Misery is a fickle cow

I was alone for a whole day today and I didn’t cry. I looked at his Instagram and saw him living his life and only hated that for a moment. I cannot begrudge him a little “normality” when I’ve upped sticks across the Atlantic.

I can feel myself frosting over. Choosing numbing indifference now over crushing disappointment. It’s taken 8 days but I don’t need the torture now. It’s his loss. It was his choice; that’s the bit I couldn’t take. I had no hand in the ending of our friendship- our relationship came second to him being my best friend.

Yes, it’s sad. Yes, it hurts. But it is what it is and I can’t change a thing. Being sad is exhausting. Constantly trying to avoid particular trains of thought is exhausting. Feeling hopeless and empty is exhausting. So let’s allow logic to take the reigns here.

If being sad is exhausting, don’t be sad. If clinging blindly to hope isn’t working, don’t do it. Upsetting myself over and over and over again does nothing to heal my wounds. So why do it? Self indulgent misery is not a long term solution

Numb now

I literally crossed an ocean to get away from the numbing confusion. I can hear the situation screaming from the other side of the Atlantic but it’s quieter now, easier to block out. A five hour time change can do that. I know all too well that running away to sun sea and sand won’t cure me, but the muffling alone is working wonders, even from within the walls of JFK Airport.

I can’t cry publicly. As the wheels of the plane left the ground at Heathrow my heart wrenched itself forward in my chest, fighting to remain behind, struggling to escape its bonds. It stretched and strained and didn’t give in. The sinews of it spinning a fine web in the jet stream and keeping me tethered, however loosely, to what I’m trying to escape. I felt it creak behind my rib cage and forced myself not to cry. Catharsis is not for public consumption. Oh the irony.

Peaks and troughs for two days now. Peaks when I’m with people, smiling easily, the mask firm and thick, quips rolling off my tongue like it’s all water off a duck’s back. It’s not. The troughs are ocean trenches threatening to swallow me whole, struggling for air between sobs and whimpers, drowning in my own crushing anguish.

And it’s not poetic. It’s ugly and stifling. It’s shaking breaths sucked in through a mouth simultaneously trying to howl. It’s snorting and braying, snivelling and whining like the blind young of some cave dwelling creature. It’s paralysing, all consuming, pathetically curling up into a ball, soaking linen in saline misery. It’s having to pull over, rocking back and forth in the driver’s seat to console yourself because some melody cut too close. It’s considering the abyss that kept you isolated as an old friend with open arms who always knew you’d come running back. It’s feeling like it was inevitable.
Delayed flight. No wifi. Plenty of time to sit and stew and wonder if he’s hurting too

I crawled into his bed at 4am and slept, just to be near him. inches of sheet between us seeming like miles. I woke hours later, and realised my mistake, hastily gathering myself together and relocating to a spare room. He didn’t seem to mind that I’d been there; said I was so quiet in sleep that he thought I was dead.

Last night, I dreamed he told me that he loved me. I woke up at 4am and haven’t been back to sleep. Deprivation has caused me to create the scenario I can never hope to experience.

Question (Tell Me What You Think About Me)

Here’s a question: if you are the one who was wronged, is offering the olive branch a fatal sign of weakness or a symbol of your all enduring good as a person? Lets face it, in one way or another, in a variety of circumstances, we have all been hurt. Our pasts, our experience in matters of the heart decide on our course of action; whether its smile and carry on or lose your shit and take a flamethrower to their belongings. Personally, I’m a stone cold Ice Queen. If you wrong me, we are done. I won’t tell you, but I will stop calling, texting, speaking to you, referencing you in conversation among mutual friends. I make it so the source of my pain no longer exists. In private the hurt radiates through every cell, forcing that unconscious shudder when you watch that TV show they introduced you to or when you hear a song that reminds you of them. So for months and months you force them out of your mind, hoping that your actions hurt them, hoping they notice your absence, knowing that they don’t. Avoiding eye contact with them when you meet in the street, acting like you don’t hear their name mentioned among friends, until finally it doesn’t feel like an effort any more. The hole they blasted in your chest filled with distractions. Your stomach no longer unsettled by the sight of their car parked in the street. You are healed.

I thought I was. I spent fourteen months ignoring, icing out, distracting and finally, when it had worked, when I was numb and painless I spent five hours with him and his family and everything thawed out again. Months of work melted away in hours as I settled back into his company with ease. Everything I had forgotten, everything I had learnt, everything I had promised myself evaporated for a few hours in his presence and its looking like a temperate summer on the horizon. The day before, for the first time in over a year I had no choice but to walk by him on my way to the station. I felt good, I was dressed to go bar hopping and two months back at the gym was showing in the smile on my face. My palms weren’t sweaty, my heart wasn’t pounding and I didn’t feel like puking. Quick “Hi, how are you, what’s new”, and I made my excuses and breezed away to catch my train, and didn’t think much more of it. The following afternoon I was invited over, as I often am by my glorious neighbors who make me feel like one of the family, and there he was. Standing in the kitchen where we first met.

I wanted it to be tense. I wanted there to be an atmosphere and for one of us to leave. I wanted to hate every second of being in the same house as him. I didn’t.  My heart didn’t lurch with each second of eye contact, my thighs didn’t froth when we hugged goodbye, but being settled somewhere between ice and fire was comfortable. Normal. Nice. Shit. My friends are wincing as they read this. I can virtually feel their hands on my head shaking it and shouting “NO BABE NO”.  Relax. I have learnt my lesson, nothing that hurt that bad for that long can ever bring me any real joy. But here I sit in the olive tree, keeping the branches to myself, but leaving space for one more.

Kitty’s Adventures at Torture Garden

Fucked It Fans, my apologies for the wait. I’ve been busy doing life things, changing careers really soaks up your time, especially when you’d been just sitting at a desk for a year! BUT the wait is over. I did a fun thing.

Wandering around in a corset, frilly knickers and a pair of heels is something I have always wanted to do. Something which I wholeheartedly imagined would happen within the bonds of a relationship(HA!) , not within the leather bonds of some sort of modern take on a  Berkley Horse (google it) while a crowd of twenty strangers clad in latex offer up words of sexually charged encouragement. But that’s what happens when you buy tickets to a Fetish Night called Torture Garden. In my quest to rid my mind of past conquests and focus on a more egocentric future, I took up a friend’s invitation to be spanked, and it was fucking brilliant.

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Arriving at Electrowerks, I was pleased to watch a group of seven or eight swaying men clutching bags emblazoned with the words “Fancy Dress Shop” being turned away by a plump girl wearing a latex pencil skirt and nipple tassels with the words “This is not a fancy dress party”. Having spent an hour or so frantically squeezing myself into lingerie in the fairly public changing areas of Camden Market, I was armed with a cream corset and was taking no prisoners. This is one thing the patrons of TG don’t fuck with. You follow the dress code. Leather penis pouches, bridles, duct tape and nothing at all are accepted, but you turn up with anything polyester, you’re gone. Inside, the balmy lighting and soft thud of familiar house music created an atmosphere of possibility, a tranquil oasis of sexual opportunity where to be present was to obtain a unique worldliness, unknown to the “Vanillas” drunkenly roaming the streets beyond. The eyes that watched us enter and pass by followed us without scorn, without a hint of haughty derision, but rather a knowing look that told us, “Welcome to the fun house”.

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The first thing I noticed, besides all the latex, leather and PVC was the diversity in the place. Three floors filled with every kind of person you can imagine. Curvy, emaciated, bald, old, young, gay, straight and everything in between I met a woman dressed in full PVC gimp complete with pigtails who claimed to be in her sixties! Damn Mama! And the energy in the place was electric, everyone talking and laughing, “what are you into”, “have you ever…”. And when my corset started slipping, I literally had five people offer to help! There was very much a “We welcome you with open arms for being brave enough to try this” vibe going on. And I’ve got to say, since my trip amongst the whips and chains and restrictive outfits, I have looked upon the world in a different, slightly pervier light. I now look at my neighbors and colleagues and think, whats your thing? What do you like? It was truly a trip out of reality, I was Alice, I’d fallen down the Rabbit Hole and now the Mad Hatter was Fingering the Red Queen in the corner while she spanked the Cheshire Cat. Also, and I’ll be totally candid here for a change (ha), I really thought that the night would be filled with weirdos and perverts, people rubbing their erection against you without so much as a “How do you do”. But there was a polite humanism that ran through the night, a respect that radiated out of every person there, dick in hand or not, and I felt genuinely safe.

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One of the most revealing conversations I had all night was with a man who had come out in drag for the first time. Something which I have always had an enormous respect for is the idea that a man, after months, maybe even years of pleading with himself, finally finds the courage to go out in a dress for the first time. That takes some balls. George (the draglet) was wearing full female garb complete with false eyelashes and heels, but forewent the wig, saying he thought it would have been too much. His girlfriend had wanted to be there that night to support him, but had a thesis on the normalisation of recreational drugs for her MA in criminology due. Amazing.  Some of my most amazing sights of the night included a couple dressed as a pair of Lindt Bunnies (complete with full gold bodypaint) a six-foot bald black dude wearing 7 inch stilettos ON COBBLES and two men wearing feather headdresses and dressed in leather harnesses with special penis holders, for their special penises. Amazing. It’s incredible how quickly you lose your inhibitions when everyone around you is either naked or getting that way.

My one bad memory is speaking to a middle-aged couple, the lady wearing a corset that made it look like she was smuggling two bald guys into the joint, the man wearing leather trousers holding a lead that was attached to his companion via the medium or a leather collar. They joined me at the bar and struck up a conversation regarding my headpiece (a bespoke piece by Twinks Burnett) and bought me a huge rum and coke. We were happily nattering away about how our evening was going, had I caught the self-bondage show (yes, I had, it was ridiculous) had they been to the medical themed room with all the creepy amputee mannequins watching people wank each other off (oh, there was lots of that). The woman laughed and, though I was standing half a foot away, I caught the strong smell of what I can only describe as ‘Cock Breath’. Such a lovely couple too.

At the core of it, TG is a place to be accepted, stripped (literally in some cases) of your outer shell there is nowhere to hide. No one to pretend to be anything else to. You don’t have to suck in your gut or wear enough makeup to make a drag queen blush (except if you actually are a drag queen obvy) It’s a place to be open and completely honest about yourself. It’s hard to lie when you’re standing half-naked in a room full of people who have literally just watched your ass get smacked with a flail. Somewhere in the cacophony of sound, made up of the slap of leather against skin and bamboo against skin and skin against skin, was a low rumble. A vibrating excitement which reverberated off of every body in the room, filling our minds with visions of the last days of Rome. Here there was no judgement, there were no ‘players’ no ‘sluts’, just people openly and honestly engaging in adult playtime, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before or since. As I wondered around the dimly lit rooms of London’s Premiere Playground with my modelesque friend, all 13 stone of me felt sexy, not because everyone was staring at me, but because no one was. There I was thinking how brave I was being, how brash, how incredibly daring. It turns out you don’t have to be confident in your body to go out in a corset, frilly knickers and heels; that’s how you gain confidence in the first place.

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Should I Hibernate?

As the nights draw in and the weather begins to work against every new hairstyle you attempt, my (still very single) mind turns to how I will spend the darkest months. It  seems as though everyone is coupling up, as though the north with doth blow and we shall have  snow and I will die alone when the heating fails because everyone I know is under a blanket by a log fire with someone they love. The beginning of winter signals the arrival of four months of cold nights and short days. We bid tearful farewell to the days of beer gardens and sun soaked lunches with friends are long gone, because why brave wind and rain for a pint when you can stay in with red wine and Netflix?

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In truth, I adore winter there’s something about wrapping up against the cold in layers and topping everything off with a time of year themed coffee beverage that shits all over sweating and shaving all summer. My skimpy summer dresses have been exiled to the loft as I welcome back my cold month cosies back to my wardrobe with open arms. Oh oversized cashmere jumper and  leggings, how I have missed you. I have to say I really love winter fashion but don’t get me wrong I’m devastated to have said goodbye to my bright prints, outrageous clashing and the ability to wear a bikini top in lieu of a bra. With winter comes velvet, the most glorious of winter fabrics, the simple fabric that turns a navy dress into the perfect post work drinks outfit. Blacks are back.  It is now completely acceptable to wear an outfit without a splash of color and I love it and its so chic!

A friend recently wrote a blog on the power of an all black outfit (http://www.thefbombblog.com/#!Back-to-Black/c1w7u/8EE83955-1B15-4355-B43D-0CD19BAAE658)

There is also a lot to be said about the party season, sequins are still here and they will not be banished. I love the glamour of winter, the (faux) fur coats, the sparkly chandelier earrings, the fact that dark lipsticks during the day are not only acceptable but celebrated.

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It’s the time of year for hot soups and hearty stews and endless roast potatoes and I love it. But winter is a cruel mistress; for every charity shop jumper, there is having to watch couples Christmas shopping in town. For every pumpkin spiced latte there is forgetting how to use the damn heating. We must take care of ourselves this time of year, make time for a hot bath with a glass of red (Oh Merlot, how I’ve missed your caress). My first post back in March, I was writing to get over some moron who crossed me; I referenced Bridget Jones then, and I’ll do it again now. That gorgeous moment when she runs out in her pants and gets wrapped up in Mr D’Arcy’s coat and you die inside. Yeh that. I feel like that’s what every couple does instead of a peck on the cheek in wintertime. The smug winter advertising about what you and your loved one will gorge yourselves on as you wear matching jumpers while sequinned confetti rains down on your perfectly laid dinner table. The emotional blackmail from supermarkets. Its a confusing time of year for singletons, while wrapped happily in the warm embrace of winter’s blend of warm smells enjoying the spices that the approach to Christmas reintroduce onto our pallets to; we remember the couples’ playground that is winter wonderland. The couples on ice rinks holding hands and laughing as you trip them up with a stray limb and curse as you avoid slicing apart their smug fingers.

 

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I feel constantly between moments of solitary bliss,  wrapped up cosy on the sofa, Sex and the city filling in the silence in the background, watching Carrie struggle with having landed an amazing book deal but suffers from a total lack of love life and feeling like I know what its like! Standing on a dark platform as the mist makes way for the rain but getting to work and having gourmet chocolate waiting on my desk. How do I feel? I honestly can’t decide! Winter is the pull of a cracker; a loud bang, secreted in one half festive novelty fun, the other a lonely cardboard cylinder of nothingness. So dark. So bleak. But all is by no means lost, the festive season brings delicious treats with which to quell the fires of anger. I’m talking hot chocolate, cinnamon pretzels, freshly made chilli chicken wraps warming your fingers as you peruse tiffin at Borough Market. Warm your belly on that crowded, damp train home with a warm coffee beverage laced with spices and sugar. Winter is for dinner parties and wine and catching up with old friends and eating too much cheese. Sure many of us may be facing the bleak wilderness of singledom, some are seasoned pros, others left out in the cold, others throwing their arms out to the open sky with the glee that comes with new found freedom. Many things are uncertain, will we ever go a whole day without having to hoist the crotch of our tights away from your knees? Will I ever bring my useless tiny umbrella on days when I actually need it? Will I ever see the sun again?

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Beauty is Gross

 

I can deny it no longer, summer is here, tights banished to the back of the drawer and this (for me at least)  means one thing: time to step up the old beauty regimen. Blessed as I am with lady friends with whom I can be completely open, I have come to realize the hilarious irony of the foul things we put ourselves through in the name of beauty. From shaving to Veeting we are a living in an age where prepubescent hairlessness is not only preferred but expected by the masses, and its not just women. Thanks, in part, to shows like jersey shore and TOWIE male grooming is fast catching up with its long-established feminine equivalent. Waxing hairy shoulders and investing in periodical back sack and crack maintenance are now considered general housekeeping for today’s man and I am not going to berate them for this. Eyebrow grooming in men should be minimal the aim is not to look like a drag queen or Gwen Stefani circa 2004.  However, I personally must draw the line at removing chest and armpit hair, these are a magnificent manly things, I have a particular penchant for a strong snail trail, or the garden path as i like to call it.

 

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Meanwhile, in Girl World, we are doing everything we can to remain smooth and hairless everywhere we can without looking stupid. Only our brows and lashes are safe, everything else is fair game. Its pretty ridiculous that we wait with anticipation to grow our first pubes only to annihilate them as soon as they arrive on the scene. It starts when we see the ladies on the Venus ads, splashing about in pools in a tropical climate (because that’s where you shave your legs, under a waterfall in the amazon, and you definitely won’t contract a nasty infection) and you think, I too wish to be a smooth goddess; so you buy your first razor and shred your legs into ribbons, they don’t show you that on TV! Then you realize that not only is a shaving cut THE most painful thing in the world, but that they just will not stop bleeding. EVER. So then you discover Veet and Nair, two products which literally dissolve the hair upon which they are smeared, how convenient, how easy. But the SMELL, sweet Jesus lord, the smell. Rotten eggs sprayed with Febreeze, on your legs, on your foof, on your upper lip. Oh yeh, where there’s hair, there’s Nair. Its an easy way of doing things but it just isn’t worth having everything in a 5 mile radius smell like a dead pigeon.  So then you try waxing, because you’ve heard great things; nothing extreme at first, you have your friends warm up the prepared strips by rubbing them between their hands, and then you cover your legs in these strips and get someone else to tear them off.  OUCHIE!! Eventually you try Epilating which was invented in the 15th century as a way of torturing, alongside the rack,  people into the confession of crimes they were innocent of. Epilators work by tearing out each individual hair at the root as you roll it up your leg, like tweezing, but times 30. Are you absolutely kidding me?! Not a chance. Personally, it didn’t take me long to accept that I would stick to shaving for the foreseeable future, I just have to be extra careful in the danger zones (ankles, shins, knees) and yes ladies, we all shave our toes.

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So legs wrangled under the control of your trusty razor, we come to realize that an unkempt bikini line is not what you want in your life. So you begin to experiment with different management styles. I find the different ways of maintaining your lady garden are very much the product of experimentation, a friend of mine was told from a young age to TWEEZE her bikini like. Now I guess when it’s literally just the bikini line itself, that’s not so bad, plucking out strays here and there so it doesn’t look like there’s a spider in your knickers, that’s just fine. But this friend then explained that she would regularly spend about two hours tweezing her entireness, which resulted in a cricked neck and (years later) much ridicule….from me. You can try waxing but the idea of hot wax anywhere near my foofla is something that fills me with horror, plus all the dangers of ingrowing hairs, the fact that you have to keep getting it done and it costs you like £20 a pop. Personally, I stick to shaving, there’s nothing like that glorious position you get yourself into to really make sure you do a thorough job, I’m talking to squat and shave, the Brazilian squat if you will, hey the better you squat the smoother your twat, am I right? Yes…I am. That’s another thing, how do you know how much to take off?  Like I’ve always just gone whole hog, mainly because I can never shave a straight landing strip, but some of my friends think its bizarre to look like a 12-year-old girl down there?! There is no right or wrong answer here, its all a question of what you like. I don’t feel that this applies to men. Men folk, please, for the love of all things manly, do not get rid of your manly shrubbery, by all means trim and maintain, but to be bald there… Just no!

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Then women start stripping their arms, their armpits, their upper lips. Actually this last is hilarious, I once watched my mother sit and read a book whilst casually sporting an Einstein style Veetstache. Then come things like fake tanning, I mean the stuff that comes in a tube looks like Marmite and smells like a tramp’s shoe, the stuff they spray you with makes your entire body smell like an armpit. Then there’s the problem of it going all streaky, getting the wrong shade done and looking like Katie Price. There’s the pain of threading, the mess of teeth whitening and the stinging of getting your eyelashes tinted.   All of these things in the name of beauty! How completely hysterical is that?! We put ourselves through frankly UGLY processes in order to look more beautiful, and don’t even get me started on plastic surgery, sweet Lord! The injecting of chemicals all over our bodies in order to alter our natural appearance more often than not goes horribly wrong, let us not forget the likes of Leslie Ash and The Jacksons. Lets just stick to ripping, cutting and burning our hairs away for now, shall we?

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