Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

Drifting in the Ocean

They threw clods of earth at the walls, the windows, the door. Not one square inch was left clear of the mud they threw that day. Broken prams appeared overnight in the centre of the lawn, bricks broke the car windows. Graffiti on the front door. It was an endless onslaught.

My brother would go out for a few hours and come back bruised. A black eye. A broken nose. He learnt to be a survivor, grew up too quickly. Lost his childhood to common racism, xenophobia, and an inept mother. His story is sadder than mine. As a writer I'd give everything I own to tell it, as a sister I'd give my life to take away his pain.

I wasn't allowed outside after dark. Not even in the garden. He took my hand. Told me I was pretty, said he wanted to play. He led me down the garden path, stroked my arm, said that we should play "mummies and daddies". He was only a kid too. Fifteen, sixteen years old, a fucking child himself. They say that your sexuality is expressed from childhood so, then, is paedophilia? He got me as far as across the street before he was stopped. I'm still not sure whether it was my dad or my brother that stopped him. But for his sins, my brother nearly put him in hospital. And that kid was three years older than him. At that age three years makes a difference. I hope to god that kid is in prison now. And I hope he was just trying to get what he could, where he could, rather than it being an expression of paedophilia at a young age. Maturation would not make him better.

I haven't been back there in years. A few years ago I read about an Asian boy being knifed on the main street, and then after that there were the three Pakistani kids that were beaten to death outside the chip shop by a gang of kids. A gang of kids who probably lived on the same estate I did. A gang of kids I probably knew and was ridiculed by.

Now I'm just as likely to get asked for sex because of who I am. But even, "I've never had an Asian chick before" is better than leading a four year old, who doesn't know what's going on, away into the darkness. And mud isn't thrown at the house here, I can walk down the street without people looking at me or my family with disgust in their eyes. I still get the occasional person making a derogatory comment about the "fucking Chink," but it isn't that common.

I know racism. I know it inside out, upside down, and from the very worst perspective. And Jesus Christ do I know pain: both my own and other's. But pain is an ocean. And when you're left drifting in an ocean you have one of two choices: sink or swim. Maybe you won't find the shore in time to survive, and maybe you'll have to beat off sharks along the way. But surely it's better to fight, surely its better to at least try.

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Monday, April 24, 2006 


crying girl

She sits in the middle of the room, tears run in mascara-black rivulets across her skin. On the cold, white, tiled floor she looks small, maybe some kind of porcelain doll, maybe just a little girl. Her hair hangs in a cascade around her face, the pretty face that is screwed up in agony as she sobs. A bottle lies broken on the floor across from her, and her phone lies next to it ignored. She doesn't care what's around her, she only cares about her own grief which comes in heart-wrenching pain from inside her until she's crying like a child. That impossible type of pain- where you can't do anything to stop it and you just feel inconsequential, out of control, and small.

I don't know why she's crying yet. I just know that she will. Her head will be aching from over indulgence in alcohol, and her brain will be scattered like the contents of her handbag. Which, incidentally, is probably left on the floor, open and upside down somewhere where it's going to be stood on, or forgotten about entirely. Who knows what the hell has gone wrong this time? With her it could be anything from a one night stand gone bad, to realising that she's pregnant. Maybe her father has died, maybe she's just done something so stupid she feels like she's lost control of her life.

It's probably got something to do with alcoholism. And with her, I'd guess that a man had treated her badly in some way too. She's superficial, she's flighty, and she's too easily obsessed by things that cause her too much pain.

And she's damaged. She's been damaged for a long time. Once she was even told that she was damaged property. It was flung in her face by a boy, a boy who didn't like rejection. But the knowledge that it was only said for the revenge of his bruised ego didn't cause the insult to hurt her any less. It still stung right down to her very core. The worst insults are the ones we secretly whisper to ourselves in the darkness, the ones we never admit to and fling out at people around us in the hopes that calling it out in others will somehow make it alright to be that too. He was lucky, he chose the right insult, never realising how much he had it right, never realising that he'd engraved himself into her memory forever over such a small thing.

I think she's scared. How can you be so messed up if you aren't scared? It isn't possible. You drown yourself in alcohol and throw yourself at men because you're scared. You're scared that if you don't get the men you'll die alone. You think that being beautiful and always having someone somehow makes you better. It means that no matter how many men you go through, how many recognise you for who you are and drop you, you still have someone. There is still some idiot out there who will fall into the trap. And one day you'll meet someone who will understand you, who won't run away at the first sign of the underlying madness. But you're scared because you know that its entirely possible that that person doesn't exist. So you'll live a lonely life with only inconstant companions, men who will satisfy you for a day, but forget you in a week.

The alcohol doesn't stop you from being scared. But occasionally it numbs the pain a little. You learnt long ago that it won't make you forget, none of the important things anyway, but for a while it means that you don't care. You can get on with simply being without the hassle of remembering too.

But you can't run away forever. When you realise who you are, or you do something so outrageous that even you are disgusted with yourself. When you realise that you've turned into that most horrifying concept- your own mother. That's when you cry. You cry because you feel cheap, used, dumb, pointless. You cry because you haven't done anything worthwhile. You cry because you look in the mirror, and are forced to acknowledge yourself.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006 

For Ever or For Now

We had sex eleven times. For a three and a half month- long relationship, I found that pretty pathetic. I mean, maybe if I'd wanted to make him wait or something, but I just don't have that kind of self restraint. To be honest, I don't really have any self restraint, or self control. I'm pretty much ruled by my whims.

And in the end I did fall in love with him. But we came from completely different backgrounds. I come from a tribe of polygamists whereas he was steeped in monogamy and "Thou shalt not commit adultery". Don't get me wrong, if you're looking for multiples or whatever, I'm not your girl. My ancestry is more than enough to put me off that stuff. I don't do open relationships (except when I really have to), and I don't cheat (unless I'm really pissed off). But I'm not subject to the green eyed monster and I've been known to get wandering eyes.

He got jealous. I never did anything wrong, well, nothing really wrong, but he still got pissed off. To me that's actually quite sweet. I mean, on occasions it did annoy the hell out of me. But he went for that macho I'm-not-gonna-show-any-of-my-feelings thing so it wasn't ever too outwardly obvious. It was just there when I talked to a guy and he'd interrupt his own conversation to come and protectively put his arms around me. It was only there in little things like that.

We were good together, our personalities were so similar, it was just where we were coming from that was so starkly different. And our sex drives. Mostly we didn't really see each other, but when we did I was just about ready to jump on him, whereas he could take it or leave it. That I couldn't understand. It wasn't that he didn't like it, its just sometimes he couldn't be that bothered. Being too lazy for sex is a startling concept for me.

On most levels he understood me, and he respected me. He seemed to like who I am. I cared about him so much and I loved him. But it was the wrong kind of love. He's the type of man I'll marry, but he isn't the type for right now. That kind of understanding, is the kind that you build houses on and raise children. It isn't the kind of tepestuous relationship a girl fits into the months before she goes to uni.

There was a lot left unsaid due to my inability to speak my heart, cos've my utter fear of anyone getting too close. And also due to his stupid male pride. But we got along. He didn't open me up and most of the stuff I got out of him was simply from being fluent in the art of manipulation. But we worked. It was rocky, and sometimes it wasn't as fulfilling as I'd have liked. But none of that lessened the number of tears that fell when it ended.

The girl he marries won't be me. She's called Claire and she's the closest I've ever come to jealousy. I only met her once, but heard about her much more than that. I was sitting in the pub when I met her. She was pretty, very pretty, but in an ordinary way. They had a banter. It didn't worry me, I was happy just to sit back and watch.

He wanted me. That I understood completely, finally. He liked the Chinese thing, and he liked having me around. But like he's my forever guy, but not for now, I was his for now, and she's his forever. She'll stick around, get a job locally, be the wife, get his slippers. I can't do that. He'll keep my memory as the independent opinionated girl that he cared for, but he won't keep more than that. We're too different in our goals.

I can't do the slippers, and I can't do the cooking around an aga or whatever else they decide in an eccentrically coupley moment, it would be nice to buy. I'll just have to live with missing him and remembering that it's happened once, and can happen again. I can be tied down, and I can forget for a while who I am. He taught me that I could love so for that I'll be eternally grateful. He may forget me, but I can't forget him. Not now, not ever.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006 

Under your skin

Girl, you act like a child and tell me that so much is wrong. You wear your heart on your sleeve and react without thought, because that’s what you’ve always done. To others you may be a woman, to most you’re strong and self-assured. But I’ve seen who you hide beneath your skin, and she’s a girl who just wants to cry. Dry your tears and forget the past; I understand your pain. I’ve been there too, I know how you hurt, but now you must accept your life.

You’re hiding from reality because you’re scared. You’re doing silly things and breaking your rules. I’ve tried to hide in a bottle, it doesn’t work so don’t do that too. I can’t know every thought you have in your head, nor predict what you’ll do to escape. I can just see you as all others see and know the waste and ruin you’re trying to bring.

We’ve both been through so much heartache. We’ve suffered blows from other people’s hands. We’ve been neglected and rejected by those that we love. We can’t trust the people who care. Confidence is not something you’re born with; it’s something you must learn to posses. People don’t see what you hide on your skin if you brandish it in the light. Once I was a scared little girl, I’ll always be her and know that she’ll always be me. But you can grow out of it, fight your battles where you’ll win, stop trying to relive everything bad, and stop messing with your future.

Don’t think I say this because I don’t love you. Don’t misinterpret nor think I’m not on your side. I wouldn’t say this if I wasn’t worried, but if you carry on it is you who will hurt. Forget about putting your trust in men again. They have a lot to answer women for and that I physically cannot forgive. But you don’t need to trust them, you just need to accept that you might be wrong. Not every man is a monster, they won’t hit you or mess you around. They’re stupid worthless idiots, but some are human as well. You shouldn’t blame all men for the one who has hurt you, be wary but not necessarily afraid.

You need to have more tolerance, not everyone is so much like you. You need some more self-confidence, you’re beautiful, I wish I was you. You need to honour your word when you give it, a contract is something you keep. And you need to accept criticism when we give it, not take offence from the insult it hides. Sometimes you are egocentric, and act like a petulant child. Just pay more attention to the stuff around you, and hold less grudges for nothing at all.

You’re intense and you are self-made. You’ve been through a lot so I’m impressed that you don’t run and hide. I’ll love you whatever and stick with you through everything. Just don’t expect me to listen when you whine.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006 

Stupid Loves

He was tall and I was drunk. This is a scenario that repeatedly causes me problems. I have such a weakness for anyone plus six foot two that it’s stupid. I was feeling lonely (also something that gets me into trouble) so when he approached me I was like play doh. He was gorgeous, and there was something about him that I found completely and utterly irresistible. He just made me melt.

The first time I met him I wanted him a lot but nothing ended up happening. The second time was… more eventful. But nothing came of it; I assumed it was a fling. And it was, completely. So I was mildly put out that nothing really happened, but being single suited me and I got over it quite quickly.

It was the third time that completely ruined me. After that I really did expect something to happen. He kept on making promises, but never actually doing anything. Somehow we didn’t see each other and I dated a few different people, eventually ending up with a boyfriend. Then I saw him again. My friend was a bitch to him, she’d never liked him and knew that he’d hurt me. He went away pissed off at the end of it which I think hurt me nearly as much as it hurt him. I saw him later, without the friend, but with the boyfriend. I apologised for her and we were alright. We chatted about some random crap and that was pretty much it over.

So nothing actually happened with him. But we never really got closure; we just didn’t see each other for a while. I see him quite a lot though now. It’s a small town and we keep on running into each other. For a while he had a girl friend. I still have the boyfriend, but he’s going away in a month or so now. I don’t know if he still has the girlfriend. He wasn’t with her when I last saw him and he was giving my looks. But I wasn’t with my boyfriend either and I was giving him them right back so who knows?

I was with Scott, a friend of my boyfriend’s, and he had his arm around me. So he stopped me from going and talking to him (or throwing myself at him). If he hadn’t been keeping hold of me I don’t think I could have kept hold of me because I was just that drunk. And I’m an absolute idiot for men who give me the right type of look.

I just truly don’t know what he wants from me. Does he want anything? Was he just as drunk as I was and feeling a bit lonely because his girlfriend wasn’t with him? I need a self-help book, or even someone who can simply explain. I hate that he makes me this confused. I hate that I have a boyfriend and I’m thinking of someone else. I hate that my boyfriend is leaving and I’m going to be stuck single again. Being single isn’t good for me. I end up with shit heads who treat me very badly and cause me too much confusion.

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About me

  • An albatross can fly for thousands of miles without getting tired. I've always thought that love is similar to flying, therefore we should aspire to be like the albatross.

    I don't know if I can do that. So far I haven't been so lucky. But one day I'll test my wings with someone, and flying won't be so hard after all. Or so painful.
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Save the Albatrosses


    * In 2001 one New Zealand fishing boat killed over 300 seabirds in just one trip, while fishing for ling.
    * Each year over 300,000 seabirds are killed by longline fishing.
    * Over the past 60 years some albatross populations have declined by 90%.
    * Annually around 10,000 albatross and petrels are caught in New Zealand waters alone.
  • Save the Albatrosses
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