Little thought, lazy content and a missed target

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My new earrings

 

Journalism – death by a thousand blogs

I’ve noticed some annoying trends on the type of websites keen young interns post articles on in a bid to land a ‘proper’ job in journalism.

One of these is “Thought Catalog” whose content, whilst trivial, links to invidious right-wing conservatism, the special kind portrayed in Fox News.

This sort of thing isn’t my usual reading material, I’ve gone way beyond “20 things not to say on a first date”, although it strikes me that an awful lot of these sites love, just love, “lists”.

Lists, lists and more lists

“Lists” are a lazy thing to write and brain pap to read. They tend to confirm the reader’s limited view of the world and the ‘writer” doesn’t do much “writing”. Unsurprising, then, that they are churned out like grisly bargain sausages, no meat and all gizzard; which brings me to the reason why I discovered “Thought Catalog”.

A young misogynist writes

One of my Twitter contacts posted : “13 Things a Woman Can Do To Be More Attractive to a Man” – renaming it “13 Ways To Attract A Misogynist” – which got my attention. So I read it. The link is here:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/john-smith/2014/06/13-things-a-woman-can-do-to-be-more-attractive-to-men/

Now that you’re back and, perhaps like me, are reeling a bit then trying to convince yourself it’s a clever piece of satire, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not.

If you haven’t already, take a peek at the comments, you’ll find they are even worse. Yes, there are people who think like that roaming the earth in 2014 AD.

If we look at this from the point of view that it is developed under the shadow of an unholy conservative agenda, not only is it more sinister, but it also starts to make sense.

Who is John Smith?

I’ve tried to discover more about the “author” (I’m using that term as if it takes an “author” to write the safety warning on a bottle of toilet cleaner) and, it appears, that “John Smith” is a, not very original, pseudonym.

I can imagine a pen portrait if him very easily, though, as his type abound on the interweb posing as “journalists” as does his equally talent-free female counterpart.

He’s in his twenties. His mother works. She may even have a career. This has blighted little Johnnie, in so far that he fears that female attention is somewhat diffident, distracted and scarce. Life has since confirmed this.

Feminism has ruined a young boy’s life

Johnnie sees “Feminism” as this big bogey woman who has blighted his life.

“Feminism” allowed the girls at school to study with and outperform the boys.

Feminism created female confidence and independence which enabled the girls to be more selective about the men they dated.

It also allowed men to be their friends, on an equal basis. The girl’s could hold their own, so to speak.

Feminism educated these girls about their bodies and enabled them to express their sexuality, even allowing care-free or ‘predatory’ behaviour.

This all proved too much for little “Johnnie” and his ilk. They were the “beta boys” left behind. The wallflower wilting at the prom.

Subsequently, he has never forgiven womankind. Nor have men like him (see comments).

Johnnie is naive enough to think that all this female behaviour,that reinforces his deep-seated inadequacy, is a recent phenomenon.

He thinks it’s all down to that awful, unattractive, feminism.

Johnnie had a dream

He’s swallowed the myth that, in the cozy past, we were all like Doris Day, adding our “Womanly Touch” to our pastel coloured kitchens, whiling away the hours until the big, strong, hubby calls “Hello honey, I’m ho-ome”!

We’d fix him a drink, kneel to take off his shoes, hand him his slippers and a pipe and listen with admiration as he recounted the trials, tribulations and small victories of his bread-winning day.

Is it cruel to tell him this has never been true?

Johnnie’s dream is shattered

Johnnie, bless him, has NO idea what is in a woman’s mind.

That said, many men have been fearful of that since the Dawn of Mankind.

Every Judeo/Christian/Islamic religion has been very afraid of women, one would think that the entire litany has been designed to deal with that fear.

At least the old religions had Kali and the Triple Goddess to afford some sort of acknowledgement of female power. Even this has been perverted over the course of time.

So, it’s not “feminism” that is little Johnnie’s problem, it’s fear of women.

Johnnie wrote to the world about it

Fear is written all through his fantastical “13 Points” – let’s take them in turn:

1. Stay In Shape

Viewing a woman as an “object” is one pathetic way of trying to diminish her power.

If men can control her body, they feel a little less fear. If that body can be made less womanly, slimmer, hairless and more pre-pubescent, again, it’s less scary.

I love the pseudo commanding tone he uses, as if speaking for all men, it’s very “little Napoleon” and exposes his anxiety about female sexuality beautifully.

2. Lay Off The Body Modification

The last thing young Johnnie wants is a woman in charge of her body. A woman with the confidence to express herself in any way she chooses. A woman who has rejected the fearful male stereotype of controllable, acceptable, femininity and who has the temerity to make her own choices. See (1) it’s the same issue.

3. Make Your Own Money

He contradicts himself deliciously here. He fears his inadequacy to “keep a woman” (because he can’t achieve that he-man ideal for himself) and is very conflicted about her earning MORE (despite the gender pay gap, many of us do, these days) it’s OK as long as…wait for it…she “refrains from throwing it in his face like some form of one-upmanship”;or should that be one-upwomanship?

His Freudian slips are showing.

4. Be Feminine

“Men want to date WOMEN, not men with vaginas” Note he doesn’t explain what ‘femininity’ is, he doesn’t know, too scary. But he’s inadvertently let slip a phobia about transexuality. A common issue with those uneasy with their own sexuality. Bet he’s freaked by LGBT in general.

Also, is one to assume his “masculinity” has credence – one doubts the efficacy of such, given what’s gone so far?

5. Be submissive

“This kind of overlaps with being feminine” Ah – a clue!  We’re back to the fantasy Doris Day scene again. Shall we tell him, girls, that women are never ever “submissive” unless we choose to be and, what’s more, the entire point of the myth of femininity is that woman has, for millennia, controlled men by doing little girlish favours in order to obtain what SHE wants? “Oops, silly me, I’ve accidentally got pregnant/spent all your money/lost your car etc.”

6. Sex Life

He’s given up on the idea of the perpetual virgin, or so he says; but note the glaring admission that women are not to be sexually experienced, just a “little” experienced, in a monogamous relationship, but heaven forbid anything more adventurous. He uses the very quaint term “the town bicycle”!

It’s that fear again. The fear of being subsumed by a sexually voracious, ever-hungry vagina. Poor, sheltered, small town boy. Such sexual insecurity, bless his little cotton socks!

7. Be Intelligent

You must be able to “flex your mental muscles”, apparently. The thing is, any woman who hasn’t had a full frontal lobotomy wouldn’t WANT to have anything to do with him. Ah well, back to the fantasy…

8. Be Child-Free

The fear of fecundity! It has been said that the insecure man fears the power of a woman to give birth (or not) because it is something they have such little control over. Guys like this must be freaking out about donor sperm. Even Cleopatra put a pebble up her noo-noo to avoid a bun in the oven.

The other classic phobia is “cuckolding” which he inadvertently admits by saying it’s such a turn off to deal with another man’s child.

Cuckolding is as old as human/animal kind. When we lived in tribes, it didn’t matter too much, the point was to reproduce as often as possible. The “Alpha Male” may have fought for “first dibs” but, the presence of other spermatozoa  increased the chance of pregnancy and ensured continual gene pool improvements.

He’s scared of a lot of things, little Johnnie.

9. Be willing to cook at least three times a week

Again, our little friend has had to scale back his fantasy, just a little. Maybe it’s because his working “Mom” used to leave the pot-roast for him to heat up after school; or maybe she didn’t cook at all?

Poor little man craves the comfort of a surrogate mother SO MUCH, being “fed” by a woman must be a painful longing for him. Weaned too early, perhaps?

10. Put down your phone

Heaven forbid that you might have interests and other people apart from “Your MAN”! Remember the earlier scenario, when Doris patiently listens to hubby’s boring ramblings about his day, with what appears to be rapt attention? Johnnie is crying out for some of that.

Some poor girl must have made the mistake of dating him once, perhaps out of pity, perhaps unknowingly, but whatever the reason, she must have felt her brain shrivelling up with boredom as Johnnie droned on and who can blame her – she texted her mates to arrange her escape. Many of us have been in that unfortunate position.

Johnnie, if a girl is glued to her phone, she is NOT interested in you. Have we cleared that up? Good. Let’s move on…

11. Ease Up on the MakeUp

Johnnie has been looking at the women’s magazines on-line again! He’s seen “The celebrities that are unrecognisable without their make-up” articles!

He’s scared again. Scared that he’ll meet a woman who, when she gets home, takes off her hair, eyelashes, teeth, chicken fillets and cache sex and REMINDS HIM OF HIS MOTHER! Or father..whatever.

12. Stop Cussing!

Not long now, readers, I’m getting bored with Johnnie, too.

Here Johnnie shows his bible-belt upbringing. “Mama said ladies don’t cuss”

Fuck me. The bible is bereft of juicy Anglo-Saxon, but I reckon it got lost in translation around the time of King James, another milksop, so afraid of women that he toasted thousands as ‘witches’.

I like to think of Revelations as a big “Fuck you, you’re fucked”  – but, of course, I’d never call anyone a cunt in polite company. Well, not unless my ire was raised. I expect I’d call Johnnie a cunting wanker, though.

13. Stop Hoarding Guy Friends

Oh dear. Here’s that insecurity again. Johnnie is very worried that if he ever gets a girlfriend she’ll be shagging other men behind his back. You’re right, Johnnie, she will.

Finally, you’ve got to love the boy’s attempt at a pre-emptive strike at the criticism he knows is coming his way (because it has always, always, been so).

Bet he didn’t expect this though?

There endeth the lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A game of two halves

It’s the first match of The World Cup. Team A and Team B are playing.

Within the first minute, a player from Team A does a spectacular dive in the penalty area and rolls around in apparent agony, holding his foot.

The Ref approaches.

“What happened?” He said

The team A player said: “He tried to break my ankle with an illegal sliding tackle!” as he pointed to a player from team B.

“But I was a hundred metres away from you!”protested the Team B player.

None the less, the referee awarded a penalty to Team A. The crowds in the stadium howled, it was so unfair.

Team A scored and ran behind the goal to enjoy the reaction of their ecstatic fans. The player who had been awarded the penalty, approached the Ref again.

“If that happens again, you’re going to have to deal with it MY way”

“Um…OK” said the Ref.

He knew the player was not only rich and influential, but his father was in charge of FIFA.

The match carried on, but a few minutes later, a player from team A was rolling on the pitch as if his entire leg had been severed without an anaesthetic.

The Ref approached, nervously.

The agonised player sat up, blinked through his tears of pain and said:

“He tried to break my leg and I didn’t even have the ball.”

The player concerned, spread out his arms, looked up to the sky (as they always do), gathered his team-mates around him as witnesses and said:

“I was no-where near him.”

The fans were whistling and getting angry at this delay in the game, the physio was fussing around the injured player with his magic sponge and, as usual, the suspected broken leg was miraculously healed and,with a slight grimace, the team A player ran off up the pitch.

“See! I didn’t touch him!” protested the accused player from Team B.

The Ref was about to blow his whistle so the game could continue, but the captain of Team A tapped him on the shoulder.

“It’s MY rules now” he growled.

“Remember?”

He was right in the referee’s face. The Ref looked to his linesmen for support, but they had turned away.

“What do you want?” He whispered.

“I’ll deal with it.” Said the Captain.

He went over to the accused player, wrapped his right leg around his, then pushed him forward. There was an audible crack as his shin bone broke.

Nobody could believe what had just happened. But they did nothing.

There wasn’t a physio to come on for the player, so his team-mates carried him off the pitch as a substitute was hurriedly readied.

As you can imagine, the first half continued in such a fashion and Team A annihilated Team B while constantly accusing them of cheating.

The Ref was so shocked and in awe of Team A, that he turned a blind eye (it’s an important skill they teach at the Referee academy).

The half time whistle was a relief for everyone. Especially Team B and their fans.

They discussed how they were going to deal with the appalling behaviour of Team A and whether they could get FIFA to ban them from the tournament. Surely people all over the world could see what they were doing?

The Players from Team B reluctantly returned to the pitch. Due to the high level of injuries, they had used up all their substitutes and knew that they couldn’t lose another man, especially as Team A were 4 goals up.

They switched ends. As Team B tried to get in position for kick-off, each were approached by Team A players.

“This is OUR end of the pitch” the Team A players said.

“But it’s the second half, we change ends, it’s the rules!” The Team B players replied.

“Not any more, you don’t” said the players of team A.

Team B, excluding the goal keeper, were corralled into a corner of the pitch by their own goal and surrounded by menacing Team A players. They couldn’t move.

The Ref was now nowhere to be seen. He had left the pitch.

The Linesmen watched from the sidelines.

The Team B fans were silent.

The Team A fans shouted threats at them and began throwing things.

The Team A striker took shots at goal again and again, but rather than scoring, he aimed the ball at the goalkeeper’s face.

Eventually, the final whistle blew. On the dot of 90 minutes. Not a second allocated for injury time.

The score was Team A 36 – Team B 0.

Team A was Israel, Team B, Palestine. The Ref was American and the linesmen were Europeans.

Think of Gaza as you watch the World Cup Final tonight. They’re playing for their lives.

Sex, drugs, the mafia and me 9

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I woke and for a moment, I didn’t know where I was. The sun was streaming through my bedroom window and was bouncing off the white linen and the walls. I squinted and sat up; the events of the day before flooded in like a black tide.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced heart ache, but let me tell you, it’s a very physical thing. There was a stone pressing into me under my ribs, heavy and hot and it really hurt. It was as if I had swallowed a pebble and it stuck there, making it hard to breathe or feel anything else.

Then the tears came.

When you dam up your emotions, they are going to break through, sooner or later. And they came. The tears welled up from somewhere deep in my gut and I howled loudly, my whole body was in paroxysms from my sobs.

I flung myself on the bed and just let it happen. My whole body joined in. Every cell, every drop of blood, every nerve felt like it was screaming. I pushed my face into the pillow in case my loud keening would awake the neighbours.

It went on for a long time, then like a storm, it subsided. I was exhausted, empty and my face stung with the salt.

I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. Alice Cooper stared back.

I somehow showered and stood there, under the spray, water and tears mixing on my face.  Everything felt robotic , I was following some automated script. I got dressed and then my phone rang. It was my dearest friend.

She, in her usual practical, loving, fashion, persuaded me to get out of the house and come over to hers. We were going to spend the day and the night together to stop me sinking into a looming pit of tears and worry.

Still on auto-pilot, I got over to Brixton. We had a drink in a pub on the high street. I was a mess, conducting a normal conversation for a few minutes, but then breaking down in tears the next. The other patrons kept looking at us.

Back then, Brixton had a bad reputation; my friend had been mugged at knife-point and there was audacious drug dealing happening very openly in the street outside. But, in every community there is a heart and fewer London suburbs have a heart as big as Brixton. That day, I’d discover just how big that heart was.

There were a group of young men observing us a few tables away. They were a typical Brixton ‘tribe’, tattooed, pierced faces, matted dreadlocks, scruffy army fatigues, the type that you might cross the road to avoid.

One of those was scribbling furiously, his head down, scowling at the piece of paper in front of him.

He eventually came over, without a word, touched me gently on my shoulder and handed me a piece of folded paper. He went back to his friends as I opened it.

He had written me a beautiful poem.

It was sweet and gentle and made me smile through my tears. I can’t remember the words now, but it was one of those poems that pierce your heart like an arrow; full of love and hope, for me, a complete stranger.

I looked up and smiled my gratitude to him, he blushed and looked away. When he left, I touched his arm and gave him heartfelt thanks for his kindness. That experience taught me never to judge on appearances.

Later, back at my friend’s flat, other locals she knew dropped by, all they knew of my story was that I was feeling heart-broken and each of them, in their own way, tried their best to make me laugh, feel welcomed and, yes, loved.

We went to a tiny restaurant under the railway arches for dinner. The kitchen was open at the back of the room. I couldn’t eat and the chef noticed. He came out of the kitchen to ask me what was wrong.

My tear stained face told him all he needed to know.

“Comfort food for a broken heart, hey?” He said, gently.

I nodded.

He came back a while later with a bowl of creamy, buttery mashed potato, as light as a cloud and as comforting as a warm blanket. It was amazing and I gratefully ate it. So lovely for him to do that.

As night drew in and it was time to sleep, the worry that had been eating at me all day felt sharper than ever. I had heard nothing from Italy. He would have been there by now, he would have made contact with those people. I had been told to wait for a message, not to call. It was agony.

I took an offered diazepam to sleep.

As the drug filed my veins with what felt like hot tea, I fell into grateful oblivion.

Sex, drugs, the mafia and me 8

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If you want to read the start of this story, please click the story link on the home page and follow the links. Let me know what you think, too! 

When you have been involved with huge obstacles for someone you love, you often surprise yourself with your strength and the will to see it through.

My life had gone from a fairly normal, sociable and enjoyable one to something that had exposed me to a nether world I knew nothing about. I loved him and I had the ability to save him, or so my thinking went. Love conquers all, doesn’t it?

Having got through one obstacle, the drug addiction was at least in abeyance, I was now facing the edges of an underworld that I associated with The Godfather and old gangster movies. I knew involvement in this world never ended well.

Nevertheless, I carried on. I didn’t break, I didn’t give up. One Friday morning I drove Sean jr to Waterloo to pick up the Eurostar to Paris, where he would take an overnight train down to Southern Italy.

I was very calm and controlled. I think times like this almost make you feel that you are an objective observer of the situation, everything feels at some distance, happening in another dimension.

Maybe it’s the way your heart tries to protect itself from completely breaking. I felt like a woman made of stone, an impassive wife about to send her consort into a war, from which he might never return.

This disassociated spell broke, of course, when it was actually time to say goodbye.

As I was kissing Sean jnr, he was far from composed, I could feel him trembling and struggling not to break down. Rather than join him, I felt a surge of the crazy, impulsive, passionate streak in me – and I said:

“I can’t say goodbye here, I’m coming with you as far as Paris!”

I had 20 minutes to go before departure. My passport was in the glove box in my car, parked under the station, quite a distance away. I ran like the wind, got the passport and a return ticket and we made the train with just a minute to spare.

I was giddy with all the suppressed emotion and couldn’t stop laughing. We both did. We released all the tension, giggling our way through the English countryside and ordering Champagne.

I’m afraid I joined the ‘mile down club’,too. There was an urgency that this might be the very last time we could be lovers….

We arrived at Gare Du Nord, with a reckless, adventurous atmosphere around us, that must have been visible. The normally miserable border staff smiled benignly upon as  if we were excited newly weds. The French always have a soft spot for romance.

We negotiated the Metro, still feeling deliriously happy and met a man, with the biggest bag I had ever seen on his back and feeling filled with goodwill and love for all things, we offered to help him.

His story was a sad one, he was a refugee from Bosnia. His wife and children had gone ahead to France and he picked up what he could in terms of possessions, leaving his life as a University professor.

We listened to his story in silence. As did everyone else in the carriage, who could understand his halting English. When it was his stop, I threw my arms around him, kissed his cheek and wished him luck with all my heart.

The cross continent platforms at the Gar Du Sud are bright and full of light. There were just minutes to go for Sean jnr to catch the train, so no time for an elaborate goodbye.

It was one last kiss, I was bright and positive, even managed a big smile.

i watched him walk away down the long platform and then turned away, I couldn’t draw things out any longer.

On the homeward bound Eurostar, I stared out of a dark, rainy window into nothingness. I was numb, now, I couldn’t allow myself to think of the possibilities.

I drove home, went to bed, fell immediately into a bleak, dreamless, sleep.

Somewhere out there, under the same moon, a train clattered through the French/Spanish border. Was the man I loved sleeping, too?

Sex, drugs, the mafia and me 6

image It was quite a story. Sean jr was in a bad state when he woke up, but I insisted on him telling me. He said that the two men took him to a flat on the estate. He was going to buy some dope, the reason for the urgency was that his medication for stress was in his lost luggage and he felt he couldn’t be without it.

The men attacked him in the flat, beat him until he passed out, stole his money and he came round in the car park of the estate, in the early hours of the morning. His watch was gone, as was his mobile and, very strangely, one shoe and his belt. He wandered off.

The only place he could think of going was Victoria station. He’d been there years ago when he was on a school trip to London. There were hardly any people around, but he found someone to give him directions. When he got there, he called his mother in Italy collect and asked her to wire him some cash.

He then made his way to Heathrow and went to the lost luggage office and somehow persuaded them to give my address.

He said he didn’t go to the Police because he had been trying to buy drugs and it would get him into trouble. He took a taxi here from Heathrow, but did not have enough to pay the driver, so he took his name and address to send the money he owed on.

Once he had got to my house, I wasn’t in, but the bathroom window was unlocked, so he managed to force it open and climb in. He then must have passed out on the bed.

I took all of this in with incredulity. You had to admire his resourcefulness. I was still concerned about the drugs, it didn’t quite add up to me.

Why all this lying about a cousin and why go all the way to Stockwell with those sinister men?  There must be more going on; why the sense of urgency, for a start?

He sensed my suspicion and said he’d show me the medication if the luggage turned up, he pleaded with me to believe him. He looked so desperate and awful, I said:

“Your cases are over there, in the wardrobe.”

“Thank God!” He exclaimed and went to get them, fumbling with the locks. He had no key, it must have gone missing when he was robbed. We forced them open with a screwdriver, eventually and there were several packs of Valium in the bottom.

I was still uneasy. He pulled out a black velvet box. “This is for you” Inside was a single diamond, mounted on a platinum pendant and chain. It was very simple, elegant and beautiful.

“Thank you” I said.

Then I noticed he was sobbing. Huge deep sobs that shook his shoulders and tears were streaming down his face.

“I am so, so, sorry,” he said.

“Please, can you try to forgive me. I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have put you through this…”

I put my arm around him and he pressed his tearful face into my shoulder.

“You know why I came here, don’t you? I am here because I couldn’t stop thinking about you after you left. I was scared to telephone because I thought you didn’t care about me. But I had to know. I had to see you and tell you.”

This passionate declaration affected my judgement. I felt a wave of pity that washed away the unanswered questions and suspicion. For the rest of the night we lay in each-other’s arms and it felt warm and right. I was smitten.

It was quite a wrench the next day to leave him and go to work I wanted him to go to the hospital to get checked over in case of any broken bones or other injuries. He just smiled and said I was not to worry, that he’d be fine.

At work, I thought about him all day. I went to the local Italian deli to buy some foods that I knew would make him feel at home. I had plans for a quiet, romantic dinner and that we could start over, as if nothing untoward had happened.

What I discovered when I returned home was going to change everything.

Sex, drugs, the mafia and me 3

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A month passed. I had begun to feel uncomfortable about what had happened. It was so out of character for me; I’m usually led my heart, not my loins, I was a bit upset about it. After all, you can take the girl out of Catholicism but it’s hard to get Catholicism out of the girl.

I felt guilty. That I had let myself down. That I was one of a long line of ‘Italian Stallion’ conquests and I was ashamed of myself, as a result. My inner moralist dug me in the ribs about it from time to time and my ego was bruised.

My ‘three night stand’ eventually became a bit of a joke amongst my friends and work-mates. They loved teasing me about being a Mata Hari type, luring hapless men into bed for days on end, then discarding them like an empty husk.  I had to laugh about it.

I was often out enjoying myself, being a cocktail queen and compelled to flirt with Italian waiters as a faint echo of what might have been. Tediously, I was celibate, without portfolio and little real desire to break the sexual famine.

Then out of the blue, I got a call at work. It was HIM and he was coming to Europe and wondered if he could see me in the UK.

Of course, I agreed. Two weeks later, I was waiting at arrivals in Heathrow airport for his flight from Mexico, feeling slightly sick with nerves and less like a notch on a bed-post.

The sign above the gate said the flight had arrived on time. Soon, various holiday makers started trickling through with sun tans, improbable beach clothes and tacky sombreros and other souvenirs.

Still, I waited. An hour passed. No sign.

I went to customer services and asked if they could check if he had made the flight; an officious woman said they were unable to release information. I then asked if the flight was full and I must have looked piteous, as her colleague gave me a brief nod.

I didn’t have a mobile number for him, so I thought I would give it half an hour and then go home. Maybe he had just missed the flight.

Twenty minutes later, out he came. He looked awful. Any romantic ideas I had were a little squelched by reality. He was pale, unshaven and looked thinner and very unhealthy. He also looked throughly pissed off about something.

Our greeting was a bit awkward. A dry peck on the cheek, as he said,
“They’ve lost my bags”
so that was what the tense expression was about. Ever the practical type, I took him to lost luggage to report it and helped with the various forms, giving my home address to deliver the bags to.

“They’ll turn up”
I said and we picked up my car and started to head for home.  He said,
“I have to go to London and see my cousin.”
I said, “fine, when do you want to go?
“Now, I must go now.”
Seeing as there had been no niceties like it’s good to see you, or even a hug, just this quite stroppy and curt demand, I wasn’t very happy, but I headed to Central London, parked up and took him to the rendezvous, Bar Italia in Soho.

Sean jnr was tense and irritable, the espresso didn’t seem to help. He kept rummaging in his pockets and then laid a massive bundle of notes on the table. Some of the people in the Cafe eyed him suspiciously. So did I. Wonder what he’s doing with that much cash? I thought.

Soon an unsavoury little man, with three missing teeth in the front of his mouth approached and began conversing with Sean Jnr rapidly in Italian dialect, which is almost impossible to understand. They shouted and waved their arms around a bit and then Sean Jnr said:
“My cousin can’t come here, we need to go and meet him some where else. Can we go now please?”

I was feeling annoyed and a bit confused by the turn of events, and Mr Gappy and a dodgy looking sidekick, plus Sean Jnr piled into my car and we set off for an unsavoury part of Stockwell.

They asked me to stop at a corner, near a parade of shops. Sean jnr said:
“Thank you, I will be back in fifteen minutes, will you wait, please?”
And was suddenly all charm and smiles. I scowled and nodded, I wanted him to know that I wasn’t happy, but rather than say so then, decided I would have a word later, when less stressed and so the three men left, disappearing down a small lane, at the side of the shops.

They didn’t come back.

Sex, drugs, the mafia and me 2

imageA day or two later, we went into town for dinner and stopped at a Mexican restaurant on the beachfront not far from Sean jr’s restaurant. We were both feeling queasy, so ordered some dry nachos and rice to eat and, my emergency drink of choice, Margaritas.

We kept popping in and out to the loo and on my second trek to the bathroom, our waiter took me by the hand saying “I want you to meet my friends…” and dragged me into the kitchen.

As he was introducing me to the chef, the kitchen workers, the other waiters, I felt that awful sensation of something moving in my stomach and a cold sweat breaking out on the back of my neck.

The thought inevitably went through my head that I was going to poo on the floor of the kitchen in front of these smiling people and I plastered a grin on my face, murmured “Lovely to meet you all!” backed out of the door and ran to the loo.

I was a bit too late.

I dumped my knickers, cleaned myself up and took myself back to our table. My friend could tell by my grimace that all was not well. I told her what happened and we had to laugh at the close call I’d had.  We didn’t know the waiter, but weird shit (excuse the term) like that happens all the time.

I looked up and guess who was at the panoramic windows 20 ft above our heads? None other than HIM. He waved and beckoned, so I looked down and pretended I hadn’t seen him. The last think I wanted at that moment was a horny Italian Romeo.

We were about to go back to the hotel for a mega dose of Imodium and asked for the bill, our waiter came out and asked us if we’d stay and go out with him and his friends and we were making our polite excuses when Sean jr tapped me on the shoulder.

Being sober, I took a close look at him. He was rather handsome and he was insisting that we come to the restaurant for a drink. I told him we were unwell and he said he had just the thing to sort us out, an old Neapolitan cure and against our better judgement, my friend, the Mexican waiter and Sean Jnr went up to the restaurant.

it was empty as it was the day they closed. We were given this vile brown bitter drink in warm water that made us gag, but sure enough, within about 10 minutes, we felt a great deal better and were able to have a few glasses of wine.

I had perked up and was flirting with Sean jr and he was flirting back, not being corny this time, just funny and I was enjoying the banter. My friend was just conversing convivially with the Mexican waiter, but I could tell she was definitely not interested in him.

Sean Jnr invited me behind the bar and one thing led to another and we were soon in a deep clinch, ever the model of discretion, my friend left us and moved to the other side of the restaurant out of view behind a staircase.

I had never had a holiday fling before, if you don’t count a really slobbery kiss from a boy in Ireland when I was 12 and I got to that reckless point, of “why not, what harm will it do?”, which as we all know is a risky state to be in. Things were going to progress further and I was open to it.

I was somewhat hot and bothered after 20 minutes of fierce snogging and being pressed against the bar (be still my beating heart) and broke off to look for my friend, who was bored and uncomfortable with Mr Mexico, who was really very young. Bless him.

I agreed to go back to Sean jnrs Villa and my friend arranged for Mr Mexico to drive her back to the hotel. I said I’d see her in the morning.

I didn’t reappear until three days later.

To say that the experience was a marathon, doesn’t quite describe what had happened. It was the first and only time I had felt complete physical intoxication that was returned equally and with some vigour (!) We stopped only for drink and food and continued in this mad world of just the two of us, nothing else mattered in the least. It was like being under a spell.

When I got back to hotel, aching all over, but still feeling drugged with a spaced out smile on my face, hair in a tangled mess and a gait like John Wayne after a long ride across Colorado, I apologised profusely to my friend and told her about what had happened. Her lift home with Mr Mexico had been uneventful apart from a request to “Kiss her pussy” which, she gracefully declined.

Leaving my friend like that was something I’d never ordinarily do and I felt bad about it, all I could say was some sort of madness hat hit me and I had behaved completely out of character.

Sean Jnr and I had left things casually and although we exchanged addresses and telephone numbers, I assumed this was just a Shirley Valentine moment, without the stretch mark kissing and the waitressing.

We flew home the next day. In England we were both hit with the most awful jet lag and lay around in my flat drinking tea and groaning.

I put the whole thing down to an interesting experience and thought that was the end, but the story was only beginning.

50 random things about me

This post is a work of self-absorption and egotism in response to a Twitter #50randomthingsaboutme hash tag challenge. Apparently it’s harder than you think, here’s mine and I’d love to see yours!

1. I have Morton’s toes
2. I have a “widow’s peak”
3. My collar and cuffs match (!)
4. I almost died from peritonitis at 14
5. I almost died from a motorcycle accident at 19 (in a coma for several days)
6. I almost died from a severe allergic asthma attack in India, 20km from nearest Doctor
7. I have double jointed elbows and cannot do press-ups
8. I have had 17 different addresses
9. I have been in love four times
10. I am a caul-bearer
11. I have perfect pitch
12. I was once a member of Mensa
13. I failed my driving test three times
14. I was raised a strict Roman Catholic
15. I set my bedroom on fire at 12, trying to make a voodoo doll (see above!)
16. I love up cycling and restoring old furniture
17. I can impersonate Julie Andrews (and Dick Van Dyke), a guinea pig, Margaret Thatcher and Sue from Sooty & Sweep.
18. My first job was as a journalist
19. I have one wisdom tooth that still hasn’t come through
20. My favourite colours are blues and greens
21. I have a mirror collection of 53 mirrors (hanging in my hall & landing)
22. I have cooked professionally for The Duke of Kent amongst other ‘celebs’
23. I have met Miles Davis
24. I cannot play any racquet sports
25. The first concert I ever attended was Lou Reed at The Hammersmith Odeon at 13
26. I went to pubs and clubs at 14
27. I left home at 17
28. I lived in a squat with a bunch of bikers
29. I have been admitted to The Priory
30. I do not have tattoos
31. I sometimes feel like a gay man trapped in a woman’s body
32. I have 98 pairs of shoes and boots
33. My wardrobe is so large that I could wear something different every day for months and months
34. I am spooked by dolls, ventriloquist dummies and clowns
35. I have an extremely loud scream
36. I was a chorus girl and a cabaret singer
37. I’ve stripped off on stage several times (not completely!)
38. I can dance, tap, ballet and freestyle reasonably well
39. I love cocktails
40. I don’t eat lamb or cucumber
41. I have lived in London, Brighton, Hove & Hampshire
42. I am terrified of rats
43. I have hundreds of books and I’ve read them all
44. My first vote was for the Communist Party
45. My happiest childhood memories are of Ireland
46. I have 60 cousins
47. My nephews call me “Auntie Patsy” after the Ab Fab character
48. I was once called “Old Spice” due to vague resemblance to Baby Spice
49. I dislike men in suits, almost to a phobic extent
50. I avoid tube travel at all costs because I hate it