I want my yellow and grey living room today. I’d have an antique typewriter to tap random letters just because I love the sound of it. Old typewriters sound exactly like old German army men. They’re tall and proud and would squash anything with the weight of their army boots that clump along intermittently
Coming from an alcohol liberal family meant that curiosity never struck me. I did not like wine, I found spirits foul and I only found a taste for the occasional beer at around 15 (please don’t misunderstand, by alcohol liberal I only mean that if i ever wanted a drink, my parents would allow it. They would even offer, hence my aversion).
Things do not always go as planned. Sometimes I don’t even make plans because everything is bound to go wrong anyway, so why bother. The stars had it aligned that I end up in a country that loves alcohol just as much as it hates close human interaction. I’ve been lost for words and found in barrels of cider until I realised not that I was wasting myself, but au contraire. I put on more weight than I (and the ones around me) could ever imagine. The cider stopped and so did the fake interaction. A battle with the extra pounds began but being young and full of energy, I quickly bounced back (language is a thing of irony). I promised myself I would not drink again but the weight loss manual that I believed my bible said spirits once in a while would be acceptable.
To cut a long battle against many things short, I never gained the weight back. I did however, gain a taste for vodka.
This is not an AA journal entry because I never got drunk (except for mild alcohol poisoning event which I decided to erase from my mind), but I enjoyed being happier than usual on many occasions. I always knew the bare reality of this sudden exaltation, which is why I never overdid it.
Never until the end of this year. Which brings us to my first impressions of memory failure.
It is an interesting thing, not knowing how it happened. At one point you’re conscious, mega-alert and aware of your surroundings and the next minute you think you might have accidentally landed in Inland Empire. David Lynch would be proud of such display of surreal behaviour.
The rest are snippets. Having so much fun at a house party but jumping in a taxi to go to town centre instead, jumping out of the taxi because of a fake sickness alert, my friend buying me water and sitting down with me in a chip shop to recover.
These memories come in waves and until now, I cannot really tell if some of them are real or not. I might have pretended I was a lesbian because I was afraid of men hitting on me in the town. I hoped I only dreamt I fell on my back while dancing the night away, but the pain the next day anchored me to reality. I prayed I did not say more inappropriate things that I do when I am sober, but I might just have.
I regret this adventure just as much as I regret dancing the whole night. Not a single bit. Because it is not often that I can dance in heels without hurting. Because it is not often I can say things without caring for consequences.
Because it is not often I can think of myself as being some sort of Laura Palmer pre death, and the night being a mystery ready to unravel.
It all just makes me wonder why life cannot be like this. Why do I have to live every day making sure I’m not overly friendly when in fact I care about people and I like to express it, making sure I don’t come across as a weirdo when in fact I know I can act just a tad crazy at times, making sure I don’t send people the wrong message, making sure my hipster self does not take over and people still understand what I am talking about.
I live my life keeping some imaginary wings up high, afraid that their weight might crush the ones I want to protect. And what is meant to be a story of selflessness and love slowly turns into a tale of fear and distress.
This is not to tell myself alcohol is good. This is to bring back the elusive memories of a time where I was inebriated and for once I was living without much care. This is to tell myself play pretend is good. I’ve got no resolutions for the new year, but I aspire to pretend I am drunk most of the time. Perhaps by pretending I am happy more often, people won’t look at me in a weird way the days I genuinely feel it.
Googols and Googols
In 1938, mathematician Edward Kasner asked his nine-year-old nephew for a name for a large number—and his nephew promptly replied: “Googol.” A googol is a number equal to 10^100, or if you wanted to write it out, it would be a 1 with 100 zeroes following it. Already, this number is larger than the number of elementary particles in the known universe, which only amount to approximately 10^80. As if this wasn’t enough, the term was then extended to an even bigger number: a googolplex, which is 10 to the power of a googol—i.e., 10^(10^100). To write this out, it would be a 1 followed by a googol number of zeroes. Here’s where it gets intensely cool: you cannot physically write this number out in its entirety, because there is not enough space in the universe. Even if you wrote in unreadable one-point font, it would take up about 3.5×10^96 metres, while observable universe is only estimated to be 8.80×10^26 meters. So, you’d still need more paper than you could stuff into the entire universe—and furthermore, if you wrote at an average rate of two digits per second, it would take you more time to write it out than the age of the universe so far. And yet, even a googolplex comes nowhere near infinity. Numbers are awesome.
With some close friends giving birth and others not-so-close-but-still-friends getting pregnant, I’ve started contemplating the possibility of a mini-me/us. A tad ridiculous if I bear in mind the set of rules I’ve designed for identifying the right time, but a possibility nonetheless. Something felt rather than thought. Nature kicks in sometimes.
But here’s the thing. I found myself in the local supermarket yesterday, with the sole intention of buying a pair of tights so I could wear a skirt to work (hey, one day of summer and I have to go to work - better flash some flesh) and then I figured maybe some court shoes that don’t hurt could be a nice addition to my shopping basket. A nice lonely pair on the shelf was giving me the eye - not my size but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. Whadya know, perfect fit but no price tag, massive inconvenience for someone who is trying to save up to the last penny for a greater purpose. But there was a lady arranging some other pairs of shoes on the shelf and I thought I’d ask. And she was nice enough to go all the way to the customer service till and actually check for me, not that I was expecting her to know the price by heart or anything. Somehow someway the idea of her actually going to check ingrained the obligation in me. The obligation to buy.
I threw the shoes in the basket pleased with the price, the quality and the fit and strolled along the isles in search for food et al. But the saving instinct kicked in and I thought to myself I don’t need another pair of court shoes, I’ve got two at home already - one that still needs to be broken into, maybe this would be the perfect opportunity, and another pair of comfy ones that only need to be reheeled. As I’m not the kind of person who leaves a pair of shoes among frozen goods, I thought about putting them back to where they belonged. Shock and horror, the lady was still there.
Maybe I should buy them, I thought whilst trying them on one last time, amazed at the perfect fit of a size 4 on my size 3 foot. This never happened before, so maybe it’s a sign. I mist have walked around the isle 4 or 5 times, hoping the lady would go away, that I would not have to live the embarrassment of her seeing me put the shoes back. I felt like I was owing her something, just because she made the effort to walk the 2m.
In the end, I identified the perfect moment, the lady was behind a stack of boxes full of shoes, I sneaked in and threw the culpable shoes on the shelf. It felt like a weight was lifted off my chest.
And here is the thing: I am nearly 25. I should not feel this way. I should not have to feel obliged to do something I don’t want to. And I should not have to spend half an hour in a shop, sneaking around worse than someone who is about to steal something.
And because of being unable to make my mind about a pair of shoes, because of wanting something I don’t need, I really shouldn’t be thinking of something kicking and screaming. The sight of a baby is heartwarming, what I feel seems right but the actual, rational and conscious thought of the reality of it makes me shudder.
Cause I’m at an age where I still don’t know what I want or how to get what I think I want and most of the times I’m just spoonfeeding my disappointments and you know what, I still don’t think I’d want it any other way.
I love my friends and their babies and future babies but for me, I’ll just go and cradle a pair of Louboutins.
The smile shaped coloured light at the end of the rain.
This is how I feel at work too.
Stamp the queen!