Contrary to Appearances, I Do Have Hope
August 10, 2011 § 36 Comments
You know what, in my heart of hearts I don’t think I will ever find anyone ever again.
But the weird thing is, in my heart of hearts, I also kind of think I will.
There’s this funny conflict going on inside me. It goes like this:
What the fuck? YOU? Find someone again? Are you out of your fucking mind? You are a middle-aged divorcee with kids who has lines just about coming and no longer lives in the most hip part of town and who may have been an honourary, founder member of a club in 1985 when it was the trendiest spot in all Europe, but are now a has-been living in suburbia who goes to fucking coffee mornings which just a few years ago you would have slit your wrists rather than contemplate and now you think are a riot. Although you are not fat, you have flesh that might be described as “womanly” around the stomach, hips, thighs and arse, and which puts you on about a par, as far as fashion is concerned, with an elasticated slipper. FOR THE WIDER FOOT. You almost never listen to music any more, you just overhear it. Usually coming from your children’s bedrooms and then you beg them to turn it down. You used to hang out with artists and writers and painters and sleep with comedians and novelists and bands. You are now a plankton. You never got to grips with opera or sport or dogs. You could give a toss about the Olympics. You didn’t go to university, only the University of Life though that is a phrase up there in the vomit quota with yesterday’s So Much Love To Give. You love your children till you could burst. You know nothing of designer clothes and couldn’t give a shit about handbags. You don’t dye your hair with de rigueur streaks or take class A drugs. You have the singing voice of a whore’s mattress springs. You talk about property prices and education and all the subjects people emigrate from this country to avoid talking/hearing about ever again. You cannot these days name the ten coolest restaurants/bars/clubs in London whereas you used to live in those which were the equivalent in your day. You didn’t go to the Port Eliot Festival this year and only could have considered it if you had been invited to stay in the house itself as you are to camping what Domestos is to loo-bowls. You love home. And get enormous pleasure out of the small stuff – a funny line in a novel, a good salad, a smile from a stranger. Parties are not your be all and end all. You don’t want to be rich. You don’t go to the gym. Ever. You have a hair or two on your chin for a week or more before you notice and manage to pluck it to fuck. You and your friends are kind and good and comforting and movingly thoughtful, no longer edgy. You like clean surfaces and are OCD enough in the kitchen and bathroom to prompt the odd tease by your family. You prefer sitting on a sofa with a good book and a mug of Horlicks to any outdoor activity you can imagine. You hate going on fucking walks. You have the technical know-how of a midge (can’t even get to grips with Twitter but I am working on it, I promise). Your politics have inched a teeny weeny bit from the left to the right, barely perceptively so, though unsettling enough for you. When you go away, you miss your own bed and yearn for your own pillows. Your feet are tantamount to deformed (a slight exaggeration) so whenever you go into a shoe shop, which you never do, you fear the sales person may let out a howl and call you Ugly Sister.
What the fuck? YOU? Of course you will find someone again! Are you out of your fucking mind? You aren’t yet fifty and have so much going for you. You are gorgeous and pouting and funny and look ten years younger than you are etc etc. OF COURSE any man in his right mind would SNAP YOU UP. (Here’s me trying to – dread notion – Love Myself): You make everyone laugh. You can turn a half-decent sentence. You care passionately about your family and friends and never could the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” apply to your attitude to those close to you. You have five or more times the Gladwell optimum number of (150) proper friends; and for a reason. You are the past master at friendship for the simple reason that you love your friends. When you make an effort you can look pretty good and light up a room with your vivacity and humour. You are never shy but nor are you over-bearing. Your thighs are not exactly sinewy but you don’t have cankles. You do shave under your arms. People enjoy your work which you have done consistently over the past twenty-five years. You have an original take on life and express it openly and in a way that people want to hear. You have a certain, original sartorial style, even if it is not directly and sheepily lifted out of the pages of Vogue and you wear too much black. You have good manners and empathy but also speak your mind. Say it as it is. But you are not angry or vengeful or unkind. Your favourite things are people and that shines off you. To your mind, no one is boring. Everyone is extraordinary and has a fabulous story which you – genuinely – want to hear. Conversation is the stuff of life. You love to talk about all manner of things, not just property prices and education, not by a long shot. Everything! No holds barred! You have a quirky way of looking at life. You are not a tremendous outdoors type, but boy do you do indoors well. Your house is the cosiest in all England but not remotely twee. There is not a frilly or ruched anything within a ten mile radius of it. You don’t have stuffed animals on your bed or anything pink in your bedroom (or anywhere else for that matter). You are not remotely prissy or priggish or prim. You don’t give a fuck about swearing. You love art house movies and conversation. I already mentioned conversation, but that looms big in your life and no one gets down to it better. You are sassy. You give a shit about other people. You are tender but not sentimental. You know some stuff, you keep your ear to the ground. You aren’t bigoted or narrow-minded. You love dancing and have an infectious laugh and welcome everybody to your house with open arms. You’re not a great cook but (according to your loyal children) boy can you do a great lasagne and roast chicken and tiramisu. You have good taste, simple, plain, unostentatious. Feminine but not girly. Bookish but not up your own arse. You don’t want to be rich but just enough not to have to worry about the basics. You are not envious nor do you feel hard done by. You’re careful but not mean. Your figure isn’t exactly Kate Moss but it weirdly hasn’t changed since you were 18, skin just the same; you don’t understand it but hey you’re not complaining. You have not abused yourself with substances or ever gone in the sun, maybe that’s got something to do with it. You don’t bullshit and are loyal and honest and true. You don’t smell, except occasionally of a lovely scent by Diptique. Sometimes laugh till you literally bend double and tears roll down your cheeks. Quite often in fact. And it seems to make anyone you’re with follow suit. Strange but true.
On and on I can go, either way.
Scratched record this tussle inside me. Between the rational and the irrational. Just not sure which is which. On the 50/50 chance that the optimistic side is the rational one, I continue to write this gloomy but merry blog, but in the spirit of a smidgen of hope rather than complete hopelessness (or much hope left re the Smidgen, of which there is, dare I admit it, despite everything, still a smidge).
I am sitting it out in order to furnish you with the happy ending. There must be one. Surely.
Plankton a complete fucking Nutter?
Who’s to say?