Monday, 18 July 2011

What about me?

I often think about what Marilyn Monroe's last thoughts were before she died.
In fact, I often think about what people's last thoughts are before they go. Morbid I know and a weird thought for a mini champagne bottle like me. I'm Moet by the way. Well, my full name is Moet Chandon Brut Imperial the third, a junior officer of the champagne order. But my friends call me Mo.
I'm honestly not prone to depression or anything, despite having a candle stuck in my head and melting down my body.
Bloody barbaric the things humans do, they either smash us, or if we're pretty they stick wax on top of us and burn us. They have become more humane as the years have gone by and started to send us for reincarnation so we can have many lives, not just as champagne bottles but also water bottles or beautiful paper to be handwritten on, or toilet roll... admittedly that one's not so glamorous. 
Anyway, back to my morbid ponderings. I just don't believe your life will actually flash before your eyes. I really don't. I mean, death takes a second, there is no way a lifetimes worth of memories can flash into your head in that time, your synapses will explode. It's clearly something people say as comfort. The thought that as you are going you will get to relive the best bits, see the ones you love one last time.
I think people will be thinking something much more mundane. Something like, 'I should have eaten the cauliflower instead of the broccoli.' Or, perhaps petulantly, 'this isn't fair.'
I've decided that Marilyn would have been thinking, 'what about me?'
I feel a great connection with Marilyn Monroe. I think it's because we are both glamour icons. I know for a fact she drank a lot of my kind too. Probably more senior officers. Lucky buggers.
Would she have regretted being a vacuous sex symbol? Felt enormous frustration that she was nothing more than the male attention she received?
Despite the book after book she devoured no one saw more than her curves and pretty smile. No one listened to what she said unless it was sung in breathy tones. I know how that feels, no one pays any attention to me unless I'm full of joy and bubbles.
Would she have hated the double bind she felt stuck in? The fact that she craved and hated this attention from men? The fact that the entire world thought she had everything because every man wanted her. Well, at least the symbol of her. But no one really understood the thoughts in her head.
Would she have hated the pressure she felt to always be a performing monkey of charm and seduction? I've watched women have to do it, I'll be poured into a retro champagne glass and I watch as women smile and listen animatedly to dull men because they so desperately need these ridiculous and rude buffoons to like them, to feel loved. To be an eternal seductress, worth only what the last man thought of you, oh god the pressure of being an everlasting flirt in a sexually saturated world.
And it's not just that, it must have been tough for Marilyn to always be dealing with other women's jealousy because of how she was desired, but in the same breath she needed to keep it up at all times, needed to be the most beautiful woman in the world time and time again, just having one man think it once was not enough, she needed all men to think it constantly, always. Because to this world, that was her entire worth.
With all this swirling round her head it's no surprise she took her own life...  
Sometimes I'll be burning away, the creamy wax dripping down my neck, the only attention I'm paid is for that of my outer image and those thoughts will creep into my head too: "What about me?"
I have thoughts, feelings, and I'm rather good at long division. Will anyone pay any attention to that? I am not just a beautiful empty vase for candle burning.
What about me?

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The one where I arrogantly answer the Q&A from guardian weekend.

When were you happiest?
I couldn't possibly pick one particular time but I'm a woman who loves novelty and change, when I first moved to Cardiff, when I first moved to London, whenever I start a new job. I'm always terrified as I like structure and routine but pushing myself seems to make me happy.

What is your greatest fear?
Never having a family of my own, and drowning.

What is your earliest memory?
I was in reception and my school got flooded, I was wearing a purple cowgirl style dress with black fringing. I remember my teacher complimenting it. My obsession with clothes was born.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
I'm going to cheat and say two people. My parents. My mum is my emotional life guru and my dad my practical life guru.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Drunkenly sobbing on the night bus home last night was pretty embarrassing.

What is your most treasured possession?
My grandmother's Emerald ring. And my iPhone.

Where would you like to live?
A London flat I actually own.

What would your super power be?
The ability to persuade anyone to do anything. I would use it for the powers of good of course.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Paloma Faith. She acts too, she was in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

What makes you unhappy?
Hangovers, loneliness and misogyny.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Forgive me arrogance, but on the most part I quite like my appearance. If I don't go to the gym for a few days though, I start to feel like a blob.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I'm quite patronising. It just blurts out, I can't help it!

What is your favourite smell?
Books, new and old.

What is your favourite word?
Superfluous. I like to pronounce it super-flow-us.

What would be your fancy dress of choice?
I'd like to dress up as a black forest gateau. I'd wear plum velvet trousers, a brown top covered in chocolate sprinkles, plum velvet long gloves, a white wig, fifties make up with a cherry in my wig.

What is the worst thing anyone's said to you?
'I love you, I just don't think I can love you in the right way.'

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I secretly enjoy pulling mascara goop out of my eye. I love it when it spreads across my eye and I have to pull it out slowly, like a string. It's weird and it makes me tingle.

What do you owe your parents?
Love and my time. They have spent years listening to me, and they deserve to be listened to in return.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
I spend my entire life apologising for myself. If I've really hurt someone, I imagine I have already apologised for it.

What does love feel like?
Like you are going mad. And then boredly content.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
'I went on this really bad date...'

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To the 1940's to watch Rita Hayworth flamenco dance.

When did you last cry?
This morning, to an advert about a charity for deaf and blind children. It was really sad!

How do you relax?
Working out, drinking, reading, daydreaming to loud music.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Proud and Humble by Imelda May. I'm not religious but I do live my life very much this way. I always do my best.

How would you like to be remembered?
Positively and with love from my grandchildren.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The clock.

I am the clock. I am never late. Always on time. Always to be relied upon.
As I, the clock, strike two, Jack is not on time. He is late and thus, cannot be relied upon.
He has his excuses set out, the district line was down, his ex-girlfriend kept calling, being the crazy bitch she is, then his trainers got eaten by the dog and thrown into a pit of fire by the dragon that attacked his dog and flew away with them. And obviously he had to follow the dragon and get his trainers back because his loafers didn't work with the rest of his outfit and certainly wouldn't work for the romantic picnic he had planned today with his new girl Jess. 
Well, I have said new girl, but being the clock I know what Jess is doing by my time, and as I strike two, she is going into Primark. She is not interested in unreliable Jack. She had a man like him in her past, a man who was unreliable and she vowed to never go down that route again. So in her mind Jack, though he does not know it yet, is dumped and Jess is off out shopping to buy that long floral maxi skirt she's had her eye on. Having been let down yet again by yet another man, she thinks she might deserve it.
Sometimes I, the clock, wonder if relationships are worth the hassle. I watch time and time again the lies couples tell around the time they keep. 'I was in the office dear,' he says while he was actually playing golf.
'Sorry I'm late, massive queue at the supermarket' she says, when actually she was in a hotel room banging the life out of her dental nurse. (The audacity of it, she could of at least have gone for the dentist).
It's 2.12pm and Jack is at Jess' door. He rings and rings but there is no answer. He's getting nervous. Did they definitely make plans for today? It was definitely today, he's not going mad. She had made that comment about disliking lateness. Is she punishing him? At 2.20pm he rings again, no answer. He decides to wait. He really likes Jess, hasn't felt this way about anyone for a long time. Shit, he should have been on time. God he thinks she's beautiful with her long brown hair and hazel eyes. Really nice bum too. And her laugh, just lovely. I strike 2.35pm and now Jack is very nervous.
Jack should be nervous, at exactly this hour Jess is walking down the high street, skirt in hand and a smile on her face. She catches the attention of everyone who walks by. Jack is not really on her mind at all.
I, the clock, wish more women were like this. So many women sit by me counting the seconds for his arrival. They don't go out and find their own joy, even if it's a simple pleasure, like a walk in the park or a new skirt. They wait for a man to give them pleasure, to give them worth.
It's funny because although I wish more women were like this, it really is rather detrimental to me. If they are out searching their own pleasures, they rather forget about me. I pass them by, like the wind, and they barely even notice I'm going. I don't get the same love, care and attention.
Jack should have given me that. He should have paid me some attention. Now it's going to take a great deal of effort to regain Jess' affections. I'm not even sure flowers will cut it. She has drifted away from him on the breeze and it's quite possible her feelings no longer remain. All because he was a couple of hours late. He didn't pay me, the clock, the respect I deserve.
That makes me feel rather good, like some sort of god. I don't want to be a tyrant with my powers, though it is tempting to ration myself. The less time everyone has the more precious I become. It would be nice to be considered a rare jewel. No one appreciates me when I'm generous.
And so I strike 3.54pm and Jess is back at her door. Jack is still there, looking rather glum with his wilted flowers and pathetic looking stale sandwiches. He has waited for nearly as long as he made her wait. Perhaps this will be enough for Jess?
'We could have spent the last four hours together you know.' Jess says to him.
Jack is full of apologies. It will never happen again he swears. 'Our time together is too precious.'
Ahhh, there ladies and gents, is the respect I deserve.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Buddha Clan: Part II

It has been many months since our first visit to the buddha clan. I am pleased to report that King Pink Buddha was not usurped by 'disco buddha.' It seems the ginger goddess is fickle in nature and what she once considered shimmering in glorious light, soon became tacky over priced bits of broken mirror.
In fact, it seems King Pink Buddha has been rewarded for this difficult time where his throne was in disrepute. He has been given a jaunty tequila hat to emphasise his jolly disposition and make him the same height as the serene buddhas who flank him.
The ginger goddess has also bought him a pet. A tiny golden buddha, this buddha hangs round his neck and gives him nuggets of wisdom on all matters. In fact, yesterday, as King Pink Buddha was reaching for a second portion of coconut pudding, golden buddha whispered the calorie content in the dessert. With a heavy sigh King Pink Buddha realised where his moobs come from.
Despite the sobering health messages, King Pink Buddha has grown to love his little advisor and, goodness, the little guy has a cheeky sense of humour. Just the other day he was playing hoopla with one of the goddesses rings, tossing it over the serene buddhas pointy hats and chortling with merriment.
At this point, the ginger goddess wandered into the living room. Quick as a flash the buddhas froze as any good personified household object should when a real life person enters the room. She saw the ring on the pointy hat and laughed, thinking the brunette goddess had put it there, just part of her odd sense of humour. The brunette goddess thinks the ginger one did it, and is becoming concerned for her sanity.
But what of the rest of the clan? It has grown in size and personality. The buddhas are taking over the windowsill and beyond. General Pewter Buddha still tries to rule the roost, but as life is going so well for the buddha clan, as they are so loved and revered by the goddesses, he is more often than not ignored.
The most exciting new addition to the clan is... well, a female buddha. An unexpected twist to the tale! She is kept inside a glass house and gold flakes float about her person, adding to her beauty and mystery. The rest of the clan adore her and often lay lotus flowers at her feet. Sadly she cannot touch these flowers, her glass house restricts such contact.
But who of her male admirers will she choose? Will it be nearly headless buddha, the brave warrior who lost his head in a battle with the great emperor Christmaswrappingpaper, but was rescued with the speedy application of some glue?  Or perhaps it will be giant golden buddha and his sidekick, not so giant golden buddha. Perhaps her protecter, the old, wizened and er, wooden rotting buddha will win her heart with his devotion and experience. Perhaps one of the serene buddhas will entice her with their sweet fables told with melodic voices. Or lazy buddha, laying back with a massive smile, bulbous belly and offerings to the gods will press her buttons? It is always difficult to foresee which way a lady's affections will swing.
King Pink Buddha is a little concerned with the new yearnings in his clan. All this idle chasing of a woman is distracting the buddhas from their true service to the goddesses. What if they notice? What if they are not appeased? The black sack of evil could take them all!
He is hatching a plan. A plan of sacrifice of lady buddha to the goddesses. Surely that will appease them?
However, it's pretty tempting to just have her for himself, that will stop all this ridiculous pining in the clan and what woman doesn't love a jaunty hat?
Besides, he is the king after all, it is he who should have a wife the entire clan reveres...

Monday, 4 July 2011

The tamed Lion

Once there was a lion named Jazz. He spent his days sat on a desk. His mane was... well I would say enormous but these things are all relative. Compared to the rest of his body his mane was enormous. But compared to a real lion's mane Jazz's springy orange tendrils were,without meaning to be rude, rather lacking.
Because you see Jazz was a mascot. A very tame Lion. He idly sat on this desk, a symbol of all that his owner could achieve in her working life. A muse, if you will. To her he represented courage, power, fiestyness, determination. You'd think representing such immense traits would be a lot of pressure for a tiny fuzzy little lion to undertake but in reality, he was very frustrated. You see the problem with being a symbol, a muse, is that you don't really get to achieve much yourself. You are just a representation of someone elses achievements and self worth. So much potential trapped in a gilted cage of mere inspiration.
And so Jazz dreams of much more than the spurious life he is currently assigned too. He dreams of being wild, running through the woods, the fields, the desert on his own four paws. Fighting knights and roaring at the stars. He dreams of having a real mane rather than tendrils of wool, of having intimidating muscles rather than cotton fuzz.
He cares for his owner, he knows he helps her through the day and he is grateful for this small job. He knows she thinks he is beautiful. But he envies her reality. She runs on grass with her own two feet and dances through the streets of London late into the night. She rules her own world, fights her own battles and rescues herself over and over. She is not tame like him and oh, how he is jealous of her. While she is out feeding the world with her song of passion, resentment, hatred, love and joy Jazz sits on her desk dreaming of the night sky he never sees.
Some days when she is sad, when she is feeling the pressure of the world and thinks perhaps it would be easier if she were tame too, just someone's muse, he wants to roar at her. He does everything he can to use his paws to scratch at her face and make her realise how lucky she is to be wild and free. That if she would give him the chance he could turn into a true almighty beast who could take her and her freedom on. 
One night a different cleaner comes to the desk to wipe down the computer screen. Unlike the usual cleaner who finds Jazz the mascot very sweet, this cleaner has a nasty ambivalent face. He plucks up Jazz from the desk. 'What is this bit of tat?' he mutters with disapproval. Sighing he chucks Jazz into the black bin bag and continues to drag it about the office.
Panic fills up poor little Jazz's heart. His owner! His desk! His life! His beautiful gilded cage! It's gone, all gone. He is stuck in the darkness, lost to the wilderness. He feels as though he is suffocating, the stench of rubbish about him, dread weeps through his body. The bag is tossed through the air and Jazz knows that if he were able to vomit he would be retching everywhere by now. The bag hits something with a shudder and Jazz comes rolling out with a whimper. It is a different kind of darkness now, a cold darkness with twinkly lights. He claws at the other black bags in the garbage truck, starts to roar with fear at the starry night sky...
With that, Jazz starts to realise what has happened. He is no longer tame but wild and it is terrifying and beautiful and wonderful. He continues to roar but it takes on a different quality, full of hope.
He is free and roaring at the stars.