Monday, 26 July 2010

worrying schmorrying....

I was sat at my desk last Wednesday morning, participating in a day that felt much less tense and ugly than the several that had preceded it. 

I was going through files, deciding what was fit for archiving and what I could send for destruction when Clarke glided into the room as she always does… she actually glides, with her amazing fashion, posture and smile. Since her recent birthday, which marked her half a century on the planet, she seems to have become even more beautiful than before… her general appearance sets her at approximately the same height as me, gives her perfect skin and a figure most teenagers would literally die for. She is astoundingly beautiful and I secretly hate her every time she comes within a ten-yard radius of me because I just know I will not be that stunning at fifty… there’s not even a tiny chance of that happening. 

Clarke stood behind me, fiddling with the grey stat-file cupboard and asked how many days it is now… I glanced at her in a nervous way and told her that it was thirty-six and pulled a face… a face that displayed pensive excitement. 

She said that I look like I’ve lost a lot of weight. 

I told her I had. 

Then she cocked her head to the right and asked if I’d been worrying. 

My bottom lip quivered. 

She asked how things have been with Muffin… I said they hadn’t been great. I outlined the roughdraft of that essay by discussing the lack of contact, the busy-ness and the fact that he seems to enjoy participating in leisure activities with his estranged spouse (going to gigs, meals out and generally hanging around). 

Now, I don’t want to sound unreasonable, as I KNOW he is living with her and I KNOW that some interaction is unavoidable, as I have been there myself with my own special version of “The Estranged,” but in my opinion, there are two problems with the situation… 

ONE: he lied to me about one hanging-out incident… he says he didn’t, but I am not stupid and I am capable of reading people, particularly when all I have to go off of are words and subtle reactions to things said. He was planning to go to a gig that I was fairly certain Origami was going to be attending as well (as she is a big fan of the band that was playing, likes to drink (and the gig’s general location was IN a drinking establishment) and likes to make things awkward)… I found it difficult to believe that he would be attending on his own so I quizzed him on who his musical companion would be to have him respond with a performance of this very strange monologue that involved a lot of pauses and “erm”s and “uhhh”s before saying he was going alone. It wasn’t until the next day that he told me that she “was going anyway and it was silly to waste the gas taking separate cars.” (Which, again, I completely understand, but don’t bloody lie to me.). I then proceeded to become aware of a photo on the Book of Face that featured him eating a giant burger at a restaurant… the photo was not dissimilar to one that was taken by a different female three years ago at a restaurant in Cheyenne… it’s existence caused me to hark back to THOSE fabulous memories for a short while, which was nice. It came to light soon after that Origami had taken that photo and they had gone to dinner together… how quaint. 

TWO: just after Christopher and I split up and Muffin and I started speaking again I would hear on a daily basis how he felt about me spending ANY time with Christopher ever… even if it was something so simple as Christopher coming in and cooking something whilst I was making a cup of tea. Muffin would tell me repeatedly that when he got back to america he would not spend even a single moment with Origami and why did I have to hang out with MY estranged? I don’t like the double standards that seem to have been set into place and when I confronted him with this he rebuttled with, “Yeah, but you still hang out with Chris.” I enquired as to what specific event he was referring to and he said, “Well, you still go to gigs together and stuff.” Right… let me tell you about the gig that I “went to” with Christopher that Muffin is referring to... I was working at the pub on a busy Saturday about two weeks ago. I hung out with Nick in the kitchen all night, looking fabulous and only emerging once to watch one single band. I stood against the hedge in the beer garden with Nick, Dave, Beth and Noele and danced my little heart out, attempting to burn off some of the calories from the three cheeseburgers with onions I had eaten whilst in the kitchen with Nick. I was acutely aware of the existence of my estranged husband to the far side of the garden but paid him no mind. After the final chord of the final song had been played I was making my way back to the kitchen to serve some more ravenous, drunk customers when Christopher cornered me and forced me to participate in a game called “Let’s Have The Most Strained, Uncomfortable Conversation EVER.” I played and feel like perhaps it ended in a draw after our discussions about his work, my leaving, job progression, hair styling, clothes shopping, fish, shoes and bosses. I then pranced back inside with my beautiful hair and tiny apron. And THAT is apparently a night out? Hrm. 

So those are my two reasons for feeling slightly unsettled… unreasonable? I don’t FEEL like they are…  I feel like I shouldn’t allow myself to become a part of some spectacularly hideous double-standard situation that ends up frustrating me until I murder him, because I WILL. I had enough double standards in my last relationship and I will not settle for anything but the best from now on. 

I am attempting to make all aspects of this relationship as perfect as possible… as perfect and as little like the shitstorm I was stuck in with Christopher as possible. 

One of the biggest parallels I am finding in the two relationships is the fact that I am participating in the school of thought where I am pushing goals further and further away. At the moment, I won’t lie, I’m not happy with the way our relationship is going. I feel like I put in a great deal more a lot of the time so as to make sure he has photos and videos and phone calls and emails from me. I make a conscious effort to make sure a new photo of my face reaches him in SOME way every single day so he can see me… feel as close to me as possible. With him, most days I can barely remember what his face looks like. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s painfully true. I am so busy most days that I just don’t have the time to go onto the Book of Face to peruse his beautiful visage for hours… I don’t have time to search through my emails to find that ONE photo so I can familiarize myself with his face over and over again… It’d just be nice if he put a little more effort in. It just seems to get worse… he said it’d be better when he got back from Iraq and it’s not. He’s about to travel down to California to see Molly  for like two weeks and I will most likely not hear from him at all during that time and when I do they will be those ever-dreaded photos … of him and his daughter. 

I guess I just feel like so many thrilling things have been going on in my life in the last month that he has missed…  tattoos, weight loss, gigs, citizenship, haircolour changes, new clothes… I’ve offered him as many photos and endless stories as he can handle to fill him in, but I can’t help but wonder what things I have missed-out with him. How is he coping with life back in America? What’s he bought since he’s been back? How much weight has he lost? I just don’t know anything and worry that I am travelling to America, 9,000 miles, to live with what is more-or-less a stranger. 

Again, I know that’s a shockingly dramatic statement, but it feels so much like that. Like I just don’t know who he is and I’m just HOPING that when I get to America it’ll be okay… the problem with that is that I did that with Christopher. Prior to moving to England and starting my life with him here things were mildly horrific… we argued a lot and all I did was keep telling myself, morning, noon and night that it was going to be better when I got to England and we didn’t have to be apart anymore. I pinned all my hopes on the arguments stopping the instant I wrapped my tiny arms around his neck and kissed him again, so when this didn’t happen and when the arguments were just more heated because we had one-another’s facial expressions to scrutinize, I pushed the bar again, saying that things would be better once I was out of the house more and I had a steady job… 

again, no. once I got a job I was tired at the end of the day and he wanted sex and I didn’t and we just argued about THAT and why didn’t he do the dishes whilst I was a work all day and where’s the milk he promised he’d go buy? 

THEN my mum died and I said that I would be better once I had settled on medication and in therapy. 

THEN I lost my job and I said it’d be better once I had a permanent job. 


I think you can pretty much see where this is going, can’t you? It never ended and the cycles just resulted in our love’s demise. 

I don’t want the same thing to happen to myself and Muffin. I don’t want to feel like because right now I am saying that things’ll be better when I get there that our relationship will dissipate the same way my last one did… I want to make sure that I don’t fall into that cycle. 

I’m becoming very aware of the fact that I need to make ME happy… at the moment I need to live for things that will better my life and make me feel fulfilled. it depresses the hell out of him, but I am making sure that I remember that I DO have a return ticket booked and if things really do feel awful after I arrive, then I only have a three-month wait before I can return to the land of accents and cups of tea.  

I think for a week I was setting my mind into position of “defeated” before it had even begun though…  preparing myself for coming back on my return flight and wondering why I was even bothering going in the first place. I had played-out a scenario in my head that saw me stay here and live the fabulous single life for a while… being promiscuous, decadent and some other adjective I can’t even think of at the moment. For a week I had seriously considered calling it all off, so terrified of the possibility of it not working that I didn’t even want to bother because we would both just end up getting hurt anyways. I had lost the will to get excited when I heard his voice, forgotten how to say “I love you” and not sound bored… 

Anyways, back to Wednesday…  the day happened; I finished the workday and then the work week, which was an extra-special shade of short due to a tattoo session having been booked on Friday. Friday evening I talked at length with Graham about all of the above. He was the second person to have heard the entire story (the first being janey, doi). We talked it through whilst nursing pints of booze and he really helped me to clear my head. Post-serious-chat we discussed bands and lyrics and committed ourselves to a moviedate this Wednesday (“Inception” for danie again! yay!) and to make mega-mixes for one another (one of my favourite things to do like, EVER!). 

Since then, over the weekend, I am finding the weight noticeably lifted… I have been focusing on the more positive things… realizing that I shouldn’t expect things from my relationship, but rather be grateful for the things that I get…. The emails, photos, videos, phone calls. Despite their rarity, they are such beautiful little sparkly parts of my day... or maybe that’s because of their rarity? I love Muffin and really, honestly want to give this a go so I can see what kind of a perfect thing we can create together… some sort of magical super-couple that has seen ten years pass with every possible obstacle in their way but with love persevering at full speed.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I’m not in a massive hearting mood today… I’ve cast my gaze over my list for the last two weeks and am fairly pleased with the outcome and content. I shall do blurbs for some, but I think the list stands for itself…
Happy hearting!

When people ask me about my tattoos
Movie cuddles
… with anyone… I LOVE watching films snuggled under a duvet with Janey or with Pow’s legs sprawled across my lap. It’s a time when I can really relax and enjoy myself.
Lying on the sofa, watching a film and eating ice cream with Pow
Interesting postage stamps
Liam Sharp’s face
Pork pies
… literally, I have the biggest crush EVER on pork pies at the moment. Last week, there were two days where I ate nothing BUT pork pies. I’ve not delved beyond the realm of the cheap and quick ones from Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s, but I will and it WILL be good.
The way Pow, Janey and Nick make fun of my aversion to skirts that fall above the knees
… yeah, so I am a prude. I HATE it when girls wear skirts that fall above the knees. I pretty much seem to have had my below-the-waist fashion sense born in the 1950’s (I say “below-the-waist” because I LOVE having my knockers out!). Anyways… because of this tiny problem I have, I am mocked mercilessly by my three favourites for being a prude and was the victim of being photographed and fake-vomited on by Nick because I wore a skirt a couple of weeks ago that fell JUST above my knees. I love my friends.
Old war photographs
The hands of old people
Interesting names
Menthol fags
Flocked wallpaper
People with kind eyes
My blue flowery dress
… the best $5 I ever spent in my entire life. Thank you Target!
Busy days at work
Graham Williams
… I had seen photos and videos of him in the past… heard his name mentioned by many of the local film and creative-types, but had never once met him. it wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I came home to find him mincing around the garden with a pair of giant shears that our paths officially crossed. He has a very traditional and dark sense of humour for the location, so I found myself feeling very insecure around him initially, but after a long guitar and talking session around a bonfire about ten days ago we have developed a fairly comfortable and delightful friendship that involves a lot of banter and euphemism. He’s so much fun and outrageously quick-witted… I love spending time with him and can see myself enjoying his company a great deal more prior to my leaving.
Channel 4 documentaries
... I used to be absolutely obsessed with Hollyoaks prior to the split with Chris… you could hardly tear me away from the telly between 1900 and 1930, but for some reason, the DAY Chris and I split up I just stopped watching it. I flicked it on one lazy afternoon two weeks ago for the first time in ten months and was alarmed to find EVERYONE lived in different houses, had different dramas and had grown up a shocking amount. I LOVE Hollyoaks and I am completely hooked again despite the general confusion to a lot of the plotline. I must get in as much of this teen soap-opera as humanly possible! GAH!
My drawings
My black M & S high heels
Baths with lots of bubbles
When my legs are freshly-shaved
My signature
The fact that I am a dual-citizen
… yeah, stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it! danie’s got TWO nationalities and she’s BLOODY pumped about it!
Striking facial features
Ham and pineapple pizza
Australian accents
Very reflective aviators
When my boss is in a good mood
The news
Gay couples
Good teeth
Feeling certain of things
When my heart feels heavy with affection
New, interesting smells
… oh my LORD! Right, so I have an obsession with smelling things. It’s one of the facts about me that Pow loves announcing to people. I love smelling new books, freshly-washed clothes and people… my favourite new smell of the week: Graham. He has a very interesting smell… usually people have smells that are familiar and similar, but Graham seems to be the owner of a fabulous combination of boy, detergent and deodorant. It’s really pleasant and makes me happy. favourite OTHER smell of the week: janey. She smells so fabulous and I had forgotten… I’d forgotten how much I love her perfume and how I love the way her smell rubs off onto me when she hugs me. I love janeyface so much.
Curly fries
Classical music
Assembly lines
Feeling like I am a part of something
Boys in glasses
Boys with hairy chests
My cat tattoo
Jelly Babies
Pretty villages
Old suitcases
Feeling someone else’s body heat
… GOD I am a tactile person, I always have been… when I hand someone something I always make sure I make even a slight amount of contact, just so they know I’m there and comfortable enough with them to be that slight bit intimate… my being tactile reaches to the need to be in some sort of contact with someone as often as possible… when Pow and I are sat watching telly, I will make sure that even something as simple as the tip of my toe is touching his leg… it offers me a very wonderful sense of comfort… just to feel and know that someone is there, it’s nice.
Old videos from wars
Pretty eyes
Excellent moustaches
Vintage teddy bears
Creepy vintage toys
Volkswagen Beetles
My hourglass tattoo
My job
TINY dogs
Fried eggs
Boiled carrots
Really friendly old people
Imagining what it would be like to be 95
… Graham and I were discussing this last night… how many memories you would have at that age… it’s amazing to imagine all the things you would have seen and done in that time.
The smell of boiling pasta

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

i HATE things and things...

In the spirit of Hate Week I have decided to toss the usual musings about the things I love into the bin to discuss the more heated and exciting topic of what I hate. Over the years, since I started the “I Heart Things and Things” project, people have always asked me if I would ever start collecting lists from people of things they hate. My answer has always been a stern “No.”
I don’t like hating; I don’t like it when people allow themselves to be consumed by negativity…  the aim of my project was to create a space where I could compile all the things that people love. This would be to help people to remember what good things they have in their lives, but also to allow them to see that sometimes the things they are scared of admitting they love are not as embarrassing/offensive/illegal as they would expect.
But despite that, I feel it is important to let off some steam, so please see my list of things I hate... the only one you'll ever see, I reckon:

The way I cried just then… one of my favourite porters just came into the office to deliver our morning post. I’ve not really been too vocal about my leaving to anyone outside of my department, but Dom is always so lovely and charming, I thought he might like to know… I mean, the time is drawing so near now… I’ve only got 41 days left at work. I told him and his little face dropped. He made small-talk about why I was going and where I would be living and as he was walking out he said, “well, we’ll miss you in the Portering Department… you’ll let us buy you a pint, won’t before you leave, won’t you?” sigh. I love the porters. We’ve developed a fairly special relationship which really makes the days go by faster. I hate that I’ve now started this stupid habit of crying randomly because of the fact that I’m leaving. I hate that just then, after Dom stepped out of the office I couldn’t help but squeeze a little tear out. Stupid emotions.
When Pow cries… one of the things I hate most right now is when my Pow cries… I hate it when his little chin starts to waiver… when his lower lip pops out just ever-so-slightly. I hate it because just as I see his eyes go all misty I completely forget what to say to make him feel better… I just immediately want to hug him until he stops. When he cries I lose myself… I don’t understand it. It happened last night, we were sat on the sofa, we had just shut the telly off after a moviedate and he looked different. I asked him what was up and his eyes went sad and the corners of his mouth turned-down. I grabbed his arm as his chin started to quiver. Just as that happened my mind went blank… I completely forgot any joke I could make or any reason I could offer for him to smile. I just wanted to immediately hold him. I wanted to wrestle him down and hug him until he stopped hurting. I never, ever want him to hurt. I want him to feel good and see himself like I do… but he can’t. He’s got this block in his mind that stops him from just being okay. Why can’t I do more to make him feel better? What more can I do? I know it’s not my job, but nobody likes to see someone their so close to’s little face buried in a towel so their tears can’t be seen… nobody wants to have to sit by and watch as they refuse to let anyone in… i hate his stupid tears.
Dry scotch eggs… I believe myself to be a bit of a scotch egg connoisseur, so when I come across a particularly crap one I tend to throw a massive tantrum… if I’m outside whilst the offensive consumption is occurring, I will NOT hesitate to aggressively throw the snack on the ground in a huff, occasionally stamping on it to make sure it’s good and gone. I HATE dry scotch eggs.
Flat cola
Not being with Janey more often
… how does one go through their days without their same-sex soulmate? I hate that janey lives so far away and I only get to see her every few weeks. I wish we had spent more time together before now… I wish we both had the time and the money to spend more time together right this instant. She’s my favourite and being away from her sometimes actually physically hurts.
When people take ages to respond
… there is actually nothing in the entire world that I hate more than when people are slow to respond.  If someone asks ME a question, it’s answered immediately, no matter what’s going on. I have to be in the throes of death for me to take longer than five minutes to respond to people… most of the things I want responses to won’t take more than like, five minutes, so what’s the hold up?!
When people say they’ll do something and they don’t
Not being with Muffin right now
… literal, actual pain is what being away from him is. Pain for many reasons, the obvious and also the ones I don’t reckon I’ll go into her or ever, to be honest. I HATE all the things swimming around in my stupid head at the moment. I just want to be there now so I can see how it’s gonna work out and get on with my life. I’m sick of waiting to find out what my future holds… roll on forty-four days!
Noisy neighbours
Noisy Negros
… whilst this may SOUND racist, it most certainly is not. I just HATE it when you get that sassy, horrible little breed of female Negro youth who finds it necessary to stomp around as loudly as possible in their stupid boots with their stupid skinny jeans and stupid tiny tops. I hate that they tend to have that ridiculous south London accent that makes me want to die, the one that means they sound extra-retarded and sassy. i guess I kinda secretly hate it because I wish I was allowed the means to be even sassier than I already am, so I am slightly jealous…
My hair
The lack of sleep
Questioning myself
… urgh urgh urgh! Danie is questioning everything all the time at the moment. Honestly, it’s making me want to die. I have never spent so much time second-guessing most of the things I do. It’s really quite horrible and making me feel all tense.
Crap zombie films
When makeup is done poorly in a film
Feeling patronized or belittled
Self-righteous people
Tribal tattoos
How sore my joints get occasionally
Paper cuts
When my fingernails are brittle
The fact that I didn’t do any laundry on the weekend despite the lovely weather
The fact that I just got a paper cut JUST after typing it
When other people are right
When a documentary you expected to be good was really crap
The size of the Earth
Really hot weather
Ricky Gervais
When my favourite pen runs out of ink
Unwanted dreams
Intimidating children
Disappointing people

Friday, 9 July 2010

Hate Week

It started one weekday afternoon…  we were lounging, my head on a cushion on his knee and my legs kicked over the arm of the sofa. He had bought the film “1984” and was very excited to watch it with me. I had never read the book or really heard much about the film but I love moviedates with Pow, so I decided that even if I ended up falling asleep, at least I got to have yet another moviedate with Pow. 

We watched the film, enjoyed the cinematography and I secretly swooned over the love story…. Once it was over i THINK we watched another film, but I can’t be certain. I know we mused briefly about him having a housewarming party (which is funny purely because he’s actually lived in that house for nearly six years, he just never had a housewarming) and I know that we had a very short talk about doing our own version of “Hate Week” like in the film, but that topic was soon overshadowed by talk of my upcoming trip to London and what food I was going to bring back with me, when we would break into the hippodrome again, what we were going to have for dinner and whether we were going to shoot another episode of Cooking With The Stars. 

It wasn’t until a week later that I was in the pub with Nick, stood at the end of the bar sipping a toffee apple cider that it hit me. Buddy was prancing around at my feet and the thought of Hate Week popped into my head again. I told Nick it would be incredible to have a Hate Week party and asked what weekends the pub had free before I left. Upon investigation of the pub’s diary it was decided that a party was out of the question, so I drank more and had an epiphany. 

I sat on this epiphany all night until I was able to see Pow in the morning... we sat by the back door on the sofa, drinking tea in the sunlight and it was decided that we would combine the housewarming with Hate Week… we would spend an entire week hating as many things as possible… 

propaganda-making has begun and house-preparation is under-way. 

The days running-up to Hate Week (which officially begins in OUR house on Monday) are filled with us being VERY excited about Hate Week… gardening, choosing the foods, inviting guests and generally being pleased. It is going to be so much fun and will most likely get outrageously out of hand, but it WILL last the entire week and we WILL hate everything. 

Just be cautious. 


Thursday, 8 July 2010

I ain’t the way you found me and I’ll never be the same…

This post will hopefully begin a long series of blogs about the most special people in my life... I want to reflect back on my friendships with them and create a more concrete reminder of why they are so special to me. 

Primarily, my entries will be for the people in England that I love and will be leaving behind for a year… keep your eyeballs peeled for an entry about YOU!

Through my last twenty-five years i have had the most amazing string of people run through my life... people that have altered me in ways I never, ever knew possible. The first one that always springs to mind is Pow... he's the one constant that I’ve had, the one person who, despite all the shite I’ve been through, has stuck by me... he's seen me plummet to my worst and pushed me to achieve my best.

Out of everyone in my life I speak to him the most and trust what he has to say the biggest.

I met him on November 21st 2004… I remember it almost perfectly. I was stood at the stove in the tiny kitchen of 68 Friargate… I was stirring some misc. sauce in a pan when the door went. Stuart had been telling me about him most of the morning… this boy that used to have long hair, played Jesus in a film and had a breakdown which left him living just a mere 0.1 miles away (a two-minute walk) on his own.

I had only been in the country for two days and was generally feeling quite nervous about new people, so I busied myself, attempting to stir the sauce I was tending to extra-hard so as to appear super-domesticated and to hopefully avoid having to talk to him.

Stuart went to the door and within forty seconds the giant face that I would eventually come to love so much popped into the doorway of the kitchen and said hello. He was wearing black trousers, a white t-shirt and a black suit jacket; the one I am oh-so-familiar with now, and have even worn on a couple of occasions (my favourite memory of me wearing it being the night of our first sleepover… we took photos of Pow dressed as Jesus in the back garden and I didn’t want to freeze to death, so I stole it from it’s home on the back of Pow’s computer chair as he whisked me outside with my camera).

I turned and abruptly said hello, only noticing for a brief moment how beautiful his face was and feeling bashful because of my being an American and new to the world of student life and artists/musicians. His visage was only in the doorway for a short time before making its way the three paces to the lounge where he 
immediately picked up a guitar and began to play whilst talking to Stuart and my then-fiancĂ©. it was that night that I very first fell in love with his voice… I cannot remember exactly what song he sang, but I know that from the first moment I heard his voice I was his biggest fan.

Four days later Christopher and I went to a gig… fancy-dress. I was horrified and did not participate. I put on my faithful stripy blue shirt, tied my hair back and marched to the pub to meet with Claire and Mark. The bulk of that night was spent talking to Pow. He was dressed as a Lounge Singing Hitler and gave me my first Dr. Pepper cocktail. I drank a shocking amount and left. It was this night that the first ever photo of Danie and Pow was taken (the first of godican’tbelievehowmany).

Other dates from the first few years float around in my memory. I remember going to the First Floor with Claire to dance and Pow showing up after multiple text-attacks… we talked, he hugged me and he watched me.

I remember one incredibly warm night we were walking home from Union Blue and I was far too drunk to cope and he held my hand so I didn’t fall over and die. I remember being alarmed by how large his hands were in comparison to mine (which isn’t hard, as the only people with hands smaller than mine are babies).

I remember showing up to one of his open mic nights and him coming and giving me a giant bear hug…  I asked him to sing me a pretty song and he sang me “Creep”  by Radiohead. I’ve not been able to listen to that song since without thinking of him and that night… the night he wrote his list for me.  

I can remember mostly every single tiny detail about most of our interactions… I remember constants from our time together like him watching me, our ability to talk like nothing matters and how comfortable I felt with him immediately…

The month after I moved here we had a Christmas party and Christopher and I had a massive fight after most everyone went to bed. I was laid in bed with Christopher shouting at me… texting Pow and he told me to come out. I went to the lounge, left Christopher to sleep and drank with Pow until the wee hours of the morning. after that incident Pow was always the safe place for me… which is why I can now see why I associate him and his very limited-edition scent with being safe. Every single time I was having a tough time he welcomed me into his house with a cup of tea and we would sit on his sofa and talk… his sofa has heard just as many of my secrets as Pow has.

Neither of us can recall how or when the REAL bonding actually started taking place. For years we were mere acquaintances. We spoke casually on messenger when we were both on and sent one another random texts, but from 2004 until 2007 our friendship never stretched beyond the realm of me emailing him when I had a bad dream, texting him and occasionally popping around. When we were both in the same locale we would hang out and talk, he would sing for me and I would fall in love with his voice…

For some reason, I am not entirely sure why, it all just popped in 2008. That year we suddenly started having lots of movie dates and going on adventures. I wish so much that I could recall what exactly spawned it… it was around May and we had both decided we wanted to stop smoking and to start swimming, so we made a pact. We made a pact and since then we have really… oh I don’t know. The friendship I have with Pow is like no other friendship in the world. I love him so big and I know everything it is possible to know about him and seem to have the very special ability to deal with his very interesting character traits with impeccable ease. The things that he does that I put up with, I could never imagine putting-up with them were it anyone else. There is a part of my heart that loves him an extra-special amount and allows me to filter the important from the unnecessary… I have been able to mould my existence around him to create a harmonious relationship that is good for both of us.

There are just things I do with him that I could never do with anyone else. Cooking and eating offal, skinning and tanning a pig’s head, breaking into disused buildings… he’s a remarkable person who, whilst some people may see him as a bit of a joke or a flake, I see him as this amazingly beautiful, strong and sometimes misguided person that I love more than I love most people.

He is so unbelievably smart, talented and knows me bloody well. From the way he collects things to put in my book to the way that he knows JUST what treats to buy me when I need a pick-me-up; he is the best friend a tiny danie could ever have. He always surprises me with the things he remembers or the things he does for me… the small, lovely little things that he does to make me smile when he thinks I might need it.

I love every single little moment I get the chance to spend with him and HATE the fact that I am going to have to leave him in forty-eight days. I hate the fact that I will be leaving behind the one person that knows me better than anybody else in the entire world. He knows everything about me… every single tiny thing, and puts up with it with no questions.

Whilst I have many, many friends, Mr Powers is the one person I spend more time with, have more in common with and ache for the most… he is so fragile and I just want to help him to achieve all the things he’s helped me achieve. He is the one who’s pushed me to start creating the things I have, to start baking as a tiny Danie business… he’s the one who’s supported me through all my hairstyles (but only because he’s had just as many) and lifestyles. He’s amazing and I could never, ever ask for a better friend in a billion years.

Thanks Squishy… 

Now, please see a series of my absolute favourite photos of us, ever. 

Divorce, day 295

39 weeks ago I had woken up to go to work like any other day… Christopher and I had had a terrible week, lots of name-calling, tears and scowls had been shared over the days prior to that Friday. 

We had been unhappy for a while. The moments of bliss that we shared grew fewer and further in-between as the months went by. 

I had begun spending a lot of time with people that were not Christopher’s biggest fans. I guess mentally I had already begun a phase of de-nesting… building up a support network that did not involve him or the people we shared as friends. I had been developing friendships for the months prior to our split with people that he did not know and, unfortunately, were quite volatile when the subject of ‘husband’ came up. 

They had seen me for several months…  seen my happiness and mental health unfold into almost a complete state of disrepair. I had begun having regular sleepovers at Hannah’s just to get away from the house. I had begun spending more time at work because it was easier to focus on casenotes and databases than my marriage. 

39 weeks ago I had a regular day at work. My boss was off on annual leave and I had a training session on E-Procurement., a new system we were having set into place within the Trust to allow for an easier and more centralized means of ordering necessities.  

I consumed the information at work with great excitement, as I have a constant and disgusting need to learn as many things as possible. 

I rode the bus home at half past four, just like any other day. Got off at the fourth stop and walked the rest of the way to the home I shared with my then-husband. I always dreaded the last three minutes of my walk home… just as I turned right, past the apartment buildings, lavender bushes and invasive trees. I hated that bit because it was always the time when I would reflect on my day, wonder what kind of a mood he would be in and what reason he would have to nag me and make me feel awful THAT day. No matter what kind of day I might have had, it was always, ALWAYS completely deflated by the time I arrived at my gate, for all the stress I had allowed to consume me for those 180 seconds. 

39 weeks ago I had decided to split from the forever I had spent the previous five years creating.
I can’t actually believe it’s been that long since that night. I look back now and see how far things have come along in my life and am amazed. 

Nearly ten months have gone and in that time I have become British, moved house, bought a ticket to America, lost a shit-ton of weight and just generally been well. I feel like I am living the life I actually came to England to live and unfortunately, it took me leaving Chris to allow for that to happen. 

A small part of me (VERY small) feels for him when I get the slightly emo array of texts from him talking about how hard it is… but then that bit tends to get overruled when I get a sassy or weird text… like, a couple of weekends ago I got a random text from him saying, “Oh cool for you that your next encounter with a wedding will be a laugh out loud joke fest compared to my soul crushing white church wedding.” This came as I was sat on the bus with janey on the way to her parent’s house. The sun was lighting the left side of my face far too much for my liking and I showed the text to janey before responding and asking what he meant… 

As it turns out, ANNA’S mum was getting married last weekend and Chris had attended the wedding. As per the text, you will see that the wedding was a proper “white wedding” (although, I am FAIRLY certain that the entire basis of a “white wedding” is purity and blah, blah, blah. So how one could possibly wear white as a sign of purity with their three daughters stood next to them and think that the whiteness was expressing anything other than a big, stinking lie is beyond me.). His text came after I had sent him one asking him, yet again, to do the one last piece of paperwork for our divorce (the Decree Absolute). 

He responded saying that he was sat at the head table and it was all a very serious affair and generally giving off the vibe that my next wedding was going to be a joke and that I was lazy and I should have done the paperwork myself and a whole truckload of other crap I’m not even interested in trying to remember right now. 

Every negative encounter we have had recently has been as a result of my enquiries into the progress of the Decree Absolute. By the time I had received the above-mentioned text thirteen weeks had passed since we were given the go-ahead to submit it. Thirteen weeks is ample time to get some paperwork together in my mind, but not in Chris’s, apparently, as he just fought it and participated in emotional thrashing-around at any mention of the paperwork being done. At the end of it all, last week, he called me names, asked for my address and then sent me a text. The text contained the picture you can now see to your right and said “Look! Soon to be divorcee! I was avoiding it because it makes my stomach hurt.” I replied, just confirming that what I was looking at was indeed the final bit of paperwork being submitted and received this, “Yeah. Just think of me when you are busy remarrying in a few months. Sanctity Schmankity.” It digressed from there to something about him being emo and whatever… I don’t know. It’s all a bit depressing and I don’t like to dwell on it any more than I need to. 

But GOD did I dwell the other night. I found myself caught VERY short of emotion… I was sat in my usual spot in the beer garden at Bar One with Pow and Amy, prepared to cheer a sufficient amount for the comedic stylings of Nick and (other) Amy when, during the break to the interval, I hit the emotional brick wall. I had kinda bumped in to that brick wall a little earlier in the day when I was looking at a photo that John Goncalves was tagged in on Facebook. I clicked it mindlessly as it looked interesting, not even looking to see who had tagged him or who’s profile it came from. I looked at the photo of some etchings someone had done into some wood… I clicked the photo to see the next one and lost my breath. It was a photo of Chris and ANNA. It was a photo of them being a couple. It was a photo not unlike ones that he and I used to take. It was a photo that, for some very peculiar reason, made my eyeballs misty. 

So, that evening when Chris walked off the stage after doing a set my eyeballs decided to become misty again.  I imagine it was the combination of me being drunk with the fact that I was in a pub that I frequented with Chris quite a lot that made me feel particularly bad… it genuinely made my tiny heart strain with pain as he passed-by me. Not in a longing sort of way, but because I’ve lost something. I was married to him and he used to be a part of my everyday life and now I’m not and he’s not. I’m not made of stone, things do hurt sometimes and that night, I fell over all morose and Pow kept trying to cheer me up… singing and dancing for me. it didn’t work. The veil of sad had been tossed on my face and I was stuck with it all night. I was fine by morning, but it didn’t half hurt to come to that kind of a realization whilst I was out trying to have a good time. 

Today though, I am happy with the semblance of a relationship I have with Chris, even despite the divorce. we get on well enough to be able to talk amicably most of the time, which is all I could really ask for… 

I don’t regret it and I absolutely stand firm in my belief that us splitting up was one of the best things to happen to the both of us.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

do or die...

So… Sunday I was a mess, so emotionally fraught as I sauntered around the kitchen in the back of Bar One that I cried when Nick merely joked that one of my stories was boring. Not a fake cry, but an actual, genuine weep. I have not been THAT emotionally strained in ages… so bad that I couldn’t keep myself from crying when one of my good friends is poking a little fun at me. I literally just couldn’t control the tears as they kept on coming, and the more people tried to calm me down the more hysterical and emotional I got. It was pathetic and whilst I can laugh about it now, I was genuinely mess in the heat of the moment. 

That very special weep-fest came as a result of many things… things which I will list right here, right now in an effort to both process my feelings and also to just let everyone know where I am.

Womb… ahh, yes. The age-old excuse for every woman’s emotional issues, her monthly visitor. Luckily, MY monthly visitor was ACTUALLY visiting at the time. she had knocked on my door, brought in all her luggage and set up camp in my body and made me feel all bloaty, weepy, fragile and generally pathetic. My womb is acting-up an extra-special amount this month, as well, which makes life just SO MUCH fun for everyone. I’ve never in my life felt so fat, never once before cried because I broke a nail and never DREAMED that I would offer such a display as I did to Pow… the display, which he says was “cute” featured me cooking dinner and then curling-up on the sofa into a tiny, pathetic ball of emo and whimpering periodically when something distressed me (ie. a bird flying too close to the window, someone displaying poor acting skills on the films we were watching or Pow’s toe poking me ever-so-slightly in the calf.). I am now over the worst of the womb issues, but still feel slightly fragile, so watch out! 

Muffin… so, I’ve not heard his voice since last Wednesday. That’s the first point. The second point is that I am a needy loose-cannon who needs to get a freaking grip. Let me walk you through the timeline of the last week:  
Wednesday… we talk and it’s nice but extremely brief due to me being the most stupidly busy bee in the world.
Thursday all his computers are taken away and we don’t get to talk at all… two emails and a Skype text telling me he loves me.
Friday is the same.
Saturday he leaves Iraq in the wee hours of the morning and I do not hear from him at all.
Sunday I do not hear from him at all.
Monday I wake up to an email from him and immediately hate myself (as I accidentally woke up early for work but decided to writhe around in bed rather than actually get up, the time I awoke was JUST at the same time that he emailed me)… the email tells me he loves me and that he found some free internet on his phone so he thought he’d say hi. In the evening he posts a hello on my Facebook wall letting me know he’s in germany.
Tuesday I get a text from him at 0622 telling me he’s landed in America and is very tired.
The end. Nothing else. Since yesterday morning I have seen many of the soldiers that he travelled with get on Facebook, send emails and generally have contact with the world… nothing from Muffin. Not a peep. So this is where me being needy comes in. I worry. I worry worse than anyone else I have ever met (eg. If someone says they’re gonna be at mine for 1800, the instant 1805 ticks past, I am freaking out, imagining that they have been in a horrible car accident or have blown me off to go hang out with someone else.) I am irrational and out of control and my mind is racing in a billion different directions right now. Did he die on the car journey from the airport to his house? Has he decided to get back with Karri? Did he and Karri get into a horrible fight and did she murder him or kill herself resulting in a series of investigations and/or hospital/mortuary visits? Is he sleeping? I’ve no idea… all I bloody know is that he’s not responding to the texts I send; I am worried and generally quite fraught. I would be happy with just one little email or update… even if he sent an update to Facebook on his mobile… just something so I know he’s alive. So, danie’s an emotional and worried train-wreck, which is NOT helping my general mental state. 

Pow… every single tiny day that passes makes me love him more and want to leave less. At the end of every day I lie in my bed and realize that he is so totally my best friend and has been a huge source of strength for me for so long… who wants to lose that? The time I spend with him is just so special to me… it makes my heart swell when we spend time cooking or working on our crafts together. I love coming home every day to hear about all the new breakthroughs he’s had with Johnny whilst I’ve been at work. I adore seeing the confused and disapproving looks that our friends give us when we are together, being generally out-of-control and happy, because I KNOW that what he and I have is so much more special than anything most people will ever find in their lifetimes. The bond that he and I have is so huge and magical… he’s my best friend and knows me so well… and I know him so well. We take care of one another and thrive off of one another and I hate thinking of not having that in my life for thirteen months. He’s just amazing, that’s all I can really say…

Nick… I love him. I love him and I hate that we didn’t start hanging out sooner. I look at his beautiful little face and just want to cuddle him forever. I want to bake for him constantly and make him smile. Lately he’s just seemed so sad and I hate it when people I love are sad. I worry about him. I worry that he feels lonely. I worry that he doesn’t get enough face-time with people that ACTUALLY love him. I worry that he isn’t as happy as he deserves to be. I know it isn’t my job to make everyone happy all the time, but with Nick, I feel like he has spent a lot of time making me extra-ordinarily happy and I really want to offer the same back to him. in the short time he and I have been bonding he has made my life so much better… he’s made my smiles bigger and my nights out drunker and I could never thank him enough for that. 

My Family… the pensiveness has begun. The thinking about what it’s going to be like when I get home… how my sisters are going to react to the changes that I have made in my life, both physically and mentally. I would LIKE to think that they would be happy for me because I am their little sister and I am happier than I have been in years, but a part of me reckons that they will see that I’ve got more tattoos, bigger holes in my ears and a boyfriend that they are not the biggest fans of and reject me. I’m not typically the type of person who needs approval from people. I don’t tend to go out of my way to seek out acceptance; but with my sisters… it’s so much different. I spent so many years from my youth feeling so inadequate because of my ideals, morals and the fact that we have different fathers, so when I see myself now, I would like to think that they will see that I have grown-up into a fairly respectable person who’s had excellent jobs, is now a dual-national and is happier than she ever dreamed it was possible to be. Again, I don’t see this happening, so I am just getting horrifically nervous about what it will be like. What they will say, how they will react to Muffin, if they will come to our wedding. Urgh! Family! 

Moving… good god. It’s fifty days away. In seven weeks I will be preparing to get on a plane… packing my bags and hugging all my favourites for the last time for a while. What the fuck? How am I going to cope with that? I am becoming more and more terrified of it… of leaving. I am so scared that I will completely lose myself when I leave… that I will lose myself and that Muffin is thinking of not coming back with me. I am absolutely mortified that he is planning on dropping the massive bombshell on me that says he simply cannot leave america… this terrifies me because I can’t be away for forever. I need to be here, this is my home. the thought of being away from here for more than a year, maybe eighteen months, actually hurts… it physically hurts.
But I’m not just terrified… I am both excited and terrified. Like, I am SO superpumped to see what it will be like to live with Muffin… so excited to see how many kisses we will be able to fit into a day and how many cuddles we’ll have. I can’t WAIT to have his arms, voice and body within arm’s reach at most given moments… to finally have all of this rubbish ocean malarkey out of the way and to just be able to be with one another. I honestly can’t wait. No matter how scared I am, I know that what I will feel when I finally get to go and be with him with no pending date for departure will be so, so much bigger and make any doubts, worries and whatever else my mind can conjure completely disappear. He’s my world and I can’t wait to actually start my life with him.

a little late, but with good effort...

I actually typed this list up yesterday, but the occurrance of many fabulous things made it impossible for me to post it... so here we are. It's still Tuesday SOMEWHERE, isn't it?
Today I am tired. It was a long weekend made magical by the occurrence of good gigs, good food, good hair and general goodness. Despite the wonderful weekend I still have little things looming over my head… things which I’ll not go over now because this is meant to be a blog about hearting things… so let’s get on with the list!

Nick... easy first one for this week. First, because we have spent a lot of wonderful time together and second, because it is his birthday (YAY!)! Mr Parker and I have been spending a lot of time together… I think that we are both realising that I am leaving soon and we should have really started hanging out more often like, a year earlier (well, I think that, I can’t speak for him, but I DO love to think that people enjoy spending time with me and wish they had met me sooner, like I do them).  We are in the process of planning a lot of playdates (seaside camping, trips to his sister’s farm and nights out to see what kind of special transvestites Derby can throw at us) and I seem to be lying in constant wait for days that we get to spend together. The most magical thing I can think of at the moment and what will most likely end up being my fondest memory of Nick occurred on Sunday afternoon after a stint of working in the kitchen with him. I had been emotionally fraught for the entirety of the morning and after he made me cry (not because he’s horrible, but because I was a hormonal, over-reacting weenie who needed to get a freaking GRIP). He and I were sat near the back door of the pub, ready to hop to attention the moment the comedy-attendees outside were released for an interval, when I asked him what he always wanted to be when he grew up (this thought came as I was sat watching him as he bumbled around behind the bar being all cute and personable and very much like someone actually CREATED him to do that job). He immediately stopped, look at me in a very matter-of-fact manner and said that he always wanted to be a cloud but that his mum had to break it to him that this was not possible, as he was not made of gas and air, so he decided he wanted to be an assassin. We then proceeded to discuss how incredible he would be as an assassin whilst Buddy licked my right hand and I sipped a cola with three ice cubes and one slice of smooshed lemon. It seems that the scenes of most of my favourite memories at the moment are set at Bar One, the leading man being Nick with me as his leading lady, Buddy would be the wacky side-kick and…  sigh. I just love Nick… I wish everyone who is reading this could just come to the pub and meet him and fall in love with him like I have. He is such a beautiful, genuine and fun person to be around and I’ve no idea what I will do without him for thirteen months.  
MY HAIR… it appears my hair is only capable of looking like win… no matter how nervous I get about doing my hair a certain new way or cutting it a certain way (yeah, I get nervous about hairstyles occasionally, shut up) I always seem to come out looking incredible. My most recent hairspiration came after I had asked all my favourites if I should bleach my hairs again. They all concluded I should. That was going to be that though, I was going to go lighter and keep doing my hair the same old way… this all changed Saturday morning when, after a drunken sleepover with Nick I pranced (yes, folks, I DO prance in the mornings, hangover or not… I LOVE mornings and people who are forced to be near me at this time immediately hate me) in with a cup of tea to see that Nick’s hair looked EXACTLY the same as it did the night before… I enquired as to how this occurred, what special, magical powers did he possess that made his hair behave so well and how could I get my hands on a bit of THAT shizz? He then bestowed upon me his secrets and it was good. The instant he left I made Pow attend to the bathroom with me to deposit bleach onto my hairs… we talked and giggled and joked that we were just like “girlfriends.” I let it set for a short period before rinsing and repeating. Once my hairs were light enough for my liking I began the rigorous task of coiffing. I teased, brushed, slicked on product (which, if any of you know me, you KNOW that I do not use product in my hair!) and teased a little more before ending up with the most beautiful, majestic coif anyone has ever seen. It is massive, blonde and stays so well that I have not had to do anything to make it look better since Saturday. I wake up, pop some pins in my hair and am ready to rock-and-roll. So there we are… I love my hair and you should all be jealous!
My ipod 

Pow Pow… literally, my favourite person in the world. Why, you ask? I’ll set the scene: it was a Wednesday afternoon, we were at CEX, perusing the DVDs for something stupendous to add to our collection… him near World Cinema, me near Documentaries… we had been shouting at one another in Southern accents all day. Whilst I am running my fingertips across the titles spanning from Auschwitz to Sharks he says to me, “OH! I saw a shop this morning that was selling Toy Story toys!” I turned to him and smirked (this is because whilst I know why this is important to me, I wanted to make sure that POW knew why this was important to me and that he wasn’t just spouting out random nonsense) and asked him why I would want to know such information. He looked at me with a DVD in his hands and said, “Because it was your sister’s first date with her husband and she collects stuff from it.” literally, I almost died right there in that shop… I hopped over to him and rubbed his arm, completely unaware of how he had come to know this information but full of happies because he did. This boy who most would see as a useless, forgetful silly-billy actually listens and remembers things when they are really important. Aside from this special moment we shared, our lives together have been completely blissful. We exist on a day-to-day basis in such a fun, perfect way that I can’t understand how I never spent this much time with him before. When Nick and Franny came round the other night we bumbled around the house making cups of tea and burgers, talking amongst ourselves for about ten minutes before Nick said that we were like some demented couple from a bad sitcom. I love that about us. I love that we can have so much fun together and I love… sigh. I was laid in bed last night after a fabulous evening of din dins (homemade spaghetti bolognaise, in case you were wondering), ice cream and films… we had been laid on the sofa for several hours taking in everything Clive Barker and Stephen King had to offer us, both eating out of the same tub of ice cream and randomly chatting before we had our nightly hug at the top of the stairs and went to our perspective rooms and texted each other from bed until we fell asleep (yeah, I get it, we’re homosexuals). As I was drifting off I rolled over and thought to myself that this is my best friend and I have no idea how I am going to spend a year away from him… how I am going to go a year without having his reassuring glances, his jokes and random singing… nobody knows me as well as Pow does and I worry nobody ever will. He’s amazing and I love our friendship so, so much. Being away from him is gonna make this the hardest thirteen months of my life.
Dr Pepper
REALLY creamy yoghurt
Flowers in the Attic
… the film and the book… not random flowers on the upper-level of a house.
Sweet Peas
John Goodman
Deep Heat 

Watching the stars at night… I’ve only recently come to find the joys of the really little things in life. The stars became my bff at three on Sunday morning after the gig at Bar One. Pow and I were walking home and just as we turned onto our street Pow caused a massive scene, flailing his arms around and shouting about how great the stars were. This came after another scene which saw him tell me about how much he needed the toilet, a cup of tea and some toast. I told him I would take care of the toast and the tea if he went to the toilet and asked if we could PLEASE sit out in the garden and watch the stars. He said yes and I went on to tell him that I had never seen a shooting-star. We approached our door and he said he would make me one… he turned me around and pointed to a gap between some houses and said to watch there. I watched as he un-locked the door and pretended to be talking to the sky, beseeching for it to supply us with a shooting-star. I turned to him and giggled and he said to keep looking. I watched and he shot his hand across my line of vision then shouted and asked if I had seen it. I clearly had and thanked him. he then burst through the door to the toilet as I made cups of tea and perched outside on a cushion. He minced down the stairs and shouted that we needed to eat scones. So there we were, half past three in the morning, eating scones, drinking tea and watching the stars. We talked about how much we were going to miss each other and how good ASDA’s baked-goods were until we decided it was time to go in. like I said, the stars are my new bff… how could someone have an experience like that and NOT love them?!
“Red Light Special” by TLC
Pubic hair
Disabled animals
Tight shirts on big guns
Snow globes
People-watching with Janey
… because there is nobody in the entire world I am more belligerent, judgemental and out-of-control with than janey. We entertain most of the people within our direct vicinity with our incessant discussions about how much we hate that person’s trousers or that man’s pink shirt or OMG that child’s face. We are delightful and fun and it’s one of my favourite things to do with one of my favourite people.
Giving back rubs
My mugs
New York accents
Serial Killers
Saying “GOOOD!”
Videos of people getting their throats cut
Anatomy documentaries
Telling people about my Carbon Monoxide Poisoning incident
… oh yes… tiny danie, aged seven. The sky was full of flurries and I was asleep in the back of our old car. I don’t actually remember anything from that night, just what my mum told me… that I had shot up, started trying to take my trousers off and then passed-out again. my mum grabbed me and hung my head out the window as her boyfriend drove us to the hospital. I was air-lifted to the children’s hospital in Denver and was there for several weeks, watching The Little Mermaid constantly until I was allowed to go home… I always find it fun and interesting to be able to tell people that I had such a serious accident (can it be referred to as an ‘accident?’ it’s not technically an accident, is it?) when I was a child. 
Thick-framed glasses
Getting lovely emails from people
Rubber gloves
The first shopping adventure Pow and I had together at ASDA
… mmhmm! We spent three hours and £122 there last Tuesday afternoon and every single second of it was amazingly fun. I don’t think we went out of our Southern characters once during the entire shopping experience and I don’t imagine anyone’s ever been stared at so many times as this girl with a coif and ducks tattooed on the side of her head! 
Tiny, fluffy dogs
Curly fries
BBQ Sauce
Cherry Carmex
Chewing on wax
Popping my neck
Water chestnuts
Feeling like an adult
Good shoes
Being in charge
Geometric patterns
Talking with Pow in a southern accent
My new sausage dog handbag
Imagining being Muffin’s “trophy wife”
The Simpsons
Smoked meat
Good habits
Whoopie Goldberg
Easter-European men
Ice cream trucks
Tortoise-shell glasses
“Simon Says”
Good pens
Strong jaw lines
Facial wipes
Grape jelly sweets
Buttercream icing
Jeff Bridges
Good textures
“The Men Who Stare At Goats”
George Clooney
When Pow talks to Chevy
Popping blisters
When Pow calls me “Superdan”
When clergy are Irish in films
When records skip
Billy Ray Cyrus
When my head’s freshly-shaved
Letterman jackets
The smell of fresh roses
1950’s Cadallacs


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