t know how I get myself into these predicaments. I have an idea, it’s probably my robust taste for adventure- the same thing that will arguably be my downfall; but I’d be lying if I said that a small part of me didn’t enjoy these moments. Not at the time- at the time I’m a puddle of anxiety and fear- but in retrospect when I am safe, weeing, and warm, I giggle like a maniac. Perched on the hostel loo, enjoying a good-ol’ micturition, I had to clamp my hand over my mouth to stifle the laughter. The thing about periodically finding yourself in situations where you don’t know if you are going to make it out without the loss of your dignity is that you really appreciate the little lights beyond the tunnel: flushing toilets, safety, the first drag of a Marlboro Light washed down with a mouthful of lemonade while waiting for your bus to Pochutla to arrive. My god. They’re like sunshine in summer.

The point of this post was actually to point out that my, um, Cuban experience has infected me with moderate levels of paranoia. I’m not sure I like it. It’s making me paranoid, actually. I’m paranoid about becoming paranoid. I usually don’t look at the world through a filter of mistrust. I usually don’t keep a mobile phone in my underpants. Here, I have had two evenings in a row where my survival instincts have come online. While it’s nice to know that I have enough common sense and intuition to allow me to escape unharmed; it’s also a big crash to earth to discover that you can’t automatically trust people. Maybe I’m not paranoid, maybe I just have a sense of safety awakening in me, something animalistic that has stirred and raised it’s furry head from slumber. Maybe there’s a fine line between security conscious and paranoid; and I am, for the first time, learning to skirt it.

Whatever it is, please call me on +52 5551 366 354. Anytime. I may need help, or I may just have a mobile phone in an opportunistic location. Either way, you will quickly become my favourite person.

Death’s Door

29 Aug

I nearly stepped on a dead bird the other night. I wasn’t paying attention. I had trudged downstairs into the cold to buy toothpaste,

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when I saw it laying headfirst in the corner of my apartment block. A magpie. It’s distinctive black and white tail still ruffling in the breeze. I did what any normal Sydneysider would: I grimaced, frowned at the minute inconvenience of an awkward sidestep, pulled my hood down over my forehead, and kept going.

My mind was elsewhere, you see. On a car. That I owned. That wasn’t selling.

Fuck the dead bird. I had finances to fret about.

For weeks, my car had sat, forlornly, on Carsales without a lick of interest- aside from the phishing scam that earned the acerbic response “I know this is a hoax and I hope you catch a particularly aggressive form of Chlamydia”- it appeared that nobody wanted to buy a 2001 Volkswagen Golf with electric sunroof, four new tyres, rego until November, call Casey for a…

And I needed to sell the damn thing to fund a large chunk of my upcoming backpacking trip.

After a stroke of inspiration that hit after one too many green teas, I fashioned a witty sign that would turn the car into an eye-catching advertisement on wheels: “FOR SALE- a car so deafeningly awesome that even Batman would drive it.”

Unfortunately, this didn’t work, either. A security guard misread it and accused me of racism (“You can’t say that even a black man would drive it! Give me your keys. This isn’t America. I’m taking the sign down.”), causing me to repeatedly shriek “Batman. BAT-man. Not BLACKMAN!”, my desperation inevitably making the situation exponentially worse (“I mean, come on, Batman isn’t even black…”), and now, long story short, I’m not welcome in Westfield Eastgardens anymore.

I was privately beginning to wonder if it would ever sell, so my thoughts were locked on hypothetical mathematics problems (“How many days would I have to exist without food in subtropical heat before selling my ass becomes a viable option?”) and wondering whether I would ever have to suck something for bus fare.

But, back to the bird. I returned, toothpaste in hand, to see two young nurses from my building staring intently at it.

Nothing on television, perhaps.

They clocked me approaching, waved, smiled, and pointed at the bird in a “fancy that” kind-of-way. Apparently, it was still alive. Don’t let the fact that it was lying, motionless, in a crumpled heap fool you. One of the girls saw it breathe earlier.

“How much earlier,” I wondered out loud. “Could it be a death rattle?”

She glared at me. No. It was not a death rattle. These two had put a combined six years of university training together to diagnose the bird with “sick”. Probably with bird-flu.

Boom tish.

The conversation morphed into awkward; the kind of stilted exchange that occurs when you are confronted with someone that you’ve swanned past on the stairwell for three months without acknowledgement. At some point, someone suggested that we ring WIRES to take care of the bird, the bird-flu joke was repeated on the off-chance that it would garner a laugh the second time around, and before I knew it, I was upstairs, mobile phone in hand, speaking to a reedy-voiced chap from WIRES. I addressed him with the clipped tones of someone who has better things to do- salami and coleslaw on rye, a chilled bottle of Beez Neez, a hot shower, and the latest trashy Alex Delaware thriller- while he spoke in the earnest tones of someone who gives a shit and wants to help.

“Have you contained it?”

“That’s not really necessary. It’s just lying there.”

Silence. “It’s not moving?”

“Apparently it’s breathing,” I volunteered optimistically.

“He sounds like he’s on his way out.”

“How do you know it’s a he?” I asked, intrigued.

“…Pardon?”

“It could be a ‘she’. Shouldn’t you play the pronoun game?”

Silence. Throat clear.

Tough crowd.

“Can you put him in a box?”

I grinned. “A pink one, or a blue one?

Pause. “Or a crate?”

“You mean a magpie casket, of sorts?”

Exasperated sigh. “Don’t you have anything to put him in?”

I glanced around my room, not overjoyed at the thought of sharing my battered blue suitcase with a potentially infectious bird. “Not really.”

“Can you wrap it in a towel, then?”

I looked at my washing basket. I really like those towels… “Um,” I began.

“You need to do something to keep it comfortable until tomorrow morning when we can send someone out-”

“Tomorrow morning? It’s probably going to be dead by then.”

“That’s why I’ve instructed them to give you a call before they come.”

Five minutes, two tea-towels and a battered mop bucket of unknown origin later, I was back downstairs. The bird was still breathing, completely motionless, and about to be put in a bucket that probably had residues of spew, semen and regret in it. Happy times. I apologised to Patient Zero in advance, picked up the tea-towel, and dithered, flapping my hands uselessly at the wrists.

I didn’t want to touch it.

I’d never picked up a sick bird.

…or a healthy one.

Or a newborn baby, come to think of it, and one seemed to be as unenticing as the other.

I scratched my jaw. Looked around. Put down the tea-towel. Crouched. Stood. Put a hand on my hip. Exhaled. Frowned. Stepped forward. Stepped back. Tapped my foot. Did the Hokey Pokey, and eventually threw the tea-towel back down on the bird, picking it up gently, wincing, relaxing when it didn’t move in my hands, and carefully laying it in the bucket.

Now what to do with it? I couldn’t put it inside- what if it died in the middle of the night? My neighbours would have to blithely troupe past a bucket filled with rotting bird (or ‘foul fowl’- HA!). The floors would be painted with acidic oceans of regurgitated coffee. And there was no way I was taking it upstairs to my flat. What if it perked up in the middle of the night only to peck my eyes out in a hilarious, Hitchcockian display of misplaced vengeance? Plus, having it up there meant that I could utter the phrase “I’ve shared my living space with a dying bird more recently than a healthy human male” without a trace of irony. No thanks.

Besides, there was no way it was going to last the night. I had done little more than indulge in some volunteer magpie palliative care. I didn’t have any sub-cut morphine to share, but I did have enough ammunition for a half-hearted blog post where the phrase “kick the bucket” could be worked in. So- not a total waste of time.

The following morning the rain woke me and, frightened that I had committed an innocent bird to slowly drown in a watery bucket of death like some ornithological Ivan Milat, I headed downstairs.

The damn thing was still alive.

Furthermore, at some point during the night he had been moved inside, transferred to a coloured blanket and- judging by the empty vial of Water For Injections beside him- nursed with small sips of sterilised fluid.

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He was wrapped like a baby, looking as blankly content as a sick bird could manage.

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Now, I’m not saying that this was excessive, but he certainly wouldn’t have received that level of care in the accommodation blocks down the street, and I began to wonder if there was a level of cunning in his choice to crash land where thirteen cooing, nurturing, Florence Nightingale types happened to live.

WIRES rang, informing me that they would be out at some point during the day, so I had my feathered patient until then. I found myself wandering up and down the steps, peeling back the blanket, checking on him like a fretting mother. As morning turned into afternoon, I reasoned that Patient Zero was getting closer and closer to travelling towards the big aviary in the sky, so I made some phone calls, eventually finding a bird hospice- Featherdale Wildlife Park. I spoke to The Birdman of Featherdale, actually using the phrase “I don’t think he’s going to make it” several times during the conversation. He chuckled, validated my completely misplaced feelings of affection for the bird, and told me to bring it down.

On the way, I indulged my penchant for the theatrical, slapping the steering wheel in impatience despite the complete lack of traffic on the road and indulging in a Turner and Hooch-style dialogue: “Don’t you die on me, man, don’t you die…just hold on…”

In response, the bird was silent, giving my awkward brand of humor a thoroughly unimpressed gaze:

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Still better conversation than my ex-boyfriend. Boom tish.

At Featherdale I learnt that I hadn’t saved a magpie at all. It was a Currawong. Apparently this is an easy mistake to make if you are either a) ignorant, or b) too entitled to educate yourself on the nuances of native Australian fauna, you spoiled, selfish little Sydneysider.

Still better conversation than my ex-boyfriend. Boom tish.

My Currawong friend was diagnosed with neurological damage. Together, The Birdman of Featherdale and I deduced that it had flown, headfirst, into the building, dropped like airplane flotsam from the sky and laid, twitching, on the ground. Here, a gaggle of ovulating empaths decided to bundle it up like a baby doll and play Mrs Doolittle.

The Birdman informed me that the level of neurological damage the bird had suffered meant that it couldn’t stand up.

In other words, I had driven a quadriplegic bird to a wildlife park on my day off.

The Birdman would see how it fared overnight, but if it was doing no better by tomorrow, it would be euthanised.

My shoulders slumped. The morning had been an exercise in futility. My new friend was ultimately going to be gassed like a holocaust victim before being hurled into an industrial bin out back, laying beside soiled nappies and half eaten Kids Club combo meals. The apartment blocks that I live in have a racial demographic that I affectionately call “Little Calcutta”, why couldn’t they contain an avian ‘Mother Theresa of Westmead’ who could work a miracle on a brain dead Currawong of unknown gender?

I shrugged. “At least he’s not starving to death in the rain.”

“If we can save him we will, but we won’t know until tomorrow.” He laid his hand on my shoulder. “You did the right thing, you know.”

Moments like this I curse the fact that I can’t keep a poker face. “It was just a dumb bird,” I pouted, toeing the ground like a petulant teenager, “As if I’d even care…”

He gave me a pointed look, his hand still on my shoulder. “I think you do care, CC. I think you do.”

Okay, so that part never happened.

An hour after I got back, I received a text message. Someone wanted to test drive my car. Half an hour later, I received another. The following day, another two.

I must have generated some good karma somewhere.

Skeptics will call that an Idea of Reference.

Airy fairy types will call it Synchronicity.

Quantum physicists will quibble that The Law of Attraction was a rad theory before Rhonda Byrne bastardised it in The Secret.

I just call it a cute way to kick the bucket on a blog post.

The Definition of Insanity…

4 Jun

…is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

An incident recently happened, an incident that culminated in an email that is too hilarious not to post and poke fun of. This is what happens when you sexually reject an egomaniacal, arrogant, narcissistic, delusional depressive with a penchant for the theatrical. I received this from an ex-boyfriend that has been repeatedly pestering me for sex. I told him no on five separate occasions, got the shits, and finally emailed him and told him to leave me the fuck alone. He went crying to a mutual friend, received no sympathy, told said friend to “fuck off”, and then sent me this. I’ve added my own comments in bold.

No. That’s unfair. To say all that & expect me not to contact you again. [Translation: you touched a nerve with your last email] Please read this whole thing at least.

Then you’ll never hear from me again.

Yes, I am capable of realising when I act like a cunt, & I do have insight. In fact, I’m going to be more honest than I’ve ever been, & I might be a bit of a cunt now, because that last email you sent me was pretty cunty really. I hope I can chalk it up to you quitting smoking or something. [Oh, for goodness’ sake- and he says that he has ‘insight’? Why not just ask if I’m on the rag and throw a block of chocolate at me?] Besides what have I got to loose [pointing out grammatical errors would probably be petty] that I haven’t lost already?

Yes I wanted to fuck you, actually I wanted to go down on you for a good while. [his ‘good while’ equates to two minutes of real time] Make little explosions in your brain. [I think it’s about time that someone explained the female orgasm to this boy] I inadvertently attempted to manipulate you. I thought you might still have a spark for me somewhere [despite constantly hearing otherwise] I thought you might want to just throw caution to the wind, play with a little fire, get drunk and fuck & not worry about all the relationship shit. [Translation: ‘No’ doesn’t actually mean ‘no’. ‘No’ means ‘Get her drunk and try’] I guess I thought if I could get you into bed you might feel something for me again. That’s all. Your right. [grammar! …sorry] I don’t see you so much as a “friend”, as I do an “ex-girlfriend”. I’m not sure at which point the “ex-girl” part was cut out of the equation. I think that’s pretty crucial. The reality is we have a history, as much as you seem to want to forget all about it all. [Golly, I wonder why?]

It’s not like I planned it out, to wait ‘till you were “drunk & trapped”, hell, I felt drunk and trapped because I’m a man and I have instincts and desires [Translation: having a dick is a curse] and a passion for you that goes beyond the superficial, despite what you like to believe about me. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Love + Testicles = Sexual Desire. [Translation: Having a dick is a curse. A curse, I tell you!] Men and women are built differently. Deal with it. Actually, Testicles = Sexual Desire, [Translation: So there! It’s not my fault. It’s my dick’s fault] but Love helps when it comes to monogamy.

I didn’t accuse you of leading me on purposefully. I noticed elements of body language [Translation: I clutched at straws] from you that I took as purely bio-chemical reactions to someone who used to have sex with you on a regular basis, me, remember? I guess you wish you never did. That sucks. I think I was a bit average in bed back in those days, a little mechanical maybe. I guess my ego does want to conquer that particular mountain again. My dick’s bigger than back then you know? [How To Get Women 101: Tell them, in a none-too-subtle way, that your penis has magically grown] Ah, *chuckle*. What a charmer I am. Just like you. My grandmother says you’re not very ladylike you know. Firing those curse words at me. [But writing a lady an email with seven ‘cunts’ in it is perfectly acceptable] Sorry, but I have no one else to talk to now since Glen [a mutual friend] has sided with you, which is to be expected, I’m pretty sure he’s into you as much as I am. I just push through the facade. No wonder I’m so unpopular with the both of you. [Yes, your whimsical honesty is the only reason you are unpopular.]

I don’t believe you ever said “I don’t want to fuck you”, [then you, my friend, weren’t paying attention] at least not in those words [see previous point]. So your use of quotations there is spurious. [something tells me that he is proud of this use of ‘spurious’] You said you didn’t want to “use me”. You said you didn’t want to “hurt me”. You said you don’t want “a relationship”. But you never said you didn’t want to fuck me. That’s exactly what I was clarifying that night. & as soon as I did, gave it my best shot. I went back to watching the movie right? Didn’t press that issue at all [except for the four previous times the issue was pressed until it bled] once I understood where the boundaries were. Yeah, that’s actually what really happened [No. It wasn’t.]. Then you spent the night stewing, I spent my night bawling into my pillow so you wouldn’t hear me. Sure, that’s a fella with only one thing on his mind. You wouldn’t believe the amount of hours my sorry ass has spent crying over you in my life. [Translation: you need to feel really bad about the fact that you refuse to fuck me. Bitch. Prick tease. Lesbian!]

As far as “wasting an hour of your life guilting you”, that’s just arrogant. At first you thought I was calling you a slut, so I don’t know if that’s your conscience talking, [Translation: I wont call you a slut, but I will insinuate it because you are a bit of a slut] when I was actually saying the contrary. & I don’t know how sleeping with an ex-boyfriend would make you slut by anyone’s standards. It was only a waste of an hour for you, because only I got something out of it. That’s not very friendly of you. [Translation: Because it’s ALL. ABOUT. ME. How dare you take the focus off my needs and wants for a second?] A waste is when nobody gets nothing. [Says the boy who went to bed with a wet pillow and a dry willy] It would’ve been charitable of you to have that talk, [Charitable? Charitable. Am I The Patron Saint of Pity Sex?] if you didn’t carry on about it as if I pulled my cock out and stuck it in your face. That would equate to a lack of respect. [‘You never waved your cock in my face?’ Wow. What a prince. It’s good to see boundaries somewhere.]

I really don’t see how my wanting to be intimate with you, proves that I don’t enjoy your company. That is a fundamental flaw in your argument, you seem to think men don’t have emotions or something. Well this man does ok? A copious fucking amount actually. If you can’t tell that I’m a sensitive guy, maybe it’s because you’re insensitive to me. That sounds about right. [Translation: I just gave myself a Joygasm with how clever that sounded] Like I said, caring and sex aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s just a difficult thing for a man to compartmentalise, I think it’s definitely related to having fucked you in the past. At least I never fucked you over, (‘cept over the kitchen bench that time, that was awesome…) […then why do I have absolutely no recollection of it happening?] Am I being too facetious? I think it’s because I’ve upped my meds. Maybe you should try it? [Translation: any woman who doesn’t want to fuck me is crazy and therefore in need of medicating] It’s a chemical thing, the lust I mean. Tricky to get around with anything but sheer willpower [No. It’s not. You just put your grown up pants on and DEAL WITH IT as an ADULT] and a clear understanding of the lines you have set. Which involves talking about it, not having to pretend like I’m a eunuch. [I think that your inability to procreate would indeed be a blessing for the human race.]

“No interest in being your friend and no regard for you as a person.” Well that’s just false. I held you in high regard until you ripped me a new one. [Translation: Bad CC! That’s a very bad CC! You don’t bruise fragile egos!] I’ve spent the last 6 months telling you how much I care for you, respect your intelligence, your cultural learning, independence, attitude etc. [Translation: See? You’re more than just a walking, talking vagina] and how much I want to be there for you. Talk about a waste of time, [Translation: I’ve spent hours trying to prise your knees apart and I get nothing. Nothing. Not even a whiff. Lesbian.] but it’s alright when you’re getting your ego stroked right? Never mind I’ve been wearing my heart on my sleeve. I have an interest in being around you, but really it’s that added dilemma of making what my balls want strictly out of bounds. Castration anxiety. [‘Castration anxiety’? …shouldn’t it be ‘The Blue-Balled Blues’?] It’s an internal conflict. Have I made you laugh yet or are you still frowning at the screen? Whatever.

Alison? [His ex-girlfriend who he is casually fucking] You really don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not as black and white as you want to make it. Her & I have an understanding, & I’ve spent plenty of time making sure she is alright. [I am assuming that this takes place in the three minutes that peel by before she is unceremoniously ejected from his bed: ‘Are you okay? Yes? Good. …Then why are you still here?’] I’ve had a lot of CALM conversations with her about it, which is a courtesy you no longer extend. [Gee, I wonder why?] I never led her on, I’ve been honest with her from the start that it was purely casual sex. I’ve never said anything nasty about her. Anything I’ve said to you, I’ve said to her face. [So you have said something nasty…] But you probably think that makes me a cunt. [Yep.] I think it makes me honest. Semantics really. I’ve basically done to her what you did to me back in the day, [Translation: you have the right to treat someone like shit if your heart was broken nine years ago] so it’s kind of funny that you’re getting angry at me about it and defending her, when you don’t know her from a bar of soap. [True. But you did say that she told you that she was in love with you and having casual sex with you was painful for her…] She’s made her feelings “abundantly clear”? Actually she has said she doesn’t know what she wants. [Translation: Therefore, I am free to exploit her] So I don’t know where you’re getting these facts from, except from your own aggravated overly-feminist delusions about what a lecherous villain of a man you think I am.

Is it because I licked your asshole that time? I thought that was a true show of commitment… (I’m just joking okay.) [A paragraph that was nearly edited for the sheer fact that reading it actually makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit.]

So, as you’ve told me twice [five times, actually], I won’t contact you again. After this. Third [Sixth] times a charm. If I pissed you off the other night, this email might well make you homicidal. [Translation: Have I pushed enough buttons for a response yet? Please? Anything- call me a cunt again, I don’t care…just…pay…attention to me!] Sorry. You really need to try & relax & calm down more, for the sake of your nursing at least, if you don’t want to become that cold-hearted, detached and angry [(Lesbian)] woman.

My idea is that true friends can be honest with each other. [Translation: Except when the honesty involves something I don’t particularly want to hear] In order for ex-partners to be friends there needs to be a level of emotional maturity which you’re not really giving me. I guess you could say the same about me. I’ve been working on it. But it requires a bit of give and take from both sides. [Translation: You give me eons of time to talk about my feelings like a hormonal teenage girl and I…take that time.]

You (& Glen) act like you being my friend is some kind of noble gesture on your part, but being around you for me, is like being run through an emotional meat-grinder. You left me. [(Bitch. Lesbian!)] So Ultimately, maybe I pushed things too far on purpose. I can’t cope with you keeping me at arms length constantly. [Translation: Let me fuck you. Please?] If you can’t understand or sympathise with that, then you’re not truly my friend. You’re the same victim-playing neurotic that you were back in the day. [How To Get Women 102: if you can’t harass her into bed you can always try to insult her, maybe it will break her confidence down low enough to fuck you] So I guess some things don’t change. I’m still the “self-centred narcissist” (I’m not sure how that syncs up with my anxiety disorder, maybe it’s a defence against the massive shame and self-doubt I’ve had in the intervening years since you dumped me? Not to mention the molestation & abandonment issues, there I go being the victim), and you’re still the feminist that is convinced I’m a bastard because I like sex, and have minimal notions of romance. I guess that makes me callous to a degree, (scars will do that). [AND I’M PLAYING THE VICTIM?!] I like sci-fi, not chick flicks y’know? [When all else fails, go with a stereotype.] I’ve tried, with the cooking you dinner and such. I’ve never figured out what you wanted in that regard. You never told me. You’ve always expected me to be a mindreader. [With some of the barbed comments that have flown through my head whilst in your company, I’m quietly thankful that you aren’t a mind reader.] Hell, I thought you hated the conventional notion of marriage as much as I did back then. Then look what happened. [Yeah, I got divorced. That’ll teach me.]

Actually, it’s not entirely me. You have a double-standard. You can’t carry on blogging about booty calls, writing about dripping vagina’s [Dripping vaginas?! When have I written about dripping vaginas?! Is my slutty, smutty alter ego updating my blog while I sleep?] & fat naked crazy women, getting into all kinds of extreme media, then turn around and expect a man to treat you as a sensitive romantic. [can somebody give this boy a dictionary with the words ‘persona’, ‘facade’ and ‘self defence mechanism’ highlighted, please?] You send the message that you’re just like one of the fellas, rough and tumble, up for it, bit of a tomboy, then when you get treated like that, [Ha! He admitted it!] you cry foul and pull out the feminist handbook. [Damn, I left my well-thumbed copy of Feminism for Dummies at his house…what on earth am I going to use to cock-block men with now?] You can’t have your cake and eat it too in that respect. If you have the right to be completely crude, then so do I, and any other man you’re with. If you want to be treated like a lady, than you have to act like one. Then I would do my best to be a gentleman and an old-fashioned romantic. That’s where the mixed messages come in for me. [Ah, I see. So you badgering me for a root like a piece of meat is all my fault. Okay, cool. Now I know. I will do my best to act like a demure Betty Draper in the future to stop anything like this happening again.] Maybe I was just raised differently. I always tried to do the right thing by you. Closed relationship? Open relationship? Casual Sex? Rough Sex?! (That never happened, not sure if you’re into that shit either, I’m not really). None of the above? Ok well shit. My bad. Maybe you should have never gotten with me in the first place. Because you’ve done a bang-up job of messing with my head ever since. [(you hideous, horrible, hard to bed lesbian wench)] I never needed any help with that.

It would be good if we could make something work, but, such is life. Maybe do some soul-searching yourself? I’ve admitted I’m fallible. [Have you? Where? All I read was justifications] Realise, that you have again spitefully attacked, & run away from, a guy who would actually do anything to make you happy. Including letting you go. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. That’s real love. [is that what love is? Harassing someone, guilting them, manipulating them and, when all else fails, writing them an offensive and insulting email. Shit. I’ve been doing the whole “love” thing wrong, then.] I want you to be happy even if that means I’m out of the picture. Have a nice life CC. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to figure you out, & I’ll never forget you. [(Lesbian.)]

-Anthony

[Final Translation: You asked me to leave you alone but your words stuck in my head like little, emotion-filled bullets of unfairness; so I had to stew for twenty four hours, binge-read your blog, cry, jerk off, eat a pizza, self medicate with several hundred beers, then fire this email at you. I will leave you alone. However, I will also periodically stalk Chattering Cat and feel indignant if you ever dare to ride a pole that isn’t attached to me.]

I’m in two minds about this- the person who wrote this wants a reaction from me, so posting this could be playing right into his hands. The adult thing would be to smile, delete and block him from all forms of communication. But, that’s boring. And, he is so ridiculous in this email- puffed up with his own sense of grandiosity like some ridiculous, oversexed flamingo- that I have to shred him.

A bit of back story is required to put this in context. Anthony and I were together when I was 21. I left him. In a bad, immature, slightly bitchy way. I married someone else. It didn’t work out. Anthony contacted me again when I was first divorced, wanting to be friends. I agreed. He wanted to catch up with me, to talk about what transpired between us years ago, to clear the air. I agreed. He put the hard word on me to take him back. I told him that I was just out of a marriage and he had a girlfriend. He said that he would leave his girlfriend, Alison, for me. I politely said no. A few weeks later we caught up again. He put the hard word on me again. I said no, politely but firmly. A few weeks later he messaged me. He and Alison had just broken up, did I want to hang out with him? Sure, he was keeping a casual sex relationship up with her, but that didn’t matter…did I want to fuck him now? After this, there were two more times where he either rang or bailed me up and badgered me into giving him another shot. My patience wore thin. I wound up saying “I want to be friends but do not want to fuck you and that isn’t going to change”. His reply was a wounded, “…that’s harsh.” I went on to say that I was a patient woman, but constantly bringing this up was wearing my patience thin and if he wanted to be my friend he should accept my offer of friendship and nothing else. He agreed.

I did want to be his friend because I enjoyed his company and I was incredibly sympathetic to how he felt. I know the feeling- liking someone that you know you can’t have. Anybody who is friends with the opposite sex knows how that feels. It’s hard, it’s painful and it sucks but it can be done. You can acknowledge your feelings without acting on them. I have done it myself. Recently, in fact. So when he repeatedly brought up the possibility of us tumbling into bed together, I told myself to be patient, that it’s not easy to have feelings for a friend.

Friday night, I went over to his house. We had a few drinks and watched a movie. At 1am, when I was too drunk to drive myself home, he put the hard word on me again. Badly. Relentlessly. He told me that I was leading him on by hanging out with him. He insinuated that I was easy: he didn’t understand how I’d fuck all these other men but not him (what other men? I’d like to meet these imaginary fellas. I do hope that they are nice guys, I’d like to think my promiscuous alter-ego is with someone who treats her well). It got so bad that I remember thinking ‘I’m drunk, not drunk enough to kill someone if I got into my car and drove home…but I would certainly lose my licence if I got pulled over…Do I really need a licence?’ I told him no- again– went to bed and left early the next morning without saying goodbye. He sent me an angry text message. I ignored it. He rang me several times. I ignored him. He emailed me. I told him to stop contacting me. He put it back on me: ‘You are the one who rudely left without saying goodbye and haven’t bothered responding to me. I’m trying to see how I’m the bad guy?’ Suitably agitated, I let him have it. I told him that his behaviour was reprehensible, I called him a self-centred narcissist and asked him to stop contacting me because I now had zero interest in being his friend. He stewed, boiled over, and emailed.

And, after telling me that he would leave me alone, he contacted me on Twitter.

“I’m the one that’s fucked up?! Just because I’m looking deep into your birth canal for four quarters…”

24 Mar

I’ve started taking dance classes.

A particular type of dance. Which involves a particular type of prop that one may or may not spin around.

Every Monday night I join a troupe of twenty other brunettes wearing baggy T-shirts and bashful grins at Beginners Pole Fitness.

Now, I don’t have daddy issues, I got plenty of hugs growing up, and I paid attention in school. Stripper stereotypes aside, I imagine that any feminist reading this post now is clucking about objectification of women and the male gaze. Hush. Feminism gave me the choice to spin on a pole in bike shorts and a singlet while Sexyback plays in the background, and I thank you not to judge. Go back to tittering over the antics of Miley Cyrus and her freakishly long tongue. Or, go back to pursing your lips and not having any sex. My boobs and my vagina remain covered at all times. I am empowered. Pole dancing is a totally valid form of cardio, too. Just like cheerleading. Pole dancers are athletes. Athletes with a particular skill set that is impossible to take seriously.

To be honest, I had wanted to learn how to pole dance since my best friend lent me her Carmen Electra aerobic striptease DVDs, a move which ultimately resulted in me performing several clumsy and inebriated lap dances for my ex-husband, Queens of the Stone Age thumping though the speakers with a slinky seduction that I could never quite pull off.

When organising my wedding, I asked the wedding coordinator if the hotel room had a CD player in it.
It could be arranged.
The conversation could have stopped there. It should have stopped there. Unfortunately, CC-Land is prone to the odd storm of verbal diahorrea.
“Oh that’s good,” I babbled. “I’ve bought a corset and I’m going to give my husband a lap dance on the wedding night.”
I wasn’t sure what this piece of information was meant to accomplish. Perhaps I thought that whores got discounts on hotel rooms.
There was five seconds of silence which I gather was her swallowing the bile that had risen in her throat.
“Oh. Um. That’s great.” A forced laugh echoed down the line. “Is there, ah, anything else you need?”
“I don’t suppose you could help me lace the corset up?”
No, I never said that. I realised my overshare immediately and bit a knuckle in shame. I imagined she had to rub the flesh off her temples before the image of a clumsy brunette with a big bum grinding before a lanky, inebriated groom in a poorly lit hotel room was erased. Perhaps I should have asked where the best location for a surreptitious mid-reception blow-job was. Or, I could have told her to make sure the room also contained a butt plug, a large jar of Nutella and some amyl nitrate. You know, just to thoroughly freak her out and send her dashing back to a boring suburban call centre that does not involve conversations with jabbering dickheads who give TMI’s about their wedding night antics.

Anyway, enough of that.

Tomorrow I’m changing my name to Destyni, gluing on some acrylic nails, recklessly dousing myself with shimmering clouds of body glitter, and unleashing my inner trollop.

Look, there’s every chance I am going to get sick of nursing one day. There has been more than one occasion that I have strolled onto the ward, feeling thoroughly burnt out and burdened, only to be immediately abused by a toothless ice-junkie. Times like this I find myself absently thinking, Fuck this, I’m becoming a stripper. I won’t be able to work in mental health forever; well, not without winding up on the other side of the glass, having been unceremoniously stripped of my keys. I may as well learn a valuable skill before arthritis and cellulite renders me unable to execute a decent angel spin. Pole dancing beats learning how to type. I can retire early and pay for everything in small denomination bills. I’m only doing it until my acting career takes off, anyway.

Or, maybe this is a cunning stunt. We all know that the quickest way to Charlie Sheen’s heart involves a pair of clear heels and a snowstorm of cocaine. I can spin my way to Vegas and then I am only one black eye and a drunken boot down the stairs away from sheening my way into a large sum of hush-money via a strategic blackmail manoeuvre involving a nanny cam, a midget and the National Enquirer. I’m opportunistic. And, as my nan often reminded me, sitting on a gold mine.

Do we have enough justifications? Yes? Let’s begin.

There is a definite schism between my expectations and reality as I nervously await my first class. I’m expecting that I will swan around with an agility and poise that puts the other beginners to shame. My teacher will call me a natural. She’s never seen a girl so at home on the golden rod before. My wild, unbrushed hair will mean I bear a striking resemblance to a gracefully ageing Jennifer Beals. This will pique the interest of the well built Scandinavian fireman who happens to be loitering across the room in between dashing heroically into burning buildings to save women and children. We will lock eyes. It will smoulder. And I will spend my days thereafter twirling like a music box ballerina around a fireman pole while he does one handed dead lifts and solves world hunger.

The class started and I began to wonder if I looked like an elephant from Fantasia. One with cerebral palsy. My body rolls looked like I was rebuffing the scaly penis of a degenerate in a trench coat before being punched in the uterus by a midget.

I’ll pause and let you picture that.

My drops were often accompanied by the screeching sound of flesh sliding down metal-the erotic version of fingernails down a blackboard- and I dismounted my spins like a car crash victim being violently flung through a windscreen- complete with high pitched keening sounds of terror.

To top it off, the instructor is an impossibly gorgeous blonde, a compact pocket-rocket full of perky enthusiasm who, I’m fairly certain, can’t count beyond, “five, six, seven, EIGHT, come on girls!” She has the lithe grace of Sylvie Guillem teamed with a freakish Herculean strength. I watched helplessly as she demonstrated a firemans sit with ease, trying and failing several times myself before finally hiking up my 3/4 leggins and using friction and well versed thigh muscles to squeeze and cling to the pole, my eyes alight with fear and inferiority. “That’s fantastic, CC!” she exclaimed through pouty red lips. “Now we just have to SPIN!” and, like proud mother watching her child on a roundabout in the playground, she twirled me with an alarming velocity that caused the room to revolve in a nauseating blur of mirrors, awkwardness and hot pants. I’d like to believe that I alighted this spin with the ethereal grace of a Victoria’s Secret angel floating to earth.

But I’m a realist.

I looked more like Lucifer unceremoniously crashing from the heavens, all horned indignation and red ass cheeks.

Despite this, and despite the collection of blotchy bruises I now have on my legs, I am completely addicted.

Pole dancing and bruised knees. Can this post get any more suggestive?

He’s cute like a frog.

4 Mar

I do a lot of stupid shit when I’m drunk.

A few months ago I placed a restriction on myself: it’s fine to get mildly tiddled with friends and make devastatingly clever and funny insights about human nature at achingly hip bars that none of us have any business being in, but it’s not okay to be alone and drunk, in ones tiny-inner-city-flat. I have learnt that the latter ultimately leads to me tearfully caterwauling from one ridiculous concern to the next with maudlin 80’s pop music playing in the background.

Yesterday though, I had a “fuck this, I’m sad and I’m going to get drunk” moment. It felt good to relinquish my vice like control freak grip for an evening. Getting drunk alone seems to hedge the sticky line between “social 30-something” and “burgeoning alcoholic” in my mind. Drinking alone makes me feel shameful, as if I am spending hours furiously masturbating to internet pornography: it’s certainly a way to pass the time but in the end you just wind up naked from the waist down with the distinct impression that you are wasting your life.

Marieke Hardy has pointed out, “Drinking alone can be infinitely preferable to drinking with other people. For one thing, you don’t have to tolerate the company of other drunks.” So with that endorsement I took a deep breath and prepared to be naughty for a night.

Two bottles of average red wine later, I had a headache, a tiny-inner-city-flat in various degrees of chaos, a troubling mobile phone call history, a pink bra hanging precariously from the television, several blank spots in my memory, a small jar of glucosamine powder for animals, and a large chunk of material for a self deprecating blog post.

And, I would like to apologise to Charlie, David, Leeroy, Duane, Ben, Andy, and the person whose name I cannot remember who is simply saved in my phone as “Mr Awesome.”

Drunk Dialling

Between the hours of one and two on a rainy Tuesday morning, I thought that prank calling people would be “hilarious” rather than “fucking irritating”. I’d been trawling through my phone when I discovered that I still had the telephone numbers of men collected during my time on an internet dating site. Most of these blokes I had never met, I usually offered my mobile phone number in an offhand manner when they were sufficiently intriguing in email form and I couldn’t be bothered continuously logging in to respond. These fellows were saved as some variation of “Ben – POF”, and with their dating profile picture added so I could keep tenuous track of them. I had not conversed with any of these lads in months, to be honest I have no idea why their numbers were still in my phone.

Unless it was to provide 67 minutes worth of entertainment to a lonely, intoxicated, thirty-something who exists in a worrying state of arrested development.

I have a Prank Call app on my phone, a relic from my relationship with my ex which would see us waste oceans of time harassing our friends and falling into fits of thigh-slapping glee when they eventually spewed strings of profane words uttered in the rabidly pressured speech of the truly pissed off.  We discovered that, much like the SpeakEasy Text-to-Speech! app, Pranksterz! provided 87 minutes worth of entertainment to two bored, intoxicated twenty-something’s who existed in a worrying state of arrested development.

My first victim was Andy, then Ben, Charlie, and I’m sure you can gather the rest. Some answered their phone, some of them will undoubtedly discover baffling voicemails where a robotic-sounding Chinaman informed them that their food was ready at 1am and would they please get out of bed and come to the store and pick it up?

When I got to David, all hell broke loose.

David was the only one on the list whom I had actually met. He was a fellow that I shagged from Plenty of Fish who became progressively nastier when I suggested that I didn’t want to take our union further, ultimately leading to a three day long text war of Dynasty proportions at which point I shrilly threatened to “ruin him”.

David was called at 1:13am, 1:21am, 1:22am, 1:22am, and at 1:23am. At 1:37am, when an intoxicated thirty-something in a worrying state of arrested development got bored of using her iPhone app, David had a three minute conversation with a human being. Named Mindy. Who explained in badly accented California-girl English that the middle of the night was her chosen time to ring past sexual partners and inform them that she had Chlamydia. And, ergo, there was a small chance that they had Chlamydia, too.

At 1:41am David was reminded that hanging up on Mindy wasn’t nice. Mindy was merely showing neighbourly concern about the sexual health of David and his future partners. Unfortunately, David did not show an appropriate level of appreciation.

At 1:50am, Mindy was briefly crushed when David called her a “crazy cunt” (which sounds like a chain of discount stores hawked in late night infomercials by a red-eyed John Singleton). David insisted that he had no idea who Mindy was and that he had “a very clean cock”. Recovering quickly, Mindy referenced the overweight Staffordshire terrier that David frequently locked in the laundry when entertaining his lady friends, proving that they had indeed shared a tawdry evening together.

Upon hearing this, David fell silent and uttered an audible gulp. His thoughts seemed to ring loudly through the crackling air: How did she know about my dog? Maybe I have fucked this bird. Oh god. Maybe I have Chlamydia. Shit. Shit. SHIT!

Unfortunately, this beautiful prank was ruined when Mindy gave a loud burp, collapsed into giggles and disappeared in a telephonic beep, never to be heard from again.

Denes Glucosamine

The white jar sat innocently on the couch. I had no idea where it came from. Upon inspection, I discovered that it was Denes Powder, a “green lipped mussel and glucosamine formula for cats and dogs”. Having no pets, I was mildly confused. There were two selfies in my phone- one of me holding a parcel, one of me holding the powder. Further investigation unearthed parcel wrapping in the bin, which suggested that at some point during the night I had decided to sneak down to the mailbox and steal my neighbours mail, ostensibly hoping that the small jar-like shape in the package was some exotic brand of cosmetic. I can only imagine that I had an inebriated internal conversation, where I managed to convince myself that if the package hadn’t been collected by 11.30pm, she obviously didn’t want it and by stealing it I was actually doing all of the other residents of the complex a service by ensuring that small packages were not left on top of the communal mailbox.

I left my keys hanging in the front door, too. A karmic invitation for burglars to let themselves into my house while I snored like a drooling pirate fuckwit with my inexpensive bounty scattered at my feet.

There is red lipstick…on everything

I woke up on the couch with red lipstick smeared on my arm, my face and my cushions, an empty wine glass sitting upturned at my feet, the crumbs of the midnight ham and cheese toastie spread over both my bosom and the kitchen floor. A small square of gluten-free bread sat forlornly on the bench, half-moon bite mark taken out of it, a determined trail of ants marching to and fro from a small crack above my kitchen cupboard. At some point in the evening, I had also made myself an espresso and managed to paint the kitchen cupboards with abstract art using only the finest organic Columbian coffee grounds.

I have no idea how or why there is now a harlot coloured lipstick print on the E key of my laptop. Perhaps I fell in love with an E, or an Edward, or Bob Ellis. The likely explanation is that I have ceased typing, mid sentence, after spontaneously collapsing, gracelessly faceplanting my laptop in the process.

To be honest I’m not even sure why I donned red lipstick to throw myself around my apartment, alone, on a Monday night.

The ever present iPhone

My Google history usually provides an interesting insight into the evening: “hybristophilia”, “Placebo Loud Like Love video clip”, “is Scarlett Johansson a whore”, “Denes glucosamine human consumption”, “is Denes only for animal consumption”, “can I give Denes to a human”, “will I die if I eat Denes powder”, and “how do you spell schaudenfreude”.

Earlier in the evening I had received a text from a fellow writer that I have been on a few dates with. I recall receiving the message at about 8.30pm but, with a flow of words pouring out of me like vomit and a bottle of red wine under my belt already, I had decided against replying, choosing instead to bash away at my laptop like a frustrated Mozart. However, at some point during the night I had picked up my phone and composed a verbose and mistyped SMS- involving entirely too many emoticons for anybody over the age of seventeen to use- which endeavoured to inform him that I found his thick framed hipster glasses “ironically dreamy” and that, despite the fact he is only my height and I would really prefer it if he could find a way to stretch his physique “only about half a foot or so, I’m not picky”, I would really enjoy another date with him if he would be “amenable to the idea” because he is “cute like a frog”.

Fuck. A. Duck.

Thankfully, I never sent it. And, thankfully, he doesn’t read my TMI blog, because I seriously doubt that I would receive much more than the awkward suggestion of alcoholics anonymous if I had not blacked out before hitting send.

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