Sleepwalking my way through life: May 2006



Stating the obvious

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
My last exam is tomorrow. My final exam of the school year and the last time I ever have to set foot in that school for the purpose of learning.

Aaaaaaaaaand I’m crapping myself.

Sarcasm and children do not mix well

Sunday, May 28, 2006
“So what do you think of this one?” I asked, pointing to the new theme I had just installed on Firefox. After two years using Mozilla I had just discovered that I could fiddle with the themes for it, and was currently trying out a sleek, black look.

“I don’t like it,” Jessica – my little cousin – replied, not really looking at the screen, “it’s too dark.” She had been dumped on us for the weekend while my aunt and uncle went off on some romantic spa deal. I cursed the fact that I now had a hyperactive six year old to accompany my studying, yet I thanked my lucky stars that her sister wasn’t with her. The two combined create a similar compound to combining Sulphur and two parts Oxygen.

“What do you know?” I said, changing the theme to a crystalline style.

“I know that one plus one is two.” She said blandly, playing with my earphones.

I let out a small sigh, “A common misconception.”

Her voice perked up a bit with interest. “What do you mean?”

“One plus one is actually three. They got it wrong all those years ago, and everybody keeps making the same mistake every time.” I told her factually.

She sat up and looked at me, holding the couch pillow on her lap. “That isn’t true! How is it?”

“Oh, there’s all these complicated equations linked to it.”

“What are they?” She asked, eyeing me suspiciously.

She was catching on to me, I had to think quickly. “Chris knows them. And besides, you wouldn’t understand it.”

“Oh.”

She seemed to buy it and I suppressed my grin. She looked over my shoulder as I picked another theme and analysed it against my favourite pages. Making sure it didn’t look too weird or anything.

“How long have you and Chris been brothers for?” She asked, as if the question was as normal as asking about the weather. I paused for a moment before returning to the Lapdancer.

“Only for a couple of years now,” I said to her, “we used to be friends that really didn’t like each other, but we disliked each other so much that we decided to be brothers. Best day of my life.”

There was a slight pause before the pillow was smashed into my face. I was taken by surprise and so received both an eye and mouthful of wonderful pillow as it connected with my unshielded face. I coughed and spluttered as I looked towards my cousin, the pillow in her hand and a beaming smile on her face.

“You’re a liar.”

A final farewell, with scissors

Friday, May 26, 2006
A quick note: I also have a LiveJournal account that has fallen into disuse over the years, with updates appearing randomly whenever I feel like it. I used my account to comment on my friend's LiveJournals, and to gain access to their friend only posts. One of those 'friends' has taken me off their friends list, a very significant event.

You have just deleted me from your friends list meaning that, unfortunately, I can no longer read up on your adventures on day to day life. I'm guessing that this signifies the end of our friendship in real life huh?

To be honest I'm slightly angry, but mostly hurt. Did I mean nothing to you then? Was I so worthless that you could easily cut me out without the breath of a word? Although it was a long time ago, there was a time that you meant more than the world to me. Even though things have changed, I would still have the decency and respect before I told you that I was going to sever all ties.

But you don't care. You're wrapped up in your world with your problems. Me? I guess I'm just one less over protective big brother to worry about.

Actually this deletion is almost a good thing. It's urged me to cut off all ties myself, cutting off everything that was linking me to my old life. Bye bye old Joe, you'll only survive in memories and archives.

I don't know why I care so much that you're gone. I can easily shrug you off and say 'another angsty teen I don't have to deal with' as you have. But I guess you were something more than that, you were a friend and oddly enough I still cared if you were upset or hurt. But now I can't care can I?

If you haven't blocked me on MSN, then throw a goodbye my way. I deserve that.

But if you don't, I guess I have no choice.

Goodbye Laura. I will miss you, and I hope your life gets better.

Buh bye.

Rantings of a would be insomniac

It’s early; really early. So early, that it’s actually considered late. It’s ten to three and I find myself, once again, with the inability to sleep. I used to have a talent for sleeping; I’d do it for the entire night, even stretching to some part of the day. I even did it during the day a couple of times. Only coma patients were better at sleeping than I.

But now I don’t sleep. I stay up and write instead. Notice how my blogs are getting later and later, my thoughts only being written down in the deep dark of a sleepless night. My thoughts aren’t whole here, they’re sleepy and disjointed. They’re a mixture of the songs I’m listening to, the end of the last conversation I had, the topics the last blog I read brought me, and (oddly enough) swirling purple dye.

I’ve often wondered what it’s like to be an insomniac. I started reading Stephen King’s Insomnia but I didn’t get far due to the need of studying. What I did read was quite interesting though, lots of in depth descriptions of the horror of insomnia. The waking sleep where life is a swirling nightmare that’s twisted and distorted with bloodshot eyes and heavy hands. Stumbling from one second to the next with the tangible knowledge that only a second passed and not the lifetime that seemed to have gone by. Blinking with lead eyelids, licking dry lips with half thought plans; wishing to die just for a bit of relaxation.

My friend in fourth year spent his night playing videogames and spent his days scoring full marks in every test. Hmm.

There is no point to this rant. Just another half thought… thought from someone who should be asleep. I have a proper rant to write soon. A good one, a slightly controversial one, but a good one none-the-less.

I think.

Wanting

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
It was past one in the morning at the time of writing, so it’d be nice if you excused this temporary lack of sanity due to my inability to sleep.

I slowly slid my hand to my thigh, removing the invisible gun from its holster. I held it limply by my side, my finger carefully curling around the trigger and my eyes darting around the shadows in the trees. There had been one too many strange sounds coming from the forest at the side of the path, and I was still a wanted man out here. It was better to be safe than sorry, I thought as I pulled the hammer back with my thumb, keeping the gun nonchalantly at my side, trying my best not to bring attention to it.

I slowly slid the sword out of its sheath, creating a pure ring as it scraped against the edges. I held it in front of me as I traversed carefully along the path, my eyes darting around the shadows and the trees, daring something to come out. I was making my way further and further into enemy territory, I had seen creatures I never thought possible and it didn’t hurt to be a little on guard. The trees beside me made a threatening rustle and I gripped the hilt of the sword with both my hands, ready to face anything that would come out of the shrubs.

I slowly slid my hand into the shoulder of my jacket, withdrawing it quickly as I winced at the pain it caused. The bullet had gone deep, throwing me off my balance and sending me into the hard dirt, but I had scrambled away, narrowly avoiding the other shots. I stumbled down the forest path, constantly looking behind me with burning lungs and terrified eyes. I could feel the blood run down my arm, flowing in little rivers to the tips of my fingers where they would drip off and land on the cold stone. I ran deeper into the dark forest, anywhere was better than back there.

I get urges sometimes, as if a separate entity inside me is trying to push its way out and do something else. Spoiled by too many films and video games; it craves adventure, danger and a challenge above all else. It wants to prove its worth in the field; it wants to survive against all odds.

It’s times like those that I wish I did more story writing. I used to write escapades of huge peril with plenty of action and adventure that would satisfy the little warrior in me. I’d live through my imagination and fill those urges with made up characters and situations, testing my ability to the limits.

Now, all I have is the gut wrenching urges. I miss sitting in front of a sheet of paper and letting my poised pen write down the thoughts and ideas running through my head; I miss developing a character to have an interesting new twist; I miss reading over my story in final perfection. I don’t think I want to be a wannabe writer anymore.

I think it’s time to do something about that.

Explanation

Monday, May 22, 2006
Written last night, being posted at the exact second my mum turned off the internet. Perfect timing eh?

I’m in a more comfortable spot now, nestled in the folds of my bed sheet with random music filling the room. This signifies the final relaxation of a day filled with frustration, lost tempers and a whole lack of wires. This morning the Mothership and I decided to have a crack at setting up the wireless internet, putting in CDs and giving power to a big glowing box with smiles on our faces as we thought of how great it would be to have the internet with no strings attached.

Three hours later and we had already gone through four shouting matches, two huffs and one attempt at strangulation with wires (ironically enough), but we had done it. The wireless hub was emitting a healthy hum and glowed with content as it sent the internet to my battered Lapdancer, sitting on my lap in all her wireless glory. I jumped with joy, lifting the Lapdancer above my head in a celebratory dance with no restrictions. I ran up the stairs, watching streamed videos on the landing, reading a forum on my windowsill, even blogging while sitting on the porcelain throne. My internet access now had no limits (if I stay with 100ft that is) and I could be on any time that I wanted-

My computer beeped alarmingly and I signed out of MSN in a flash.

I donned my deerskin hat and pulled out my magnifying glass to find the cause of the problem. My connection speed had dropped dramatically, causing me to disconnect form the internet. I repaired the connection and happily continued my way through the expanse of knowledge at my disposal. But I was interrupted again by another drop in speed.

Another three hours later, after furiously typing at my keyboard, subtly kicking the wireless router and shouting at my cat for meandering into my path; finally I had it fixed. Radio signals form the tv interfered with the signal, so I unplugged certain things, and voila! I’m back in business.

So yeah, don’t be creeped out by me blogging on the toilet. It was purely an act to symbolise my newfound freedom. I swear it!

Oh. My. God.

Sunday, May 21, 2006
I'm blogging on the TOILET!

EDIT: I was sitting on the toilet, I was NOT using it. NOT using it.

Hippo's and Birdy's

Saturday, May 20, 2006
I am incredibly happy that this has finally happened. I say finally in a way that sounds like I expected this to happen, but it wasn’t really expected, it just happened. It’s like when the sun rises in the morning, or when a bird flies by your window, or when you feel the ground beneath your feet. My news isn’t nearly as important as these things; it’s just my vain imagination that wishes it to be.

This very post you’re reading is my four hundredth post. This news, although impressive, is not really amazing and is not worth a whole post to itself (unlike my hundredth, two hundredth and three hundredth, which kicked ass), but something has happened that has made this news more special.

Two years ago, to this very date, was the day I wrote my first blog. Ever. On 20th of May 2004, I opened up Blogger and typed up my first post, creating an amateur blog that has changed and evolved into the entity that you read before you. When I began writing I was such a different blogger; I used bad grammar, I had no sentence construction, God, I used a ‘z’ when saying ‘it’s’. But now… I’ve changed so much. I discovered my true passion for writing, for manipulating words to do my bidding, to tell the world what I’m thinking. I found that churning out these lovely words could calm me down much more effectively than any stress ball.

I never expected to make it this far. I thought that this site would last until the summer of 2004 ended, only a mild distraction that would last me to the beginning of school where I would give it up after being drowned in homework. I never expected that in two years time I’d still be spending hours in front of a Word document as I wrote something new about my day.

Two years is a long time.

But that isn’t the biggest of news. Even if you don’t call that big news, it isn’t the ‘wonderful’ thing that has happened.

Marie and I got back together last Saturday. We went to see the romantic Prime in the morning and headed back to her house in the afternoon where we made rhubarb pie. We laid on her bed in the soft glow of fairy lights and talked things out, working things out. After two months of chasing her, we’re finally back together. And nothing right now can suppress nor surpass the feeling in my chest, like I’m a constant roller coaster, my breath being constantly taken from me.

Happy birthday LittleResearchMonkeyBoy, I hope you have a good one.

Until then...

Friday, May 19, 2006
There is a reason that I haven't been posting much lately. It started out as a flickering idea that would never really work to a great accident.

But you won't find out why until tomorrow...

I know, I'm pure evil.

When it rains... is the short story written for my English creative folio. And A leap of calculated logic is a re-hash of a blog I wrote not too long ago. Also for my creative folio. They should give you some entertainment until tomorrow.

Something wonderful has happened, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

Guy talk

Monday, May 15, 2006
"Lesbians annoy me. Stealing all the women and leaving none for the men. You know for every lesbian there are two more single men?"

I almost choked on my Pot Noodle in alarm, Fletch sat on the couch opposite, his legs stretched out and hands behind his head as he gazed thoughtfully at the ceiling.

I swallowed my mouthful and looked at him. "That is, without a doubt, the gayest thing you have ever said to me."

He glanced at me with a flicker of annoyance passing over his face. "You know what I mean. It's all cool in porn, but real lesbians don't let you watch." He said with an unhappy face.

"Oh," I said, putting my finished noodles on the table, "you mean REAL lesbians." He nodded and I sat back in my chair, looking at the ceiling as he did. "No, they don't exist. Lesbians only exist because they haven't met me yet."

Fletch laughed and sat up straight, "No, you've got it the wrong way round. Lesbians exist because they HAVE met you."

I narrowed my eyes and looked at him, "That was cold."

"Don't you think though," he continued, "that being a porn star would actually kick ass? I mean, you're getting paid to have sex. Well, it's good as long as you don't have to do any freaky shit. Freaky being midgets by the way."

"True." I replied.

"Or men who are now 'women'."

"Very true."

"Stuff involving faeces..."

"Ok, you can stop right there you know.

"But normal porn would be good." He said, smiling finally. "Like threesomes and stuff. I'd be glad to do that. I'd just have to spend half my pay on Viagra and steroids."

"You have no idea how bad this conversation is turning."

"Of course, only guy girl girl. Not the other kind of threesome."

"Here it comes..."

"Do you know what the worst kind of threesome is? Guy guy guy guy guy. It's so bad it isn't even a threesome!"

"There we are!" I say, standing up. "Not only do I smell of Chow Mien noodles and that I'm late for work, but I also have a beautiful image of a gay orgy. You really are something Fletch." I pulled on my jacket and slipped my feet into my shoes. "But you know what the very best type of porn is, don't you?"

He looked at me from over his glasses, knowing what I was about to say.

"Girl girl girl girl girl," I continued, "and big ol' me in the middle."

"-me in the middle." He said, finishing just after I did.

I laughed at him, opening the door and preparing to go out. "I got it out first." I said with a triumphant smile.

"Exactly!" He shouted, glancing at my crotch.

I paused for a moment, looking at him straight in his spectacled eyes.

"I walked right into that one didn't I?"

A sigh of relief

Saturday, May 13, 2006
“Are you leaving then?”

I smiled and the gentle breeze blew the hair out of my eyes, making me screw up my eyes because of the bright sun. I looked at the group of first years huddling in front of me, all of them girls ranging from short and chubby to tall and incredibly thin. They waited anxiously for my answer, holding their breath in anticipation; my fan club awaiting the news from their leader.

“Yeah,” I replied, shifting my bag to a more comfortable position, “I’m leaving. You’ll see me a couple of times around school, but other than that…” I trailed off, not wanting to say the inevitable “you won’t see me again”. They knew it already, and I didn’t want to cause them more pain. “Bye guys.”

“Bye Joe.” They said one by one, each of them not looking directly at me, trying their best to stare intently at the pavement. I was going to miss those girls (trust me, their story will be told another time).

I walked away form them and joined Rooney on the grass, hiding the stolen Fire Exit sign under my bag before enjoying the sun. Our bus was late, so we were subjected to the beautiful heat and the soft grass, lying back and letting the world buzz by until it arrived. I lay back on the warm, wet grass with Rooney, gazing at the deep blue that spanned above us. We gazed in silence for a few thoughtful moments, trying to grasp what had just happened.

“Do you feel it?” I asked, looking straight up at the sky.

“Feel what?”

I stretched my arms up, trying to grab at the clouds. “Do you feel what I’m feeling?”

Rooney sat up, looking at me with a ‘what the hell you talking about?’ face. “What the hell you talking about?” He asked. “What are you feeling?”

I let out a deep sigh, letting my hands drop to my stomach again and a smile spreading across my face.

“That I’ve survived.”

Anticipation

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Written yesterday, posted today. I seem to be doing that a lot these days…

It’s a nice day, the sun beating down on us to the extent that we had to buy ice cream to cool us down.

It seems that summer is almost upon us, with its promise of lazy days out in the sun followed by lazy days in with sunburn. There’ll be kids playing in the streets, shops bustling with people, and – of course – the sweet silence emanating from the schools.

And then, right in the middle of a bite into my Mars Ice Cream, it hits me. Tomorrow is my last day of school. My last day of school ever. After this Wednesday I’ll only have to come back three times, maybe once or twice more to get help with Drama, but other than that I’m home free.

My teaching has ended for now. I will no longer be in high school, I’ll have to change my Blogger profile from “High School Student” to “Useless Hobo” as I fritter away my summer in front of the Lapdancer, typing away. I’ll have nothing to do but blog or sit and wait with baited breath, guarding the letter box like a hawk.

But I am getting ahead of myself here; I still have to sit my exams before I even begin to worry about the results. The first of which is this Friday, where Advanced English promises me a nervous breakdown at the amount of quotes and analysis I have to remember. And the best part? I haven’t even begun to think about studying yet. I know I’ll regret this during the exam when I send myself into a coma while banging my head against the table to remind myself of my own stupidity, but I just can’t do it. I tried sitting down last Sunday to write an essay for the next day but you need to be in the right frame of mind to do schoolwork, and I have trouble being in the right frame of mind normally.

But I digress. Tomorrow is my last day of little school. I’ve outgrown my little pond and will soon be placed (with any luck) in a much larger one where I will have to work for dominance and, to put it plain and simple, I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait until I take that deep first breath as a university student, individual in a clichéd way. It’s going to be great.

This school year has undoubtedly been the best school year of my life, and I cannot wait until it ends. Yes, this year has been amazing, but I want to get it behind me. I want to be able to look back on this year and smile on the memory of friends, lovers and chocolate doughnuts.


-------------------------------------------


And on a more personal note, I’d like to humbly announce that I am now a part of the legendary Random Shapes network. This is a network made up solely of teen bloggers who are fantastic writers, and I am extremely happy to be counted as one of them. I feel like… I don’t know. I feel like an unknown band that’s just been signed with a fantastic record label.
Thanks for taking me in guys.

Imaginary dining

Sunday, May 07, 2006
I know, I should really stop the imagery. It's pointless seeing how people don't really understand what I'm saying, and can only guess.
I'll stop it now.


The food was laid out before me on a silver platter; glorious mountains of potato, a forest of deliciously sweetened greens, and the biggest, juiciest steak in existence. I gazed with ravenous eyes at the food before me and my stomach rumbled with anticipation. I licked my lips, too engrossed in looking at the food to hear the waiter.

“Sorry, what?” I asked, looking up at the primly dressed waiter, a towel over one arm and a menu under the other.

“The steak sir,” he indicated with his hand, “it is a new recipe.”

“Really?” I asked, trying my best not to drool.

“Yes, sir.” He replied with some pride in his voice. “It is very fortunate that you came in when you did young sir, we almost gave the meal to the young girl over there.” He said, pointing with the menu.

I looked over to the girl who almost had the pleasure of enjoying my meal. She was young – younger than me – and a frown flickered across her stunning face for a moment as she checked her watch, obviously waiting to be served. She slumped forward with a sigh and tucked another strand of curly blonde hair behind her ear, waiting to get served. She didn’t matter, the food was mine now.

I picked up my knife and fork, ready to dig into the piece of art that was ready for the taking. My fork hovered over the meat, ready to pierce it and feel the thick, soft, juiciness inside. But the waiter was still beside me, looking at me as if he still had something to say. And say he did.

“Although this is a new recipe sir, it is not fully perfected. There are still some things that we need to work on… You could call this a trial run for it.”

“Oh,” I replied, setting down my knife and fork down on either side of the plate.

“Is something the matter sir?”

“Take it back,” I said, lifting the glass and sipping some water. “It’s not perfect, it’s not ready. Take it back and bring it to me when it’s ready.”

“But sir-“

“Do it.”

The waiter obediently covered the plate in its silver lid and lifted it off my table. He had changed slightly; his was still pleasant, but it wasn’t as high note as before. After he picked up the tray he looked at me. “I am sorry for the inconvenience sir, you have already had a long wait already and now you have to wait longer.”

“It’s my choice.” I told him bluntly.

“We are very proud of this recipe sir, and we are not going to give it to just anyone. We are not even sure that we should release it again. But if we do, we expect some… class for this type of meal. So I suggest that you clean yourself up and stop slouching if you want to enjoy it… sir.”

“Suggestion noted.” I told him, taking another sip of water.

The waiter began to walk away with the food, holding it carefully aloft. Before he stepped round the corner and out of sight into the kitchen, he turned.

“You seem to be anticipating this steak quite a lot sir.”

“I have been in this restaurant for the best part of a year,” I told him with a smile, “I have tasted and chewed many variations of that steak. I have felt it grow better with age; I have discovered new bursts of flavours as I have eaten it; I have tasted it rare to well done. But this one… this one is new, it’s different. And I want it to be perfect.”

The waiter looked at me for a moment, carefully planning out his next sentence. “You expect this steak to be perfect, to be the best. And although I am proud of this place and its food, I can tell you that it won’t be perfect.”

“You have to take the good with the bad, otherwise what’s the point in having it?”

“That’s not what I mean sir. It won’t live up to your expectations.”

I took a gulp from my glass, “I know.”

“Then, why do you wait?”

“Because it’s better than the chicken.” I laugh, raising my glass in fake merriment.

The waiter left and I was left alone to contemplate my growling stomach, but I was not alone for long. A guy about my age sat in the chair across from me, an incredulous look on his face.

“What was that?”

“What was what?” I asked him.

“You gave it away! You let it slip through your fingers again!” He said, gesticulating wildly.

“And?” I was being short with him; his use of the word “again” annoyed me.

“What is wrong with you? You were handed it – quite literally – on a silver plate. All you had to do was say yes and it was yours! Everything you ever wanted!”

“It wasn’t. You know it wasn’t.”

“What? Because it wasn’t finished? What if they never release it again? What if you never get another chance to-?”

“It wasn’t ready. It has to be ready, otherwise I won’t enjoy it.” I really wished he would just go away. “Sit up straight, this is a classy place.”

“You’re an idiot. A goddamn idiot. You know that?”

“I’m not.” I say to myself more than him. “I’m brilliant.”

He threw his hands up. “I can’t get through to you!” he said as he stood up.

“No, you can’t.” I told him, taking another drink of water. He looked at me before walking away to find another table to bother.

And so I sat and waited for my meal, trying my best to resist the urge to play with my napkin.

Conspiracies

Saturday, May 06, 2006
I have a sneaky suspicion that NCIS is merely a clever anagram of CSI with an N thrown into the mix.

I shall have to focus all my attention to solve this mystery, neglecting all chores and homework to do so.

English essays be damned!

Men Should Weep

"Leave me go! Making a bloomin fool of me in front of my friends!"

“Where have you been ‘til this time of night?” I bellowed at her, speckles of spit flying from my mouth. It was late and Jenny had just arrived home. I had to drag her inside away from the group of boys she was standing with. Again.

“That’s none of your business, I’m grown up now!”

“Don’t you speak to me like that; I asked where you’d been!”

“And I told ya, none of your damned interfering business!” She screeched, a defiant grin on her face. Well, it could’ve been a grin, but it could also have just been the make-up smeared over her lips.

“Jenny! John!” Maggie shouted at us over the bellowing, she was sick of these fights as much as I was and I could see the usual headache forming behind her eyes. I should have stopped there, but I was too angry.

I grabbed Jenny’s arms, squeezing tightly as I went down to her level. “Where wis you? Answer me!”

She looked away, trying her best to avoid my gaze. “At the pictures…”

“The pictures come out at half ten, where wis you after?”

“With Nessie Tait and a couple of friends…”

I shoved her backwards so she fell onto the couch with Maggie. “I don’t approve of your Nessie Tait-”

“That’s a pity,” she shouted, “I do!”

“You impudent little bitch! What I ought to do is take my belt to you!”

She laughed, “Just you try it!”

“Next you come in here at this time of night I will! Look at yourself!” I grabbed her and dragged her tarted ass to the sink and mirror. I let her glimpse her face in the mirror before grabbing her hair and thrusting it into the sink, dunking her face in the water. She came up coughing and spluttering, her makeup running over her face in a way that made her look like a sad clown.

“There!” I shouted, a slight sound of triumph in my voice. This memory sickened me when I thought about it later, I was taking pleasure in her embarrassment. “And next time you’ll let your hair grow to the colour God meant it to be, and leave it that way!”

“Maybe I will, and maybe I’ll no, it just depends!” she replied, her voice obviously upset.

“I’m wanting no more sauce from you Jenny. I’m speaking to you for your own good, what’ll the neighbours think? You coming in at this time of night and standing in a close with a man?”

“What do I care what the neighbours think? And I suppose you never stood in a close yourself?”

“I know my own sex Jen, it’s you I’m thinking about.”

“You can save your breath, I’m not as naïve and innocent as you think.” Great, what a way to calm me down Jen. “I’m not as green as cabbages… And talking about cabbages, I’m chucking the shop.”

Oh, she knew how to push my buttons. And what a thing to throw into the argument, just the perfect thing to get me raging.

“You’re doing what?”

“You heard. I don’t want to touch vegetables the rats have been at with a boss that’s always checking the takings. No, I’ve had enough of that.”

“I what, may I ask, do you propose to do, my lady?” I asked, bending down in a low bow.

“I’ve got myself a job at the jewellers, that was my boss I was with tonight.”

Maggie and I exchanged a look. “Is that so? Where’s his shop? I’m your father and it’s my right to have a word with this… new boss.”

“You’ve got a fat chance of that,” Jenny announced, standing up and strutting across the room to leave. I grabbed her arm to stop her but she shook free and stood facing me. “I’m not telling you anything. I’m sick of Ma waiting at the shop with the kids running about and Ma asking for potatoes and tomatoes while embarrassing me in front of everyone!”

“I didn’t mean to aggravate you Jenny… I was just needing your money for the house…”

“The impudence of you!” It was one thing to piss me off; it was another to upset my wife. “It’s your duty to hand over every penny to her that’s looked after you for all your days!”

“Save your breath! It’s not my job to take care of the kids, it’s yours! I didn’t ask to be born into this hell hole, not in a clatty kitchen with no food and sleeping beside a snoring old wife. No, I’m leaving.”

Ok, that hurt. I looked around the room, at the mess that was the flat, my home. “Things won’t always be like this Jenny, I know it’s not the home me and your mother would like for you… It’s just the way things are.”

“Aye, it’s always bad luck with you. Every time you lose your job, it’s bad luck!”

“Well so it is bad luck!” I say, throwing my arms up in the air, “there’s a depression on, do you not understand?”

“I understand fine,” she said, stepping closer and closer towards me. “Some men get on and make money, depression or not. Others just don’t have the brains.”

Her face was an inch from mine, I could see every shade of watery colour painted on her skin, I could feel the heat coming off of her, and I could smell the stale smell of alcohol on her breath…

“You’ve been drinking.” I growled in a deep undertone.

“What about it?” her face showing a flicker of fear.

“What have you been drinking!?” I bellow.

“Water!”

“By God! If a girl ever asked for it!” I grabbed her arms and shook her, “What have you been drinking?!”

“Just… a couple of gins.”

I suddenly let go of her, stepping away with a maniacal grin on my face. “Right you are my lady, right you are! Not content with painting your face, dying your hair, staying out half the night; you’re drinking gin! Carry on! You’ll end up in the gutter, and when you do you shouldn’t come to me to pick you up!”

“You needn’t worry, when I leave this pigsty I’m not coming back, so you’d better hang on to your job this time, if you can!”

It happened before I could stop myself, but at the time I didn’t want to stop myself. My hand rose up and smacked her across the face, sending her to the ground. She lay there, motionless as my rage ran riot round the room. The lights seemed to darken, and I lost my vision for a moment…

The lights came back up and my ears were filled with applause. I look around the room and see people standing up, clapping and cheering. The examiner is at her desk, smiling broadly and writing feverishly on some paper. I look down and see Helen smiling up at me, her cheek slightly red, but her lips mouthing the long awaited message; we’ve done it, it’s finally over.

I pushed passed everyone in the room and retreated to the changing room where I down a bottle of water in seconds. My heart was pounding and my fists clenched as I raced into the toilet next door. I ran the tap and splashed cold, soothing water on my face. Feeling myself calm down, I looked in the mirror at my dripping face.

There’s always a downside to the good results of method acting.

Extract taken and edited from the play 'Men Should Weep'

I actually do like the comments...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006
[Insert witty/thoughtful anecdote/story/update that entices/saddens/angers the reader into commenting constructively/funnily/pointlessly/unwelcome...ly]

Regular programming will resume shortly. I've got a lot of things going on right now including studying, exams, essays and work. But not limited to that.

I cannot wait until this year ends. Although it has turned out to be the best school year of my life, I cannot wait until it finishes. Until I can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that I have no more work to do. All I can do is wait anxiously for the results to come through and ruin my life.

I'll be back on track soon.

What if?

Monday, May 01, 2006
“It’s over,” she told me factually, her breath laden with drink, “he doesn’t want me anymore.”

“You never know,” I soothed, “you guys could get back together. Things have a way of working out.”

“No!” She slurred, spilling her drink. “He doesn’t want me, he comes on to me, but he doesn’t like me.” She fell to the ground, almost sobbing in self pity. I felt sorry for her and lifted her up to a seat where she sat hunched over, coming up occasionally to down another litre of Vodka.

Her and her boyfriend had broken up. They had started going out at the same time that me and Marie did and – scarily enough – broke up round about the same time too. She had been chasing him for about a year previous to it, and finally caught him. Now he has broken loose and she is at a loss of what to do. Except drown her sorrows with the Russians.

“I’ll never find anyone again. I was lucky to have him.” She rambled on, hardly making sense.

I looked at her and smiled before going down to her level.

“You will find someone. You’re a nice, funny… mostly sober girl. You can find another guy.” She didn’t reply, so I pulled out the big guns. “Look… I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but do you remember when we first really met? I liked you then.”

“What?” She asked, looking at me in an incredibly sober way.

“When we went to Muffin Break and had coffee? Yeah, I liked you back then.”

“Don’t say that.” She said, looking at the floor as if she was going to be ill.

“Sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable or anything,” I replied, standing up “but it’s true. And so you can get other guys to like you-”

“You bastard.” She said to me, still looking flatly at the ground.

“What?”

“I liked you too you, you bastard.”

“Wait a second… What?”

“Yeah, I thought that you were this really funny and sweet guy! And you were attractive and available and I FUCKING LIKED YOU!” she said while wildly gesticulating, throwing her vodka everywhere.

“But-but-but… I thought you were hung up on Ross! You kept telling me how much you liked him! That’s why I didn’t say anything!”

“I can’t believe this! You bastard, you should’ve told me. I told Nikki that I liked you! Argh!” she downed another gulp or two, finishing the bottle and tossing it aside.

A lot of what ifs ran through my head at that point. What if I had told her, and she had told me? What if I had asked her out, what if we went out? Will things be the same now? Would I have the same lifestyle, the same experiences? Would I be the same person?

Hmm.

“Look at it this way,” I said to her, looking to the sky in thought, “if we went out with each other, then you wouldn’t have gone out with Ross and I wouldn’t have gone out with Marie. And even though both of our adventures turned sour, we will never forget the experiences that we had with them.”

There was no reply from her; she was probably in a deep, drunken thought.

“I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

There was still no reply, so I looked down to where she was sitting. She had fallen off her chair and was fast asleep in a puddle of Vodka, murmuring “bastard” under her breath. I smiled and draped a jacket over her so she could stay warm.

I walked home with some new thoughts swirling in my head. What ifs are always fun.