Monday, 6 June 2011

All My Bitches

Last week I was in one of those shops that has a spelling mistake for a name. I think it was called "TEMPT" or "DEVINE" or "WET DREAMZ!" I made a beeline for some awesome jeans, but the sizes were all 4, 6, and 8. Nothing larger. When I asked the shopgirl if she had them in a size 12 .... she sneered and laughed at me.

Swear to god, a laugh escaped her thin lips. I loathed her in that moment ... with her filthy hair extensions and fake nails and streaky face and tiny waist. LOATHED.

The music was incredibly overbearing, some rap guy 'singing' ... "I'm here with all my bitches/all my motherfucking bitches. I'm here with all my bitches/all my bitches/all my bitches."

It was absurd. I stood to the side, waiting for a fitting room after finding a surprisingly cool dress to try on.

The whole shop was filled with chicks with their boobs out. Young girls, flaunting something they could hardly know anything about. Looking at myself in the mirror, I realised I didn't look as cool as what I thought I did. I looked old. Muttonish. I forgot to put makeup on and my hair was cowlicky and I really felt like a complete idiot.

I wanted to walk out of the shop but it was so tight and narrow and I didn't want to draw attention to myself. On the other hand, I wanted to draw attention to myself. I wanted to tell all these bitches, all these motherfucking bitches .... that youth was fleeting. That I would have done more hardcore partying in one month than they'd do in years. That I was cool, dammit. I wanted to tell them that I was cool.

Everything was too loud and shiny and annoying. I pulled out my phone, to keep myself distracted. Scrolling through my emails, I came to this.

Dear Eden,

I’ve been reading your blog(s) for months now, and am constantly amazed by your courage, truthfulness, and humor; you are an inspiration.  I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog, because, well, because, I’m a chicken-shit.  We have some things in common, but in a warped universe way.  My daughter was 16 when she was diagnosed with cancer (she’s now 29 with 2 kids!), and it was for her, then, that I busted out of a seriously abusive marriage.  It took a few years to be completely free of him and I’m still broken in some ways, but hey, that’s who I am!  Stronger at the cracks where the glue holds me together!  And you are part of that glue. 

There are days when I wonder how I’ll get out of bed and why, and then I remember:  Dude!  Eden does it!  And then I tell the universe to “Bring on the fresh horses”!

By this stage, I was crying. This email brought me back to myself. The connections people can make in the world .. the act of opening yourself up, of letting people in, letting them get to know you, is profound. Whether it's on a blog, or in real life, or via email.

My motherfucking bitches.

The song that would never end. I looked around, still standing in the same spot, but suddenly having all my power back. It was just a shop, man. Hanging the dress back on the rack, I caught the conversation between a lady giving the shopgirl a dressing-down. "This music is utterly ridiculous and not appropriate at all!" I started laughing, and nodded in agreement. Shopgirl didn't say anything, I think she just wanted all the mutton out of her shop.

Gladly. Before I left I heard shopgirl talk to another customer ... "The clothes aren't all priced yet .... because I have to price them all, like, individually. Like, with the pricing gun."

Like, WOW. But I had a rush of compassion for Shopgirl. I have no idea who she is, what she's been through so far in life. One day, after she's had two children ... she may even be like, a size 12 too.

::

I replied back to Debra, thanking her and asking her if I could use a snippet of her email. She wrote:

I would be so honoured to have you quote or talk about my email. In your spirit: I’m tired of being scared… so, please use my name if you’d like. You’ve inspired me to get my dusty ole’ blog back up and running; take off the lock, and join you in letting my light shine. I LOVE that you’ve included me among the best! I usually warn newcomers in my life that I’m fucked-up, but from now on, I’ll say it with my head held high rather than with shame.

Debra on twitter here 

And she included some lyrics from a song called Ashes on Your Eyes by Deb Talan.

"Now you only
Dream in peaceful blue
The morning doesn't even scare you anymore
You are a phoenix with your feathers still a little wet
Baby the ashes just look pretty on your eyes
Pretty on your eyes
Pretty on your eyes."

Phoenix was the name of the very first rehab I ever went to. I was such an IDIOTIC WANKER back then, but it was the start of all the recovering I've done since. One day during my month-long stay, I went to the library to find out the origin of the Phoenix, and why it rose from the ashes. I photocopied it, took it back to the rehab, and stuck it on the fridge with a magnet. Then I went to group therapy and had a tantrum about being told that for a chance in recovery I had to give up both drugs AND alcohol. What the hell? How was that even possible? THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE.

Such pure ignorance of youth. Thank goodness I'm older now.

::

Here's the song Deb linked to. Thought I'd put it here for you - you, all my bitches. My motherfucking bitches.

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