Finally selecting a time for a memoir escapade, so this is the first draft of Chapter 1 of what might be titled, THE WAY WE WERE…because there will be music riffling throughout.
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1975 and the livin’ was easy. We were easy riders of the storm, Cracklin’ Rosie an’ me, doin’ the hustle, the funky moped, foxes on the run, jive-talkin’ girls, on the trail of the lonesome man… ‘cause love was the drug.
We arrived at the hotel, introduced ourselves, were given keys to a room and directions to the staff quarters. The mansion on a hill looked impressive. Further inspection brought our attention to a notice stating that the building was derelict…not fit for habitation – condemned. Our room had two single beds, which we immediately pushed together for space. The walls grabbed our eyes; it had been covered in pictures of food – we were bloody starving and skint…of course there was enough in the purses for a couple of lagers down the local pub. Unpacking only the necessary: record player, the records and the radio, make-up was topped up moolighting with Leo Sayer, then we were out in a tiny coastal town in plenty of time for last orders. Rosie and me, she and I, slightly-practised non-virgins looking for adventure where the North Sea sculpts the east coast of Scotland. North Berwick, previously unmentioned in the Glaswegian vernacular.
Normally, we would have made an entrance in a strange bar, me with my fabulous red hair, Rosie and her raucous laugh, but knackered were the bodies that had hustled themselves out of Glasgow with huge suitcases and every penny we could scrape together from our last jobs. So there was no bending across pool tables or sexing it up dancing a bump in the middle of the lounge, just a languid satisfaction in a successful plan executed. In the morning we would be re-invented as chambermaids in the biggest hotel on the sea-front…and, food should be part of the deal.
Obsession has climbed on my back, wrapped itself around my shoulders, my head – which is lost inside a huge fiction…yes, thirteen books one after another will do that to you. I’m back in True Blood land, living in Bon Temps with Sookie Stackhouse, hanging on every word, to the extent of sometimes going back a bit to re-listen because my attention had strayed to the real world…of just one of my other fantasy places. It’s a nasty addiction, this audio book trail, this reading with your eyes shut…this falling in love with the deep south accent of the same reader through the books. I’ve only escaped for a little while to skin Facebook, Twitter, and to force a scribble for WordPress. The last book is calling me so I think I might have time to make a quick cuppa after I post this before the walls close in. outside I hear the rain running foul of the wind and am glad to be imprisoned in this wee flat, in this cosy bed.
3 days into the year and I’m yearning to begin, can’t wait for Tuesday – Tuesday, fool, is the day of pain! Dentist-day. Fill the house with smooth soup and pain-killers. I want two appointments a week…I must be insane, but now I’ve faced the fact that this is a fact I want it over asap. It wouldn’t be so bad but my old dentist moved away somewhere else…which is why I’m in this predicament and haven’t visited the house-of-pain for about three years! …and in that time two back teeth have had rock-slides, two built-up teeth have unbuilt themselves, and a crown has fallen out and its base is crumbling and throbbing. Oh, woe is me. What a crapper.
So, I will go to work tomorrow, and begin the ruthless new plan of no cakes or sweets or rubbish, in the first inst. Then, there will be less mashed potato or chips, or trashy meals. I won’t force exercise into my world yet – that would be a bridge too far.
There is something very satisfying about using up the Xmas leftovers; my last meal this year is plated, sitting in the microwave, waiting for my stomach to bang the gong. I am bathed, hair washed and teeth brushed, musing on last things. As always, everyone hopes the new year will bring a better life – these last hours count down empty promises…actually, that isn’t what I was going to say but I lost the thread because I’m watching Hemlock Grove while writing this. Blood n guts, vampires and werewolves mingle in my mind with cold broccoli, chicken n stuffing, and mashed potatoes. When I sit down with that steaming plate I’ll remember the mad meal-choices coming out of my kitchen to the blaring sound of Doctor Who and number-1 son’s gaze held fast to the screen. Shannon and Peter had kebab-meat in pita, Zander’s cheeseburger pizza rocked his world, and Susan could only manage a mug of broth…ahhh, Christmas in all its glory.
On the arm of the sofa beside me is a small selection of chocolate…and there’s a big bag of crisps in the kitchen cupboard – so are they the last of their kind in this flat? Oh and there is a tub of ice-cream in the freezer, a squeezy bottle of chocolate sauce in the same cupboard as the crisps…when will this end? I think about changing my shape but my head won’t let me or my body follow through with the necessary actions, yet. Maybe next year.
Next year – Tuesday, I will be forcing this body through the dentist’s door…what a way to start the year..but I will be starting a new life with my teeth in better condition. I wonder if one day I’ll be able to eat toffee again.