Alexandra

A little bit portfolio, a little bit clever & mainly moronic

The Dailies: You know you’re the Editor of your Student Newspaper when..

You almost start wishing something bad would happen so you’d have something to put on the front page.

You have cried as a direct result of InDesign.

You know everything there is to know about the NUS, yet you give a shit about less than 1 third of it.

Someone points out a spelling mistake on the front page and you decide to never speak to them again.

You have said, ‘I can’t go out tonight/meet up today/socialise/exist as an entity because [insert name of newspaper] goes to print tomorrow.’ 

You are seriously worried you will fail your degree because you spend all your time on the Student Newspaper.

Everyone who works in the Student’s Union knows you, but most of them hate you because you have written nasty things about them.

You have woken up at 3am to panic about that tiny news article you slipped in at the last minute because it wasn’t checked for libellous content.

You either love or hate your Comms Officer/Editor in Chief.

Your team think you are a crazy slave driver (they’re right). You just think they’re slacking.

You tell your friends you hate being the Editor and that you are going to quit.

You say this on a bi-daily basis.

The thing is, you fucking love it and you know you do.

 

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The Dailies: Dissertation, only one of us got out alive

I very recently finished my dissertation. It was a 12,000 word experience.

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I am not the best student in the world, but neither am I the worst. I am comfortably in the middle (slightly more towards the bottom). 

The process of my dissertation was somewhat like an abusive relationship. We met, we fell in love. It was a world wind romance; it was beautiful. Candle lit dinners and long nights spent reading each other.

Then I got to the hard part…writing it. We began to spar, we started to bicker. I would say I was going to leave, I would briefly flirt with another subject and say things like, ‘Oh if only I’d done my dissertation on the rise of the Neo-Victorian novel in a Postmodern society’ (or some other bollocks). Eventually though, after a long time away from each other, I would come back to my dissertation.

We would briefly reconcile. We would have powerful sex in which I’d write 1000s of words. The next day I would wake up and I would have forgotten to the set alarm, my dissertation would shout at me from across the room and then I’d realise all the words I’d written were shit and delete them all.

This vicious circle went on for about a month. And then I had 2 weeks to hand the fucker in. Well, our relationship went through every stage possible. I screamed at my dissertation, I told it to go fuck itself, I then came back to it, told it I loved it. Again and again. 

The Thursday before my dissertation was due in on the Monday, I lost my mind. We fell out massively. I was going to leave it, forever. When my Programme Director asked me how my dissertation was going, I shouted back, ‘Fuck everything!’ I then got down on the floor and rocked and moaned. My friends looked on, ambivalent; by this point, they were used to my on/off romance and its various unpleasant fallings out.

Obviously, we made up. No time for candle lit dinners, but we spent hours and hours sorting out our problems. Had one finale fuck. Then I killed that fucker by putting it through a hot glue machine and shoving its body in a box.

Then, much like a real murderer I would imagine, I was in a state of shock and mourning. My hands were shaking, I wanted to cry. But we were done. I was finished with it forever.

 

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The Dailies: Getting Fumped

The Dailies is something stupid I decided to do when I finished my dissertation. I decided to blog every day. Obviously, this will probably not be every day and almost certainly never on the weekend. Enjoy.

 

Getting dumped sucks. That’s obvious. But getting friend-dumped (fumped) totally sucks. It’s when you have a good friend, who you meet up with a reasonable amount, talk to a fair amount and just generally have a good time with, and then suddenly they stop talking to you. 

 

When you break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend you tend to know about it. If they’re nice, they take you to a cafe or some sort of ‘neutral space’ (I use inverted commas because I don’t understand the notion of a neutral space) and they hold your hand and very gently tell you that despite the fact you are totally awesome, they no longer love you. They no longer want to have sex with you, but don’t forget, it’s not you, it’s them. If they’re an asshole they might tell you via text message or Facebook. But the point is, you know. You are aware that you are no longer in a relationship. And then usually they disappear out of you life faster than an English summer. It’s so quick you wonder if it ever happened at all.

 

Being fumped is totally different, you often have literally no idea you’ve been fumped. Usually, the person gradually just stops texting back, no longer includes you in plans with other mutual friends and acts distant when you do run into them. Conversations become awkward and strained.

 

If you are, like me, socially inept, you will pussy foot around this and ask mutual friends if the fumper (friend-dumper) has said anything about you to them. Chances are they haven’t. Or your friends don’t tell you. Either way, you are left wondering if you’ve pissed them off.

 

You might then send the ‘We still cool?” text, to which, chances are, you will get a reply something like, ‘Of course we are babe, I’m just been so busy recently! Soz if we haven’t hung out in a while.’ Then you’ll quit worrying and think everything is fine.

 

Except it’s not. You’ve been FUMPED. Gradually this person will cut you out of their life. It will be slow. Fumping is not like dumping. Dumping is normally over and done with fairly quickly, unless you’re that ‘on-off’ couple. Fumping takes a long time, involves a lot of acting like a two faced cow, and always leaves the Fumpee feeling unsure as to what they have done.

 

The problem with Fumping is you’re never sure when you’re about to be fumped (in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship it’s normally obvious: a breakdown of communication; you haven’t shared a bed/seen each in 3 weeks or they cheated on you) it can happen at, seemingly, anytime. 

 

I have been known to ‘fump’ people because, unfortunately, some friendships have an expiration date. More often than not though, it’s because my friend has irreconcilably  pissed me off. And instead of just telling them, I cut them out completely. For some reason, in a friendship it’s nigh on impossible to just say, ‘Don’t say that/do that/think that/behave like a twat, it’s annoying.’ Despite the fact that in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship every damn thing the person does is critiqued to high hell by their partner. 

 

I wish I’d told some people why we stopped being friends, instead of cutting them out.  I wish all the people who’d fumped me had told me why, but I’d probably have told them to go fuck themselves, so maybe that’s why I got fumped in the first place.

 

DISCLAIMER: If you’re beginning to feel paranoid, this probably hasn’t happened to you. Most fumping is NEARLY invisible until it’s far too late. And then you will know, because, you’ll go on their Facebook and your cursor will hover over ‘Add as a Friend’. Then you’ve been well and truly FUMPED. 

 

Creative Writing Portfolio 2

And here’s the other one I made earlier

Stop making the eyes at me and I’ll stop making the eyes at you… As predictable as the hangover the next day I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor appears near the end of the night. This is West London after all and everyone in here secretly has Arctic Monkey’s entire discography on their IPod. Stomping my feet down on the sticky dance floor, I wave Issy over from the bar. She throws a loose arm round my shoulders and we shout the words. A camera flashes in my eyes and burns my retinas. I know it’s an awful picture but I don’t care because I’m drunk and I love this song and my friends are here and that boy I think is attractive is actually looking at me. He’s Shoni’s friend or Tom’s friend I can’t remember and I think he goes to University of Arts London but I don’t really care because he’s got a lazy, easy smile and his jeans are tighter than any that I own. I wave him over, and Issy unwinds her grip on me, anxious not to be a cock block. He makes the ‘1 second’ sign with his hand and disappears. As Arctic Monkeys play their final chorus and the whole room vibrates with a hundred shrill voices, ‘LIKE A ROBOT FROM 1984!’ he reappears with two bottles of his Becks in his hand. I accept the one he offers me and take an ambitious swig, turning my head to the side, because I think look better in profile. A little beer dribbles down my chin and I pray he doesn’t notice. I wipe my sweaty forehead with the back of my hand, and try and remember the last time I shaved my legs.

 

The familiar, do do, dooo, do chords of Wonderwall cut in, always unfathomably the last song of the night. Today is gonna be the day…. I pull a face because I know it’s not cool to like Oasis and he leans in and shouts into my ear,

“I’m Henry, by the way.”

“Alexandra” I reply and extend my hand. We shake. Our hands linger outstretched, cupping the other’s.

We seem so middle class. I want to laugh and show him my empty wallet and the rips in my tights, but I don’t. I smile. He reluctantly lets my hand drop to my side. His finger tips skim the sheer fabric of my dress and I stare at him, not used to men fingering my clothing.

He puts his arms out and I step into the space, he smells like cigarettes, sweat and somewhere hidden under lashings of cologne, dove soap. We awkwardly shuffle to to the music, and eventually resort to just taking the piss out of it and mouthing the words dramatically to each other. I glance up at him and he cocks his head to the side. We kiss. His tongue throbs against mine and his hand skates down my back. I panic because I really don’t want him to touch my arse in front of everyone. Mercifully, he doesn’t.

He takes my hand and he doesn’t really have to ask, he knows I’m going to come home with him. He’s kind though, so he does,

“Would you like to come back to mine?”

I have to act surprised, like I didn’t go out with a condom and a change of underwear in my  handbag. I pull the appropriate faces and try and sound spontaneous when I say,

“Yeah, sure. Why not?”

I catch Shoni’s eye across the dancefloor, and she makes the ‘sex’ gesture, forming a circle with her thumb and forefinger and poking the index finger of her left hand in and out. I grin at her. She winks. It’s usually me making this gesture over dancefloors in sweaty clubs.

I take Henry’s hand, a strangely intimate gesture for someone I don’t know.

When we get outside my ears are ringing. It’s cold but I can’t feel it, a thin layer of sweat lines the inside of my fur coat.

“Where do you live?” I ask, hoping it’s not too far away. It isn’t. Putney.

“You have a student house in Putney?” I ask, incredulous.

“Well, Putney/Roehampton borders.” He smiles, and dips his head at me, as if he’s letting me on a big secret.

“My friend lives on Posonby Road.” I blurt out. I’m no good at small talk.

“Oh really?”

He offers me a cigarette and I graciously accept.

I concentrate very hard on relaxing the muscles around my mouth as I smoke, I’ve been told before I pout like a cat doing a shit when I’m smoking. His cigarette dangles from the left side of his mouth. I notice his lips are a little chapped. He blows smoke into my eye, by accident, and I wince.

On the bus, he loosely drapes an arm over the back of my chair, and later, over the back of me. I pat his knee, and he smiles down at me. I imagine he’s my boyfriend, and look around the bus to see if anyone is watching us. They’re not. Too busy untangling their headphones or having dry sex on the backseats.

The bus journey takes little time, we flash past familiar landscapes and we walk back to his.

We swap details of mutual friends and home addresses. He’s studying Graphic Design. I tell him blandly about my A-levels, trying to sound as if I’m clever but not passionate.

Back at his, we creep upstairs quietly. A giggle bursts up in my chest, but I suppress it. We succeed in not waking his housemates.

His bedroom is tidy. It’s a nice enough room, he has a Libertines poster on the wall and his bed has been made. That’s good. He leans over his computer, selecting an appropriate playlist. I watch his back, his shoulder bone sticks out awkwardly. He picks the xx. Watch things on VCRs with me, and talk about big love. I hang my coat up very slowly on the back of his bedroom door, stalling for time, I can feel my heart in my mouth. The heavy, wet thud thud thud of anticipation sings in my ears, and despite the bravado, I’m bricking it. This is the awkward social dance to the bed and I don’t know the steps. How do you go from 1 to sexy with someone you met? He reaches his arms around my back and ties them at the front just underneath my breasts. We tentatively hug in this position for a few seconds, then he turns me round and we flounder and my nose is squashed against his and his tongue is too far down my throat. It’s a race to the bed, and my bra ends up somewhere under the covers. Henry touches my nipple piercing with a mixture of terror and fascination.

“You have your nipple pierced?”

“Well, yeah…” I’m grinning in the dark. The pain was worth it for this reaction.

“It’s nice.” He cups my breast with one hand, and his tongue circles the metal balls. I don’t have the heart to tell him how fucking unsanitary that is. I make the appropriate noises.

 

The rest is predictable and quick. Neither of us come and he apologises,

“Sorry, it’s the alcohol. I don’t think I can.”

“It’s OK.” I reply, stroking his cheek. I feel a bit sick and I need to sleep.

 

We fold into awkward shapes, not knowing the contours of each other’s bodies. I think I fall asleep first, terrified I will snore.

 

I wake up early, not used to such thin curtains letting so much light through. I glue my eyes tight shut, yesterday’s mascara sticking my lashes together. But my head is thumping too hard for more sleep. My mouth’s dryer than a wood chip and I scan the room for a glass of water. I long to stretch my tired legs, to massage the balls of my sore feet but Henry is sleeping beside me. He’s stretched out confidently and I admire his profile. He has a strong nose, and a smattering of greasy spots just underneath his fringe. His mouth is parted and I can see he’s never needed braces. If I was to be critical I’d say he has a slightly weak chin, but he’s not jowly. He’s lovely. I fucked him, I think to myself and I want to howl with laughter. And text all my friends. Then I remember with a sickening lurch that my Mum has no idea where I am. Shit.

 

I ease myself out of bed. Goosebumps climb my bare thighs and I scrabble around on the floor looking for my handbag. I grab my phone. Two texts:

Issy- Uuuuu r a slyyy doggie, have fun i loveee uuuuu xxxx Sent 3.15am

Mum- Got Shoni’s text. Says you’re stayed at hers and your phone ran out of battery. Will see you after work. Sent 7.30am.

 

I could kiss Shoni. I tap out a message to her:

I love you. Thank you so much man. Call you later xx p.s hows the head?

I think about staying around, maybe getting a morning shag, but then I look in the mirror and think better of it. I know I should leave. I take one more look at Henry, admiring the curl of his bicep. I don’t leave my number. I contemplate writing a note, but in the end all I leave is the unfilled condom. I don’t feel like peeling that off the floor.

I carry my shoes downstairs so as not to wake anyone with the clack, clack, clack of Topshop’s finest. I put them on at the door, pull my coat further around me, and shut the door slowly and finally, waiting for the click. It clicks.

I step out into bright sunlight. It’s cold and a little icy under foot. I step tentatively in my heels, and make my way to the bus stop. Despite my pounding head and the slight ache between my legs, which stings a little when I clench my muscles, I smile. I beam. People on their way to work give me disapproving looks. I grin back.

“Sometimes sex is just sex!” I want to yell. I say good morning to the bus driver. It is a good morning.

 

Creative Writing Portfolio

Here’s one I made earlier

Cooking his dinner I dreamt. I cut one onion, running my finger tips along it’s sticky skin. I cut the other onion open and exposed a blackened centre, I squeezed it between my finger and thumb and instead of being hard it gave a little. It was rotten. I threw it away disgusted. I added a liberal splash of oil to the pan, and threw the onion in. I waited for the familiar sizzle and thought about the night before. My throat was still sore from the amount of cigarettes I’d smoked, I replayed the moment where he’d kissed me over and again, like it was an internet gif. A boy leans in and kisses a girl, over and over again. He was coming to me. He was leaving her. For me. I muttered these words to my self. I stirred the rice. I washed the mushrooms. I poured in the Coconut milk. Thick and creamy, I imagined him eating it. I saw him licking his spoon and letting out a sigh of pleasure.

I served myself a small portion. I had a black dress on, it was clingy, tight, exposing parts of my body I wasn’t comfortable with. Best to keep the portion size small. I piled his plate high with delicious curry. I placed half a Naan on the side of each plate and brought them over to the table. He looked down at his plate and I saw a flash of a frown.

“Do you not like curry?” I asked, the hot plates beginning to burn my hands.

“I don’t really like spicy food…” He answered, awkwardly, wringing his hands in his lap.

“Oh that’s OK” I replied, trying to keep my tone light. “It’s more creamy than spicy.”

“Try it” I prompted. I put the plates down on the wooden table and smoothed the table cloth with my hand.

He tried it, a small pathetic mouthful.

We ate in silence. I burnt my mouth on my first spoonful and couldn’t taste a thing.

It wasn’t an awkward silence. It didn’t roar in my ears. He wasn’t much of a talker anyway.

He finished his dinner and pushed the plate away from him, a strangely childish gesture. I wondered if he would do the washing up. I’d rather have liked to see his bulky shoulders bent over my tiny sink. I’d have liked to watch him wash my greasy pans and stare at his perfect back, the slight incline of his arse.  He stood up, looking towards the door and said,

“Urr, I think I’ll go for a cigarette.”

“We can have one in my room.” I blurted out.

“Won’t your parents mind?” My parents were away.

I thought about it for a fraction of a second. Yes, they would probably mind. But my sister did it all the time.

I shrugged, “My sister does it all the time.”

He followed me up the stairs. I walked slowly. I wanted him to see what my arse looked like in this silly, cling, polyester dress that had cost half of my pay check. I’d tidied my room   because I’d knew we’d end up here. I’d changed the sheets, I wanted him to smell crisp whiteness. I’d set up a make shift ash tray, for a post-coital cigarette and Blue by Joni Mitchell was in my CD player. I pressed play and Joni cracked to life, “I am on a lonely road and I am travelling, travelling…”

“What’s this?” He asked, as I cracked the window open.

“The music?”

“Yeah…”

“It’s Joni Mitchell.”

“Oh right…cool.”

He lit his cigarette, and didn’t extend the match to me, as he had done the other night, so I lit mine myself. We smoked and exchanged small talk.

I stubbed my cigarette out, and leaned forward and placed a kiss on his cheek. As I knew he would, he led me to the bed and the polyester dress ended up tangled in a knot on the floor. In our rush to remove our important clothes, I left my high heels on.

“I love your hips.” He whispered, running his hands over them.

“Curvy.” I muttered.

“It’s nice.”

His girlfriend had no curves.

He planted the softest kisses across my stomach and I forgot, for a second, how to breathe.

I slid my legs over his, and felt my heel catch against the duvet cover. As he moved on top of me, I heard the fabric snag on my stiletto.

After, I pulled his white t-shirt over my head, my breasts filling the cotton out in places his body never would. I smiled at him, I was so blissfully happy. I giggled, sliding back into bed beside him.

“That was perfect.” I mumbled, breathlessly.

I put my hand out, my finger poised to trace over his perfect lip line. He batted my hand away gently and said,

“I’m going to get a glass of water.”

“Can you get me one?” I replied, trying to keep my tone light and breezy. He shoved his legs into his jeans and went downstairs. I heard the tap turn on.

The Last Time I Saw Richard reached it’s finale, “I’m going to blow this damn candle out.”

Jack reappeared with only glass of water. He took a sip, then put it down on my bed side table sharply.

“Can I have my t-shirt back please?” He asked, not looking at me. “I should be going.”

Later, much later, hunched over the sewing machine with the duvet cover, I would think about the fact he didn’t bring me a glass of water.

I knew I’d been an easy fuck. I imagined them walking home together, dawdling on the high street, his arm wrapped around her. Her body slipped so neatly into his, in the way that lovers do. I’ve never had a lover whose body slid easily against mine. I always have to bend to fit.

Sack the old, fat, incompetent manager

Getting my coffee from Starbucks this morning (for my sins) I noticed something which is becoming a bit of a trend. They’ll be about 3 Customer Assistants (or Baristas) all dressed smartly, bright eyed and bushy tailed in their uniforms and then there’s there’s this big, fat, bald man in an ill fitting suit somewhere behind the counter getting in everyone’s way. This man (and it’s always a man, I’m afraid) looks totally out of place, his bald head is shining with the hint of perspiration (no matter what the weather is like outside) and he’s far too large to be shimming around with the dexterity and ease that the others manage whilst making my White Americano. One wonders for a second if he is in fact some crazed customer whose decided to infiltrate the sacred space behind the bar, determined to make his own Vanilla Latte, staff be damned. Except then I realised that, instead of trying to shoo this incompetent gentleman out of the way, the underpaid, overworked staff are actually trying to placate this guy. Then it hits me, this man is their boss!

 

This has been a recurring theme in a number of places I’ve worked in minimum wage or thereabouts jobs. I can’t name them for legal reasons, but at each food serving establishment I worked at, I had a big, fat, old, incompetent manager. The worst example of this was when I worked in a successful, upper class, chain of hotels, restaurants and pubs. I worked with some of the most hardworking people I’ve ever encountered. Working full time in this place meant 60 hour (or more) weeks and regular lunch and dinner rushes. I’m not going to say I never sweated, or had a hair out of place, but all staff wore a smart uniform, including an apron (no, really) and I made sure I had my hair up, and generally looked like the kind of person you might want to be served food by. So did all my other colleagues.

 

Our boss, however, was an exceptionally large man, who regularly wore ill fitting suits, with his cheap shirts hanging out of his half unzipped flies. He wasn’t balding admittedly, but the man could have used a hair cut. He was rude to members of staff, barely bothering to say hello or goodbye to us as we started or finished our shifts. He once told me off for having an un ironed shirt in front of my whole team. Embarrassingly, I felt tears sting in my eyes and then I thought, “Hey fuck you! You look like shit!”

 

This man would regularly stand by the bar watching his staff literally rushed off their feet. When I once asked him to perform a till function that I couldn’t (due to the fact it wasn’t enabled on my key card) he looked blankly at me and told me to leave the bar and go get the person from Reception to do it. Obviously, it would have made much more sense for him to do it for me, but he probably didn’t even know how. 

 

My Mum summed it up for me best when she went to have a meal in this place recently. She said,

“All the staff were lovely and the food was great. I had a nice chat with the waitress. They all looked very smart in their black shirts. But then I saw that big, fat man wandering around clearly irritating the staff and I just thought, that’s not a very good advert for a food place. I mean, I don’t want to eat their food and end up looking like that, you know what I mean?”

 

Yes, Mum, I do know what you mean (for once). 

 

Incidentally, this isn’t a criticism against larger people. I’m no skinny mini myself. I just think the fat, old, incompetent managers need to go. They undermine the hard work of all their staff.

3 Traxxxx

The best thing I’ve pretty much ever done was download Spotify, way back in my first year, when it was free and there was no limit on the amount of times you could play a song.

I still have Spotify, except now I pay for it. Honestly though, I don’t begrudge them the £4.99/month because it puts great music at my fingertips.

I’ve recently discovered Frank Ocean. I know, where have I been hiding? 

Channel Orange is currently £5 on Amazon. If you like your Kanye West, but slowed down, if you like RnB and sampling, I think this might be the one for you. Ocean’s mad, but in a good way.

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Another beauty I’ve recently got into, thankz to Spotify radio, is Kings of Convenience. Cutesy and indie, think Sufjan Stevens & Belle & Sebastian, but with a little more…more…piazazz I guess. I’d recommend Quiet is the New Loud, which is also around the £5 mark on Amazon.

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“I’d never really known you, but I realised that the one you were before, had changed into somebody for whom I wouldn’t mind to put the kettle on. Still, I don’t know what I can save you from.”

 

If none of that appeals, jingly jangly indie with a hint of electro, might well do. Check out Miami Horror (not on Spotify *sob*). They’re fun, exciting, have crazed mixed up videos and every song reminds me of summer. Their album, Illumination, is a little more pricey on Amazon (£11) but it’s a great testament to youth, fun and love. 

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“I don’t know just where you came from, but I need you now.”

Christmas via Co-Op and Poetry Books

“Maybe this Christmas, will mean something more.”

Maybe not.

I’m pretty much anti-festive. Not to be a downer or anything, but you’re about as likely to catch me wearing a Christmas jumper as you are to catch Victoria Beckham eating a full Christmas dinner, avec trimmings. 

I celebrated fake Christmas with my Guildford Family, aka the beautiful souls I share number 27 with, on Tuesday. We had 2 for Tuesday (thankz Dominos) and decked our kitchen out with crackers from Primark, stolen party hats, a stolen sign from Co-Op, and some 6 for £1 candles. 

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Here we are, pre-Dominos. We also did Secret Santa. Now, I can get on board with Secret Santa. I had Gen (not in photo) for secret santa. Our limit was a tenner so I burnt her a some CDs for the car, got her some cute fridge magnets and bought her Broetry. The ultimate Lit Student to Lit Student gift, a poetry book. She wanted it. I swear.

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Obligatory Christmas post out of way then!

The Crazy Club

“I’m really sad.”

“Don’t worry, there’s a pill for that.”

 

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In actual fact, there’s a lot of pills for that. And a lot of people on them. Being part of the crazy club is a weird one. I had one counsellor who said, ‘A lot of people find comfort in diagnosis. It makes them feel less alone.” This was just after I had been ‘diagnosed’ with depression. 

 

I wasn’t really bothered about being alone. I think growing up as more or less an only child (interesting how only rhymes with lonely, eh?) I’ve got used to my own company. For a social person, I’m fairly solitary. I’ve always been frightened of needing people (don’t take that to mean I don’t need people, I need people desperately and pathetically, in the way we all do) and I’ve always needed space and time on my own. 

 

In fact, I don’t really want to be like anyone else. I mean, I’ve been me for over 2 decades and it hasn’t all be plain sailing, but you know, I’m an old pair of hands.

 

‘Diagnosis’ is kind of like a doctor’s version of pin the tale on the donkey. Pin the emotional problem on the girl crying in my office. I’m not saying all doctors are like this, but I’ve had the (mis)fortune to meet a lot who are. So, whether, it made me feel better or not was kind of pointless. It made me feel like I’d been shoved into the depression box. It’s much easier to manage people who are ‘depressed’ than people who are just generally feeling like shit, right? 

 

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The Smiths and Love or Like

 

‘When you cycled by, it began all my dreams, the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. And you never knew how much I really liked you. Because I never even told you. Oh, and I meant to.’ Back to the Old House- The Smiths

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I’ve never been seduced by flowers or chocolates or even love poetry. Poetry about love tends to leave me cold, or worse, wanting to vomit. Especially John Donne. But for some reason, these lines have always struck a chord in me that vibrates endlessly around my heart when I hear them. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t mention love at all. Love is such a big abstraction that it’s kind of not really there. I have no idea what love is, or even if it’s real. You can’t hold love, you can’t turn it over in your hands. But ‘like’ has currency, it has fluency, I can see like. I can envisage the light blue of ‘like’. Love is passionate and glamourous, ‘like’ is oddly melancholic. ‘Like’ rings true. I’ve ‘really liked’ so many people, so many people who will never know. I can imagine what ‘really liking’ someone is. I don’t know what ‘really loving’ someone is. Love is just something we say to the sound bigger and better than ‘really liking’. Love is greater than like, but like is what I relate to better.