It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, at least virtually. I’ve had to block some people for being idiots on Twitter, not that it shut them up, but at least i didn’t have them on my main page – they were actually threatening to go cut themselves – eek, emo alert!
Unfortunately, the Twitter block function is imperfect. It doesn’t actually sodomise and then peel the person you aim it at. Wait, sodomy is more fun than they deserve… better make it sodomy with a cactus. And we could peel them with… well, this is what the Gleaming Instruments of Death were made for, maybe Twitter should call me.
Despite the fucktards, i did get a popular blog post (see previous) out of the contretemps. (Popular for me does not mean millions… that one’s topped 200 on the bit.ly links, not best ever, but good.) I know this because I’ve been looking at my stats – world domination proceeds slowly but steadily, with occasional peaks when i get controversial.
Today is my birthday – yep, 49, which is too big a number to think about. Yes, 31st October, Halloween – seriously, what did you expect? Me being the Queen of Darkness wasn’t exactly an accident. Halloween is however, alien to my culture. Trick or treaters will be greeted with “It’s my birthday, where’s my present?” Funny, they all seem to run away when you put them on the spot.
While i’m waiting for the children to arrive, i thought i’d have a slight rant…
Some of the top searches used to find this blog are:
pony, budgie, penectomy porn, funny cats, cameltoes and tattoos
It’s like i’ve been saying – Search Engine Optimisation Experts, Gurus, Entrepreneurs, and the rest of the people trying to flog you dead horses on Twitter are way behind me. Yes, not just eunuchs, budgies, camel toe, and tattoos, I’m getting a toehold in the “pony” market.
Hello little girls! Welcome! I was once like you. Longing for a pony of my own. For horses, i could and did get up at five a.m. to feed and groom, i mucked out stables and didn’t mind the heat, the cold, the rain, the smell of manure. I coped when horses bit, kicked, and trod on me.
I lived through them bucking me off, into lakes, rivers, trees, fences, and walls. With being wiped off on anything handy. With them getting over-excited and freaking out on a regular basis. I love horses, so it’s part of it.
It’s not some kindof privation – though of course one gets dusty, muddy, gashed, broken, bent, (this is because leather will imprint as one of your earliest sexual cues), and then thrown off into a prickle patch. It sounds awful, and no fun at all.
However, right now, crippled as i am, if you gave me a horse (and the wherewithal to keep it), i think i’d still happily drag myself out of bed at 5 am. There’s something about horses. I’m the same way with words. The infection lasted. “It’s just a stage she’s going through.” Nah, it was me. Who i am. I’ll always love horses and words. They bring me joy.
No matter how crap life is, just seeing a horse lifts my spirits. I can actually feel better about things if i just imagine being round them. I take myself riding, in my mind. I even feed and groom horses, saddle up, and pick out their feet. The familiar rhythms are all there, in my memories.
I start to write (when i’m not procrastinating, which doesn’t bring me joy, though it can be very productive in regard to getting anything but writing done), and as the words start to flow, i get a similar pleasure.
Some time ago, especially after an incident where in a short time, I had some rather close-to-death experiences, i decided to focus on what brings me joy. It’s not possible to completely avoid that which doesn’t, as i’m unfortunately trapped here on Earth with you humans – but i can certainly wipe out the effects of the dire.
Things like good whole food, being near water, and letting writing be a full time pursuit. I see horses most days, some live on the way to the shops. The food’s tricky, here in the sticks – it was easier to get good meat in suburban London. I used to go to the local Halal (Islamic) butcher when i lived in West Hampstead (though he was over the border in Kilburn). I wonder now if they’re still there. They were nice, even to me, a bare-armed, bare-headed, infidel woman.
Most people are just people, you know. Governments and religious leaders like to focus on the differences between us – divide and rule is their basic policy. Just note how many times they try to make you scared – but frankly, good people come in every colour, religion, and sexuality.
Complete maggots likewise. Of course, most people think their actions are justified. Let’s face it, even Hitler didn’t set out to be evil, he thought he was doing Germany and the world a favour. He thought it was logical. That exterminating human beings was inhumane didn’t matter, because he’d already decided – these were not humans.
Once you dehumanise your enemy, it’s easier for your people to kill them. One of the main problems for soldiers is that in order to keep killing, they have to see the enemy as less than human. We’re not actually designed for murder. With some exceptions.
See, i don’t see the Devil as some kind of external influence – i think we’re all creatures of duality – we’re all capable of both beauty and horror. Which one you manifest, is up to you. If you let yourself be filled up with rage, hate, and insecurity, if your entire life revolves around getting others to pay attention to your attention whoring, then hell, sugar, i’m going to block you on Twitter.
We all have these things inside us – i choose to manifest mine as funny blog posts. Not all of it – there’s a heck of a lot of energy i can use there. The poison others send me can be deflected, returned, or i can use the energy for something constructive, that brings me joy.
So i write. By the way – did you see? Someone found this blog while looking for “funny cats” – oh yeah, baby, i’m into Lolcat territory on Google Search.
Weez gonna be hooj.
In other news: in The Thing i am writing – the hero needed to be older – he was having sex, and i figured 13 was too young. Weirdly, i was basing his history on several people i know, but sometimes, fiction has to be toned down from real life.
I also discovered – once i’d stopped, corrected all references to age, adjusted his language and others’ behaviour to him – that i’d forgotten to note the timing of events in the narrative on a calendar, so i knew for instance, how long it was since his birthday. Then i realised one of the characters had broken the plot, so I’m currently sorting that. Silly bugger died before his time.
There’s a lot to keep track of, lucky i do love spreadsheets. I still refer to my synopses, outlines, and summaries of this first bunch of books, which i drew up using the Snowflake Method. They need tweaking of course, as the narrative changes, but that’s okay, there’s elasticity built in.
Tip: every so often, I save each current document or spreadsheet (if was Book01) as 02, then 03 and so on. This is in case you mess up and need to go back to a previous version. You can also use Word’s version tracker, which saves versions within a single document. In case of accidental deletion of single documents, i like to keep separate copies.
I once inserted an image over an entire document i had no copy of – so yes, i’m paranoid.
On the longer list of searches –
my house is trying to kill me
switchblade and a motorbike
realistic mannequins with pubic genital
i am not a whore
Why smugglers? I am not a whore? (The others make sense, blog titles or I’ve blogged on them.)
And SEO experts want you to pay to get listed on Google? Lord above, with the way it works, how can you not be listed? Of course, you may not be listed under what you want to be.
I suppose Beloved Visitors might be miffed, if they arrive looking for penectomy porn and find me instead. On the other hand, thinking about it, the Queen of Darkness, with a bullwhip and a cattleprod, ready to run over you with a tank if you don’t donate to the Hello Kitty Kalashnikov Office Chair Fund, is probably just the woman you’re looking for.
[Sadly, the pic company i was using stopped providing WordPress users with pics – so i lost most of the original pics for this post]
Yes, i often sound insane, but the difference is, Beloved Visitors, being the Queen of Darkness is merely eccentricity – and being the Antichrist was just a lucky break. (The real Antichrist met with an Unfortunate Accident and is still in a coma.) However, every so often, i run into the genuinely loopy on Twitter or around the traps.
Not to worry, i know what to do. This usually involves getting away from them quickly. One does not engage with those escaped from asylums. What, did you think i’d hang around? Feck, i really dohave better things to do, even if it’s scratching my arse.
No sense wasting one’s time with the truly hopeless: those who enjoy and promote their victimhood, (“Come watch me cut myself on cam!”) or are so paranoid they can’t even hear what you say to them. Better just to block.
However, the other night i wasn’t expecting insanity, i wasn’t even online. I was watching the actor Robson Green, on his show “Extreme Fishing”. He’s completely huge in Britain, where i lived for a while, I’m not sure about the rest of the world. His show is airing here on Lifestyle on pay-tv, not either Discovery or National Geographic. Fitting for a man known as the “housewives’ favourite”.
Probably need to say here that I don’t have a problem with either fishing or hunting (even on tv) – however, i do have a teensy problem with gratuitous cruelty.
I watched a bit of “Extreme Fishing” last week, enjoyed Green’s obvious pleasure and excitement, but was left uneasy, as it didn’t appear he was killing any of the fish after catching them. This week he was in the Deep South of the USA. We thought we’d give it another go, but it was hard, as fish after fish was pulled out of water in various ways, before being dropped somewhere to die slowly.
One memorable sequence was bow-fishing: a large fish was reeled in with an arrow through the belly, then the arrow yanked out. Green holds the fish up, saying his piece to camera. The fish gasps, over and over, trying to breathe, sides heaving. Look how beautiful it is, the man says, his tone loving. The camera pans along the body, we see the fish’s mouth moving silently. Look at those colours, Green exhorts us.
We can’t help seeing the way it’s gasping desperately for air, and the bloody hole in its side that I could fit a finger through. Green sings the praises of the fish as he slings it, still gasping, into a box with other dead and dying fish. The cameraman moves, to make sure we see it in the box, and the lid closes on the slowly-dying fish. Pan to grinning Robson Green.
Tip: fish will taste better if you kill it immediately, and don’t stress it unnecessarily. It’s already been through being caught. If it’s badly wounded, you have to kill it now. Otherwise, if it’s just been hooked, put it in water until you’re ready to kill it.
It wasn’t Robson Green’s casual cruelty that did for us. In a different segment, we were treated to the sight of another member of the party, (a self-proclaimed hunter and killer) shooting at a waterfowl (a duck?) with a rifle from thirty feet.
The bird was an easy target, still on the water. The American missed, shot again, winged the bird, and shot again, possibly killing it, but the camera cut away. Too gory even for “Extreme Fishing”? Gawd.
We switched over. You don’t shoot sitting ducks. Birds are shot on the wing, and with a shotgun. For those who don’t know, no sports shooter would ever shoot a bird on the water – aside from being unsporting, you can’t eat anything that’s been shot a rifle, you destroy the meat.
The supposed experts accompanying Mr Green weren’t fishermen or hunters, they were just brutal and sickeningly inefficient killers. Not only that, but the supposed bow-fishing experts didn’t even know basic bow skills: how to draw a bow; or about forearm guards, so the bowstring won’t snap against your skin.
This isn’t just one woman’s opinion, by the way. Mr Whatsit is a happy hunter (with bow and rifle) and fisherman, but he couldn’t watch it either. “Knock it on the head!” he kept shouting at the tv.
I found the Twitter account of the show @extreme_fishing while this was going on. All the @extreme_fishingtweets and the name are in italics from here on, and my @stinginthetail nick and tweets are in ordinary text.
Note – if the post says stinginthetail @extreme_fishing – it means it’s me, talking to them. I had no idea it was actually Robson Green tweeting. I figured I would phrase it as if i was talking to him, in case they passed it on – and of course, on Twitter, one has only 140 characters to make one’s point…
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing ffs, put the fish down, mate – whack on the head, kill it, don’ t throw live into cooler. Disgusting leaving them to die.
It wasn’t abusive, was it? I did say ffs (for fuck’s sake), but i didn’t call him names. I wanted to make clear that I didn’t mind fishing, but humane kill, please.
The “mate” is an Aussie thing – especially when we’re trying to appeal to the reason of a supposed adult – i didn’t really think about using it, just did. A little bit later – after the duck incident when we turned off for good, i tweeted again, this time so my followers would see it…
stinginthetail had to switch off @extreme_fishing – letting live fish die slowly – and birds. Partner who is hunter couldn’t watch either. Sickening.
I was surprised the next morning when I received a reply from someone claiming to be Robson Green – i’m still not sure if he read both tweets from me – but according to the tweet stream, the account is managed by the actor himself, not any production company. I didn’t have time to be starstruck…
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail Remember Im observing and not imposing or projecting an opinion. The war in iraq…That’s sickening! Get fucking a life!
This seemed a little over the top, but it occurred to me he hadn’t seen the first tweet, only the second – besides from the number of exclamation marks I guessed i’d caught him at a bad time. So i replied politely, as some of my best friends have been people where we’ve got off on completely the wrong foot, but being reasonable adults, we’ve found common ground…
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing letting fish die is still sickening – i like fishing, but kill the fish, don’t leave to die. Whack it on the head. Simple.
I was a bit taken aback by his attitude, and figured some of my followers might find the exchange entertaining, so i said…
stinginthetail i’m surprised at the actor Robson Green, didn’t think was rude RT @extreme_fishingThe war in iraq…That’s sickening! Get fucking a life!
Provocative? Possibly, but i was being flamed, and i felt like company. Then i read his tweet again, and was struck by something…
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing btw you’re not an observer, yr shooting & hooking then happily throwing in ice chest to die slowly – that’s involved.
I still couldn’t understand why he was so against hitting a fish on the head when he was quite happy to shoot it in the belly. His next reply shed no light but showed the over-punctuation was no fluke…
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail You have a remote control? use it! But thanks for the debate!
Erm – debate involves exchanging opinions, and defending one’s position or point of view.
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing it’s not debate when you can’t justify your cruelty to animals, mate – and thanks, i used the remote last night.
I figured that was it. I was so wrong. That time, i used “mate” a bit snappily, he’d been steadily rude.
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail Would love 2 take you 2 Ginae Bissau Africa so you can impose your uninformed rhetoric to starving children. Im not yr mate
I burst out laughing. This couldn’t be real. Was he taking the piss? Where was Ginae Bissau? Google said i meant Guinea Bissau – one of the poorest countries in Africa. Was it even Robson Green? Had i missed something? Was it a joke profile? I’ve been fooled by those before. However, if it was him…
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing lmao – starving kids, iraq war? are you nuts? what else wld u like to defend yr cruelty with? not as bad as the holocaust?
The reply was educational, as he gave up on some punctuation and took up CAPS….
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail Taking a fish out of its enviroment is like placing a polythene bag over a marathon runners head. You need to STOP fishing!
Huh? Marathon runners, starving children and the war in Iraq? Had he completely confused my tweets with someone else’s? I checked who was tweeting at him. I was pondering again if he thought i was anti-fishing, and if this was all some kind of misunderstanding.
I’m not really into flame wars. If someone’s totally against me and can’t discuss the matter without shouting, what’s the point? I don’t have a penis i need to wave around, so frankly all that wannabe alpha male posturing is a bit pointless.
Yeah, sure, I talk about killing (when i’m premenstrual), but have I ever done it? You’re still alive. See? And if i did kill you, I would make it quick. Though after this, for Mr Green i’m prepared to make an exception.
Still figuring to give him the benefit of the doubt, though not sure why by now. I decided that humane killing was an important concept to grasp, especially for someone whose fishing series is showing all over the world. After all,it’s not like he’s from a country where they have no animal rights. The British care more about animals than they do about children.
Again, as he still showed no sign of actually reading my tweets, I tweeted, repeating what i’d said, so politely it astonishes me when i read it now…
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing before u go completely troppo, you’re missing the point – i am not anti fishing – i suggested you kill after catching.
Ha. What kind of fool am i? It seems there is no such thing as reason where Mr Green is concerned. Though he showed an interest in the etymology of language. This is actually something that fascinates us (me, Her Majesty, and the voices)…
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail No, you are a hypocrit as soon as a fish takes it is in trauma! FACT. SO SURELY THAT’S CRUEL.? Troppo is that Australian?
Takes it? The bait, i assumed. He was over-punctuating bad, and the CAPS were multiplying, never a good sign. Good Lord, what does he think entering an abattoir does to a cow? I’m not a hypocrite over meat – I know it’s not always produced in the most humane ways, but when it’s down to just me, i’ll do my damnedest to be humane.
Weirdly, i didn’t feel like pausing to explain to the joys of ‘English as she is spoke in Orstraylyah’ to my new cobber, but that didn’t stop the tirade….
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail Would love to take you people who dislike the show on my next trip to Japan. That will REALLY float your boat.x
I liked the show – up until he tweeted me, i even liked him. I couldn’t stand the fish and the duck being tortured. (Want to make absolutely clear, it wasn’t Robson Green shooting the duck, or whatever that bird was, it was one of the people he was touting as ‘experts’.)
So he’s looking forward to Japan again so he can be really cruel to animals? Is he going to participate in that annual dolphin massacre? Go whaling? And what was the x on the end? It looked sinister. A kiss? Like the Mafia do? A typo? And “you people”?
If this was a normal person with capitals and lots of punctuation, (and not an actor), what would i do? I replied to the tweet about fish and marathon runners in plastic bags (i was behind by that time) and bowed out…
stinginthetail @extreme_fishing all the more reason to make its end quick? This isn’t debate, this is u shouting inanities. And this is me blocking you.
The question mark was because i was still at that stage trying to decode the tweet, (or any of them), and was guessing at what he meant. When i went to his profile to block him, he was still going on…
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail It was about fresh fish flesh 4 people who have no fridges. As u know as soon as the fish is killed the meat starts to turn
Erm, what century was he now in? Did he think the South had no electricity? With some trepidation, a couple of hours later, i looked to see if he’d stopped shouting….
extreme_fishing @stinginthetail Ive just come back from filming Guinae Bissau after supplying a village with fresh fish so they could EAT! You fucking Moron
I’m a fucking moron, because he didn’t read my tweets, was abusive, and committed several crimes against English whilst shouting at me, a total stranger, on Twitter? I suppose it makes perfect sense, if he has a persecution complex. You can see where we’re heading, right? However, thanks so much, Mr Green.
If you’re going tocall me a fucking moron in a public forum, then on my blog i could call you a stupid twat, or maybe even a conceited wanker. That seems fair. Nasty little git with a chip on your shoulder and delusions of grandeur?
Still, at least i finally figured out what the “starving kids in Africa” reference was about.
(of sorts – warning, based on Robson Green’s tweets and the Lolcat Bible in a very vague way – it’s only short, you’ll live through a little lolspeak.)
An actor called Robson Green thinks he’s Bono from U2Bob Geldof Baby Jebus!
He duz fishez for the multitudes, and they iz tugging forelocks saying, “U gave us fud. We iz your grateful disciples nao, we can haz worship of u, Baby Jebus?”
Even Basement Cat iz impressed, because Jesus Robson Green had totally pwned him. Even when Jesus Robson Green wuz tempted, and offered lobster by Basement Cat, he was like, no want!
Ceiling Cat was all, “Woa, u iz so kewl, mah son. Much respect. Can haz crucifixion!”
Take your hat off, you in the back, show some fucking respect for the Messiah! (Yes, i’m going to stop referring to Ceiling Cat, it’s alright.)
Meanwhile, in true Queen of Darkness style, *shines fingernails* I’ve blocked the Messiah on Twitter. A meal for some starving Africans, how sweet of him. He tries so hard. I don’t suppose it occurred to him that they might need feeding more often than when he happens to drop in on a fishing trip.
Poor Jesus always was behind the times. We’re talking about a man whose own father abandoned his mother, then wouldn’t get him a lawyer, so he has major issues. Jesus, of course, not Robson Green. Seriously.
I did some research, and found that Jesus made assertions on UK breakfast tv that “90% of fish caught by coarse anglers in Britain die”, which the coarse anglers are a trifle miffed over (they let their catches go, and if all of the releases died, Britain would literally have no fish at all). Wait, no that was actually Robson Green.
So every angling organisation in the UK (and anywhere else) is probably encouraging its members to boycott his fishing show – the British Angling Trust is. Other folk i saw online had criticised his less-than-humane methods, and of course, he said there were more of ‘you people’.
I’m guessing they don’t know Mr Green is the Messiah, and that not watching the show is like handing your soul over to Satan. Believe in Robson Green, and lo, ye shall be saved… or get a fish dinner.
So i guess i walked into someone else’s argument there.
In case you’re reading this, Mr Green, (or your lawyers are) ‘troppo’ is an Australianism and means someone’s gone nuts from some aspect of the tropics: the heat, the cicadas, the rainy season, etc. “He’s gone troppo” would be correct usage. It dates from when Australian troops were fighting in the Pacific during World War Two.
I suppose in your case it might just be the messiah complex making you look as if you’ve gone troppo. When it comes to nailing yourself to the cross – having watched a few people do it – here’s a tip.
Have someone standing by to do the last nail, it’s a bugger. Or course, i’d be happy to lend a hand, one with a hammer in it. Or we could set fire to you, i love the scent of burning martyr.
Come on, it will be fun!
In my research, i discovered Jesus Christ’s Robson Green’s middle name is Golightly. Wow, imagine being named after Audrey Hepburn (Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”), and growing up in the north of England in the 60’s and 70’s?
Oh, in case, in his hysteria, Robson Green thinks i’m serious,
and accuses me of actually making death threats, this note is for the Feds.
It’s a joke. I am not really that interested in the guy.
I just reckon he’s behaved like a twat, and i’m allowed to say so.
I live on the Central Coast – a series of dormitory suburbs north of Sydney. The CBD is just over 100k (62 miles) away from this northern end. It’s about 2 hours by train if the trains aren’t delayed, and with a 20 minute car run to the station included in that time. If the F3 isn’t choked with crashes, bushfires, or traffic, it’s about 90 minutes at the 110k limit on the Newcastle-Sydney Freeway.
It’s a strip of land squashed between the rolling Pacific Ocean and the inland Dividing Range. Just inland are chains of picturesque lakes studded with pretty islands. The hinterland is full of fat farmlets and ‘substantial properties’ – mansions on a few acres that sell for millions.
Everywhere, there are empty second houses owned by people who don’t have time to visit them, while locals can barely afford to rent. At the most, these second homes are tenanted on long weekends.
One house in our street is literally inhabited for four days twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, though the last year, they only made it at Easter. This year, they came on a long weekend too, and as they have noisy dogs and children who think screaming is acceptable, we’re hoping it’s a momentary aberration.
This was a holiday place in the south and along the coastline, and a coal mining area in the north – with rural endeavours along the rest of it. The only people who lived here were those who made a living off tourists, or worked in the coal mines. The mines are mostly closed now, or automated.
Not far away, driving down the desirability of absolute lakefront, is the power station, its high chimneys marking the sky for miles around, but invisible from our little pocket of lake and sky, which cups us like a blue bowl. No smoke in the sky, they filter out ‘visible’ smoke. Usually the only stains in our sky are the nicotine stain of Sydney to the south.
Like any fringe metropolitan area, more than just city-dwellers looking for cheap real estate wash up here. The junkies, the alcoholics, the abused and their abusers. The crazy, the crazed, and the crying inside.Those who need medical care in the capital, but can’t afford to live near a decent hospital.
Our street is a cross between retirees, upwardly mobile and ordinary working people, and society’s leftovers. I’m actually leftovers, the Underclass, but i pretend to be polite and middle-class – amazing what you can do with a posh speaking voice.
The house across the road, cut into two flats, attracts the Underclass. When i first came here, there was a beer-bellied 30’s guy upstairs, and a younger guy with gaol-house tattoos downstairs.
Bazz was skinny, covered in blue ink, but with a big smile, his long hair in a mullet. We met when he came over to help get the fridge up the stairs. He’d seen us struggling from across the road. It’s the sort of first meeting you give a person a lot of credit for, a really nice gesture, and we appreciated it.
Mr Whatsit and I had little contact with any of our neighbours – i don’t really want to get to know them, had too many crazy ones. There were occasional loans of battery chargers by us, help with carrying things inside from him, basic good neighbourly stuff.
Mr Whatsit was helping Bazz with his car. When reading the battery’s install date, it came out that Bazz was completely illiterate, and couldn’t read numbers either. It was only ten in the morning, but he was already drinking bourbon and coke. A young man on his way down.
Then his girlfriend moved in. A tall, slim, very pretty girl, Mandy spoke to me once, her eyes downcast when Bazz spoke over her. We tried to steer clear of them – we could see Bazz was wired too tight.
Like most of us who end up in abusive relationships, Mandy was probably on a rescue mission which had gone horribly wrong. The fights started. You could hardly hear her, just him shouting and screaming, getting in his car and doing burnouts in the street, driving off like a madman, screeching back into the driveway, more yelling.
Neighbours called the cops, as did we, but it went on, for months and months. Sometimes you could hear Mandy, a little high-pitched voice, or hear her sobbing. He didn’t hit her, at least as far as we knew, but it was abuse of a different kind.
Their ground-floor flat was barely habitable. Bazz had three goofy, friendly Staffordshire Terrier crosses, kept fish, tanks and tanks of them, and wasn’t the best fishkeeper – the tanks were often discoloured.
Then there was the mess from three dogs, carpeting the back yard. The smell reached out if you went past the front of the house.
Bazz and Mandy were both about early to mid 20’s. I went over one day, i can’t even remember why. I was talking to Bazz, and he was telling me how they were moving to Sydney. They had an offer of somewhere to live and he’d be able to get work.
A woman came round the corner of the house, looking to be about mid-forties and not ageing well. Very thin and hard-faced. She smiled, i recognised the smile, and assumed it was Mandy’s Mum come to help with the moving.
We said hello and shook, and Bazz said, “You remember Mandy?” Of course i did, but i couldn’t see her in the woman looking at me. It was less than a year since the first time i’d seen her.
I pretended to recognise her, managed not to look shocked, finished the conversation and went back across the road. To my unsmelly house. Once my sinuses stopped complaining, i realised they were both on something nasty – amphetamines of some kind, most probably.
Part of me wanted to help, particularly Mandy – i could see myself in her.
I know there was nothing i could have said, nothing i could have done. Nobody could have told me, when i was young and in love, that i was in a bad place with a man who was wrong for me in almost every way, or that the drug i was taking was messing with my perceptions, and destroying me.
Meanwhile, the house across the road emptied out. The guy who lived upstairs never came back after a court date, and Bazz and Mandy took off to the Big Smoke in his 80’s vintage Holden Commodore.
Pair of kids on an adventure. Dogs in the back, friends helping move the furniture with some hired trailers.
At first, the street seemed quiet without them, then a man who claimed he had been a medic in Vietnam, plus another woman and her pregnant daughter, moved in upstairs.
With three people in there, it was so crowded that the fights were just like before. A deaf guy with a weakness for brunettes lived downstairs where Bazz and Mandy used to be.
I have Bazz’s phone number, he has mine. When i next clean out my phone, i think i’ll delete Bazz’s.