Sunday, 25 January 2009
They look at me they do. I know they do but it means nothing. It's the 30 minutes of attention I get every day. It's the feeling of pudding without the custard, sweets that have fallen to the bottom of your handbag without any wrappers on. A feeling of disappointment and frustration but nothing will change it because it has already happened. It was fate, meant to be and all that. What can you do about it? Absolutely nothing.
I have lived and walked on these streets for 77 years. They all know me, they do. Some by name, some by my nature. Many stop, stare and giggle. Some approach me menacingly but I don't budge for anyone. This crazy little lady won't give up easily especially after everything I have been through. When push comes to shove, I will shove.
When you are elderly and have little money as the state pension and your late husband's pension provide you pittance, life is awfully hard. I refuse to go to a home and for the past 15 years I have lived in various squats around east London, and at the moment I reside in one on Commercial Road. I used to be an artist and a part-time teacher but now my hands are tired and old and I don't have the stamina I used to. I have very few belongings and the most important ones - a Tolkein book that belonged to my late husband, a fistful of dog eared photographs and some money, I keep in the pram. The pram never leaves my side, no sir. The pram keeps me alive. Pushing it around and up and down keeps my strength up every day. I don't rely on it to walk but I do rely on it for some company and energy.
People don't seem to like it, particularly the young women with children. They have a mix of pity and anger in their eyes when they see it. Why does she have a pram? Is there a child in there? She can barely walk herself let alone look after a child! Where are its parents? Oh no, look! She has some crumpled Tesco bags in there. What a poor, poor woman - she doesn't even realise she's pushing a pram and how peculiar she looks!
If you knew me you would know, that one time more than anything, I wanted to push this pram with my own child inside. A little boy or girl, I don't mind and I would have loved both with my entire heart. I would have loved to have made my son or daughter a crocheted hat, knitted booties and a fine, woollen scarf. My tiny pride of joy would sit in their throne and I would wheel them slowly whilst pointing out the sights and sounds of our London.
If you knew me you would know, that my late husband was the only love of my life, the only one who loved me back just as much and you would know that we talked constantly about our future little ones and what they were called and where we would raise them and where we would take them for their first holiday.
If you knew me then you would know, that my beloved was stolen from me when he was so young and so handsome and so full of love. I never recovered from that loss and I never recovered from his love. If you knew me then you would know, that I could not go on to have little ones with anyone else when I constantly know that the only father for them is already 6 feet under.
But you don't know me so you will never know and I will continue to be the mad old woman who pushes the pram with tears in her eyes.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
If I were to walk, dream or fall into a dreamless state,
Alive in the afterlife but dead in my current strife,
Deluded, lost and searching release,
When the ego dies all troubles will cease.
Would you ever join me?
When I set out to own the world
I had no care whilst disowning myself,
My infinite heads and numbered eyes still found refuge,
Still found reason to be blind.
In our origin.
Would you ever join me?
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Friday, 9 January 2009
I've been reading about Kumaris today. A Kumari is a young girl chosen to be the living representation of the Hindu goddess, Durga. The anointment of a Kumari has been taking place for hundreds of years in Nepal and continues to this day. The Kumari reigns until she reaches puberty i.e. until she menstruates. The Nepalese believe her menstruation is the sign that Durga has departed from her body and thus another Kumari is chosen.
My mother is Nepalese and I find it fascinating that such ritualistic beliefs and practices still occur there today. In my life and current situation, I couldn't be further away from all of this but yet genetically, I originate from lands consumed by such beliefs and practices. People have asked me before whether I feel displaced or confused not only coming from mixed parentage but also from moving around so much in my lifetime. Yes, I grew up feeling rather indifferent to my surroundings merely because they were so transient and I never spent enough time in each place to ever feel a true bond. However now, looking back, I think that I always felt a strong connection to Britain and British culture and that's why out of all the places I've ever lived, I've always been most happiest and accepted here.
I also spent part of my life in the Middle East and reflecting over Eastern culture and practices reminds me of an Anne Sexton poem, 'The Moss Of His Skin'. The poem is about the ancient Arabic custom of burying the youngest daughter alive alongside her father as a sarifice to the goddess of the tribes.
The Moss Of His Skin
It was only important
to smile and hold still,
to lie down beside him
and to rest awhile,
to be folded up together
as if we were silk,
to sink from the eyes of mother
and not to talk.
The black room took us
like a cave or a mouth
or an indoor belly.
I held my breath
and daddy was there,
his thumbs, his fat skull,
his teeth, his hair growing
like a field or a shawl.
I lay by the moss
of his skin until
it grew strange. My sisters
will never know that I fall
out of myself and pretend
that Allah will not see
how I hold my daddy
like an old stone tree.
The Girl On Death Row - T. Tex Edwards & Out On Parole
Thursday, 8 January 2009
BURY ME BURY ME BURY ME
Let the earth devour my pores and the dirt pray for my sores
CARVE ME CUT ME BURN ME
Make sure nothing is left of me
Make sure no one remembers me
I NEVER GAVE LOVE BECAUSE I WAS SO FRIGHTENED
I never received love because no one thought I mattered
WHY DOES THIS SEEM TO BE MY FATE?
Because no one else seems to be filled with self-hate
I HAVE NEVER EVER SHOWN MY HATE
But I know all those can see it from my face
I SHALL QUIETLY DROWN BUT I WILL WEAR A SMILE
No one cares, no one notices because I am not worthwhile
Dream Baby Dream - Suicide
Monday, 5 January 2009
We played Durrr tonight with about half of the packed audience singing along. We had almost 700 plays on our Myspace today and the gig was listed in the Metro, Time Out and previewed in The Guardian. Prominent journalists from the broadsheets were at the gig. I didn't see them whilst performing so I don't know if they stood notepad in hand scribbling notes or took away their thoughts with them and pondered over what they saw and heard on the last train home or whilst they were washing their bits in the shower tomorrow morning....I just don't know.
I don't know what all this means to me. I'm not rolling around doing somersaults or getting drunk in celebrations. It's 3.45am on Tuesday January 6th and I am in bed, alone, with a duvet, blue velvet blanket and sleeping bag thrown over the top for extra, although pretty useless, warmth. After the gig as much as I enjoyed it, I just wanted to shoot off home. I didn't really want to be standing on a laser-fuelled, drunk kids filled packed dancefloor dancing to a shit remix of 'Hey' by The Pixies with a plastic cup of undrunken Martini I smuggled in when I could be listening to the real thing at home by myself with a nice cup of chai for company. Don't get me wrong, I thought the club night was great and it deserves every bit of its success and it is actually run by some really genuine, nice people which are tough to find on the London club scene. The problem is me and my mind.
The main problem is myself in every way. A great gig, tremendous feedback but I lost it at the end of the night as I wasn't at all happy with the sound...again...Nothing else matters to me but the frustration of playing your heart out and someone who is being EMPLOYED and PAID f*cks up their job. Time and time again this is the case. All soundmen should be shot. But before they are they should a) all be sent to college to learn, understand and love what they do and b) be banned from drinking/taking drugs and disappearing from their sound desks at any point in the night before and during a gig. They are not harsh f*cking rules but all the hallmarks of being a PROFESSIONAL. It doesn't matter what environment you work in - the level of professionalism must be the same. My dad's a doctor and he's never wandered away from the operating theatre to high-five a mate and stop for a 20 minute chat in the middle of a heart bypass! Similarly, why the hell are soundmen allowed to get away with this just because they work in a 'social' environment?!! They are not being paid to get pissed and catch up with Timmy who used to do the sound at The Marquee down the road about 6 years ago and I haven't seen him since!!! I DON'T F*CKIN' CARE!!!
My second rant is this - the notion of pulling. I just don't get it. I really don't want to be out with a group of friends and give in to the advances of an extremely drunk but quite pretty boy who gropes me inappropriately when I'm leaving the ladies to which he expects me to make out with him in full view of everyone and on the dancefloor and by the stage and leave all my friends in order to do this. There is one word for this: NO. I don't do this and will never do this. If people want to do this (i.e. 90% of people I know) then fine, go ahead, be my guest.
Whatever happened to getting to know someone? To meeting someone and feeling intrigued and getting to know them through conversations - maybe about common interests but even being open to hearing about someone's interests you never really thought interested you. I never seem to get any respect for this and instead people seem to think MY behaviour is psychotic and unusual. In short, whatever happened to knowing someone before you attacked them with your 2 inch pink warrior (i.e. your tongue).
Call me old-fashioned, but lately I've been meeting people who show all the hallmarks of being interested in me who merely p*ss off whenever we're in a public/party/club space with any other girl who will put out sooner. As much as I don't want to say it bothers me, it does. And it f*cking hurts. This has been happening to me for years bar one or two exceptions and I'm sick of it. It makes it so much harder to let people in just a little bit because when you've just shown them that little bit of yourself, they p*ss all over it so imagine how you would have felt if you had opened up so much more. You would feel like the biggest pile of sh*t ever.
This is why I am relieved that at now exactly 4am in the morning, I am in bed, writing this rant ALONE and don't have a 5 ft 11 blond regret lying next to me. It's never going to happen. But whilst I ponder over it, I'm actually happy that at least for the rest of my life I will have my brain, my dignity and my (in)sanity. Unlike the type of people who do the above and end up having great sex for a bit but then wake up one day realising they married the dumb, silly bitch that puts out alright but makes you want to reach for the nearest screwdriver and stick it into the side of her neck everytime she opens that f*cking hole in her face and screeches something stupid and pathetic. They then turn away and see two little mirror images staring up at them and they stick that same screwdriver in their own neck to ease the eternal pain.
Phew. There. I feel much better.