All those years ago, when I was just days away from leaving I severed ties… I’m not sure why, but I did. I found myself pushing away the people that I loved the most. Looking back now, six years on, after catching little signs of myself doing it again, I can see that it might have been a way for me to make it easier for them to cope with my leaving… it was an awful thing for me to do because as a result I lost precious time with some people that were very important to me. The time that I lost with Ashley I can never have back and I hate myself for the way I acted… I hate how volatile I turned and I hate every horrible word that I said to her. I turned into this bumptious little creature that only wanted people to offer her the exact support that she wanted or they were not allowed to be her friend (and omg she WOULD delete you from her Myspace!)
Before, when it happened I blamed it on the people I was pushing away, insisting that they REFUSED to be happy for me so I DIDN’T need them in my life (yes, I was overly dramatic and nineteen). In the weeks before my departure I began hanging out with people I had never really hung out with and ignoring the people that had loved me and supported me for years… I fabricated stories in my head that justified me not returning their calls or not going out on playdates with them when really, towards the end, all they wanted was to say goodbye and all I needed was the love of a supportive friend. I blatantly avoided both and now there are some friendships that I will never have back fully.
Today though, I see it happening again… I see myself refusing to go out or not replying to texts and justifying it by saying that nobody’s been in touch all this time and now that I’m two weeks away from leaving they’re coming out of the woodworks, so why should I bother now? Urgh. Poison, that is what that is. I realize within an instant of thinking a thought like that that I am being unreasonable and stupid… I realize that I need to just get a bloody grip and stop taking part in this destructive parade again… I realize that what I am doing is trying to make it easier by avoiding having to see faces, more for me this time than anyone else…
Right now, it hurts to see certain people’s faces. Where I used to go through my photos on a regular basis and work on memorizing the faces of the Nick, Franny, Chris, Vic and Janey… i can’t now. I’ve not been able to go through my photos in nearly a week for fear of falling over into an inconsolable heap of tears, snot and stomach cramps. Their faces make me hurt because, for the last several years, they have played leading roles in my everyday life and the fact that I now have to cut them from the cast list due to site relocation makes me want to die a little (please note, I am aware that I did not list Pow as one of the faces that I typically spend time memorizing and that is because… well… his face has been memorized over and over again and it’s gone bigger than mere facial recognition now. SEE BELOW.)
A lot of the time I just want to be a recluse (not the arachnid, but generally just hermitting away). I tend to want to stay at home and crochet or watch films without having to actually face any of the reality of the situation, which I know isn’t healthy… I need to make sure I am living these last nine days to their fullest potential but at the moment, I don’t want to… I don’t want to go out and have to be reminded of all the things I am leaving, I don’t want to have to start saying my goodbyes just yet and I don’t want to have to start having those final talks with people.
The fact that I will be leaving in less than two weeks is made worse by the fact that people have now started telling me how much they will miss me. Despite the fact that I KNEW I was leaving and I KNEW that some people would miss me, I had anticipated that a lot of people would realize I’m not really THAT great and just get over it rather quickly which would be less emotional for everyone concerned, but they’ve not and it’s not. People are telling me how much they will miss me and I don’t know how to respond beyond, “I’m going to miss you too.” It’d be nice if it stayed at that, but then, THEN they want to take it further and tell me WHY they will miss me, which forces me to have to think about why I will miss them, which in turn forces my eyes to water and then makes me look like my eyelids have double chins. I don’t like for my eyelids to have double chins, it’s not very becoming.
I love that people will miss me and I wish I had the actual strength to talk about how much I was going to miss every single person individually with them, but I don’t because I hate crying in front of people and I hate showing actual emotion. I am fine offering random and dramatic displays of emotion for show, but real emotion? Nothanks! I guess the best way for me to progress this post is with a list, hey? A list of people I am going to miss and why… I know I will most likely miss people off and most likely a lot of the people on this list will not even read it, but it’s here, just in case they do stumble across it and also to help me process…
Pow… I typed his name and had to take a break… the thought was slightly too much. I go through phases where I want to watch him as much as possible but other times I can barely bear to look at his face… his big, sad eyes and giant nose, the face that I have become almost as familiar to me as my own of late is not going to be with me every day now, and, well, at the moment, as described above, I am spending more time memorizing other things about him than his face, as that’s been memorized a billion times over. Lately, it’s been his hugs. That’s what I’ve been attempting to learn. I drive him crazy by asking for no less than five hugs a day and he always supplies them with a huff and then a giant squeeze, occasionally a back-scratch. He grabs me with his giant frame and my chest immediately becomes tense because I know that these hugs are the last of them… after ten days I will not have another Pow hug for a long time. My chest knows this and my heart follows suit and tenses up, making my head go all fuzzy and my eyes start to water. He squeezes me and I inhale, attempting to memorize the way he smells (as if I hadn’t already filed THAT olfactory wonderland away in the old memory bank five years ago under “safest smell in the world”)… lately, for me, my memories have needed to be more than just visual, particularly with Pow. I know him so well and as much as I love seeing his face and all the different… sigh. I can’t think about his face right now. Just know that this boy, it will kill me to leave him. I try to make sure I tell him every day how much I will miss him but he always brushes it off with a joke… he doesn’t deal with emotions very well, but he has been amazingly good at dealing with me and my ways of coping with leaving. I have gone through such severe ups and downs with the move and he has held my hand and told me it is okay through every little second of it. I have no idea how I would have gotten through these last four months without him, no idea at all. He’s a solid rock and an incredible friend… the friendship I have with him is better than any film could depict and bigger and more complex than any solar system (UFOs and all). With Pow, I will miss nightly moviedates, dinners and hugs at the top of the stairs before going to bed to text until we fall asleep. I’ll miss phone calls even though we’ll see one another in five minutes, coming home to hear him tell me about all his revelations from the day and working on projects with him. I can’t bear to think about not having his giant, stupid smile trying to cheer me up when I’m having a hard day and just thinking about the moments that I will miss him singing me impromptu Pow songs makes me feel like staying. I love him and need him just as much as he won’t admit he needs me and am terrified of how I will react to that last hug at the airport.
Janey… whoa mama, this is a big one. If possible, her and I have bonded more in the last month than we ever have… we are closer and know more about one another than ever before. She is a stupendously incredible friend who has helped me through some bloody tough and occasionally sticky times and I love every single thing about her. She makes me feel completely confident, beautiful and generally okay about myself, and that is something I cannot say about any of my other friends. I am going to miss an endless list of things about her, but for a much shorter period of time as Muffin and I will be flying out to visit her for my birthday and then she will be coming to visit us for Christmas. With Janey, I’m going to miss morningtime phone calls, lewd texts and racist chats. I will miss eating everything all the time, being seen as ridiculously annoying by any shopkeeper ever and people-watching with sometimes embarrassing consequences. She has opened my eyeballs to a lot of things and I will never, ever be able to replace her, and I wouldn’t want to. She’s miraculous.
Nick… for as little as I see him or speak to him, I never, ever find myself doing anything but being completely mystified by his existence when we DO meet up. He is so personable, fun and energetic and I love that about him. He never misses a beat when there is a need for a funny comment or silly dance. He’s always on hand to make me laugh and smile and give me a beautiful hug when necessary. He’s one I will miss bigger than most because he has played such a huge factor in pulling me out of my rut after my divorce and helping me through seeing Chris in public again. Nick has been so supportive and is really a genuine friend who cares not just for me, but also for what my actions will do to others. I am going to miss the late nights with him after everyone else has gone the most… the nights where we sit in the garden or inside, me with Buddy on my lap and him with a pint in his hand, talking about everything and nothing all at the same time. I love Nick and I love the things he brings out in me. God, with Nick I am going to miss his face, the inside jokes, the pub, his songs, his dancing, working in the kitchen with him and his voice… god I am going to miss his voice. I am certain that aside from his hair, that’s my favourite thing about him.
Franny… effortlessly beautiful; that was the first thing that I needed to say. Now that that’s out of my system, I can move on. When I first saw Franny I was completely in awe of her stunning face and how beautiful she could make a pair of sweatpants look. I mean, how is that POSSIBLE?! For months I would go to the pub and watch her face (which makes me sound like a stalker… it must be said that i openly watched her face, not from some seedy corner of the pub with an overcoat and hat on and a glass of whiskey in my hand, but from the bar or from the table in the middle of the pub in front of the bar)… she has an indescribably beautiful face that I could stare at forever. I remember we began bonding over some random game on the telly… it was Wales vs. France from what I can remember and I was openly berating Wales (I was not conscious of the fact that this is where Franny is from) whilst gushing about the hairy players on the French team. It was that night that we began talking and from there we have progressed into dinner dates, smoking sessions and endless hugs. I love Franny and wish she was more confident… I am going to miss seeing her make everything she wears look incredible, smoking fags in the beer garden with her and her uplifting texts, which always seem to arrive JUST when I need them the most.
Charlie… in the time I’ve been in England I think I’ve only seen Charlieface about five or six times… very brief but incredible visits. We can go months without talking but the instant I see her and our arms are wrapped around one another I remember everything I love about her. she is painfully beautiful and talented… I adore her face and eyes so much. I wish so much that we had spent more time together in the time I’ve been here, god I wish so much… but I can’t help but know that the brief visits we have had were special and perfect in their short-but-sweet glory. I am going to miss the text that make me want to cry and I am going to miss our brief visits so much. her hugs are so beautiful… she’s fantastic and I’m so glad I’ve met her.
Christopher… as much as I didn’t want to be married to him, I will still miss him. I will miss seeing him places and remembering times when I didn’t hate his face (which, to point out, I don’t hate at the moment, fyi). I will miss knowing that there is someone around town that knows as much about me as he does… someone who will offer me the knowing glances of a hardened ex-husband after seven years in the “danie slammer” (which sounds a bit like a euphemism and was not intended as such… it was more meant to mean that he spent seven years with me, learning about me and with no escape). I still occasionally find it to be quite a foreign concept that we were married and now we’re not, so I will still occasionally miss seeing his big face around and having talks with him. I worry that all ties with him are going to be severed and the thought of that upsets me… he’s a good person and the thought of losing him from my life completely makes my heart hurt.
Lee Lee… oh my tiny little jewish sensation… my heart hurts for him so big. I added him on Myspace years ago when I saw him on Pow’s friend list and was shocked by how beautiful his face was… not much time passed before I realised his face was not the only beautiful thing about him and fell hard for his jokes, eyes and smell… Lee Lee works at LUSH and therefore HAS to smell amazing constantly (it seems to be a contractual obligation for all LUSH staff). That is one of my favourite things about him and the instant I receive anything from him I smell it, I smell it and fall in love with him all over again. Lee Lee has a sense of humour that is very special to him… the jokes he tells and the way he tells them are particularly funny because it’s him that says them… he and I do not see one another often but we speak on the phone regularly and write when one of us can remember… he is stupendously perfect from a distance or close up and I will miss our conversations, letters (which really shouldn’t stop just because I’m going to America because they will only be BETTER once I’ve moved), beautiful nose, eyeballs, laugh, vegan sass and random LUSH gifts. I can’t believe how happy I am to have randomly added him because of his beautiful face all those years ago. Thanks my little Jewish pancake.
The Tattoo Boys… special in their own private way… if one were to look at our relationship from the outside they would wonder why I hang around there, but I love those boys so much and secretly, they love me too. Kevin, Thomas, Greg and Lee are four of the most gentle, lovely boys in the land and every time I go in the shop I get the perfect mixture of sass and wonderful from them. I love them individually for specific reasons… Kevin because he’s incredibly talented, interesting to talk to and is a genuinely nice, sweet person when you look beyond all the tattoos and scowls. Thomas is incredibly gentle… he tries to put on a front when he’s around Kevin but he’s a young lad that has a really good head on his shoulders and is quite possibly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. They are all tremendous fun to hang around with and my days in the shop go by so quickly with their banter and stories. I will miss long tattoo sessions and talking about music, artists, ink, aftercare and my ex-husband. I will miss the horrible names we call one another and flipping them off when I see them on the street. I will miss them so much and never, ever trust another tattooist as much as I trust them.
Goncalves, Challis, Graham, Hannah, Dave, Jax, Leigh, Shaun, Tom, Alison, Judith, Eleanor, Will, Potterton, Mitzy, Karl, Reno, Luke Winn, Don, Pete, Meek, Tree, Culleton, George, Esmee, Tanya, Eddie, Shawn Kenney, Mark, Antonia Bee, Lester, Jaacqy, Buddy, Missy, Thuy, The man from the Caribbean market, Stafford, Theo, Emma, The girls in the Guildhall Market, Dave, Russ, Emma, Liz etc etc... i need to post this or i never will...